Some local kids talk to policy makers about the state of education in IPS in today's Indy Star. Good to see someone thought to ask them. Now a panel of teachers would be a nice touch. I must say some of the comments posted are the most interesting as (finally) folks are becoming comfortable putting Dr. White under the microscope--he has a lot to answer for methinks. Now don't misunderstand me here, IPS needs to supported and the challenges taken up; the solutions undoubtedly offered by Lubbers (charter schools, more scripted curriculum, more de-professionalizing teachers) are based more on ideology than research and ultimately.....can and often does hurt kids.
Margrette Lowe wants state legislators to understand that they have given her a raw deal when it comes to her education.
She and a dozen other Tech High School students met with eight lawmakers Friday and painted a bleak portrait of their district: Many teachers don't care; the district doesn't offer the challenging classes commonly offered elsewhere; and some students receive such bad guidance that it can affect whether they graduate
From a friend of mine's blog....it's not good I'm afraid. When Obama said that Education was his example of where he differed with the Democratic Party I got worried; when he picked Arne Duncan, I got very worried; when he starts sounding like "Bush Light" (see below), I'm terrified.
Obama & Education
An Obama activist friend of mine reacted to the speech outlining an education agenda given by the President to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce by calling it ‘Bush lite’. Despite important attention to ‘crumbling’ schools, funds to prevent teacher layoffs due to state budgetary crises, mild criticism of the ‘testing regime’, and some awareness of the relationship between other socio-economic issues and education; it’s hard to argue with that dispassionate characterization. Obama’s evocation of “high standards” coupled with “high expectations”, his call for a “new culture of accountability”, not only broke no new ground, but seemed to echo Bush platitudes, even as he called for No Child Left Behind (NCLB) to “live up to its name.” READ MORE
From the Indiana Dept of Education Strategic Plan dated Feb 25, 2009:
"Improve instructional quality and enhance school governance and leadership...
Reform and deregulate existing licensing standards to encourage the appropriate use of subject matter experts in the classroom and in administrative positions."
Questions abound as to what the proposal to "deregulate" teacher certification might mean for education in Indiana. Quoted numerous times in the campaign as being against accreditation for teacaher training programs, new Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Bennett seems out to transfer this power to the districts. Given current financial constraints one wonders what type of system the districts would be able to adopt (or if they even want this power/responsibility). More troubling is the inclusion of the "subject matter experts" in the second half of the statement. One can only assume here that this means cutting out Schools of Education and letting business schools train administrators, history departments train social studies teachers, etc..., ignoring the research base on what we know about effective teaching practices.
I'm hoping there are some comments out there as this is surely an attack on teacher education (yet again) and a significant step backward for the State of Indiana. There will be more to come...