May 3, 2021 | mfhfzdun | No Comments
Repeal the 2019-session teacher externship requirement. The General Assembly passed HEA 1002 last spring, which in part now requires public school teachers earning Professional Growth Points toward renewing their teaching license must spend hours of their personal time to experiencing and studying the Hoosier for-profit economy. Demanding that elementary school teachers study Hoosier business-needs so they can help 5, 8 or 11-year-olds with career planning is irrelevant and misguided. This part of HEA 1002 is wastes teacher professional development time, and is costly and unfeasible to implement. Hold educators and schools harmless in the new and not improved I-LEARN fiasco from last year and in the future. Faulty and late test scores cannot be used to label a community or a school as less-than or poor performing. The state and the vendors have not gotten their schedules and reporting straight for the versions of standardized testing our students have been burdened with for years, from ISTEP to ILEARN. Since legislators and test vendors are not held to account, then do not punish teachers and schools for legislative and vendor ineptitude. Better yet, respect taxpayers and quit wasting money on inconsistent, expensive, inconclusive expensive standardized tests that aren’t even scored until months after the tests.These are the three real-time reasons for the rally in Indianapolis. These are three real-time reasons for its huge success. But there is much more we all need to learn in our work to return local control to our schools. We must demand our legislators respect classroom teachers who are there for our kids daily. And if a legislator does not think K-12 teachers deserve respect, try substitute teaching a several days over a school year. We must demand funding to improve outcomes for students but improved outcomes do not come from a test. We must invest to teach technology skills to all students. We must end the habit of the General Assembly offering a snake oil cure when it needed to be listening and learning from the daily practitioners: our classroom teachers.Indiana taxpayers and voters need to stand up for public education. Private and parochial schools will not and can never be able to educate more than 12 percent of students. Indiana cannot run on 12 percent of a brain.Sincerely,ANNE ENNISMEMBER OF THE EVANSVILLE/VANDERBURGH COUNTY SCHOOL BOARDFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail Community And Teachers’ Rally — #RedForEdBy Ann M. EnnisOn November 19, a well-planned rally supporting Indiana’s public K-12 schools attracted 17,000 teachers, administrators, parents, students and taxpayers to the Indiana Statehouse grounds. It was a show of voter power illustrating a key point: In Indiana, 90 percent of K-12 students attend public schools. This is 1,041,369 students. Since 2010, funding for Indiana K-12 public education has not kept pace with inflation – let alone met the need for advanced technical and career preparation for our students’, our industries’ and our communities’ success. Changing that outcome led to the #RedForEd Rally. With the advent of dozens of big government – aka Indiana Statehouse-led – reforms of local K-12 education this century, billions of dollars have been spent on standardized testing, and evaluations – aka criticism – of public school teachers and public schools in general. A chorus heard in downtown Indianapolis Nov. 19 was, “enough is enough is enough is enough…” and a rousing crowd singalong to the refrain of Twisted Sister’s, “We Aren’t Gonna’ Take It Anymore!” A dozen instrumental music educators accompanied on brass and percussion.The next Statehouse session is not a budget year, but #RedForEd is preparing now for 2021. And in the meantime, the November rally united 17,000+ on these three demands:Increase teacher (classroom teacher) compensation by using the current state budget surplus. The funds can be released and need to be released. Indiana is 51st in the nation in teacher pay, behind Puerto Rico! A goodly portion of the state’s $2+ billion surplus must be used to increase base wages for classroom teachers. Teachers are the creators of Indiana’s engineers, dentists, plumbers, accountants and technicians of all stripes. Better teacher wages is good for Indiana’s economy and soul. Teachers provide the foundation for every person’s career start and success Value them as professionals.