Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Public in Public Education

  I’m sure you’ll see more of this in the Indianpolis paper but Indiana Citizens just left Manual High School where a second holiday show (see below) was necessary as 1200 community members filled the auditorium to capacity.  Many turned around as the traffic getting in was so heavy but it looked as if another 3-400 waited for the second show.  Undoubtedly, folks were there for many reasons and have many different ideas about needed solutions but....this was a resounding message that this city is willing to engage in a conversation about Public Education!  Well done and well played--what happens next is up to us.


  I’m assuming that folks have been following this in the paper and, while a bit problematic in the reporting at places, a showing here might be a strong statement to our community.  Just an idea
____________________________Hi. I'm sending this blog post [from the Indy Star] to everyone who has expressed an interest in Manual. Having a lot of people attend this event Tuesday would be a big deal for the students. Hope you are well. MattA night to support Manual One thing I've been struck by in recent months is the large number of people who want to help Manual High School, and particularly its students. As I wrote recently, many people have donated money, food and time since reading about the school. It's been very touching to see how much people care.
This coming Sunday I will write about another way I hope people will help Manual.
It's pretty easy. The school is putting on a holiday concert this coming Tuesday, Dec. 15, at 6:30 p.m. Performances at the school typically draw small crowds. The students and teachers putting on this concert deserve a big crowd.

Why I am suggesting this?
Well, I have spent many hours in Spencer Lloyd's choir class this year. He is an amazing teacher -- energetic, caring and insistent that his students reach for excellence. In a school without many of the staples of high school life -- a football team, school newspaper, student council, etc. -- Lloyd is growing the choir program in only his second year at the school. It's been wonderful to watch him work with his students this year. He runs a fun but disciplined class. He has improved his students as singers, but has also helped them deal with serious personal problems.
His class is an example of what can be achieved at an IPS high school. The choir sounds great.
Many of the choir students, as well as those in the band, have been through hard times. They've overcome a lot but are sticking with school. One girl told me choir is the reason she still comes to school. It would mean a lot for these students to see a lot of faces in the crowd next Tuesday.
Finally, this is the kind of program that in tough budget times could be cut. As I am going to write in Sunday's column, how great would it be to see this program not just survive but thrive. After spending so much time watching Lloyd's class, it's easy to imagine Manual in future years becoming known for its wonderful choir program. The choir will be joined by the small but growing school band at Tuesday's roughly one-hour concert.
I hope you can make it to the concert -- and bring a friend or a few. Many people care about IPS and its students. Attending this concert would be a good way of expressing that.

What: Manual High School Christmas Spectacular
When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday Dec. 15
Where: Manual High School auditorium, 2405 Madison Ave. (about 1.5 miles south of the Lilly corporate center)
Cost: It's free though donations are welcome


1 comment:

  1. An amazing show of support for public education! There's more here: