Indiana Citizens for Public Education represents a collection of educators, parents, and community members deeply concerned about the state of public education in Indiana and the larger United States. We are pro-public education, anti-school privatization, pro-teacher, pro-democracy, and, at the core, invested in supporting good public schools that help all of our children.
Friday, January 1, 2010
A New Year & Public Education
A call to action from the Indy Star.....it's about time. There is a lot of interest now thanks to the ludicrous policy of Daniels/Bennett and the coverage of the realities of urban education at Manuel High School. Many misperceptions and confusion persists but it does feel like a time to continue to push the conversation on public education in our city. We've done some things this past year but perhaps its time to bring this beyond the internet and into the actual public sphere--Should Indiana Citizens go public? What do you think?
No issue is more critical for this city and state than to improve the academic achievement of its children. As go our schools in this new year and new decade so will go our economy, our quality of life and a multitude of other key measures.
The year begins on a sour note, with the state forced to make significant cuts in school funding and without money to expand important initiatives such as full-day kindergarten or early childhood education.
Yet, despite the fiscal challenges, the drive to raise cultural expectations and improve student achievement must accelerate. The status quo, let alone sliding backward, is unacceptable.
The Indianapolis Star is freshly committed to leading a sustained effort to improve the educational attainment of this community's children. More details on what forms The Star's campaign will take will come soon.
But this much must be said emphatically now: This city has for far too long stood by passively as the future for thousands of children was crushed because they failed to obtain a solid education.
The reasons why students fail are varied and complex. No easy answers exist. No one program can fix all the problems. No single entity acting alone can make a lasting difference.
What is needed now -- what must be demanded -- is a coordinated and sustained push in this community, and ultimately in the state, to ensure that all children have a realistic chance to succeed in school, no matter the neighborhoods they live in, no matter the families they come from.
Here is a bold vision for a new decade: By 2020, the children of Indianapolis and their peers throughout Indiana will be the best educated in the world.
Is such a future possible? Most definitely yes. But only if we residents of this city and state are courageous enough to take chances; are committed enough to invest our personal resources, including time and money; are honest enough to set aside biases; are patient enough to overcome inevitable setbacks; are passionate enough to enlist the skeptical; are persistent enough to sustain the effort after the first blushes of emotion fade.