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.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
More on Race to the Top & Bennett's Failure
Tony Bennett has been alienating and berating folks in education since he got elected and the Feds have noticed. Indiana will never get the massive federal money if all the stakeholders aren't working together--given the reckless and misguided approach, it doesn't seem like this is even possible. As for the Union response, when the DOE misleads the public and uses the media to spin and distort the truth, speaking back to the abuse is the only recourse.
Public spat threatens 2nd chance at stimulus funds for state schools
Relations between the state Department of Education and the state's two teachers unions have never been cozy, but they have been cordial. These days, a better characterization would be outright war.
That war is taking place mostly in public: press releases with ultimatums, attacks in local newspapers and an exchange of e-mails landing in the inboxes of every teacher in the state.
And the potential loss could be very high: The state's second chance at a piece of $4.4 billion in "Race to the Top" stimulus funds might be in jeopardy.
Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett said he is passionately making a case for reforms he considers crucial to improve the well-being of the state's children.
The presidents of the Indiana State Teachers Association and the Indiana Federation of Teachers say Bennett is trying to steamroll teachers in the process and is using unfair tactics. Both have increased their own rhetoric against and criticism of the state.
The debate has come to a head over whether the unions will sign on to the state's second attempt to win stimulus funds.
Bennett has advocated tying job reviews for teachers to their students' test scores, and he has advanced policiesthat would allow teachers to be paid or dismissed based on job performance rather than years of experience.
The unions find that onerous.
"We've never been invited to be full partners," IFT President Rick Muir said. "I hope he wakes up and changes his course of action, but I'm not holding my breath."