Saturday, June 12, 2010

Indiana DOE Hostile to Teachers

The word is out.... Tony Bennett hates teachers.  Another embarrassment for Indiana and its reputation in education.  "Hostile" is too nice a word for what has been a administration rife with thoughtless policy changes, aversion to research and data, and a tendency for shady processes.  Bennett keeps trying to call himself a "reformer"....hopefully Hoosiers are smarter than to fall for that.

Teachers union chief chides state Education Department

One of the nation's most prominent teachers union officials has called out Indiana's Department of Education as one of three in the country most hostile to teachers.
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten cited Indiana, Virginia and Minnesota as especially egregious in failing to include teachers in their applications for the federal Race to the Top competition for $4.4 billion in money for education reform. "State officials in Minnesota and Indiana failed to include teachers in the application process -- and then scapegoated teachers to deflect attention from the decision not to file applications," Weingarten said in a statement released nationally Tuesday.
"What is especially troubling about the states that failed to work with teachers unions is that, as teachers well know, the common denominator for all good schools is an environment where the adults work together on behalf of the students."
Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett has tangled with the Indiana Federation of Teachers and the Indiana State Teachers Association, blasting them as being out to protect adults at the cost of educating children.
The federal grant process required dramatic changes, including a willingness to tie teacher job reviews to student performance. But Indiana pushed harder than many other states, and teachers unions were not allowed to see the proposals until after they were filed.
Indiana did not apply for a second round of funding, citing the teachers unions' lack of support.  Bennett said the positions of the IFT leadership have been at odds with some of the positions of its own locals and with the public statements Weingarten has made at the national level. He said he was surprised at her comments Tuesday.
"That statement is unfounded on her part," he said. "It's obvious that the leadership of the state unions doesn't reflect Ms. Weingarten's openness to reform."


1 comment:

  1. Once again Tony Bennett bashed teachers and their unions in his June 3 My View, "Union interests collide with student success." The same tired talking points are as predictable as thunder after lightning. Unions "affect the quality of . . . instruction," "prepare students for future success," "impeded significant educational reform" and "have "negative impact . . . on classroom instruction." There's not one example of how these things might be true. The unions' failure to address "meaningful evaluations" is blamed for the laying off of new, enthusiastic, hardworking teachers.

    Mr. Bennett, new teachers are let go because the state of Indiana can't pay its bills (even the ones required by the state constitution) and because the current administration refuses to raise any tax to contribute to bothersome and expensive things like quality education for Indiana children. Indiana school districts have spent millions of dollars to find ways to increase student achievement. Those millions have not been well spent.
    Unless the current administration sees fit to involve all groups that impact education, Indiana will continue to limp along with underfunded schools and under-achieving students. It's easy for those who are not involved to criticize others' work.
    Complaining won't solve the problem, and neither will blaming groups that are dedicated to quality work, fair wages and reasonable workloads.

    W. R. Jones
    Indianapolis [from Indy Star]

    -absolutely, Citizen!!