1. This makes absolutely no sense! All the state of Indiana has been doing for the past four years is setting goals for better trained teachers to ensure that students obtain maximum scores on state tests. So in the plan to have better trained teaching professionals, we are now hiring not only unlicensed teachers to be in our classrooms, but unlicensed superintendents? How is a potential high school drop out going to see the importance of a high school education? The politicians in Indianapolis and all across this state are making decisions based on numbers they read on papers. Most of them have no classroom experience, teaching background, or can relate to the lives of our students, and yet they feel they are qualified to say what is an "effective" teacher/superintendent? This is a joke, and what they are doing belittles the profession that many of us have dedicated our hard work and lives too.
    April 03, 2013 4:43 pm on Senate panel backs plan for unlicensed school superintendents
  2. Thank you for being able to have a normal conversation!! You are one of the few commentators on this site that I have gone back and forth with who will actually have an adult conversation! Truly happy about that!

    I know things are crazy and that the economy is horrible, I just wish that people would realize that there is a lot more that goes into public education then what is shown by politicians and newspapers.

    We can only hope and pray that when the storm is over we have not sacrificed the one thing that should be most important - our children's education and future.
    September 11, 2012 8:21 pm on Issues in Chicago teachers strike mirror concerns of some NWI educators
  3. As much as your idea of putting "slow" learners in classes with other "slow" learners, things have drastically changed in education. No Child Left Behind ended students being held back if they did not achieve the goals that are set for that grade. Inclusion is a law that states that students cannot be tracked together based on ability and you cannot take special education students into a seperate classroom. The end result is 36 students to a classroom, and yes that is another politically enacted rule, with a huge range of learning levels and abilities.

    Again, I ask, show me where standardized testing is most beneficial to students? Where is the data on that? Teaching to the test is the worst possible thing a teacher should have to do. Yes students need testing, I completely agree, but when students begin at different places it is hard to hold them all accountable to the same end point. For instance, if a student goes into school and is already behind, the older they get, the most difficult it is for them to close the gap. Yet, at the end of their ninth grade year, they are all supposed to be at the same place when they take the standardized test.

    You are right, life is pressure, but making a kid who is in the third grade stay awake all nigth and freak out because they have to pass their ISTEP the next day is craziness.

    As much as the public is hating teachers, and everyone is against us, I don't hate being a teacher. Tonight I am angered by the ignorance and simplicity I see in some of the comments here, but when I walk into my classroom tomorrow morning to TEACH, it makes everything else seem inconsequential.
    September 11, 2012 7:47 pm on Issues in Chicago teachers strike mirror concerns of some NWI educators
  4. So then I ask you, where is the accountability for a parent who doesn't take care of their child? Who doesn't make sure that their child comes to school? Where are they parents when there is an open house or parent night? I'm not seeing most of them. The teachers I work with give kids hope everyday. We are probably one of the few constants in their lives. I completely agree with you that teachers should be monitored. I have no problem being evaluated FAIRLY, and that it should be done on a regular basis. We have implemented these things in my school district and teachers are constantly trying to improve instruction to ensure that they are reaching as many students as possible. No one is blaming students, I am saying that you cannot lump all teachers into one category and you cannot lump all schools into one category. Every school has their own unique set of circumstances, issues, problems, achievements, and things to applaud. Something does need to be done to improve the education that students get, but if you have read these posts they are only putting accountablity on the teachers. Politicians of course cannot blame their voter base, the parents, but come on. Have evaluation systems, have teacher accountability, but also look at the other factors that come into play.

    And here is a question: If you shut down the so called "poor performance" schools, where will the kids get a quality education? There are multiple comments on this article alone that suggest the reason that parents do not send their kids to public schools is because there are "drug dealers, gangs, etc." If you are a parent, can you honestly say that you would be all for a failing school being shut down and those kids coming to your child's school to learn from the so called "highly effective teachers?"
    September 11, 2012 7:28 pm on Issues in Chicago teachers strike mirror concerns of some NWI educators
  5. THIS IS AMERICA!!!! Built on hard work and UNIONS!!!! How do you think you have kept your job? Your wages? Your benefits? Do you not see a correlation between the fact that America is losing jobs and that big corporations are moving overseas because they can pay their employees there pennies per day?????? If we took away your union, and paid you pennies per day for the same work you do now, are you okay with that?? Sounds to me like you would be. That fact that you are on here bashing Union employees and then speaking from a position of a union employee for so long is laughable.
    September 11, 2012 7:03 pm on Issues in Chicago teachers strike mirror concerns of some NWI educators
  6. Again, it seems to me, that public education is under attack. As a teacher, I think I can speak for 90% of the teaching population when I say that most of us are not in this for the money. If we were, we would have gone into a different profession. I teach in an Indiana school, and am very happy to be there. I love my students, I love teaching, and I think that it is one of the few professions where you are doing some good for the future generations. I do however see a huge problem with assuming that all kids and teachers are the same. If a teacher chooses to work in a low income, high poverty, high crime area, whose student's frequently do not even get one decent meal a day, or have parents in the home who care about their performance in school, is it fair to hold that teacher to the same standards as say, a school where a majority of students come from a two parent home? Where the first things the parents worry about is their child's grades and academic careers? We teachers who choose to work in the "dangerous" schools with metal detectors and police officers as some people have said, are there because we CARE and we WANT to be there. My school day begins a 7:30 and ends at 4:00 p.m. That is with students. I go home and grade papers, lesson plan, make parent phone calls, and then maybe get some sleep at the end of the day and no one is paying me for all that extra time. I don't want a pat on the back but stop being so ridiculous and one-sided. You cannot fix a school from the inside out when the community is hurting and corrupt. You have to start from the outside! Fix the families, fix the broken children, and most of all stop letting politicians who know nothing about these kids, make the rules. Show me where the data says that keeping kids in school for extra time every day helps test scores. Show me where it says that all students need to pass standardized tests to be successful people in life! What happened to the push for different types of learners????? I would be interested to see how many of these people making horrible comments could pass one of the tests they ask these kids to take!! Ridiculous. Forget the pressure on teachers to get them to pass, has anyone though of the pressure on these kids??? I may not agree with all of the teacher demands coming from Chicago, but someone needs to put their foot down and stop this railroading of the public education system before it's too late.
    September 11, 2012 6:46 pm on Issues in Chicago teachers strike mirror concerns of some NWI educators
  7. I feel that there is a theme with some of these comments. There are many people who have grown up in Hammond but are quick to condemn Hammond and put it down. What ever happened to being proud of where you have come from? What ever happened to giving back to the community? I do not think there is anything wrong with trying to change the community culture. Especially if that culture has been subjected to unfair stereotypes and an unwarranted reputation. It is not the fault of our students that people think the way they do in the community. That is what we are trying to change. Stalinesque???
    May 21, 2012 2:41 pm on Three Hammond teachers suspended over testing breach
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