"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"...no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish enlarge, or affect their civil capacities." – Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Politician as Principal

On November 16, Indiana State Senator Dennis Kruse (R-Auburn, District 14) spent the day as the guest principal of a local school. He came away with some impressions that his Republican colleagues usually don't express. The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette told the story...
Sen. Kruse spends the day as principal

Kruse spent much of Wednesday morning on his feet, visiting classrooms and mingling with students at Southwick, a school with about 480 students in pre-kindergarten through second grade. He said he was particularly struck by the diversity of the largely Burmese school, where 51 percent of students speak English as a second language.

Kruse said “it’s just not right” for the state to test students who come to a district with no English language skills.

In the future, he said, he would support legislation that would give schools the option to let more of their non-native English speaking students get out of ISTEP+ testing. Schools already have some wiggle room, he said, but not enough.

Kruse said he left with a positive impression of the school, and said he was particularly impressed to see such a large emphasis put on reading. He said Southwick’s teachers were working hard, and like all teachers, needed to be appreciated for their dedication.

“I think we need to compliment our teachers more,” he said. “Just to come into the classroom everyday you need to have quite the commitment.”
Did Senator Kruse learn enough to stand up to his Republican colleagues in the State Senate?

Do those hard working teachers who "need to be appreciated for their dedication" deserve to have their full collective bargaining rights restored?

Since it's "just not right" to give the ISTEP (or other standardized test) to students who don't speak English, should said tests be used to evaluate teachers?

Let's see if Senator Kruse carries his new found "positive impressions" back to Indianapolis.

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