|Thousands of teachers, parents, and public education advocates rally in Indianapolis|
November 19, 2019
- the loss of seniority and lessening the value of experience or advanced degrees on salary schedules
- declining salaries (when adjusted for inflation)
- the loss of the right to collective bargain things like class size, prep time, and supervision
- the loss of due process
- the overuse and misuse of standardized testing
- the diversion of public education funds to charter and voucher schools
- teacher evaluations and school grades based on test scores
- and, beginning in 2020, Governor-appointed majority (8 out of 10) on the state school board as well as a Governor-appointed state superintendent of public instruction.
THIS STATE REALLY HATES PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS
The current make-up of the state government is blatantly disrespectful of public education and public school teachers.
That is why the Governor's teacher-pay task force has no active educator on its panel.
That is why public schools, which educate 90% of Indiana's children, will get a 2% increase in both 2020 and 2021 while charter schools (10.3% and 10.47%), virtual schools (5.25% and 9.14%) and private/parochial school vouchers (9.28% and 5.6%) will get much higher increases. Those percentages certainly show where the state's priorities lie.
That's why Indiana teachers, of all the nation's teachers, have seen the lowest amount of money in teacher raises since 2002.
That's why you can become a teacher in a public high school in Indiana without a degree in education or pedagogical training.
That's why you can become a teacher in a charter school in Indiana without a degree in education or pedagogical training.
That's why Indiana's testing programs, which seem to change yearly, continue to label students, schools, and school districts as failures because they have high populations of children in need. The assumption is that schools must cure the problems caused by poverty, not the legislature, even though out of school factors have a powerful impact on student achievement.
That's why Indiana has singled out teachers as the only group of professionals in the state who need to donate some of their time to local businesses in order to learn how the "real world" works. Every Hoosier teacher is aware that neither the Governor nor members of the legislature are required to donate some of their time to public schools in order to learn how they work.
That's why the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, the person who is responsible for all the public schools in Indiana, will henceforth be a position appointed by the Governor instead of being an elected official. Some states with appointed State Superintendents have elected State Board of Education members. Some states with appointed State Board of Education members have elected State Superintendents. Indiana now has neither. They are all appointed.
HOW ARE YOU SUPPORTING OUR KIDS?
How many of the "Red for Ed" supporters will disregard Fort Wayne Community Schools Superintendent Wendy Robinson's words,
The presidential campaign may receive the most attention, but on this issue, it is not the most important. Take a look at how your state representatives have voted when it comes to funding public education and supporting teachers. You might be surprised at how the people you voted for may say the right things in mailers or commercials or even to your face but vote the other way.Educators, parents, and supporters of public education in Indiana cannot continue to elect the enemies of public education to the state legislature.
When educators band together for a cause, they can make a difference. Look at the 2012 election for State Superintendent of Public Instruction: A change was made because educators and friends of educators banded together. It can happen again, but only if you carry on what you start on Nov. 19.
If we keep doing what we've always done, we'll keep getting what we've always gotten.
‘Great day’ for teachers
As the rally wrapped up, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick posted the following to her Twitter account:Alison Schwartz, a senior elementary education major from Ball State University, said of the Red for Ed Rally,
“Great day today, Indiana. Now … it’s about the tomorrows.”
This is important because our teachers are important, and our kids are important. If you can’t fully fund your teachers and your schools and support them, then how are you supporting your kids?We need to support our kids...at the ballot box in November of 2020.