Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

November 14, 2013

MARK HEINIG: Class of '63 - reflections on a half-century legacy

Our kids must accept responsibility for their education.

I recently went home to Terre Haute for my 50-year class reunion (Schulte High School Class of 1963). It was a bitter-sweet experience. We enjoyed renewing old friendships, catching up on each other’s lives and reminiscing about days long past. We missed absent classmates, both those still living and those who already have been called home.

As a retired educator, I couldn’t resist comparing us with today’s high school students.

The Class of 1963 didn’t take as many standardized tests as the Class of 2014 has, but those we did take meant something. Most Hoosier school corporations relied on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.

Schools only used the Iowa test results for their intended purpose: to measure students’ academic progress objectively. They didn’t affect the income and performance evaluations of teachers or schools, as the ISTEP tests do. Few teachers agree with the shift of emphasis from teaching to testing. Most would say the tests have become more important than the learning they’re designed to evaluate.

Teachers complain about lost instructional time. They need more time to teach and less time in meetings about ISTEP scores, accountability and professional development. Loss of instructional time is not new. It was frustrating good teachers when I began teaching in 1968.

Many school corporations use substitute teachers to cover the regular teacher’s time out of class. I was never a substitute, but I hired many of them. A sub as effective as the regular teacher is harder to find than the winning ticket for a huge Powerball jackpot. The teachers of the Class of 1963 avoided “teaching to the test.” How can a teacher or a school do that now when the stakes are so high?

Meetings aren’t the only source of wasted time. Teachers often have non-teaching duties in the classroom. My first department head gave me an article entitled “Stop trying to learn while I’m counting the lunch money!” Although we don’t usually do that now, interruptions continue to impede the teaching-learning process. Time in class does not equal time on task!

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • ROB BURGESS: You've gotta keep 'em separated In my career as a journalist I have served my time reporting on city council, county supervisor and state regulatory meetings, to name just a few. Whatever else they might have been, they weren't holy places. In the many, many hours I spent there I n

    April 23, 2014

  • ANDREA NEAL: A committee of 10 picked Ind. capital Editor's note: This is one in a series of essays leading up to the celebration of the Indiana Bicentennial in December 2016. Anyone who's ever served on a committee can relate to the old laugh line: A committee is a group of people who keep minutes a

    April 23, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: Judge in gay marriage decision is no activist When U.S. District Judge Richard Young recently ruled in favor of a lesbian couple seeking recognition of their out-of-state marriage, opponents of same-sex unions called him an activist judge who was unilaterally trampling the law. The label didn't

    April 22, 2014

  • TOM LoBIANCO: Turner ethics case tests bounds of 'citizen legislature' When a legislative ethics panel meets this week to review the case of House Speaker Pro Tem Eric Turner, members could have trouble finding clear-cut answers, in large part because of the Indiana General Assembly's status as a "citizen legislature."

    April 22, 2014

  • Cleaning up Indiana could be as easy as a bottle deposit Scan the roadside on a drive through the Wabash Valley, and you might spot an empty pop bottle or two. Or two dozen. Or 200. Drink bottles have become our litter du jour. They compose an estimated 40 to 60 percent of all litter, according to the Mich

    April 21, 2014

  • Wolfsie: High-tech got you down? I love where I bank. It’s a branch inside of a big supermarket. I can make a modest withdrawal and then go and blow every last penny in the cookie aisle. The tellers at the window appreciate me. They know about my obsession with round numbers and und

    April 21, 2014

  • Vasicek: Celebrating Easter I have shared a few bits of Easter humor over the years, so I thought I’d start with a new one. Joseph of Arimathea was the wealthy Pharisee who is famous for helping to bury the body of Jesus. He procured the body, asking Pilate’s permission, and, w

    April 20, 2014

  • DAY: God trusted us with them Well, you heard about my wife and I, and our families from the past, so it is time for me to tell you about two of the prettiest girls I have ever known. They are our daughters Debbie and Patty. They are the greatest gifts from God that we have had i

    April 19, 2014

  • LoBianco: Bigger ethics questions raised in House Turner review

    Members of the House Ethics Committee who will take up Rep. Eric Turner’s case face daunting tasks as they try to answer two questions: Did their powerful colleague violate any ethics rules in privately lobbying against a measure that would have hurt his family’s business?

    April 18, 2014

  • Hicks: Measuring the unmeasurable

    One aspect of economic research I think is especially powerful is the ability to measure or monetize the things that humans clearly value but for which a market price is not necessarily apparent. This is one of the aspects of economic analysis that gives it such dominance over other social sciences.

    April 17, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller