Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana


May 1, 2014

MARK HEINIG: Step back to step forward with school reforms

Adults must retake control of classes from our students

Many K-12 educators expected the news that Indiana teachers received better evaluations than Indiana schools did. Apparently Hoosier legislators did not. They claim the teacher evaluations were too high and ought to correlate more closely with the school ratings. That claim doesn’t make sense.

Teacher evaluation is supposed to be a continuing process to help an individual teacher do a better job in days yet to come. Standardized tests assess how much students have learned in days over and done. Although they both play important roles in education, they are not directly comparable.

If a school gets a low rating while its teachers get high ones, the problems of weaker teachers may have improved or vanished before the formal evaluation. It is also possible weaker teachers have been replaced by then. I could usually identify those teachers early in the school year. Most principals can. Formal evaluations occur much later. If students are suffering because of a poor teacher, why wait until the year is almost over to correct the problem? After the correction, school’s teacher evaluation data will improve.

Guess what! The teacher isn’t the only person in the classroom. The students are there, too. If they don’t do their part, it becomes very difficult, if not impossible, for the teacher to do his part well. Teachers feel powerless and frustrated. They try to teach all students, those who want to learn and those who misbehave, but they get very little help from administrators and parents.

All over Indiana, schools have become places where the students are in control — not the teachers, not the principal, not the district superintendent, not the school board members, and not even the parents.

We do need school reform, but achieving it may involve moving in an unexpected direction. We often think of reforms as changes that lead us forward to a new and better world. However, reforms can also lead us backward to an older yet better world. To achieve lasting improvement, we must first revisit those former days. Each school must review its past practices to determine what succeeded and what failed. Then the school can move forward with reforms that address local needs.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • TOM LoBIANCO: Pence, Bayh crowd field with questions In the 2016 political landscape, a pair of the state's political big dogs -- Republican Gov. Mike Pence and former Democratic U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh -- have potential candidates holding their breath and waiting on them. Until Pence says otherwise, he's

    July 29, 2014

  • JEFFREY McCALL: All things Hillary are not news, just distractions This column has nothing to do with who should or will win the presidential election in 2016. It has nothing to do with partisan politics of any flavor. This column does, however, assess how television is oversaturating the "news" agenda with countles

    July 29, 2014

  • BRIAN HOWEY: World is rising up to meet Putin's thuggery Any illusions I had about the progressive nature of Vladimir Putin’s Russian regime quickly dissipated when I returned to my Moscow Grand Marriott room in August 2007. Upon opening the door, I was greeted with the spectacle of my papers and note pads

    July 28, 2014

  • DICK WOLFSIE: A trip to end all trips My wife is planning a very exciting vacation to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. This was a big surprise to me. Not the vacation part, but the 35 years. I thought it was 34. Right now she is on the back porch, the patio table stacked high with

    July 28, 2014

  • ED VASICEK: Happy marriages do not just happen My wife, Marylu, and I met through a mutual friend. My wife had been involved with Campus Crusade at her university, where my friend, Norman, also attended. One Christmas break, Norman invited his friends from church (including me) to a party — along

    July 27, 2014

  • MICHAEL HICKS: Truth about inflation Almost nothing in economics seems to confuse people as much as monetary inflation. That confusion leaves an intellectual void into which some of the least credible ideas of the modern world crawl.Goods and services typically have a price dictated in

    July 27, 2014

  • RAY DAY: Some laws will do us in In my opinion, we have made laws that are contrary to what they were intended. And this writer is going to let you in on his thoughts about them. One of the things that has been processed incorrectly is the child abuse law. When you tell the parent h

    July 26, 2014

  • MARK HEINIG JR.: Will Pence, Ritz and their playmates ever grow up? Many Hoosier Republicans are curious about Gov. Mike Pence’s future. He probably is, too. Assuming he doesn’t wish to return to Congress or retire from politics, he must decide whether to seek another term as governor of Indiana or run for president

    July 25, 2014

  • LEE HAMILTON: Why congressional incumbents keep getting re-elected It’s no news that Congress is unpopular. In fact, at times it seems like the only real novelty on Capitol Hill would be a jump in its approval rating. In June, a Gallup poll found members’ standing with the American people at a historic low for a mid

    July 25, 2014

  • SEN. JIM BUCK: New laws offer help for kids Families with children who have special needs often face difficulties finding the best care or treatment for their specific circumstance. During the 2014 legislative session, the Indiana General Assembly passed several initiatives to assist these fam

    July 24, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US

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.
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller