Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Breaking News

Opinion

September 24, 2013

TOM LoBIANCO: Transparency falls to Ritz with new 'A-F' scores

Fallout from Bennett has raised bar of expectation.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Democratic schools Super-intendent Glenda Ritz is pro-mising greater transpar-ency as she begins work on a new school grading formula.

Even before it was uncovered that her predecessor, former Republican schools Superintendent Tony Bennett, had changed the grading formula to ensure a top GOP donor’s charter school received an A, Ritz said her administration would work in the open. But in the wake of Bennett’s grade-changing scandal, that promise is even more important.

One of her first chances to make good on that guarantee will be a string of meetings for the 17-member panel making recommendations on the new grading formula. They will be working at a breakneck pace, by Statehouse standards, to get their recommendations to the State Board of Education by Nov. 1.

Ritz and the panel’s other co-chairman, West Allen County School Superintendent Steven Yager, both said last week they plan to hold “fair and transparent” meetings.

“That’s our ultimate goal, to make sure we have a transparent system that patrons and teachers, staff members, taxpayers, business folks can read and understand and make sense of,” Yager said shortly before walking into the first meeting of the group.

The grades themselves are important in determining official moves, like how much money a school gets from the state. They also have less tangible impacts, affecting things like where families decide to buy homes. There already exists surface-level openness for the grades, in the form of glossy one-pagers from the Department of Education showing each school’s grade.

But the past month or so has shown that “how the sausage is made” — shorthand for the gnashing of politics in creating policy, almost as much to divert attention from important decisions — is important.

Indiana leaders have a mixed record on showing the public how their money is being spent. The good includes streaming online legislative hearings and archived webcasts, easily searchable legislation and contracts and many other databases of public information.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Scholarship a fine award Congratulations to Howard County high school seniors Joowon Lee and Graham Ortmann on winning a 2014 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship. Lee, of Western High School, plans to attend Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis to study biolog

    April 24, 2014

  • STATE SEN. JIM BUCK: Changes pave way to a brighter future In recent legislative sessions, Indiana has enacted substantial policy reforms that resulted in greater economic freedom and stronger economic growth. Economic growth has real implications for Hoosier families: jobs for those unemployed; promotions f

    April 24, 2014

  • JEFFREY McCALL: U.S. networks struggle to cover economic news Network television newsrooms often must cover stories for which they have no internal experts. That's why aeronautic engineers and pilots are put on the air to analyze airplane emergencies. Judges and lawyers are paraded out to discuss whatever sensa

    April 24, 2014

  • LETTER: Tipton commissioner keeps agency matters secret Commissioner keeps panel matters secret An April 14 letter exposed the truth about a politician's actions vs. what he writes or says. The minutes from an Alliance Board governmental meeting indicated Phil Heron voted no for a request to allow public

    April 24, 2014

  • The progress we're making Every Howard County school district published an annual report in Tuesday's edition of the Kokomo Tribune. They're required by the Indiana Department of Education, and they're worth a read. The reports assembled the most recent data available on stud

    April 23, 2014

  • Rob Burgess House of 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 never felt the presence of anything that might be described as transcendent or spiritual.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

  • LETTERS: Correct mistakes May 6; RNC & pals Voting mistakes can be corrected May 6 For the last several months, it seems that I keep hearing one recurring conversation. People cannot believe the arrogance being shown by some of our elected officials towards the people of Tipton County. The sam

    April 23, 2014

  • Take a stand this election Howard County Clerk Kim Wilson's office always is busy this time of year -- but more so before an election. Absentee voting for the May 6 primary election began April 8. We, too, expect more activity. We soon will receive an avalanche of candidate en

    April 22, 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

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: Kangaroo Rescued From Swimming Pool Raw: 3 American Doctors Killed in Afghanistan Raw: Obama Arrives at State Dinner in Tokyo Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot Raw: Obama Visits Meiji Shrine in Tokyo Stars Talk Guns N' Roses at Golden Gods New Pictures of Ship That Sank in 1888 Oregon Gay Marriage Ban Goes to Court SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye'
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