Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Breaking News

Opinion

September 26, 2013

MARK HEINIG: Tests, Tony and tomorrow: a look ahead

Will the next generation test kids better than we?

I find myself reading incessantly about the manipu-lation of ISTEP-plus test scores by the Indiana Department of Education, when Tony Bennett was at the helm. I’m certainly no disciple of our former state schools chief. I have written so many articles criticizing the man and his policies that nobody could consider us friends. But we aren’t enemies either.

He is right in insisting that we must reform our schools, both public and nonpublic. He was wrong in the way he handled the Christel House affair. It involves ethical issues that may discredit him, even though he probably considered his actions appropriate. Unfortunately, good intentions mean very little to people who don’t understand the issue — any issue!

Dr. Bennett tried to do too much too quickly. That led to widespread confusion and distrust. Apparently, Bennett lacks the communication skills to adequately explain his program and the leadership skills to restore public confidence in it. Ironically, the part of the public with the most at stake is also the part least likely to understand: our school children!

As I read about standardized tests and the larger issue of school reform, I find plenty of good arguments, both pro and con. What I don’t find are arguments specifically written to help our kids understand the dispute — both sides of it! That’s a tragic oversight. I don’t think I have ever seen an issue better suited to teach youngsters about how our government functions.

Old social studies teachers (like me!) have spent years hoping for such an ideal opportunity to help students experience the democratic process through real-life simulations and other hands-on learning activities. We rarely have the chance to actively engage our kids with lessons about something so relevant to each one of them. Dr. Bennett has inadvertently given us that chance.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • 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

  • Doctors Brown and Bucshon become seekers Seated across the table from me at Cafe Patachou were Drs. Tim Brown and Larry Bucshon. Dr. Bucshon was a heart surgeon from Newburgh. Dr. Brown is an emergency room physician from Crawfordsville. What made this breakfast meeting extraordinary is tha

    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

  • Public Eye: Was Turner the only one?

    CNHI Statehouse Bureau Chief Maureen Hayden and other Statehouse reporters didn't get an answer as to why the House ethics committee hearing concerning State Rep. Eric Turner was postponed, but it now appears the committee will meet Wednesday. A note

    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

  • Letters to the Editor: April 18, 2014

    Attendees at the Tipton County Board of Commissioners meeting April 7 were treated to an appalling lack of both action and concern by the commissioners.

    April 18, 2014

  • Letter to the Editor: April 17, 2014

    On March 20 of this year I attended a public meeting of the Tipton County Economic Development Alliance. Members of this group include the three county commissioners, a member of the county council, two members from the city council, and the mayor.

    April 17, 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

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: Fire Engulfs Tower Block in China Ocean Drones Making Waves in Research World Breakfast Foods Are Getting Pricier Raw: Ferry Captain Received Medical Treatment Hundreds Gather for Denver Pot Rally on Easter Transcript Reveals Confusion in Ferry Evacuation Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria
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