Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

November 2, 2012

Letters to the Editor: Nov. 2, 2012

Kokomo — Superintendent is outsourcing our kids

There is an education time bomb ticking in Indiana, and Tony Bennett wants to blame teachers. He should be looking in the mirror.

We are about to lose local control of our schools to the corporate, for-profit, privatization movement. State School Superintendent Bennett is selling off inner-city schools to private, profit-motive companies and charter schools. Studies show that these schools either fail or do no better than public schools, even though they are often given more money, more staff and more resources, and they drain money away from public schools. This year Fort Wayne Public Schools lost $2.6 million to private sector schools.

Why is Bennett doing this? Follow the money. Check out the big donors to his campaign, big corporations and testing services that stand to make a profit from privatizing schools. If Bennett wins re-election, they profit. Is this good for Indiana kids? We would like to ask Tony, but he is elusive, failing to show up four times in my town for a public forum.

How is he setting up schools to “fail”? By spending millions on testing programs (see his donors) that don’t begin to assess all that schools really do. He repeats the dubious message that schools are “failing,” ignoring schools’ many successes (the graduation rate in the 1950s was 50 percent; now it is 85 percent and climbing).

Reports around the state say teacher morale is at an all-time low, stress is high, and good people are leaving the profession. Think what will happen when Bennett releases his grading system (probably after the election) publicly labeling schools F, D, C, B, or A, all based on scores on a written test. Let’s guess how that will come out. Indianapolis Public Schools will largely “fail.” Affluent Carmel will be “A+”, and Bennett will reward them with his “merit” pay plan. IPS will be turned over to the profiteers who will do no better and maybe worse, and some of the hardest working teachers in the profession will be publicly humiliated.

What is the elephant in the room? Bennett and his friends don’t want to admit what studies have shown: that the No. 1 predictor of lower functioning schools is their level of poverty. This is obvious to any teacher who has taught in the inner city. Having visited over 130 schools in Indiana, I have great respect for these teachers. No one works harder under adverse conditions than they do.

Through the foresight of our founders, public education was established as a pillar of our democracy. Our public schools do not select their clientele, nor do they reject them. They accept everyone, whether rich, poor, non-English speaking, homeless, disabled, disadvantaged, apathetic, parentless, or those without clout or hope. We should be supporting this diversity and those hardy teachers who face these challenges every day. Why let charter schools feed at the public trough while siphoning off resources from the students who need them most?

We have to stop Tony Bennett from outsourcing our kids.

Dale Glenn, Ed.D., Bloomington

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • 'Reads' panel narrows titles Howard County Reads, a program introduced in 2004 to cultivate a love of reading and promote a sense of community, is another step closer to selecting a book for its 10th anniversary.In February, county residents began nominating a favorite for consi

    August 1, 2014

  • LETTERS: Concert Series 'beautiful musical experience' Store employees should split prizeSeveral weeks ago, a winning lottery ticket was purchased at one of our larger grocery stores. What I’d like to know is why the upper-management get a large cash prize (which they don’t need) while the employees of t

    August 1, 2014

  • Work program requires buy-in from industry Good help is hard to find.That’s essentially what Indiana companies have insisted for several years. The state struggles with a “skills gap,” the firms explain. They need employees, but can’t find enough — or in some cases, any — qualified Hoosiers.

    August 1, 2014

  • Take a walk to school At the risk of sounding like “old fogies,” we remember walking to school when we were kids.Back in the day, that’s how it was. If it was within walking distance, you were walking to school.Today, like much else, it’s a very different picture. The vas

    July 31, 2014

  • DAN COATS: New Harmony marks its 200th anniversary Situated between St. Louis and Louisville, New Harmony is a small town in southwest Indiana smaller than 1 square mile in area. Fewer than 1,000 Hoosiers call this serene Posey County community home.Despite its size, the town has monumental significa

    July 31, 2014

  • LETTERS: Marriage culture in area must change Marriage culture in area must change Last week's article on the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Kids Count report caught my eye. While I'm happy that Indiana is improving in the educational domain, the poverty statistics are saddening. I was just s

    July 31, 2014

  • A lookat IU salaries Of the five highest paid employees of Indiana University, three are involved with athletics. That was the case in 2013 as well.In new evidence that spending on athletic department salaries is outpacing the rest of the university, if not the vast majo

    July 31, 2014

  • Rob Burgess House of Burgess: Let's put lethal injection to sleep

    It was only a matter of time before this happened again; and I’m sad to say I’m not surprised at all.
    On July 22, the Supreme Court gave the go-ahead for the killing of Arizona death row inmate James R. Wood III, who had filed suit requesting a delay until the state revealed the details of the drugs that would be used to end his life.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Plot a plan to quit now OK, so maybe today isn’t the perfect day to quit smoking. For years, the experts were preaching any day was a good day to quit, and they had annual campaigns encouraging people to give up the habit.The campaigns raised awareness, and they led many sm

    July 30, 2014

  • LETTERS: City should celebrate its young track star City should celebrate its young track starCongratulations to Tionna Brown, who has given the city of Kokomo the platform to acknowledge what commitment, perseverance, sacrifice and determination can do.I find this a unique opportunity for her Common

    July 30, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
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