Indiana is one of the states where the governor and the state commissioner of education seem determined to put public education out of business. They are implementing vouchers, expanding charters, and given the green light to for-profit online charter schools. They do not have a shred of evidence that any of this will improve the education of children in Indiana, but that doesn’t slow them down. They are in love with the ideology of choice and competition and the glories of the marketplace, and that’s the end of the discussion. Plenty of entrepreneurs will get rich off taxpayers’ dollars in Indiana.
Fortunately, there is strong resistance from parents and educators in Northeast Indiana. When I spoke in Indiana last fall, I met some of the parent leaders. They were in despair about the destructive policies being pushed through the legislature. I am glad to say that they organized and are speaking out. They can serve as a model for other concerned citizens.
They have drafted a statement in opposition to what Governor Mitch Daniels and State Superintendent Tony Bennett are doing. They not only oppose these harmful policies, but they offer a platform describing the positive steps that must be taken to save public education in the state of Indiana.
Congratulations to these courageous, thoughtful, and concerned citizens of Indiana!
I hope that others will take this statement of principles and adapt it to their own community and state. Help it go viral, as the Texas anti-high-stakes testing resolution has gone viral. Join with your friends and neighbors to awaken the American public to support good education policies that strengthen our public schools and our democracy.