Sunday, May 12, 2013


Indiana State Representative Robert Behning has gone from failed florist to PUBLIC Education's #1 enemy.  He has become a self-proclaimed education "reform" expert as Chairman of the House Education Committee.  In this role he has made every attempt to destroy and dismantle Indiana's Public school system in order to further line the wallets of his private school and private corporation cronies.  He has become an ALEC "all star" with his strong desire to write and utilize ALEC legislation into Indiana law to further cripple Indiana's public schools.  He seems to thrive on the destruction set in motion by former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and former Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Bennett.  Representative Behning seems poised to continue his assault on Indiana's school children through his horrendous legislation and arrogant manner. He made many attempts to strip newly elected Superintendent of Public Instruction, Glenda Ritz, of power and pushed one of the most vigorous voucher expansion programs in the nation through the legislature.  Behning did all these things against the wishes of his constituency by ignoring the voices calling for more public education support and less stripping our public schools down for the benefit of private and charter expansions.
As the picture above shows, Representative Behning claims to be glad to ehar from his constituents.  However, in stark contrast, the man whose website says he wants to hear from you doesn't really want to hear what you think about standards because you're too stupid to understand them anyway. 
It is time for Indiana voters in his district to take a stand for children and Public Education, by showing up in 2014 to vote him out of a seat in District 91 that has held since 1992. A seat he seems confident is safe for him to regain with little effort in 2014.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


This week is National Teacher Appreciation Week, and Today has been National Teacher Appreciation Day.  What better way to celebrate our teachers than to thank Indiana's Glenda Ritz.  This amazing educator overcame "David versus Goliath" odds to defeat incumbent Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Bennett, in November.  Her first few months in office have been less than peaceful as she has had to contend with an onslaught of destructive attempts by legislators, and at the end of the legislative session a disastrous start to statewide ISTEP testing

Glenda Ritz has been the epitome of calm reassurance as she has managed every storm and handled everything with a calm demeanor of a true stateswoman.  Superintendent Ritz has managed to do all she does with our children in mind.  She is a true educator, who will not stop working for Indiana's PUBLIC school children at every opportunity.

As we thank Glenda Ritz for her amazing gift to Indiana schools, the gift of herself, we should remember this past legislative session, Tony Bennett's deal with ISTEP vendor CTB McGraw-Hill, and all that we want for our children's futures.  We need to remember every time we step into a voting booth and show our current legislators that Tony Bennett was not alone in his exodus from Indiana Politics.  Thank your teachers by voting for pro-public education legislators beginning with the 2014 elections and let's reclaim our PUBLIC schools from those who seek to privatize them.  You can see which legislators support public education by checking out the Hoosier Mom's Legislative Grade Card here on Hoosier Voices.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Final Grades: State Legislators

Hoosier Mom's Public Education Grade Book

Spring Session 2013

It is that time in the legislative session when the Hoosier Mom must submit the final grade card for our legislators. The grades are based on their support for public education as measured through their votes. 

The Hoosier Mom chose 5 bills as "tests" of our legislator's support for public education this session. Just like in school, legislators will earn points by passing the test and using their vote in support of public education. Just like in public school, legislators that chose to not take the test do not earn points: there is no make-up test. 

The 5 tests were:

SB 189 - Performance Qualified Schools

HB 1003 - Voucher Program Expansion

HB 1338 - Charter School Expansion

HB 1357 - Deprofessionalization of Superintendent Licensure

HB 1427 - Common Core & other Tony Bennett matters

There are many legislators who are failing to support public education. The Hoosier Mom suggests a voter takeover of these legislator's positions in the upcoming election year.  Accountability is the priority here: they must be held accountable to the voters.

The only option we have is to elect legislators that will documentably support public education via their vote.

The gradebook is as follows for the House, then the Senate: