Thursday, June 20, 2013


As schools are out for summer, where are all of the public education supporters? Now, more than ever, we must step up our game and focus on reclaiming our education system from the "reformers" and "extremists". These people never sleep. They do not take a summer "vacation" from their attempts to completely destroy and privatize our public schools. Just read the news articles, blogs, and education forums. You can see these "crazies" continue to spread their venom and distraction across the nation. We can no longer stand alone and cry "foul". We MUST unite and take on the daunting challenge of setting the course to return our schools back to their PUBLIC.
Indiana is a hotbed for the "guinea pig" reforms of Bennett, Daniels, Bush, Rhea, and Gates. We can no longer allow these corporate minded "reformers" access to our children or schools. We are doing our children a grave disservice if we take a "summer vacation" while these so called education "experts" continue to dismantle our schools while we sit poolside sipping margaritas and telling "war stories". No, we MUST be in this battle with no opportunity to rest until the last of these destructive reforms is stopped and our children's educational futures re restored to the very PUBLIC that supports them.
I challenge all who read this to share it, get involved, get others involved, spread the word. . . PUBLIC education supporters are here to stay. We are not going away and we are not going to stop. We are ready for battle. We proved last November that we want our schools back from these reform minded individuals who only support corporate greed. We now must show them that November was not a fluke, and it most definitely was a a direct recall of these reform policies. We can do this by starting now to campaign for 2014, 2016, and beyond.

Where are you? Are you in the fight or on the sidelines? Once you answer the question it is time to answer the call to battle. It is time to once again stand up and make our voices heard.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Yesterday, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz announced that the Department of Education has hired the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment (NCIEA) to determine whether testing interruptions experienced by students invalidated high stakes ISTEP+ test scores.

“These interruptions were simply unacceptable,” Ritz said. “Because the stakes of this test are so high, the results must be beyond reproach.”

Ritz said she will suggest districts put less weight on ISTEP scores in teacher evaluations than they otherwise would have.

"I'm hoping Indiana wants to reduce the high stakes attached to this test,” she added.

The Tattler's opinion is that the list if kids affected was incomplete. Testing company CTB/McGraw Hill says more than 78,200 students had their exams disrupted.  There are reports, by educators and administrators, where entire classes were briefly interrupted and such classes and students are not showing up on the DOE list.  These students were also adversely affected when their schedules were changed at the last minute, testing days delayed, testing spread out over three weeks, etc. Neither students nor patents knew when their testing would take place for sure, and it prolonged and added stress to all the students lives.  Will the NCIEA investigation report show all of this? 

High stakes testing has become the reformer's dream to destroy public education once and for all.  Testing companies and textbook publishers have made millions off of our children through the development of flawed tests and unnecessary standards.  CTB/McGraw Hill made out like bandits thanks to former state superintendent Tony Bennet's contract for ISTEP+.  Now, the question is, will they be responsible for footing any of the $53,000 bill for this independent review?

In November we elected Glenda Ritz to slow the wave of reform and turn the tide of destruction.  She has shown time and again to be in tune to the needs of Indiana's public school students, parents, and teachers.  We must hold onto the hope that,  with these adverse situations, she will continue to do what she was elected to do and save our public schools from total destruction at the hands of high
stakes testing, arrogant legislators, and those dastardly education "reformers".  While we have put our confidence in her abilities, we must also continue to question and seek answers.   

Ritz herself stated, "Keep in mind that students were not interrupted in their entire testing. They were interrupted in perhaps a test session or two, and much of the data on their test will be accurate. I do think it’s valuable for students to see it, parents to see it, and for teachers to see it." 

Just what that means is not certain, but the Tattler believes that this years ISTEP+ test results are all tainted in some way and the only valid means of handling them is to "punt", disregard the results statewide, and hope for a better situation as the DOE irons out the issues. Just calling for an independent review is not enough, we must continue to be diligent in seeking answers and in making certain that our public education system remains intact for our children.