The Herald Bulletin

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Letters

September 5, 2013

Viewpoint: Was Tony Bennett right?

What if Tony Bennett was right and The Associated Press got it wrong? You may start preparing yourself for the possibility.

Reading the emails of public officials is great fun, considering the reaction from Tom LoBianco’s Associated Press story about the 2012 development of Indiana’s A-F grading system under former Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett.

LoBianco based his story on a very small number of emails between Bennett and his staff, of which I was a part in 2009 and early 2010. (Full disclosure: LoBianco apparently requested my emails, too. But we’ll get to his records requests in a minute.)

People are finally starting to question the completeness of a story based on a handful of emails, out of what must be tens of thousands, because a narrow selection of emails does not provide anything resembling an appropriate level of context for a story this complicated.

If you read the AP story, you are led to believe Bennett changed the letter grade a school from a “C” to an “A” because the school’s founder is a donor to Republicans.

Missing from this absurd, and false, contention is the fact that the emails came during the initial creation of the A-F grading system. What difference does that make? During this time, the Department of Education was working with schools to ensure the grading system was fair and accurate, had provided schools with preliminary letter grades and asked schools to help identify problems with the new system.

Bennett’s concern was well founded, because the initial formula penalized schools for not graduating any seniors. This school, and a few other new or growing schools, didn’t have any seniors to graduate. Adjusting the formula to avoid punishing these schools was something Bennett had the authority to do, and was unquestionably the appropriate action.

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Letters
  • Viewpoint: Panhandlers give wrong impression of our city First of all, let me start off by saying that I have as much empathy and compassion for those less fortunate as the next person.

    July 31, 2014

  • Viewpoint: Voters, especially seniors, should ask questions It’s that time of year again. Kids are getting ready for school, corporations are reviewing their semi annual reports and — yes — many seniors are filling out their absentee ballots. Some are voting because they are fed up with the status quo, some out of habit and some because they feel it is their civic duty.

    July 29, 2014

  • Viewpoint: Adding such a robust water resource with Mounds Lake would set us apart I have lived in Madison County most of my life, and for the past 14 years, I served on the Town Council in Pendleton, recently retiring as president. I have watched with great interest the happenings around the proposed Mounds Mall for a few reasons.

    July 26, 2014

  • Letter: Dr. David and Kay Mares are local treasures Throughout history we have had treasures that were not appreciated until years or centuries after their time. The lost art of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. The terra cotta men of China. Vincent Van Gogh was a failing, starving artist in his time. Now his works are some of the world’s most valued. Madison County has a prize of its own that should be recognized in its time.

    July 24, 2014

  • Letter: Reservoir promotion has circus approach P.T. Barnum is starting his tour to promote the reservoir by going to all the towns surrounding the dream. Rob Sparks is this town's P.T. Barnum.

    July 24, 2014

  • Letter: Repentance is key to surviving times What happens to a nation that refuses to repent before God? What happens to a nation that had strong Christian beginnings, but now more closely resembles Sodom and Gomorrah?

    July 24, 2014

  • Letter: Anderson's annexed areas still lack business On July 10, 2014, at the Anderson City Council meeting, the executor of the estate was shut off from speaking, because she did not live in Adams Township, and the person from Adams Township tried to get up and speak was not allowed to. The council rushed the vote for zoning the land for business.

    July 22, 2014

  • Letter: Birth control, abortion should be woman's choice Why are Republicans so gung-ho on restricting birth control and abortion? That's easy. Republican legislators are so unpopular because they don't legislate and literally block all bills that would help the middle and lower income classes.

    July 22, 2014

  • Bannon, Tom Viewpoint: Paramount is an investment that is paying dividends About 25 years ago the citizens of Anderson made a decision that would have a long lasting impact on the community. Instead of saving the old Paramount Theatre, which had fallen into serious disrepair, it was decided that the easy and prudent decision was to get rid of the building to create additional downtown parking. Shortly after the Paramount came down, the community got rid of another abandoned structure when the old Carnegie Building, which was the former home of the Anderson Public Library, was torn down.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Letter: Wall Street should not be in politics Talk about corruption, ponzi schemes, we're looking at you, Wall Street, controlling the prices of our food, gasoline and clothing we must buy and about every company in America — while trashing President Obama, the Affordable Health Care Plan, along with every Democrat, to influence our elections, at the same time.

    July 17, 2014

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