The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local News

March 9, 2013

Ritz in Anderson to discuss education issues

Schools chief criticizes testing, grading policies

ANDERSON, Ind. — Indiana Superintendent Glenda Ritz led a panel of community leaders in a discussion of current education topics Saturday morning in the Miami Room of the Anderson Public Library.

More than 100 attended the event, sponsored by The League of Women Voters of Anderson and also featuring State Representatives Terri Austin and Sue Errington and Anderson Community Schools Superintendent Felix Chow.

Ritz, a Democrat who unseated Republican incumbent Tony Bennett in the November election, outlined an overhaul of the education system she is championing. The proposed changes include rescinding the A-through-F scale used to grade how public schools are doing and replacing it with a progressive growth-measured percentage scale. She also denounced a proposed increase in charter and private school vouchers she said are siphoning funds from public schools that need them.

The panel agreed with Ritz.

“It’s creating a three-tiered school system,” Errington said. “And it’s something taxpayers can’t afford.”

Ritz also said schools are putting too much emphasis on testing rather than educating, which engenders a pass or fail mentality. The practice discourages students from a young age and prevents real learning from happening, Ritz said.

“A growth-intervention model should be replacing this pass-fail model. I want to test true growth measures,” Ritz said. “Individualization is my passion.”

The panel panned voucher expansion bills like HB-1003 and HB-1004, currently being discussed in the general assembly. Chow said the voucher program is hitting school districts like Anderson especially hard. He also said the legality of public funds going toward private and parochial programs is questionable.

“The vouchers are the biggest issue,” Chow said. “In just this year, we have 267 voucher students in our system, and down the road this is costing the public a lot of money. And we also aren’t sure it’s constitutional.”

Austin raised concerns that charter schools funded by voucher money also aren’t subject to the same set of rules and standards as public schools.

“It’s like picking and choosing your own set of rules,” Austin said, “and I feel if you’re getting public money, you should be held to the same standards.”

Chow said Ritz’s growth evaluation approach is one he personally endorses. He said his teaching style draws heavily from the Socratic method that encourages constant learning and assessing, but not artificial testing.

“Today’s system is so industrialized, we time it by the clock,” Chow said. “It’s not true education. Not everyone learns the same or at the same rate. I always tell my students, ‘Don’t look for the answer alone, look for the process.’”

Find Jack Molitor on Facebook and @AggieJack4 on Twitter, or call 640-4883.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • NWS - HB01006 - snow storm - JC 59a FEMA approves disaster aid for 19 counties

    After initially rejecting Indiana's request for federal aid following a brutal winter, the Federal Emergency Management Agency approved disaster relief on Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Parents speak out about mother coaching baseball after gun incident

    A decision by the Brooklyn Little League to keep a mother who pulled a gun out during a school meeting on the league as a coach and board member has resulted in some parents taking sides on the issue.

    April 23, 2014

  • NWS - HB0420 - Ellks - JC 2a Rezoning approved for Elks Lodge building With no objections from surrounding property owners, the former Elks Lodge at 1803 Broadway has been rezoned for a planned banquet hall and catering service.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS-HB0423-Primary Election Treasurer Rep-Micah Mitchell Incumbent challenged by first-time candidate

    Kelly Gaskill says she's made numerous improvements in the operation of the Madison County treasurer's office since taking the helm in 2011. But her Republican challenger in the May 6 primary, Micah Mitchell, doesn't shy away from criticizing how Gaskill has run the office.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • NWS - HB0423 - Symphony for Kids - JC 31a.jpg Symphony for Kids draws Anderson-area students

    Nearly 1,000 fifth- and sixth-grade students attended the Anderson Symphony Orchestra's performance Tuesday during the annual Symphony for Kids concert at the Paramount Theatre.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arrest Log: April 23 Arrests made by Madison County law enforcement on Monday and Tuesday, based on Madison County Jail records.

    April 23, 2014

  • FEA HB0423 Food Truckin' logo Food Truckin' Thursday returns ANDERSON -- A new favorite that combines food and cars is rolling back into town next week. Food Truckin' Thursday starts back up May 1. For about six months, local vendors will pull up their food trucks to Citizens Park Plaza at Ninth and Main stree

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Tigers nip Argylls in girls track meet ALEXANDRIA -- Kelsey Crisp had a trio of firsts and a second place finish and her Alexandria Tigers needed every one of those as they nipped Madison-Grant 61-60 in a girls dual track meet here Tuesday. Crisp won the 100, the 400 and the long jump and

    April 23, 2014

  • Saturday auction fundraiser for Misty Eads On Saturday, a fundraiser auction will be held at Florida Station Church of God, 1045 W. 375N, for Misty Eads who has a rare kidney artery disease called polyarteritis nodosa that requires a kidney transplant.

    April 23, 2014

  • What's Where: April 23 Local meetings and activities are scheduled Wednesday.

    April 23, 2014

March Staff Photos


Buy and browse more photos from The Herald Bulletin

More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
Auto Industry Book
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Facebook