Pharos-Tribune

State 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 | Photo Reprints
State News
  • Warsaw man gets 120-year sentence in tire iron beating GOSHEN (AP) — A northern Indiana man has been sentenced to 120 years in prison for beating an 82-year-old man with a tire iron during a home invasion. An Elkhart County judge ordered the sentence Thursday for 26-year-old Jeffery Hunt of Warsaw after

    August 1, 2014

  • Semi crash coats I-465 lanes with spilled butter INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A semitrailer overturned on Interstate 465 in Indianapolis, spilling what police say are 45,000 pounds of packages of butter and other dairy products. The crash happened about 3:30 a.m. Friday in the eastbound lanes of I-465 just

    August 1, 2014

  • Indiana State Fair gets underway for 17-day run INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana State Fair is getting underway with its usual confections and hearty treats as well as alcoholic drinks for the first time in nearly 70 years. Friday's start of the fair also marks the return of paid concerts in the fa

    August 1, 2014

  • Carmel mayor uses social media to promote businesses along U.S. 31 CARMEL (AP) — Indianapolis-area restaurant and shop owners say business is down significantly as construction continues along U.S. 31. Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard on Thursday asked residents to eat and shop at businesses along U.S. 31 every day in Augu

    August 1, 2014

  • Murder charge filed in missing Shelbyville woman case SHELBYVILLE (AP) — The former boyfriend of a missing central Indiana woman has told police he struck and strangled her and buried her body. A probable cause affidavit filed in Shelby Superior Court on Thursday says 46-year-old Scott Schuck confessed

    August 1, 2014

  • Notre Dame might appeal case to US Supreme Court SOUTH BEND (AP) — The University of Notre Dame might appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in its challenge to part of the federal health care law that forces it to cover contraceptives in its health insurance for students and employees. Recently filed co

    August 1, 2014

  • Indy man gets 33 years for heroin, gun convictions INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indianapolis man convicted on 20 gun- and heroin-related counts has been sentenced to more than 33 years in prison District Court Judge Sarah Evans Barker handed down the sentence of 400 months in prison to 39-year-old Anthony

    August 1, 2014

  • Evansville councilwoman won't be prosecuted over recording EVANSVILLE (AP) — The head of Indiana's State Board of Accounts says he will limit the participation of local officials in reviewing audits reports after a prosecutor's decision that an Evansville city councilwoman didn't break the law by secretly re

    July 31, 2014

  • Man sentenced for 2003 Indiana bank shootout INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A federal judge has ordered a 35-year prison sentence for a man convicted of shooting at a central Indiana police officer during a 2003 bank robbery. The sentence against 46-year-old Pascal Sylla comes after a jury convicted him i

    July 31, 2014

  • Teen charged in slaying of mom found dead in trunk GARY (AP) — A 17-year-old girl has been charged with murder in the death of her mother whose body was found in her car's trunk in a wooded area of Gary a few weeks ago. The charges filed by Lake County prosecutors on Wednesday follow the July 11 arre

    July 31, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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

Should the U.S. impose a travel ban on three West African nations in response to a growing Ebola virus outbreak?

Yes
No
Not sure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.