Letter to the Editor

State government should be wary of education

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

To the Editor:

As the education debate continues in our General Assembly, details and ramifications of what is being proposed is too often lost sight of. As an activist on behalf of public education, I am very interested in seeing that citizens are well informed about what is under consideration and administer www.castoncomets.org with extensive coverage of education bills in the General Assembly.

Recently at a third chamber session my State Senator said he didn't consider any of the schools in his district to be failing. Furthermore, Indiana's comprehensive accountability system for schools, Public Law 221, (http://www.doe.in.gov/pl221) lists 20 schools that are in their fifth year of "Probation" and are on the verge of takeover by the State. These 20 schools are located in the five counties of Allen, Grant, Lake, Marion and St. Joseph. Thus, the other 87 counties do not include even one of these schools. 20 out of about 2,000 schools in our State is about 1 percent.

Also listed are six other schools that are in their 4th year of "Probation." All are located in the same five counties with the exception of one that is in Delaware County. Thus, according to PL 221 the fourth or fifth year of "Probation" are located in just sixth different counties.

Since I am not familiar with these 26 schools I don't know if the parents of these communities need greater parental choice or not. What I do know is that turning the public schools upside down in the other 86 counties is not needed and doesn't make sense.

Russ Phillips

1306 W. State Rd. 114

Rochester, IN 46975