Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Awake in Indiana

What does it mean to be awake?  We hear that phrase a lot.  When will they wake up?  What will it take to wake the 99%? 

Simply look at Indiana.  While corporate education reformers circle and attack, Indiana folks are holding their ground - they recognize that all children in Indiana are entitled to a whole and equitable education.  They recognize that their tax dollars are being used to create a public school system that harms children and profits the 1%.

They are organized.

They ask questions that everyone should be asking:

What would it take to get people to understand how important education is? 
If testing doesn’t make schools better, then what does?
When and what are we going to do to stop standardized testing?
What can we do to help minority and lower income students who are disproportionately penalized by standardized testing? (E-CAT meeting notes)

These are the questions of those who are awake.  The questions dig deep, they involve action, and they plan for solution.

These are the kind of questions we want all children to be able to ask and explore. 

These are the kind of questions that could never be scored on a standardized test.

The parents in Indiana are standing their ground in the face of scare tactics outlined by the Indiana Department of Education.  Please remember that the DOE works for us.  Our children do not work for the DOE.  Our tax dollars are being used to privatize the public schools.  Our children – and their test scores – are being used to allow the 1% to profit and create a system of child labor which is abusive to all – but even more so to our neediest children.  Indiana parents are protecting their children by opting them out of the state test.

The Indiana Department of Education is currently attempting to implement a letter grade system for schools.  The system uses a bell curve.  34% will be viewed as high growth and 34% will be labeled as low growth.  Those in the middle are excluded from the reward category.  So, you can imagine, that even if you grew by leaps and bounds, you still might find yourself in the category of low growth, or simply average and not worth rewarding.  The penalties are steep.  20% of the schools would be labeled D and F and would be dismantled and handed over to those who privatize.

The system is set up to fail children and privatize public schools. And those of us who are awake will not allow it to happen.

If you are in Indianapolis, concerned community members are meeting this Thursday, February 2nd, at 6:00 p.m. at 1145 E 22nd Street, hosted by Opt Out Indiana and Parent Power Indianapolis.  You can contact both groups through their Facebook pages here and here. The Education Community Action Team (E-CAT) is meeting February 9th at 6:30 p.m. at 3819 Lafayette Rd.  Information can be found at www.innovateindy.org


  1. Peg....keep up the good fight. NY needs someone like you.

  2. Thank you Chalk Duster. I hope you can join us to Occupy the DOE in DC from March 30th to April 2nd. Would love to meet you. Peg :)

  3. what this policy is really saying is that it will "exempt" the richest school districts from punitive actions-either because they are in good favor with the 1% or simply because reformers are afraid of parents who have enough money behind them to actually FIGHT BACK
    I heart Indiana too!!!!!!

  4. what this Indiana policy is really saying is that it will exempt rich school districts from punitive measures either because they are favored by the 1% and thus spared or because the reformers are afraid of pissed off parents who actually have the money behind them to FIGHT BACK--leave the rich suburban schools untouched and maybe they won;t care about everyone else or bother to notice what is falling apart around them!

  5. The richest districts are needed to remain intact so they can give to Tony Bennett! He has already raised something like $400k for his 2012 campaign.

  6. Once again, a great article Peggy. I wish fewer people were slumbering in Texas. The land of cattle has too many sheep.