Monday, November 12, 2012

Petition to Support Public Education in Indiana

Some folks have started a petition to ask the governor and legislature to acknowledge that Glenda Ritz, the Superintendent of Public Instruction-elect was elected to change the plan which Tony Bennett has been pushing in Indiana.

Click HERE to sign the petition.

Here's the content:
Indiana voters elected Glenda Ritz as our new Superintendent of Public Instruction by a large margin. She received roughly 1,300,000 votes--about 100,000 more votes than the governor-elect, Mike Pence. Now, however, Governor Daniels refuses to acknowledge that our election of Glenda Ritz sent a clear message on the direction of school reform, saying instead: "The consensus and momentum for reform and change in Indiana is rock solid." Governor-elect Mike Pence is also choosing to interpret the election results as a "strong affirmation on the progress of education reform in this state," (Journal Gazette 11/8/12). On the contrary: when Indiana voters elected Glenda Ritz as superintendent, we rejected the top-down, corporate reform model imposed by the state. We embraced Ritz's platform and her research-backed proposals to support and improve our public schools.

Petition Letter

Dear Governor, Indiana Legislators and D.O.E. Board,

Indiana voters elected Glenda Ritz as Superintendent of Public Instruction by a large margin. She received roughly 1,300,000 votes--about 100,000 more votes than the governor-elect, Mike Pence. We call upon Governor Daniels, future governor Mike Pence, the D.O.E. Board, and our legislature to respect voters' clear message on the direction of public education in Indiana. We affirm our support for our candidate and her platform:

"More time to education, less time to testing" The use of high-stake testing to judge children, schools, and communities harms the process of teaching and learning.

"More control to local school districts to implement state and federal standards" Local schools need resources and support, not rigid dictates.

"Clear the barriers to quality vocational education" Schools must be given the flexibility to support a vibrant curriculum for high school students' vocational interests.

"Make teacher licensing and evaluation standards top in the nation" All children should be taught by qualified instructors. Effective teacher preparation programs are vital, and teacher licensing should be based upon comprehensive, effective teacher preparation.

"Stop the flow of public tax dollars to private education companies running take-over schools"

We believe public tax dollars belong in public schools. All school districts in Indiana deserve equitable funding.

The vote for Glenda Ritz is a mandate for the protection of the child's constitutional right to a free, high-quality public education as articulated in Article 8, Section 1 of the Indiana State Constitution, funded by tax dollars.

[Your name]
And here's another one which seems to be specifically directed at supporters of Mike Pence, the Indiana Governor-elect.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

FWCS Seeks Input on School Choice

Krista J. Stockman
Public Information Officer
Fort Wayne Community Schools
Phone: 260.467.2022
Fax: 260.467.1980
We Are Your Schools

FWCS Seeks Input on School Choice

Fort Wayne Community Schools is reaching out to parents and community members to better understand what influences their decisions when choosing a school for their children.

A School Choice Survey will be launched Wednesday, Nov. 7, to gather feedback about numerous factors, including awareness of school choice options and the priority given to school environment, school success and the availability of student support services.

“We understand that parents have many choices — both within Fort Wayne Community Schools and outside of the District —when deciding where to send their children to school,” said Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson. “We also recognize and appreciate that parents know their children’s educational needs best and put much thought into their final decision. This survey will help us better understand the factors that lead to those decisions.”

Working once again with independent research and communication firm K12 Insight, the survey is accessible through a link on the YourVoice section of the District’s website at All answers are strictly confidential. Last year, the district partnered with K12 Insight on community-wide surveys focusing on aging school facilities and how best to direct funds from the FWCS Foundation.

Parents who have provided the district with their e-mail addresses will receive e-mail invitations to participate, but the survey is open to everyone in the FWCS community. Those interested in participating may provide their e-mail addresses through the Your Voice portal to ensure receipt of future surveys. Parents will be invited to participate in the survey this week while attending Parent-Teacher Conferences. Parents without computer access will be allowed to use computers at their child’s school at other times as well. Others without Internet access can visit a branch of the Allen County Public Library for access. Residents may also call the school district at467-2020 to request a paper copy of the survey. The goal is to ensure community-wide participation and feedback.

The survey closes on Friday, Nov. 30. The District will use the results of the survey as a basis for discussion in public work sessions conducted by the FWCS Board of School Trustees.

“Fort Wayne Community Schools is proud of our policy allowing students to attend any school in the district, based on space availability,” Robinson said. “Each of our schools strives to offer quality instruction, innovative programs and student support systems to create the best learning environment possible for every student. And for those parents who have chosen to send their children to schools outside of the district, their honest input will greatly help us understand where we need to focus our efforts so that we can best achieve our goal of being every family’s school system of choice.”

With nearly 32,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is Indiana's second-largest school district. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 51 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.