Friday, April 23, 2010

Educator Opens Up on Bennett/Daniels


I am as big of an advocate of education reform as I can be, but, when district after district and school after school are cutting teachers, closing schools, and feeling severe budget crunches...how can it just be the fault of the teachers, the districts, and the schools.

Looks like this educator decided that she had enough and decided to point out the obvious to Governor Daniels and his shadow, Tony Bennett. This letter is making the rounds in the school districts.

Dear Superintendent Tony Bennett,

I am a special education teacher at Eastern High School in Greentown, Indiana. I am taking time out of my busy schedule to write to you today in response to your e-mail asking for input from educators across the state. It is my understanding my pay and my teaching license may very well depend on how much gain my students make on standardized tests and you, along with Governor Daniels wholeheartedly support this reform. I think it’s only fair I have the opportunity to commend you and Governor Daniels for your gains as well.

Since we all agree that circumstances and factors beyond our control have little to no impact on overall effectiveness, I think you too will be proud of the gains you have made. In fact, in many categories, you have helped Indiana lead the nation.

Indiana’s unemployment rate has increased from 5.3 % in 2004 to 10.1 % in 2009.

The amount of children in Indiana under the age of 18 living in poverty has grown from 15.7% in 2004 to 17.9 % in 2008.

Since 2004, 16,330 students have been added to the free/reduced lunch program.

In 2004, Indiana schools only had 31,956 limited English speaking students, now we have 45,885.

From 2004 to 2006, Indiana gained 54,267 more individuals receiving food stamp assistance.

Since 2004, the percent of 12th graders NOT taking the SAT has grown by 4%
Indiana has expanded their student enrollment in public school by 46,263 since 2004.

In just one short year, 2007 to 2008, Indiana dramatically increased bankruptcy filings by 20.8 %.

The gains you and Governor Daniels have made in the state of Indiana are nothing short of remarkable. You have set the standard on how one can be effective regardless of circumstance. Initially I was skeptical of the impact of tying student performance to teacher pay and retention but now I realize that not only am I an effective teacher, I am also a prime candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction and Governor.

Sincerely,
Crystal Bramel

Crystal Bramel
Special Education Teacher
Eastern High School

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

AWESOME!!

Anonymous said...

awesome!

Anonymous said...

The Blame has to start somewhere!!!

Marycatherine Barton said...

Thanks to Crystal Bramel, for her factual letter. What say ye, all you Democratic fools in Marion County who voted for Daniels, R when you could have voted for Jill Long Thompson, D.

Anonymous said...

I don't speak for Mr Bennett or the governor but as a concerned citizen. My concern Ms Bramel, is that your argument demonstrates a "logical fallacy". I expect more from teachers.

You say: "It is my understanding my pay and my teaching license may very well depend on how much gain my students make on standardized tests and you, along with Governor Daniels wholeheartedly support this reform."

I say: Gains can be made even by children who require special education, surely you don't think your students success can't and shouldn't be measured. Also, the rest of us get merit raises based on performance, why not teachers?

You say:
Indiana 's unemployment rate has increased from 5.3% in 2004 to 10.1% in 2009.

The amount of children in Indiana under the age of 18 living in poverty has grown from 15.7% in 2004 to 17.9% in 2008.

From 2004 to 2006, Indiana gained 54,267 more individuals receiving food stamp assistance.

I say: Unemployment and poverty is terrible but it is not the responsibility of Tony Bennett's Dept of Education.

You say:

Since 2004, 16,330 students have been added to the free/reduced lunch program.

I say: Thank God for this government program.

You say:
In 2004, Indiana schools only had 31,956 limited English speaking students, now we have 45,885.

I say: Shouldn't we educate all children? And don't schools receive a per student stipend?
Immigration is an issue but not under the Dept. Of Education

You say:
Since 2004, the percent of 12th graders NOT taking the SAT has grown by 4%.

I say: I am not sure you, as a teacher want to admit to this failure. HS kids spend 4 sometimes 5 years being about the SAT. Whose failure is it? And, as far as I know, there is no mandate to take the SAT.

You say:
Indiana has expanded their student enrollment in public school by 46,263 students since 2004.
I say: Interesting number when compared to the number of limited English students above. Would this mean that only 378 are English speaking born Hoosiers?

You say:
In just one short year, 2007 to 2008, Indiana dramatically increased bankruptcy filings by 20.8%.
I say: Definetly a sad situation but based on a greater national and global situation, not one that falls under the Dept of Education.

Ms Bramel, if you're going to make a case, make it with the right facts, about the right issues to the right person. And, perhaps we could learn to discuss issues rather than sarcastically throw stones. Isn't this what we teach our children?