Monday, August 1, 2011
Kennedy Listens To More Ideas on Improving Education in Indianapolis
Last Tuesday, I was invited to be a part of a forum on education with a wide variety of educational professionals. This was one of several forums Kennedy has held over the past few months.
Seated at my table was a moderator from the Kennedy campaign, an IPS Administrator, an IPS Police Officer, a representative from Teach for America, a charter school elementary teacher, and a retired administrator with consulting experience. Add in my experience as a high school teacher, and I can say our random table had a wealth of different experience.
With that said, we came up with common themes. Kennedy's moderator asked us what's working in our schools, what the barriers are to our students learning, and what role the Mayor could play in improving education in Indianapolis. Kennedy's campaign took notes and the candidate herself made a point to roam around the room and simply listen to the conversation. That's what this was about. It was about a chance to listen to educators talk. There was no outward agenda. No political points were pushed. Kennedy made one reference to her plan outlined in the Kiwanis speech. No campaign funds were collected. It was just simply a chance for close to 50 educators to talk to someone that, come November, will have a big bully pulpit for students in Marion County and the City of Indianapolis.
It was one of the most enjoyable 90-minute periods for me this summer. Hopefully, when Kennedy is Mayor, she will continue to offer these forums for not only educators but expand it to parents and to students. Education, as the IPS Administrator sitting at my table said, is the heart of this community. He is certainly right. If we can work together to improve education in Indianapolis, it will obviously pay huge dividends for a better city in Kennedy's "Vision 2021" plan.