Letter to the editor: Situation could have been handled differently

Letter to the Editor submitted by Matt Meagher, Logansport

The actions of our state legislators, and Governor Pence, this past week has been nothing short of disgraceful. Their lack of respect for Glenda Ritz, the voters, and school age children of Indiana once again reminds us that they seldom have our best interest at heart.

We can all agree twelve hours for the ISTEP tests is too long. 5 minutes is probably too long given how little value standardized testing adds to the educational process. Standardized tests do not improve the education a child receives, it merely reinforces the biases we have about a particular school, or the educational system in general.

This should have been an opportunity for our legislators to work with Governor Pence and Superintendent Ritz to fix ISTEP, to acknowledge the flaws in the current system, and to take corrective action.

Instead we are told that Superintendent Ritz is “just a librarian” and that it would be best to ignore the 2012 election and strip her of her power. Once again politics trumps policy.

Paying two consultants $44,000 to find ways to shorten the test is a mere Band-Aid on a much bigger injury. It serves as another reminder that when it comes to education our state leaders prefer to ignore our state’s educators. That partisan rhetoric is more valued than common sense.

It is easy to think of Glenda Ritz as the only loser in this scenario, as she is being stripped of the office she earned in hard fought election. We shouldn’t forget that every voter who voted for her is having their decision stripped from them as well. Nor should we forget the students who will have to suffer through the ISTEP in any form.

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