Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Life In Indiana

The latest numbers are in reflecting life in Indiana. They show that our state's poverty rate is on the rise, and its SAT scores are in decline. Indiana's poverty rate jumped from 10.8% to 12.2% between 2004 and 2006. That's a 13% increase in just 2 years for Hoosiers who can perform math. The rate was 9.5% in 2000, or 28% lower. The Class of 2006 scored six points lower on reading and one point higher on math than the class of 2005. WISH-TV reports:

Indiana's average scores were below national averages in all three categories. In reading, Hoosier students were five points behind, in math, a nine point difference and in the new writing category Indiana students were 11 points below.

For those Hoosiers fortunate enough to make it into college, fully 25% require remedial courses to learn what they were supposed to have learned in high school but didn't. "We just have to do a better job," said State School Superintendent Dr. Suellen Reed. And that won't happen until she's out of the job she's miserably failed to do for the past decade.

The WISH-TV report indicates that the lower test scores nationally were anticipated because of the new writing component on the exam. WISH-TV adds, "Meanwhile, the college board, which oversee the SAT, expects scores to improve as students become better acquainted with the new college entrance exam." That just proves how worthless these exams are. Students score higher scores by learning the tricks of taking the exam; the basic knowledge of the students taking the exams is lost in the process.

Oh well, we may have more people living in poverty and less-educated kids coming out of our school systems, but we have the best damn football stadiums and basketball arenas that our taxpayer dollars can buy. What more could we ask for?


Anonymous said...

Excellent post Gary. This needs to be said over and over until someone listens and yes, Mrs Reed should have been terminated years ago.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Thanks Lori

Anonymous said...

Sorry to be so picky, but your second paragraph should read "fully 25% require remedial courses to learn what they were [suppose to learn] SUPPOSED TO HAVE LEARNED in high school but didn't." Things like verb tense, apparently.

Anonymous said...

The Superintendent job should be appointed, not elected.

That being said, Dr. Reed is as effective as the law and circumstances allow.

For real fireworks, start attending State Board of Ed meetings. MMM's appointees now compmrise a mojority, since David Shane got on the Board. These folks despise public education.

It oughta be interesting.

Anonymous said...

Hear, hear! I totally agree. This state has had its priorities wrong since the Colts were first brought to town. Who cares if anyone can read or go to college if we can watch some football?!

Anonymous said...

This is a good post. A very with-it reader also just sent me the latest stats on foreclosure and Indy is again leading the nation. For every 69 households, Indianapolis has one foreclosure. Incredible.
I am inclined to agree that our over-emphasis on sports -- at the cost of education -- has hurt us. We also allowed the community college system to play second fiddle to IU and Purdue, and that has cost us dearly.

Anonymous said...

Yes---let's appoint several "choice" members to the state school board-- so they can dismantle it. Let's can the superintendent-- who, by the way can be canned every election and has NOT been. Let's even castigate the teachers and unions.

Oh, wait-- uhm.. who is public education serving? Students and parents -- and frankly the ones who are failing have failed in many cases to step up and do the work required to get into college or get a good job.

When Mommy comes in to whine because her kid is being picked on when the rules are consistently enforced -- or to demand special chances for her kid, although he is not special needs.. yeah.. let's blame the teachers.

When Johnny spends all night playing video games, running the streets with his friends on skateboards or working a full time job-- yeah let's blame the superintendent of public instruction.

When school boards are more interested in controlling minute details and miss the overall vision thing, hampering educational leaders like Supt. White in Indianapolis-- yeah.. let's blame him.

When OUR STUDENTS get serious about learning.. they will find in most cases caring and dedicated professionals ready to help -- if they haven't left for better jobs in other states or professions.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with lafblog: the faults of our schools are shared by many guilty parties. Certainly there are some bad schools and teachers out there. But unfortunately, there are even more lazy parents and students who think society needs to do their work. You know there's a deep societal problem when parents are complaining that homework is cutting into social time. So many parents have forgotten that they, too, had homework and chores to do every night. Spoiling these children will only doom us a society.