Indiana public school teachers already feel disrespected, overworked and underpaid. Indiana Senate Bill 167 would threaten academic freedom and create an even greater teacher workload, unnecessarily. Parents have had input regarding school corporation curriculum choices and have been invited to sit on school improvement committees for the 23 years that I have been teaching.
Parents have always been welcomed into classrooms and encouraged to attend parent-teacher conferences and be involved in their children’s education. Teachers in Indiana are required to teach the state standards for a grade level or content area. These standards are public record and may be viewed by going to the Indiana Department of Education website.
The requirements of SB 167 are financially untenable for most Indiana school corporations that are already struggling and professionally onerous on already overwhelmed teachers. Remember the misguided proposal that would have required Indiana teachers to perform internships in order to renew their teaching licenses and the controversy that created? This bill is more onerous and insidious. If the goal is to create a mass exodus of public school teachers in Indiana, SB 167 would achieve it.
We could do better
I received an email questionnaire from 2nd District Congresswoman Jackie Walorski with the usual leading questions about 2022 priorities. Among them were border security (a biggie for a state a thousand miles from Texas), protecting Second Amendment “rights” (gotta protect the Indiana militias), stopping “unconstitutional” vaccine mandates (because Hoosiers want our hospitals overwhelmed with the unvaccinated) and “defending life” (which is counterintuitive from somebody who opposes vaccines and wants everybody armed to the teeth).
Walorski has been in Congress for nine years now (drawing a $172,000 annual salary) and doesn't have many significant legislative accomplishments. She only surfaces during elections. My response to her survey is “Get do-nothing, gerrymandered ideologues out of Congress." With a fairly drawn district, we could do a lot better than Jackie.
This article originally appeared on South Bend Tribune: Senate bill threatens academic freedom, increases teacher workload.