You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Learning Curve

  • Death knell for teacher unions?
    A California judge's ruling in a lawsuit challenging teacher tenure has anti-union forces (including Obama's secretary of education) crowing, but their celebration could be short-lived. An appeal is almost certain in the Vergara case and teacher
  • In defense of Indiana's effective teachers
    Stand for Children, a political advocacy group closely aligned with education privatization efforts, issued a report Tuesday critical of Indiana's teacher evaluation models.
  • Indiana: Still in the preschool cellar
    The annual survey of state-funded preschool programs laments the decline in state support during the past year. Even the states trimming pre-K investment, however, outperform Indiana, one of just 10 states that have yet to invest in early learning.
Advertisement

Scaring off tomorrow's teachers

The Journal Gazette looked at enrollment in area colleges of education a year ago and found, in some cases, double-digit decreases. Sources cited the economy, but also changes in Indiana law affecting education.

Mikel Livington of the Journal & Courier of Lafayette visits the subject this fall and finds a continued decline:

Applications at Purdue's College of Education have dropped 20 percent since the fall of 2008.

At Ball State, the number of freshmen identifying as education majors has fallen 44 percent in four years.

At IU-Bloomington, applications to the School of Education have dropped 20 percent since 2008.

School of education officials again are pointing to the state's toxic atmosphere for teachers.

"Our biggest critics are the ones who are making the most sweeping statements about failing schools, and they're the very same ones saying what we need to do to improve schools in this country is attract the best and brightest," Dr. Gerardo Gonzales, deal of the IU School of Education told Livington. "I don't think they understand the decision they're making are having the reverse effect."

The effect of tough new teacher evaluations and the repercussions for teacher training also are explored in Livington's excellent piece. It's worth a read, and worth considering who has been in charge of the state's education policy before you vote.

Karen Francisco, editorial page editor for The Journal Gazette, has been an Indiana journalist since 1981. She writes frequently about education for The Journal Gazette opinion pages and here, where she looks at the business, politics and science of learning as it relates to northeast Indiana, the state and the nation. She can be reached at 260-461-8206 or by e-mail at kfrancisco@jg.net.

Advertisement