Indiana knows best its students’ needs
Back in 2002 U.S. Rep. Mike Pence stood alone among Republicans in opposition to George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind legislation. We applauded his position because it demonstrated that he opposed the continuing intrusion of the federal government in our state’s ability to control our own destiny in education.
Fast forward 12 years and, as chief executive of this state, he once again has the opportunity to set himself apart from his peers. He has the obligation to lead his appointed State Board of Education to understand that the new standards currently being drafted cannot simply be a cut and paste of Common Core to preserve the waiver status of the legislation he opposed 12 years ago. The governor should expect better, and so do thousands of concerned parents who feel disconnected from their educational community.
The governor believes not accepting $10 billion from the federal government to expand Medicaid to insure uninsured Hoosiers is in our long-term best interest. If it’s true for health care, it’s also true for education. The governor’s board of education should not accept educational standards that mirror Common Core out of fear for how the federal Department of Education may react to uncommonly high standards that meet the needs of our student population. The federal government accounts for only about 10 percent of the revenue that funds our educational system, yet it wants to regulate 80 percent of what our schools teach and test.
It’s time for the governor to lead this state out of the progressive education model of centralization and uniformity and allow the citizens of Indiana to meet the needs of our children.
DAVE READ Carmel
Keeping families together is a national priority
In response to the March 10 letter regarding refugee status for home-schooling parents from Germany:
Home schooling is not a rule of Christianity, but in a country that advocates choice in everything, why is home schooling excluded? In this country, we accept people of all races and beliefs. If we truly are a great and caring nation as we claim to be, keeping a family together and safe from an increasingly dictatorial and godless government, I think, is our duty.
CATHERINE MENZE Fort Wayne
Newspaper intruded on innocent Amish
Frank Gray’s column on the high cost of buggy lanes in Adams County (March 9) was informative. It seemed intended to be sensitive toward the needs of the Amish. I appreciated Gray’s story and agree that more respect should be given to this group as well as their contribution to the communities where they live. Northeast Indiana has many such districts, and a more sensitive spirit is needed in all those areas. Not doing so is prejudice.
The unfortunate insensitive portion of Gray’s article was the huge Amish group photo taken by Rachel Von and assumedly approved by a Journal Gazette editor. Did the three very identifiable Amish individuals in the photo, innocently traveling on U.S. 27, consent to have their picture taken and published? I doubt it.
Amish consider a portrait a graven image. This picture probably caused much shame and heartache within their religious community. Well-known Amish adherence to a no photos preference should have been a consideration by the paper and staff. A rear photo angle, no faces, could have made just as dramatic an image without compromising religious beliefs of this strong family-oriented group. Though I do not know the individuals, I felt sorry for the intrusion into their life.
If The Journal Gazette obtained written pre-approval from these folk for the photo, then I owe the staff an apology. If permission was not asked, then as Gray pointed out, once again it is the Amish citizens who pay the cost, and for what gain?
ALAN DAUGHERTY Bluffton