COLUMN: State education system needs reform

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MARCIA DAUBY, Guest Columnist

After reading a recent opinion piece in the paper, I felt compelled to offer another view. I am very excited and hopeful teachers will be held accountable and their performance “graded.”

Any teacher can show up at school at 6:45 a.m. My question is do these teachers let parents know they are there at that time? The answer is no.

In all the years I have been dealing with teachers, I have never had one of them notify me that they are available for extra help in the morning or any time else for that matter. Some students, due to their disability, cannot communicate needs to their family.

So to expect these students to tell their parent to take them to school is unreasonable. It was mentioned that teachers are being punished for having students in their class who don’t want to learn. I can assure you these students do want to learn. All children want to learn.

Instead of teachers showing up for work early and thinking they should get “points” for being eager to start the day, why don’t they take this time to read the Individualized Education Programs of these students? Why don’t they, which is part of their job, try to find ways to reach these students? It is also their job to recognize when a student is in need of extra supports in the classroom and to advocate for these supports.

I can say beyond a doubt, this is an area most teachers fail at. No wonder teachers are upset. They are now going to see these grades and their pay increase, or lack thereof, is at risk.

Having students with special needs should not be viewed as something that will hinder the teacher or school from getting a good grade. It should be seen as a challenge to the teacher and they should try to find either the teaching style that works for the student or the supports to help them succeed.

Very rarely am I approached by a teacher with something that might help the special-needs student to succeed. Why not have performance checklists in place? If teachers are doing their job to their full potential, why do they feel threatened by this?

I receive a performance evaluation each year on my job and goals are set in the areas needing improvement. This is a good way for the employee to do some soul searching and to see things in a way they otherwise might not.

I commend the state for realizing Indiana’s educators and education needs to be overhauled. Admittedly, I too, have questioned some of the budget cuts Gov. Daniels has made. But that being said I do feel this is a step in the right direction.

Dauby lives in Tell City.