Kudos to the IPS board for wanting to hear the community voice to guide and inform the search for a new superintendent. However, from what I understand, the community voice is essentially being DROWNED OUT because the meetings are intentionally being JAM PACKED with Mind Trust and Stand for Children staffers and Innovation Network school staff/supporters. I hope that the few conscientious board members that are there can see through this charade. There is one meeting left: I urge you to attend the last forum at IPS #87, 2411 Indianapolis Avenue, WEDNESDAY MARCH 13th 6-8 pm in the Gym.
Our next superintendent choice is incredibly important. While a radical departure from the current plan is unlikely (DISINVEST IN A DISTRICT SCHOOL UNTIL IT FAILS, INNOVATE-NETWORK THE SCHOOL, WASH, RINSE, REPEAT UNTIL ALL SCHOOLS ARE OPERATED BY CHARTERS) – I still hold out some slim hope that we might find someone who can see the long term destruction in this model. Maybe this person will even have some modicum of restraint toward the idea.
But then, I wonder – will the new superintendent arrive in Indianapolis and become a sellout?? There are so many temptations and pressures to succumb to…money talks, and there is certainly money in the hands of school privatizers such as Mind Trust and Stand for Children. There is also the allure of power, and those at the mayor’s office and certain legislators seem to have it out for IPS. Perhaps our next superintendent will have really grand ideas and great intentions – and still end up paving the road to hell. Or is that a bit of deja vu I’m having?
Next topic. What the hell is going on with the IPS teacher’s union? I know there are issues. Some union teachers are pissed on multiple levels, and I know some who would be the first in line with their sharpies to make picket signs at the slightest hint of a walkout, as has happened in other states. On the flip side of that, I know other union teachers who generally don’t want to rock the boat. I’m also aware of the scandal that rocked the union recently. But damn, y’all. How have things gotten to the point where an “Indianapolis Teacher’s Society” is being floated at the board meeting? What is even the purpose of this? I’m skeptical, and you should be too. At least to the point of investigating! So…IPS is in the state that it’s in. Teachers are being treated terribly. And who is coming to “save the day”? The Indianapolis Teacher Society!? I’m sorry, but I smell something fishy here. Look, IEA may leave a lot to be desired, and ISTA too. I’ll give you that, no doubt. But the Indianapolis Teacher Society does not align itself with any national organization. How will they fight for you, dear IPS teacher? What resources do they have (WHO IS FUNDING THIS??) What protections can they offer teachers? What skills do they have at the bargaining table? My overarching concern is that this is another piece that will further dismantle IPS and leave it laying wounded and open. Ready for the kill. Why? Because at least with IEA, [or any other nationally-affiliated union] teachers have a little protection, there’s some chance of a fight left. It’s just not clear to me how this group of folks is going to represent all IPS teachers, offer them protections, and bargain for their best interests in salaries and working conditions. That’s best left to…A UNION, not a loose collective of interested (perhaps disgruntled) people. The Indianapolis Teacher Society sounds like a group that meets for a book club discussion, and Emily brings the brownies. No, thanks…I think IPS needs a mob. An angry mob of teachers who are tired of the apparent inequity that is happening to themselves, their schools, and their kids. What will make them angry enough to demand change?