It’s easy to extend the evils of federal and state overreach to public education. Bemoaning the loss of “local control” in your Aug. 8 editorial hits the right chord until you reflect on what that means to the students.
“Local control” means that local administrations, teachers’ unions, contractors and anyone else benefiting from the status quo help to finance like-minded school board members who will perpetuate their existence.
Academic achievement is secondary. They’re “working very hard,” “never satisfied” and “always trying to improve” but they never do.
FWCS spent the last 10 years trying to close the air-conditioning gap instead of the achievement gap. Only when the far away “enemies of public education” in Indianapolis — the Republican legislature, Mitch Daniels and Tony Bennett — threatened to lower the boom three years ago and start taking over underperforming schools did they make painful changes and see their test scores improve.
The decline in public education is a national problem. Individual states can play too many games with standards and testing to give the appearance of accountability and keep the money coming.
Local districts and many states don’t much care about anything else. After all, if they object to federal intrusion, including uniform standards, they can opt out and lose their Title I handouts or “Race to the Top” grants.
“Common Core” should serve as a national baseline. There’s no reason states can’t teach to their own higher standards, which should enable them to outperform other states.
That starts a process that should result in continual rising of the bar, the “Common Core,” until the nation again becomes competitive with the rest of the industrialized countries. That process will never happen under “local control.”
The Three Rivers Festival board of directors, staff and I would like to thank everyone that helped make the 2012 Three Rivers Festival a success.
And our grateful “Thank you!” extends to over 400 enthusiastic volunteers, as well as to everyone that participated in or attended any of TRF’s 80-plus events during those nine hot days.
I feel honored to help lead this Festival that has been part of the fabric of Fort Wayne for over 44 years. As we start to plan the 45th, rest assured that the festival board and the staff are working hard to evaluate all current Three Rivers Festival events, and constantly keep our eyes and ears open for new events that will continue to make the Three Rivers Festival Fort Wayne’s premier festival.
We would also like to acknowledge our great sponsors like the Fort Wayne Newspapers for providing the partnerships needed to produce such an outstanding citywide event.
Please remember to support the generous businesses that makes the Three Rivers Festival possible, like Lutheran Health Network, PNC, Vera Bradley, 3Rivers Credit Union, Sweetwater, Star 88.3, Parkview, Wells Fargo and Frontier Communications, to just name a few.
Mark your calendar for next year’s 45th annual Three Rivers Festival: July 12 through the 20. We’ll be looking forward to seeing you once again at “Fort Wayne’s Biggest Summer Celebration since 1969!”
Jack Hammer, executive director, Three Rivers Festival