Why Mike Pence Terrifies Me


I hesitate to post this blog simply because it is political….and I hate politics. But I have to speak my mind here, knowing full well that I may risk offending a lot of my dear friends. I have many friends on the right and left side of the political spectrum. That is a side effect of living near the center, as I do.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am no fan of Hillary Clinton. I just don’t trust her and I don’t think I ever will. That said, I am in a state of disbelief that the Republican candidate is Donald Trump. The fact that there are so many intelligent people that I know who are actually going to vote for Trump is a clear indication that we have come to a very scary crossroads in our nation’s history. A lot of very fine Americans are completely fed up with the status quo offerings from Washington. I understand that. But I don’t even know what to say about Donald Trump. I still can’t believe that he is going to be a viable candidate for president. As a history teacher, I can’t fathom a day where Trump’s portrait might be alongside those of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln in the history books. I don’t feel qualified to write about him because…well, just because. But I do know something about his newly chosen running mate, and that is where I will focus my thoughts for this essay. Frankly, I feel the need to expose Mike Pence for what he has done with public education in my state.

Again, in the interest of full disclosure, I am an Indiana citizen and, by trade, a teacher. That job title automatically gives me a bad name among many Hoosiers on the far right. I understand and accept that. It’s just the way it is. Many on the far right around these parts see that I am a teacher and automatically label me a lefty. That is simply not accurate. I am a dyed in the wool centrist. There are several issues about which I agree with the right. There are several issues about which I agree with the left. It is endlessly frustrating for me when it comes time to vote. However, when it comes down to the issue where my bread is buttered, as it were, Mike Pence and I could not be further apart. In my opinion, and in the opinion of most other educators I know, Mike Pence has been a detriment to education. Since education is among the most important issues to me, as is should be to you, I feel compelled to lay out the reasons why I can’t support any ticket with which Mike Pence is associated.

This goes back to the previous Indiana governor, Mitch Daniels. His education plan was hostile to public education. It was very transparent, to all who would see, that Daniels was no friend to public education. He implemented a plan that, by its nature, pits high income schools against low income schools and judges them based on an A to F grading scale. These grades are given on the basis of scores on a highly specious standardized test, which requires all students to “clear the same bar” regardless of their starting point. This has resulted in a predictable gap in achievement where the affluent school districts tend to “out perform” the high poverty districts. As a result of the Daniels program, the lower performing districts get less funding than the higher performing districts. This, coupled with the voucher system, which allows people to take advantage of government assistance to move their students from one district to another, or to a state sponsored “charter school”, results in widening the gap between the haves and the have nots even further than before. The voucher system sounds great to many people (perhaps to you, too), but in reality, it only exacerbates the achievement gap. For the most part, only those families who can afford transportation to other schools take advantage of it. This creates a situation where some of the better students in “under performing” districts move out to other districts or to charter schools. Of course, this often results in lower test scores in the schools those students vacated. That means no pay raises for teachers in those schools. That eventually leads to teachers leaving the profession, which leads to teacher shortages. We are beginning to deal with this problem now, big time! We need the best and brightest teachers to be attracted to the students who need them most, not driven away. Another problem with vouchers that most outside education don’t understand is that, sometimes, you can’t just pick and choose any school to which you want to sent your child. School districts can, and do, close enrollment. Don’t think for a moment that this is done equitably. I will just say this…if the most affluent school districts in the state (you know who I am talking about) suddenly were overrun with voucher applicants from Indianapolis Public Schools (or numerous other urban districts around the state) who have had a history of low academic achievement or high risk behaviors, you can bet that the voucher system would go away quickly!

In 2012, the same year Mike Pence was elected as Governor, many thousands of Indiana educators began a grass roots campaign to remove Governor Daniels’ buddy, the Superintendent of Public Education, Tony Bennett, from office. Incredibly, the effort was successful and a previously unknown educator and librarian, named Glenda Ritz, was elected as the new Superintendent of Public Education. The ousted Bennett went on to be named to a similar position under Governor Jeb Bush in Florida. While in that position, it was learned that Bennett, while in his previous position in Indiana, with Daniels support, had been guilty of corruption when he illegally helped one of his pet charter schools, Chrystal House, by changing the grade for the school when it did not perform as well as he would have liked.

Mitch Daniels went on to become president of Purdue University. Shortly thereafter, it was revealed through leaked emails that he had attempted to ban books by famed historian, Howard Zinn, from public schools in Indiana. Why, you may ask, did he object to Zinn? Because Zinn dared view history through the perspective of the defeated. That’s right, Mitch Daniels was trying to deny Indiana students the opportunity to view history from multiple perspectives. That, in my book, is despicable!

Back to Pence…

Mike Pence entered the office vacated by Daniels on the heels of the shocking victory achieved by Glenda Ritz. He had an opportunity to step back and assess the clear message from the voters that we were not happy with the direction public education had taken. Instead of honoring the will of the voters of Indiana who, by the way, amazingly, gave Ritz more votes as a Superintendent of Public Education (normally an office that is an afterthought and doesn’t garner a lot of voters’ attention) than Pence got in his victory as state governor, Pence immediately began to look for ways to undermine the power of Ritz’s office. Pence, a champion of “small government”, formed an entirely new state board of education!  That’s right, he created a second board of education, thumbing his nose at the will of the electorate and effectively stripping Glenda Ritz of much of her power! This actually happened in in my state, Indiana…AMERICA!

He then went on to further attempt to abuse the democratic spirit by trying to start a state controlled media outlet!  That’s right, Mike Pence not only created a new government agency to try to circumvent the will of the electorate, he then tried to control the story by creating a state-run news agency! This happened in Indiana…In America!

Governor Pence loves to cite the statistic that, under his leadership, Indiana has a budget surplus, a large “rainy day fund.” Yet, many school districts across the state have been forced to beg their communities for financial help through local tax referendums just to stay afloat. Districts have slashed budgets to the bone. Class sizes are way up and many things beneficial to students, like extra-curricular activities and field trip opportunities are way down. How can Pence claim a surplus when so many school districts are suffering financially?

Pence is infamous for other things that got more negative press for Indiana that I won’t even go into here. You will, no doubt, read plenty about those things in the national press in the coming weeks if you aren’t already familiar with them. But I wanted to shine a light on the things that don’t get mentioned as much. These are the things that, as an educator, first made me terrified of Mike Pence.

65 thoughts on “Why Mike Pence Terrifies Me

  1. Thank you. As a Hoosier, I have the GOP assault on education. What you gave me is the inside perspective from an educator and really appreciate that. For the record, both party nominees are disappointing at best and even scary at the worst.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve taught here in IN in the public schools for
    ten years. I have heard of little of what you say.
    Do you have some evidence for us?

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    1. You need to read and educate yourself. That is your job. Anyone in Indiana who is an educator and doesn’t know or understand the destruction these two have imposed on education in Indiana, shouldn’t be in the classroom. Your job is to be informed.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. 1 piece that isn’t clear in your blog but very important is that a measure of”growth” also became a determining factor for government funding. This meant that the schools that already had higher results on standardized testing didn’t have the same ability to improve their scores as a school that had more marginalized test scores.
    It isn’t always that the under privileged schools are left behind- although that is a popular cry among most, there are certainly times when the cards are stacked against other areas as well.

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  4. You say you are a centrist – not conservative or liberal. You are against a parent having the option of choosing a school they believe would be the best fit for their child certainly not conservative. I am curious what tenets of conservatism have you stood up for and articulated to your fellow teachers vs those of liberalism?

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    1. I didn’t say I was against parents putting students in the school of their choice. There are lots of private schools from which to choose. Also, parents have the freedom to move to whatever district they’d prefer. I am against vouchers and the inequitable way they are used. I also lament the way schools are judged against one another and how funding is withheld from lower performing schools (most usually lower income schools). It all serves to widen the achievement gap and. In the long run, it has driven a lot of teachers out of the profession with far less lining up to take their places. Teacher shortages are becoming a huge problem.

      As for which issues I side with conservatives, I’m not going to share all my private beliefs, but one that most people already know about me, including my colleagues, especially since I am a hunter, is the 2nd Amendment. I really disagree with most liberals on gun control. I don’t mind background checks, but I don’t think they are very effective. There are over 300 million guns in America already. The kind of gun control some liberals promote, in my opinion, is a pipe dream. It can’t work in this country.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks. But we need to stop thinking of it as robbing the poor to give to the rich. It’s not necessarily that way. I don’t know how you can fault people for seeking a better place for their kids. (Tell me that the Obamas send their kids to local public schools! haha.)Sometimes it is the only way out. So, they leave and the money follows them. They may not be leaving for “rich” schools, but simply better ones than they are in.
        We need to get to why they are bad in the first place without simply finger-pointing.A good start is to do away with all of this testing nonsense. I’m old enough to remember good public schooling in the sixties/seventies. My dad grew up in a tough section of Fort Wayne, Indiana, but he was taught the basics, without testing standards, and he graduated from Purdue University. What was done right back then? What were the standards?
        It’s not that teachers are bad. There are some of those, indeed, as there have always been, and I knew of one here and there as my two sons attended schools over a 25 year span. We don’t need to grade them and blame school failure on the teachers.
        The ever-changing methods that schools seem to grab-and-go with? That is perplexing. The world changes and we feel this need to evolve with methods. The developers of such things make A LOT of money selling it. Is this always good for the kids and their learning? I think not.
        Administrations? Bureaucracy? I find a lot of the fault with these people. People within these are elected and/or hired by elected people who owe favors, etc, and that is not always beneficial to school systems. School boards have an agenda, and when their decisions fall flat, it’s never THEIR fault, it’s the school’s fault, the teacher’s fault, etc, and they are also the first to take credit for success. Of course, they are all constrained by the state, and again, these are political decisions at the state level. This needs to stop. Putting a child’s education at the whims of politicians is ridiculous.
        So, it’s a mess. I’m not anything but an observer in all of this, and I’ve lived in 3 states while my kids were schooled. No matter the political bent, this is a constant.

        One more thing, when you put your child into a private school (and I attended them for 12 years, but it wasn’t because local schools were awful, it was because my folks wanted the religious education covered, which is not present in public schools), you pay for it and you continue to pay taxes to support the public schools. Are you suddenly devoting your efforts to improving the local public schools? I doubt it. You are focusing on your child’s school that you are paying for. So, your money goes to public schools, but your voice is silent when it comes to decisions made. This also gives these bureaucracies more power to do whatever they deem appropriate. While you’re not paying attention, they are doing what they can get away with.

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  5. Many/most lower income parents cannot move to better school districts – vouchers are their only hope. Forcing their children to stay in poor performing schools almost guarantee their outcome in life. Vouchers are a step n helping parents provide a better education/outcome for their children.You do not like the grading of schools why?If we don’t grade schools how will they ever improve? I as a parent saw basically no change in poor performing schools over the years,once they were graded and economically incentified I and I am sure you have seen remarkable changes in some poor performing schools. Incentatives.do make a diference in many circumstances.

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    1. But vouchers don’t cover transportation.
      They tend to remove some the best students from the lowest income schools which, in turn, lowers that school’s test scores which, in turn, reduces the funding for that school which, in turn, widens the achievement gap.

      If the low income students from the inner city districts with poor academic histories or high risk behaviors started knocking, en masse, on the enrollment office doors of the rich suburban schools the voucher system would go away…QUICKLY. You can bet on that. It’s an inequitable system.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Not only did he do the above , he took the retired teachers fund and used it for prisons !!! I taught for 34 years and this is an insult to us that were dedicated teachers ! If you don’t believe this check with the president of retired teachers Association!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “That’s right, Mike Pence not only created a new government agency”

    You actually used the phrase “That’s right” in post you expect people to take seriously.

    Admit your biases, and then tell us why you don’t like Pence.

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    1. Did you read the article? I think the writer has done a pretty decent job of telling us why he doesn’t like Pence. He’s not basing it on personality traits, but on actions and behaviors of Pence. Seems sound to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. As a retred educator, I am appalled at what I see happeningi in our state and to the founding fathers fundamental belief in free public education. I don’t believe that anyone has all the “best” answers to any of our national dilemmas but is there nothing we can agree about or at least talk civially about for the sake of our future as a republic?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Our whole education system is so idiotic and out of control thanks to nazi criminals like Pence and the rest of fascist party!!! Students today don’t even know that we genocide the First Nations with diseases and weapons!! Most students don’t even know that their is still Native Americans living today. It’s such a sad state what’s happening to our whole system with all the idiots running for the WH!!! Peace, be free, Casey

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  10. When you say it “exasperated” the achievement gap, did you mean “exacerbated?”

    Anyway, I live in a very liberal state and we have our own issues with vouchers/charters, so there really is no easy answer to helping underperforming schools. Seems every move made is countered by people finding their way out through any crack they can find in the system. At first, charters seemed like a great idea, but money gets drained from schools as students move to a chartered school and, at the same time, increases in students with special education needs also pull money away. Teacher’s unions want more and more, too, and I’m not saying they don’t deserve it, but it also drains the coffers. Taxpayers don’t want to keep putting out more for less.

    I hear you. It’s a mess. I’m going with the Libertarians this year.

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    1. Thanks for the edit. I fixed it. I appreciate your comments and agree that there are many problems in the system that sometimes make the situation seem hopeless. I think ranking school districts against each other and robbing from the poor to give to the rich has got to stop though.

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      1. hanks. But we need to stop thinking of it as robbing the poor to give to the rich. It’s not necessarily that way. I don’t know how you can fault people for seeking a better place for their kids. (Tell me that the Obamas send their kids to local public schools! haha.)Sometimes it is the only way out. So, they leave and the money follows them. They may not be leaving for “rich” schools, but simply better ones than they are in.
        We need to get to why they are bad in the first place without simply finger-pointing.A good start is to do away with all of this testing nonsense. I’m old enough to remember good public schooling in the sixties/seventies. My dad grew up in a tough section of Fort Wayne, Indiana, but he was taught the basics, without testing standards, and he graduated from Purdue University. What was done right back then? What were the standards?
        It’s not that teachers are bad. There are some of those, indeed, as there have always been, and I knew of one here and there as my two sons attended schools over a 25 year span. We don’t need to grade them and blame school failure on the teachers.
        The ever-changing methods that schools seem to grab-and-go with? That is perplexing. The world changes and we feel this need to evolve with methods. The developers of such things make A LOT of money selling it. Is this always good for the kids and their learning? I think not.
        Administrations? Bureaucracy? I find a lot of the fault with these people. People within these are elected and/or hired by elected people who owe favors, etc, and that is not always beneficial to school systems. School boards have an agenda, and when their decisions fall flat, it’s never THEIR fault, it’s the school’s fault, the teacher’s fault, etc, and they are also the first to take credit for success. Of course, they are all constrained by the state, and again, these are political decisions at the state level. This needs to stop. Putting a child’s education at the whims of politicians is ridiculous.
        So, it’s a mess. I’m not anything but an observer in all of this, and I’ve lived in 3 states while my kids were schooled. No matter the political bent, this is a constant.

        One more thing, when you put your child into a private school (and I attended them for 12 years, but it wasn’t because local schools were awful, it was because my folks wanted the religious education covered, which is not present in public schools), you pay for it and you continue to pay taxes to support the public schools. Are you suddenly devoting your efforts to improving the local public schools? I doubt it. You are focusing on your child’s school that you are paying for. So, your money goes to public schools, but your voice is silent when it comes to decisions made. This also gives these bureaucracies more power to do whatever they deem appropriate. While you’re not paying attention, they are doing what they can get away with.

        (I don’t know why this comment was posted ABOVE. ARGHHH. I’m sorry I posted it twice)

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  11. Don’t mean to poop on your nice little post here but you lost me with all your centrist-in-the-middle gobbledegook. If you are a ‘centrist’ today, then you are a part of the problem.

    Please explain what GOP policies you favor? Ban on immigrants? Tax cuts for the wealthy? Assault on women’s rights?

    Please don’t say ‘fiscal responsibility’ or ‘family values’, ok?

    And what Democratic policies do you disagree with? And if you don’t like Hillary or Trump, who did you like? Sanders? Cause that would put you more squarely in the ‘lefty’ camp than this centrist nonsense.

    Again, people need to stop being afraid of being a liberal. A majority of the country is liberal, they just won’t admit it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not going to lay out my personal views on issues for you, but I will tell you that I will never see eye to eye with the left on gun control. And, as an avid sportsman, that’s an issue that’s almost as important to me as education.

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  12. You like to hunt with machine guns? Did you know tons of liberals/democrats are avid sportsmen and love to hunt? Do you believe Dems want to take your guns? And guns = a child’s education? Even the guns used to slaughter children as they become educated?

    Did not ask you to divulge all of your politics, just asked to name something you agree with the GOP on and the best you can do is the mythical ‘Dems are gonna take all the guns’?

    I say again: with all due respect, centrists like yourself are part of the problem. We will continue to have Trumps and Pences etc until centrists realize the GOP is now a radical, fringe party that is destroying our nation. To be a centrist means you give them more power. You agree half the time with a white nationalist party that hates Muslims, gay people wants to build a wall. As long as you understand what you are supporting and enabling.

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    1. I hold my nose when I vote, that’s for sure. It’s endlessly frustrating. I wish parties would go away so candidates could run on a la carte platforms. But all the candidates get swallowed up by the party monsters. And, I know what you are saying about the dens and gun control, but I fear it’s a slippery slope. And there are a lot of Dems in the far left that do call for bans.

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  13. She’s telling the absolute truth, people. He’s awful! I relate a lot to the author, being a teacher. Thank you for this well written piece!

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  14. I will agree with you that Pence needs to go from Indiana in a bad way but definitely not to Washington. However, as a school board member and someone who has worked in the education field (in Indiana) for 15 years, I argue some of your misleading “facts”. I too am terrified of Mike Pence being in a position that could very likely put him in the Oval Office as President of our country. Also, I agree that he is not a friend to public education. My comment to you is, that if you are going to write an article, essay, comment or whatever get your facts straight. Otherwise, when they are disproved your whole position becomes suspect.

    The fact is that a school district’s basic tuition funding from the state budget is NOT lowered due performance and a low district A-F grade. What is lowered by that grade is the receipt of funds set aside in the state budget as a “Performance Grant”. Those monies go directly to teachers as compensation based on the scores, grades and high school graduation rate. You make it sound as if monies that would be used in varied ways to improve schools and instruction are withheld. In reality what happens is that a teacher in a poorly performing school doesn’t receive an additional stipend on top of their annually negotiated contract salary.

    The fact is that school in low economic area receive funding in addition to the state basic foundation funding amount per school district. The complexity factor increases a district’s per student funding based on how many student in their enrollment receive state assistance of SNAP and TANIF. Those are food stamp, housing, income, etc. programs. High economic districts do not receive as much funding from the complexity factor in their monthly tuition payments.

    The fact is that we are now in a position where money follows the child more than ever. Enrollment is reported two times during a school year so that the monthly tuition funding (with the complexity index funding included) goes to the school a child is attending instead of just the district they began the year in.

    The fact is that students can transfer to attend schools outside their resident district. Most school corporations in the state do not charge for incoming out of district students. Since there typically is no charge monies are not relevant. You are correct that transportation is generally not provided. However saying transportation is not provided as a blanket statement is in fact again incorrect. Many districts will take one or more buses into another districts boundaries to a pick up location and transport children to their schools. They do not charge for this service but do receive the state tuition funding to educate that child. Has this basically open transfer created competition between schools? Yes. Are some districts pushing the limits to bring students and funding into their barely surviving, financially challenged districts? Yes. Is this a bad thing for students and education? Who knows. It hasn’t been going on long enough to tell. Quite honestly, some students are better served by attending a nonresident school. It may be that they have anxiety issues in crowds and a smaller enrollment district will help them cope better. It may be a high school student who plans to enter a field that their home district offers no study in. There can be a whole host of issues related to domestic situations.

    The fact is that districts can not pick and choose what students transfer into their schools. You cannot ask academic, financial, extracurricular or discipline questions of incoming transfer student. By Indiana Code only three things can be considered for denials. Those pertain to violence, drug use and arrest records. What districts ARE allowed to do is set a limit on the number of students they will accept per academic level. This is so that they will have the staff and facilities to properly educate all students attending the schools. Also, districts may choose to not accept any outside students. This is usually related to staffing, financial and facility issues. Do not make this simply a have and have not or a discrimination issue. There are a lot of factors that go into these decisions.

    The fact is that public school districts do not receive funds from vouchers for transfer students. Voucher funds go to charter and private (parochial or otherwise). Additionally, if the dollars set aside for vouchers are not fully expended the public school districts in the state receive distribution of those dollars via a Choice Scholarship Distribution.
    I do not agree with this concept at all. Tax dollars should not be provided to private institutions. However, when you make incorrect statements regarding this program and someone takes the time to verify then your entire statement is unbelievable. If one issue or more is wrong how can your opinions be trusted.

    I do not argue that a grassroots campaign put Ms. Ritz in her position. I do not argue that the behind the scenes political maneuvering that took place regarding her position was unethical. I will say that Ms. Ritz has no background or qualifications to run the Department of Education in this or any state. There is much to a school district and anyone serving in this top position should be well versed in all its parts. Ms Ritz has no background in budgeting for a district, in transportation, in facilities, in human resources, in administration, in federal grants (look at the debolical that happened with federal Title I funding, she almost cost this state millions of needed federal education dollars). She has never lead a district in any way and is NOT qualified to lead the state’s education department. She has created chaos within the department by making decisions she has no qualifications to make. Communication from the department to districts is at an all time low. Educators in the classroom rarely see these problems because they have been dealt with and “cleaned up” before they get that far down the line.

    Ritz did not win the election, Bennett lost. Bennett was a tornado tearing through education and making sweeping changes. Changes that the state education system is still trying to sort out and correct or adjust to. One thing he wanted as a rule, however, should should stand. If a teacher is not effective and cannot perform and provide the education her students deserve then a district should get rid of them. They should not be allowed or forced by some contract language to keep them in employ. That said, the fact is, ANYONE could have beat Bennett in the election. Then the state was left to try and mitigate the damage an unqualified Superintendent of Public Instruction could do to the education system state wide. How to deal with that was absolutely handled in the wrong way. It was handled wrong because Pence is an unethical politician.

    There are many problems education faces all across our country. Not all of them can be contributed to Pence. In fact, try communicating with one of your counter parts in Louisiana. Their Govenor and top education positions to almost step for step the sweeping changes at almost the same time as Indiana did starting in the Daniels/Bennett reign.

    Again, I am NOT a Pence supporter! The thought of him with so much power at a national level makes me sick to my stomach. But we need to spread correct information on why he is so dangerous. He is dangerous because he pushes his personal and religious views to be the law of the land. He does so by backhanded, back alley and unethical behavior, deals and maneuvering. If you are going to point those traits out then get all the facts straight to do so.

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    1. Perhaps you missed my point about funding resulting in no pay raises for teachers in “low performing” schools which has forced many teachers out of the profession, thus exacerbating the growing teacher shortage.

      Withholding funding from schools/teachers in this manner creates huge turnover problems in struggling urban districts, such as IPS here in Indianapolis. The best and brightest teachers are far less likely to be coaxed into those districts, where they are most desperately needed. The A-F grading system has created a HUGE problem. That is a fact.

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    2. And, with all due respect, your take on how students from outside the district are or are not accepted into another school system may be the way it is supposed to work, but you are being naive if you believe that is the way it actually plays out.

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  15. This whole thing that Daniels and then Pence enacted in Indiana is right off the ALEC pages. Indiana leads the republican national effort to privatize education. In fact, Pence was named keynote speaker at last week’s ALEC convention to speak about our state’s aggressive voucher plan, referred to as “the Indiana Plan”. Pence is Enemy Number One to public education, and a very real threat to quality education for all students. (I am a retired Indiana high school teacher, and I have been watching this terrible drama unfold for 15 years both as an active teacher and a retired one.)

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  16. I live in Indiana, have children that have gone thru, three have already graduated from school in the second poorest County in the state. However, we have some of the highest scores in the state, high graduation rates and generally successful students. All this talk about Pence, Daniels, and the woes of funding don’t even touch on the main factor in success, parents expectations and accountability.

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    1. You are absolutely correct about the impact of parents on the education of children. Unfortunately, it’s the factor that is the least controllable. That is a huge problem in some of the underprivileged districts in and around Indy. I appreciate your comment.

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  17. I think Wikipedia sums it up nicely:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Pence

    * No abortion for any reason. NONE.

    * No birthright citizenship unless one parent is a US citizen.

    * There are no man-made effects on the earth. NONE. Science is all jiggery pokery. “Pence does not accept the scientific consensus that human activity is the primary driver of climate change.” Of course, we humans have absolutely NO effect on the earth. Trash, what’s that? Flint, Michigan … just a bunch of overreactive people complaining their water isn’t clear. And the best yet, we can trash this earth because that’s what evangelicals believe due to the fact we start over in heaven sitting in Jesus’ lap hearing harp cords while clouds go by and families unite. So trash this muthaf*ckin’ earth I say! Heaven is only one prayer away! (sarcasm)

    * No evolution. NONE. When asked if he believes in evolution, Pence answered “I believe with all my heart that God created the heavens and the earth, the seas and all that’s in them. How he did that I’ll ask him about some day.” Again, science really is jiggery pokery.

    * Smoking is fine. Pence stated that “despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn’t kill.” No, of course not, COPD and asthma are things that people do to get attention and smoking has absolutely nothing to do with illness! Nothing. And lung cancer, oh that’s a bunch of phooey that only people get when they have the oncogene for cancer whether or not they smoke. Awesome! Let’s smoke, and make it 2-3 packs of unfiltered a day at that, especially if we work in a coal mine! No problem. Again, science is just trying to steal the spotlight from gawd, I mean goddess, I mean god, I mean God with a capital G.

    * Conversion of homosexuals IS the answer! Yes! All these fake misguided devil people pretending to be gay for attention! Let’s get them into camps and fix them! Evangelical Christian camps for these broken souls!

    I definitely think we need another non-medical super religious guy regulating women’s health and controlling anyone browner than him for sure! Let’s get that minimum wage back down to 2 buck chuck! Woo hoo!

    NOT!!!!!!!!

    I can’t believe Donald Drumpf is for real and Mike Pence, seriously? Is this a nightmare? Oh, no, it’s really Hillary’s $ buying her position and Trump’s name & $ buying his …

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  18. Mike Pence has been a bad Governor and will be a worse Veep. He wants to impose his beliefs on everyone, which is what ISIS wants to do. Am extremist is an extremist.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Slippery slope? That’s the best gun lovers can give for not banning assault weapons? What about the slippery slope into anarchy?

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    1. Some of the language in proposed “assault weapons” bans that I have seen would ban my best hunting shotgun because it can hold 5 shells and be fired without having to manually shuck in another she’ll each time. That’s what I mean. The definitions of “assault weapons” can get to be really ridiculous. That’s what I mean by slippery slope.

      A hammer can be an assault weapon, for goodness sake.

      We have to be extremely careful in defining terms or some will try to take things way to far. This goes in both directions.

      Like

  20. Well one thing you need to do is quit drinking the Koolaid that the liberals, establishment politicians, and the media are forcing down our throats. It’s simple don’t swallow. Let’s hear about why you’re against Trump not just blanket statements. Why don’t you talk about what Pence has done for Indiana? Created almost 200,000 jobs, and created a 2 billion dollar surplus! Unlike you I happen to know Mr. Trump will go down in history books as one the greatest presidents to ever serve! I don’t need a degree or a title of history teacher to tell me that. History is just that… History! It’s not the same today as it was in your expertise of time! Donald Trump will crush Hillary in the general mark my words. Btw I like you don’t claim either side. I’m a realist just like Mr Trump! You condemn a guy for telling like it is? Yet you don’t condemn a person like Hillary? Blows my mind! Someone with as much corruption her evil ass! Look at the deaths surrounding her, look at the fact that she gets to break the law without any consequences and that’s just to name a few. America will be a much safer and better place to live with Trump in office! Believe it!

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    1. My piece was specific to Mike Pence’s actions regarding education. I did not go into specifics about Trump because he speaks for himself. Anyone can search his history of rhetoric easily enough. And by the way, perhaps you missed the part where I said I don’t like Hillary and can’t trust her.

      As for Pence, he got into hot water nationally for some things everybody heard about. I wanted to point out the things he did, awful things, following the election that ousted a the corrupt Tony Bennett and replaced him with Glenda Ritz who, incredibly, got more votes in her run for Supt. Of Education than Pence got in his run for governor! That’s unheard of. Yet Pence abused his power and created a whole new government agency to strip all the power from Ritz, leaving her as little more than a figurehead. That’s tyranny! If that doesn’t bother you then I guess I’m not the only one drinking Koolaid.

      As for the surplus…

      That surplus is a joke. When there are school districts all over the state, including mine, that are having to beg for local tax referendums just to keep there heads above water, there should be no surplus.

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  21. I am not a teacher but I have heard of the issues from family that does or has taught. One thing that also needs to be said about Pence is in Indiana nothing exist to our goverment below Indy. Southern Indiana is totally ignored. From education , roads ,etc. I pray for our country, lord help us Trump and Pence, very scary,

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  22. At the national level, both parties are scary. It will be going with the lesser of two evils. On the democratic side you have someone who is dishonest, manipulative, and considers herself above the law. On the republican side you have someone with no political experience who bullies people to get what he wants. I feel like both of them have narcissistic
    personalities! I also don’t feel either have strong morals and values and that is important to me! When I vote it will be with a lot of trepidation! I am a teacher and a conservative.

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  23. The charter school/private school voucher system has its proponents but to me it is intended to help fund fundamental parochial schools. The extreme views of Trump about Muslims and whether they should be allowed into the US when combined with Pence’s religious views are a definite concern.

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  24. Thank you for this clear and simple summary. To those who question the veracity of this account, I would ask if they follow the news in any form. These incidents are well-documented by mainstream news agencies. Of course, if someone is associated with a school whose budget has not been shorn by Indiana legislators these past 12 years, you might be excused for being unaware of the dufficulties of poverty and insufficient funds in other regions of your own state. Our state is not in good economic shape outside of Indianapolis’s suburban ring. I know. I teach in a rural high school among dedicated colleagues working to provide a better future for our upcoming young Hoosiers.

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    1. There are districts al over the state, including mine, that have had to go begging for tax referendums just to stay solvent. Yet, Pence boasts of a $2 billion “rainy day surplus”…Governor Pence, when schools are sinking financially, that’s a very rainy day!

      Like

  25. I had a nightmare last night that I was watching Mad Men and Mike Pence was starring … oy vey! Mike Pence would fit PERFECTLY into this show. Perfectly.

    I’m making the assumption you are a history teacher. Plus mingle and get with your science teachers and see what they think of Mike Pence … he’s not scientific at all.

    He’s not a good fit for a progressive person who is capable about thinking about the good of the entire humanity.

    Oh and on that AWESOME unemployment rate due to Pence … think again …
    “The unemployment rate in Indiana has indeed dropped steadily since 2013 — but the trend began before then. In fact, far from being ‘very unusual,’ Indiana’s change in employment is pretty squarely in line with the rest of the United States.”

    SOURCE: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/07/16/mike-pences-jobs-record-in-indiana-was-a-lot-more-average-than-donald-trump-suggested/

    Here are a few reasons not to support Mike Pence:

    http://www.thestranger.com/slog/2016/07/15/24348411/here-are-but-a-few-of-the-reasons-why-you-hate-mike-pence

    And some things don’t add up … at all:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/16/us/politics/mike-pence-issues.html?_r=0

    Mike Pence is not good honest news folks (not like Trump is either!). Unless you want to revert to the ’50s having a predominantly white America and women working at home barefoot and pregnant … then Pence by all means, with no science background, is here to regulate your life because obviously no one can honestly think for themselves unless they’re a 1%er white non-gay male.

    WHO is the 1%????

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/26/1-percent-in-each-state-map_n_6548222.html

    From Salon, “To make it into the 1 percent, you need to have, according to some estimates, at least about $350,000 a year in income, or around $8 million accumulated in wealth. At the lower end of the 1 percent spectrum, the “lower-uppers,” as they have been called, you’ll find people like successful doctors, accountants, engineers, lawyers, vice-presidents of companies, and well-paid media figures.”

    Anyway … whatever.

    Mike Pence is appalling. Donald Trump is egoistic apple sauce.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My favorite is how Pence crows about a $2 billion dollar budget surplus. All the while, school districts across the state are forced to beg for tax referendums just to keep their heads above water. There SHOULD BE NO SURPLUS WHEN SO MANY SCHOOL DISTRICTS ARE IN DEEP FINANCIAL TROUBLE!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  26. You have presented two very serious allegations. You should highlight the offenses you said are serious issues. A perspective of history is important though most of the article is not about Pence himself. People need a more complete picture. Who are we to vote for,not voting is not an option. Neither is Hillary Clinton!

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  27. I loved your piece on Pence and found the many of the reader comments to be as frustrating as they were interesting. It is so easy to miss the point if one does not take the time to look at the whole picture. Some of the things Pence has done are outrageous and the promotion of charter schools and voucher is just part of his lack of understanding about the problems in public education.

    Charter schools and vouchers are not inherently bad. The problem is that no attention has been given under either the Daniels or Pence Administration to address the challenges facing the schools that are being abandoned. It is as if they have determined that our most under-performing public schools are a lost cause and are to be written off. The focus has shifted to helping families so their children can escape from their old schools. As I pointed out in one of the posts on my blog “Education, Hope, and the American Dream,” we cannot allow public education to become triage where we pick and choose to whom we will offer opportunities.

    Below is the text of one of the paragraphs in your “Pence” posting, followed by my re-write of the paragraph that applies to problem in public education in America.

    Your paragraph:

    “He (Mitch Daniels) implemented a plan that pitted high income schools against low income schools and judged them based on an A to F grading scale. These grades were given on the basis of scores on standardized tests where every school was judged on the same test which required all students to “clear the same bar” regardless of their starting point. This resulted in an (sic) predictable gap in achievement where the affluent school districts “out performed” the high poverty districts. As a result of the Daniels program, the lower performing districts got less funding than the higher performing districts.”

    Here is my re-write:

    Public Education pits high income and middle income students against low income, disadvantaged students and judges them based on an A to F grading scale. These grades are given on the basis of scores on subject matter where every student is graded on the same tests which require all students to “clear the same bar” regardless of their starting point. This has resulted in a predictable gap in achievement where the affluent students out-perform the disadvantaged students. As a result, the lower performing students get less opportunities than the higher performing students.”

    I invite you to check out my book, “Reinventing Education, Hope, and the American Dream: the Challenge for Twenty-First Century America” or, if you prefer an overview of the book and its recommendations I invite to check out two blog posts:

    October 26, 2015 A White Paper that provides and overview of the book entitled; “Breaking Down the Cycles of Failure and Poverty: Making Public Education Work for All Students Irrespective of Relative Affluence or the Color of Their Skin”

    June 27, 2016: An outline of the implementation plan offered in the book, entitled: ” Implementation Outline for Educational Model in Which There is Only Success and No Failure”

    Thanks again for your insightful comments and for the work you do with your students.

    Here is a link to the blog: http://www.melhawkinsandassociates.com/blog/

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  28. If he terrifies you then you are a weak spineless person. What would happen to you if you actually had to deal with a true life or death terrorist situation?

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    1. Tyranny scares me worse than terrorism.

      What Pence did in the wake of the 2012 elections here in Indiana was as frightening an example of autocratic despotism as I’ve personally experienced.

      Not sure if you read my article past the title or not but, if you did, you should read it again. If you don’t trust my version of events, research it yourself–I provided hot links in blue text within the article.

      If you do the research and can honestly excuse his actions then, I guess you aren’t real big on the democratic process in the first place.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. People throw around the word “fascist” without really knowing what it means. Fascism is a form of government with an authoritarian dictator and big government controlling both business and labor. Who in our current government favors larger government, more government control, and more regulations on businesses and labor(via taxes)?? Before educated people start throwing terms around…try to understand what they mean.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s now 10 months since you left this comment, and that pair have managed to get into POTUS and VEEP positions — and we might not yet be living in a fascist state, but our little train has been rolling right along an an increasing speed towards when it will wreck us right into fascism, if we don’t do all we can to get those two out of the locomotive and put a couple of better operators in.

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  30. Hillary Clinton’s decades-long record on education and children – women and family, as well – is stellar. That’s why, as an educator, female, mother, and grandmother, I’m With Her.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. How do you feel about Trump’s portrait hanging by a community organizer’s who has a warm feeling about socialism. And should be impeached as a treasonist.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gail, my response to your comment is this. I laid out a case against Pence based on things he actually did and on things his predecessor did that he supported and kept in place. Each of those actions actually happened and you can verify them. You seem to be making a case against our president based on vague implications of the sort that people of the ilk of Hannity or Limbaugh vomit forth. I can’t reply intelligently to such substance-less, hyperbolic vitriol. If you want me to respond to specific actions taken by President Obama, then I’d be happy to weigh in. My hunch is that you are one of those who believes him to be a “Muslim bent on the destruction of the US.” If that’s the case, I can’t even discuss anything in an intelligent way with you. If I am wrong about you, and you’d care to discuss specific, fact-based, actions and policies of the POTUS, feel free to post them. Perhaps we might even find some common ground. There are things that Obama has done that are certainly open for reasonable criticism.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Do you know what the difference is between Obama and Trump?

        The difference is that, although Obama wasn’t perfect (who is, save for Jesus!?!), in order to get “dirt” on him, you pretty much had to make it up — and the “rumors” about him and his family often bordered on (or actually were — no bordering-on about it) the ridiculous.

        The most stupid of those rumors, of course, was that Obama wasn’t really married and that Michelle was actually a man wearing dresses who was playing the part of his wife. Obama might or might not have been in a relationship with Manly Michelle at one time, but they weren’t getting along now, so the two would be parting ways as soon as they moved out of The White House.

        Wait!!!

        There’s more!!!

        Sasha & Malia aren’t really their daughters but, instead, child actresses. They would be looking for new jobs once their stint as first daughters had run its course.

        When it comes to Trump, however, you just have to watch him in action and to hear words from his own mouth to know that he’s both unfit for his office and DOWNRIGHT NASTY AND CORRUPT!!!

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    2. Trump’s portrait………..That, in itself, is something to consider. If that man has one redeeming quality, his stupid expressions make me laugh, and they say that laughter is the best medicine. Which pose should be used for his portrait? The one where he has his hand out in front of him in a twisted-position while he’s making a constipated-Bugs-Bunny face? or The one where he’s doing an imitation of a butthole with his mouth? or The one where he has wild eyes and a shark-ish mouth? or (just pick one from a HUGE collection)? At his very worst, Hitler never ever looked THAT in need of being collected in a butterfly net and placed in a rubber room…

      Like

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