The start of another school year. Kids bright eyed and curious about who their teacher will be and who will be new to their school. How exciting? This is just a brief moment about the excitement school brings to American children. IAPSS and its members are the leaders who create this excitement and make plans for what is happening in our Indiana schools on day one and for the next several months of the 2016-17 school year. Without effective leaders making these plans, hiring new teachers, planning appropriate curriculum, having the bright yellow buses picking up students on time and delivering them safely to school, making sure the buildings are clean and safe, and the list goes on and on. Planning for the school year is no easy task. It takes committed school leaders working with principals, teachers, bus drivers, custodians, cafeteria staff, instructional assistants, secretaries, coaches, and student leaders to make effective plans for each year. Usually, on the outside, no one realizes the amount of time and effort that goes into planning day one and each day of school thereafter.
Why do we do it? We do it because we love kids and value their education. We understand that if we don’t have high quality education, then we won’t have the best educational system in world that prepares our students to be quality citizens, college grads, and great employees. If is the essence of the very fabric our country was built around. Education levels the playing floor and gives any child the opportunity to become anything their minds can imagine. What other profession can do that?
With the Every Student Can Succeed Act (ESSA), we have a chance to take education in the right direction and do the right things for our children in public schools. We can do assessments for the right reasons that evaluate what children are learning and guide instruction. We can allow local boards and school leaders the opportunity to create a teacher evaluation tool that makes sense for them. We can create an accountability system built around proper metrics to inform our public about how well our children are performing in the classrooms. IAPSS developed recommendations about ESSA that was created by professional educators and not legislators that makes sense for Indiana public schools. This document is available on the IAPSS web site.
IAPSS believes leadership matters. Indiana school district leaders should be the first point of contact by the public or legislators when questions arise about the appropriateness of programs or proposed legislation as it applies to Indiana public schools. They are the leaders and experts when it comes to decisions about Indiana’s school aged children. Indiana has great public schools and great school district leaders. Believe it! Thank your teachers, principals, and superintendent when you get a chance. Let them know you care and stand behind them. Stand up for public education.