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Red For Ed Action Day
Red For Ed Action Day
Aquoia Johnson
Friday, December 13, 2019

     On Tuesday, Nov. 19, the Indiana State Teachers Association organized a rally for teachers and community members who want to support educators’’ rights. More than half of public schools in Indiana were closed, and there were more than 15,000 participants each with goal to give to persuade lawmakers to improve public schools.


      Angie Currier

Q: How long have you been a teacher at Warren or other schools?

A: "I've been teaching at Warren Central High School for 21 years."

Q: Why did you go to the rally? What are you hoping to gain?

A: “I went to the rally for a lot of reasons. Students spend too much time in preparation for and then taking standardized tests. Already this year, our days have been interrupted by ASVAB, PSAT, four days of ISTEP, and then those who have had to make up ISTEP. We haven't even really hit testing season yet. In addition, my daughter is a junior in high school and thinking that she would like to become a teacher. I would like for this profession to be viable for her. She needs to be able to support herself without having a side job to be able to survive. Finally, I don't agree that I need to go out into a different company to work for them for 15 hours to be able to renew my license when it's time.”

Q:What changes are you hoping to see for the 2020-2021 school year?

A: “I am hoping to see the repeal of the 15 hour mandate for teachers to renew their licenses. In addition, I would like the state to see that all public school teachers in Indiana receive raises and continue to do so until our wages are competitive with other states. We have fewer college students in education majors. When we hire young teachers, many are quick to move into other professions because they can make a lot more money than teachers do. Until we can make wages competitive, we will not be able to fill all of the teaching positions that are available. We desperately need young teachers to stay in this profession so that they can become our leaders.”


                Jeff Pfister

Q: How long have you been a teacher at Warren or other schools?

A: "15 at warren"

Q: Why did you go to the rally? What are you hoping to gain?

A: "I went because of how politicized education has become. We don’t divvy tax dollars up to give to private police. Why do we do this with education?  Moreover any profession outside of education with the amount of expertise and education we’ve received will make almost double what a 17 veteran teacher earns.

The state has hired Pearson education for testing services. Why? It’s a slap in the face to us as professionals for the state to hire a 'for-profit' testing company. It’s in that company’s best interest for test takers to fail so they profit more by test takers retaking tests over and over again and that’s just for education licensing. Do we really think that that over half the students in our state can’t read at grade level?  Is that really even believable?! I don’t think so. I think it’s more to do with how poorly written the test is."

Q:What changes are you hoping to see for the 2020-2021 school year?

A: "How about we start with e-learning days to make up snow days and increased spending on salaries so we can keep good teachers in our state. How about we revisit certification tests and have the professors at the school of Ed create those from various institutions like IU and Purdue. How about we revisit the idea of standardized tests in the first place?  We’re told everyone learns differently and we should differentiate our instruction yet our government thinks everyone can be measured by the same tool. It doesn’t make any sense at all."


  Joseph McGowan

Q: How long have you been a teacher at Warren or other schools?

A: "This is my 14th year in education, but my 11th year at Warren Central High School."

Q: Why did you go to the rally? What are you hoping to gain?

A: “I went to the rally as a way of showing our elected leaders that we are a united front, and that if they don't make changes that help our students and school, we would not hesitate to do everything we could to get them voted out. Prior to the rally, I was not sure that there would actually be 15,000 teachers that would attend, but when I got there, it became apparent that there may have even been more in attendance. It was truly empowering that we could come together from all over the state to show that we want what's best for our students, and we're not willing to be quiet about it anymore.”

Q:What changes are you hoping to see for the 2020-2021 school year?

A: “In a perfect world, I would wish that we could lower class sizes dramatically, find a more equitable way of distributing money to schools through the state, and find a way to pay all teachers more so good teachers aren't forced to quit and new teachers are interested in joining the profession. Unfortunately, I know that this is not a budget year for the state, and our governor and legislators have made it very clear that they are not interested in making any substantial changes any time soon. In fact, Governor Holcomb was not even in attendance at the Red for Ed Rally, even though it was the biggest demonstration at the State House in many years.”