Education a main focus at the Statehouse to start 2018

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Dr. Wendy Robinson will be Superintendent of Fort Wayne Community Schools until 2020. The School Board approved a contract extension on Monday. However, Robinson’s focus right now is 2018.

Dr. Robinson will actually be in Indianapolis Tuesday to help the Board of Education flesh out new high school graduation requirements. She’ll be near the Senate and House chambers where several education bills are taking shape.

Robinson said the State Board of Education did not listen to educators who strongly opposed new graduation requirements recommended by the Graduation Pathways Panel. Hundreds of teachers, administrators and parents spoke out about them, but last month the board approved the recommended requirements.

“I went down and testified before and they didn’t listen,” Robinson said. “But that doesn’t matter. I’m given this opportunity, and I want to go down and speak for the people of Fort Wayne.”

Now, Robinson and other local administrators are being invited to join a group to help the Board flesh out the details of the plan. The requirements include showing post secondary education readiness by taking the SAT or ACT, and showing employable skills.

The big picture is available, but the small details have not been determined. Robinson will help the board figure out those details.

“I think it’s just to have practitioners give some advice about what do those details look like,” Robinson said. “What should we be doing?”

An education bill being proposed at the Statehouse this year that is getting a lot of attention is a bill mandating schools start no earlier than the third Monday in August.

“I think the community you live in should determine what makes sense,” Robinson said.

The bill was introduced by Republican Senator Dennis Kruse of Auburn. He said a full three months of summer break will allow families to vacation during the popular getaway month of August, and help kids hold down a part time job for a longer time.

“All of this Pathway conversation, all the expectations the state has to hold us accountable why would you delay the start of school,” Robinson said.