Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Opinion

April 6, 2012

Are we really as bad off as report says?

A report by the Ball State University Center for Business and Economic Research does not give a positive rating of Elkhart County’s economy and education systems. While Elkhart County is not a perfect community, we believe the D+ grade for education and a D for the economy don’t reflect the reality in our communities.

This report is certainly disheartening, mostly because we think Elkhart County is a wonderful place to live, raise children, work and retire and we want others — even bean counters at universities — to like us too. But when they don’t embrace our community with the same strong hug we do, we should at least consider why.

The report uses economic data from a variety of sources. And as data is dated as soon as it is compiled, we guess that economic data reflects how the recession and slow recovery has shrunk our county’s economic output.

As far as the education data goes, the ranking was based on school test scores and graduation rates from high schools and colleges. For many years we have cautioned that using test scores to judge educational opportunities is full of inaccuracies.

Just looking at test scores for Elkhart County schools would not reveal that Goshen schools have a large number of students who speak English as their second language and also have limited skills in reading English. Those scores would also not reveal that Elkhart schools have many students who are economically disadvantaged.

Those scores would also not tell anyone that hundreds of Elkhart County students go on to successful college careers and then enter the highest levels of all types of professions.

But the report has been useful in one respect — it has county residents talking about the economy and education. We think this discussion can be a positive influence in ongoing efforts to improve both the county’s economy and educational opportunities.

A massive, countywide effort to doctor-up our numbers to improve next year’s grades on the report should not be undertaken by any means. Yet, those people and organizations already working on improvements should consider if these grades have any merit and if they should be considered in planning already under way. We are specifically thinking of the Elkhart County Education Alliance, which is forming to expand early childhood education and career planning for high school students.

Other than that, the report is interesting reading.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • GN140418 hawks groundbreaking 12 OUR VIEW: Hard work gets Hawks project off the ground The Goshen millrace corridor is continuing to evolve for the better and we expect a renovated Hawks Building will become a wonderful asset for that neighborhood and the city as a whole. On Monday, social services agency LaCasa and its partners, which

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: A sign of things to come? When U.S. District Judge Richard Young recently ruled in favor of a lesbian couple seeking recognition of their out-of-state marriage, opponents of same-sex unions called him an activist judge who was unilaterally trampling the law. The label didn't

    April 21, 2014

  • NWS GN0406 guns in school image 04 OUR VIEW: Little reason to fear new firearms law A change in state law has proven to be controversial. This newspaper respects the opinions of the objectors -- they have concerns about public safety, a worthy focus of worry. Still, The Goshen News sees little reason to fear. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140417 percussion champs 01 OUR VIEW: Drums, honors and radio shows Every so often we like to tip our caps in this space to the outstanding efforts and accomplishments of our community members. There has certainly been much to celebrate and appreciate in our area the past few days. We'll start with the Goshen High S

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Chicken-keeping ordinance not the best, but it's a start The first ever Goshen chicken-keeping ordinance is restrictive and limited, but it is a start. After weeks of discussions, debate and resurrection, the chicken-keeping ordinance was approved Tuesday on a 4-3 vote by the City Council. As written, the

    April 17, 2014

  • MORTON MARCUS: The truth behind Indiana’s economic condition is often unwelcome Jim Feelwright greeted me warmly as I entered the room: "Well, here he is, Mr. Negative." Since it was a friendly meeting, I borrowed a famous line from the movies: "You can't handle the truth." "You," he said, "just don't want to see what's rea

    April 16, 2014

  • Only you can prevent grass and field fires Maybe you can feel it in the air, too. We at The Goshen News are cheered by the much-awaited, and welcome, return of spring. The greenery makes us glad. Seeing runners and bicyclists -- many in shorts, no less -- reminds us that we need to kick our e

    April 13, 2014

  • Church ministry reaches out to local renters One of the highest hurdles a low-income family has to overcome is finding a decent place to rent -- and the good news is there is more help available for Goshen families struggling with that issue. Working in partnership with the Goshen Housing Autho

    April 10, 2014

  • GN140404 goshen college OUR VIEW: Goshen College is no waste in our book Last week the website www.policymic.com published an article titled, "These 10 Colleges Are the Biggest Waste of Tuition Money in the U.S." Their source of data for the post was from www.payscale.com, which used self-reported salary information from

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140401 Goshen City Hall OUR VIEW: Chicken keeping in Goshen shouldn't be so complex Aproposed ordinance that would allow Goshen residents to keep hens on their property is back. City council members voted down the measure at their March 18 meeting, but at their session this past Tuesday approved a motion to reconsider an amended ver

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Poll

There has been discussion at West Goshen Elementary School to require mandatory student uniforms in the future. How do you feel about the prospect of mandatory student uniforms in a public school environment?

I think it’s an excellent idea that is way overdue
I think it’s a bad idea and would be restrictive for students and parents.
     View Results