Monday, July 30, 2018

If You Don't Read Facebook – Jul 30

Most of NEIFPE's social media presence is on Facebook where we post links to articles and blogs dealing with the state of public education in the U.S. For those of you who are not on Facebook (or have left), we've gathered links to a few articles of interest to help you keep up with what's going on, what's being discussed, and what's happening with public education.

Be sure to put your email address into the Follow Us By Email box in the right-hand column to be informed when our blog posts are published.

No, private schools aren’t better at educating kids than public schools. Why this new study matters.

From The Answer Sheet
Despite evidence showing otherwise, it remains conventional wisdom in many parts of the education world that private schools do a better job of educating students, with superior standardized test scores and outcomes. It is one of the claims that some supporters of school choice make in arguing that the public should pay for private school education.

The only problem? It isn’t true, a new study confirms.

An Explanation to My Readers

From Diane Ravitch
...The blog will continue to be an education blog. If we allow grifters and for-profit corporations to open their own schools, we forfeit the future. If we divert funding from public schools to subsidize privately-run unaccountable charters and unregulated religious schools, we harm our children while subtracting money from regulated, transparent, and accountable public schools.

As many of you know, I am writing a book about the Corporate Reform movement and the Resistance. I am excited about the book.

I am writing it as I continue to post comments and blogs. I am about half-way through the book.

Bear with me.

If you like Trump, you won’t like what I post. I consider him to be a menace, a clear and present danger to our nation and the world. Read or don’t read. It’s your choice.

Indiana schools brace for budget changes

Indiana's school districts are bracing for big changes approved by lawmakers that will alter how they handle their budgets and school funds.

Lawmakers passed the changes last year with the goal of giving school districts greater flexibility in spending and to clarify how much is spent on student instruction versus operations and administration costs. The changes will take effect Jan. 1, 2019.

"It's a huge change," said Dennis Costerison, the executive director of the Indiana Association of School Business Officials, who worked with lawmakers drafting the bill."

Who Is the Real Mike Pence?

From Diane Ravitch
“Trade Trump for Pence and you go from kleptocracy to theocracy.

“That’s the takeaway from a forthcoming book by the journalists Michael D’Antonio, who previously wrote “The Truth About Trump,” and Peter Eisner. It’s titled “The Shadow President: The Truth About Mike Pence,” it will be published on Aug. 28 and it’s the most thorough examination of the vice president’s background to date…

“The book persuasively illustrates what an ineffectual congressman he was, apart from cozying up to the Koch brothers, Betsy DeVos and other rich Republican donors; the clumsiness and vanity of his one term as governor of Indiana, for which he did something that predecessors hadn’t and “ordered up a collection of custom-embroidered clothes — dress shirts, polo shirts, and vests and jackets — decorated with his name and the words Governor of Indiana”; the strong possibility that he wouldn’t have won re-election; his luck in being spared that humiliation by the summons from Trump, who needed an outwardly bland, intensely religious character witness to muffle his madness and launder his sins; and the alacrity with which he says whatever Trump needs him to regardless of the truth.

Edged out of the middle class, teachers are walking out

From The Hechinger Report
Low pay has lead teachers across the country to organize and strike for better wages and greater investment in schools. In Arizona, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Colorado, the growing “Red for ed” movement is demanding legislatures in these red states invest more money in schools and school staff.

Tammy Kim is a freelance writer who wrote about teachers losing their grip on the middle class for The Hechinger Report.

“Teachers found that only by striking, only by showing their force in this way, would they be able to sort of move the needle for themselves,” she says.

Many of the teachers she spoke with at an April teachers’ protest in Phoenix, Arizona, told her they were struggling to make ends meet.

“I met a lot of teachers who had second and third jobs, teachers who had roommates,” she says.

“So, I guess by the definition of middle class that we are used to, [they] probably would not qualify.”

Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy High School Faculty: 70% Gone in a Single Year

The worst fears of privatization come true.

From Mercedes Schneider
“What really makes me sad is the number of first-year teachers who quit and decided never to teach again,” said Natasha Venner, an experienced history teacher who left for a district school...

Several teachers said they were upset that some bright, capable students were sent to a prior grade midyear...

One teacher who left, Lynn Strong, is an adjunct assistant professor of writing at Columbia University...She said the juniors’ new classroom “became my worst fears of a test-prep factory”...

Is Anti-Testing Movement Over or Just Resting?

From Diane Ravitch
...the anti-testing movement has slowed to a crawl. With testing requirements locked into federal law (the so-called “Every Student Succeeds Act”), activists are discouraged or waiting for another chance to attack the testing regime that has obsessed federal policymakers since the passage of No Child Left Behind, and even earlier, going back to Bill Clinton’s Goals 2000, which encouraged every state to develop their own standards and tests with an infusion of federal dollars. You can trace the testing movement even earlier, but it was not until Goals 2000 that there was real federal money offered to states to get the testing going.

Disrupting education, the NFL way

From The Hechinger Report
...if a vast proportion of the hiring managers are white, it’s likely that their social networks are predominantly white, too. Three-quarters of white Americans say they have social circles that are entirely white, as compared to 65 percent of African Americans and 46 percent of people who identified as Hispanic, according to a 2013 survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to conducting independent research. This has a profound professional impact when principals and school district leaders recruit from within their social circles, be it from a university or non-profit teacher prep program. This kind of hiring needs to be called out for what it really is — discrimination.


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