Monday, July 23, 2018

If You Don't Read Facebook – July 23

Most of NEIFPE's internet presence is on Facebook where we post links to articles and blogs dealing with the state of public education in the U.S. Beginning today we'll occasionally give our blog readers a taste of the same. Below you'll find links 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 column on the right to be informed of our blog posts when they are published.

Who Controls Education Policy? The Power of the One Percent versus The Power of Educators

From blogger Jan Resseger
For a long time it has been clear that the policy agenda for school privatization is being underwritten by the One Percent, while traditional public schools are the quintessential institution of the 99 Percent. During this spring and summer, we have been reminded of the role of organized teachers for reminding us about the needs of public schools’ powerless constituents—our children.

Uh, Oh: Net Charter School Growth Slows as Rate of Charter Closures Increases

From blogger Mercedes Schneider
Market-driven ed reform is a story of races to close gaps. However, there is one ed-reform gap that appears to be closing, with the gap closure no doubt undesired:

The national rate of charter school closures is notably gaining on the rate of charter school openings.

In spring 2018, the ed-reform publication, Education Next, published an article about the decline in charter school annual net growth (number of new charter schools minus number of charter school closures per year) since the 2013-14 school year. The graph below ends with the 2016-17 school year. Note that EdNext reports that the data from this graph comes from another ed reform org, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS).

Indiana is struggling to give kids speech therapy. Here’s why it’s getting harder.

From Chalkbeat
“You have to understand that we have a huge shortage of (speech-language pathologists),” said Ann Higgins, director of a special education cooperative that serves four districts in north central Indiana. “This is the beginning of my sixth year being director, and we have yet to be fully staffed … as a result, we’re constantly piecing together a puzzle, if you will, to provide speech services.”

These professionals can work in educational or medical settings, and their roles can vary widely depending on the students they serve. They might work on letter sounds with some students with milder needs, but they could also help students with more severe disabilities improve swallowing.

IPS tax request in line with what other districts have approved

From blogger Steve Hinnefeld
The Indianapolis Public Schools board decided this week to ask voters to approve $315 million in increased property taxes to help fund school operations. That may sound like a lot, but spread over eight years and for a district of IPS’ size, it’s a reasonable request.

It’s right in line with what school boards have been asking for in other districts around the state. And voters have increasingly approved those school-funding referendums.

The IPS operating referendum boils down to $39.4 million per year — about $1,300 per IPS student. Some districts, including West Lafayette, Tri-County and Munster, have won approval for more than that, per pupil. Other districts, including MSD Warren Township and Crown Point, have settled for less.

Gary Rubinstein: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about the Reform Movement and Its Critics, But Didn’t Ask

From public education advocate and author, Diane Ravitch
This is a hilarious, must-see video, narrated by Gary Rubinstein, about his life in Teach for America, his disillusionment with Reform, and his collision with Reformers as they set about to remake American education

People Who Don’t Pay Attention to Public Schools

From blogger Nancy Bailey
Many people in this country...are not fully aware of what’s happening to one of our most sacred democratic institutions...

They’re distracted by reforms that sound nice. Or they’re mesmerized by the reformers.

Others worry about old reforms that, while serious, have led to newer, worse reforms. They care, but are stuck in a time warp.

Some want vouchers. They don’t appreciate public schools.

I’ve gotten emails that say, “Schools have always been bad,” or “teachers don’t know how to teach.” I politely write back that schools, in general, have educated many students well for years, despite problems, and I’m a retired teacher.

Wealth – Not Enrollment in Private School – Increases Student Achievement, According to New Study

From blogger Steven Singer
Students enrolled in private schools often get good grades and high test scores.

And there’s a reason for that – they’re from wealthier families.

A new peer-reviewed study from Professors Richard C. Pianta and Arya Ansari of the University of Virginia found that once you take family income out of the equation, there are absolutely zero benefits of going to a private school. The majority of the advantage comes from simply having money and all that comes with it – physical, emotional, and mental well-being, living in a stable and secure environment, knowing where your next meal will come from, etc.

The study published in July 2018 attempts to correct for selection bias – the factors that contribute to a student choosing private school rather than the benefits of the school, itself.

The Ridiculous Ways Adults Ruin Recess

From blogger Nancy Bailey
Recess for children is such a simple concept that some adults don’t know how to deal with it.

Edutopia is talking about a “right way” to do recess in order to “optimize” it. This stems from a report that is supposed to “help” with recess. They want to manipulate how children play and how we analyze how children play.

Here’s a news flash! The right way to do recess is to give it to the children and let them play the way they want. Safety is important, but adult intervention should be kept at a minimum.

Network for Public Education National Conference

From the Network for Public Education

Registration is open for the 2018 Network for Public Education conference in Indianapolis, October 20, 21. Use this link to register:
Our 5th Annual National Conference takes place in Indianapolis, Indiana, on October 20 - 21, 2018.

Indiana, like so many states, has faced a coordinated and direct attack on public education, but the people of Indiana are fighting back and so are we.

Join us for our conference at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown where you'll be educated and inspired by activists from across the country and where you can share your story of how you're fighting for our future.


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