Monday, August 20, 2018

In Case You Missed It – August 20, 2018

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


The Path of Privatization

Horizon to continue in its mission: To stay open despite voucher denial

From The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
Horizon took over the campus from Imagine MASTer Academy charter school in 2013. Imagine and a sister school closed their doors when Ball State University declined to renew their charters, citing poor academic performance and insufficient growth.

...Horizon enrolled as many as 500 students in recent years as it consolidated Imagine schools with its own. But academic progress lagged. State accountability grades of D's and F's in consecutive years brought Horizon before the Indiana State Board of Education. It was prohibited from enrolling new voucher students during the 2017-18 school year, Beasley said. Horizon asked for a waiver so it could enroll new state-paid voucher students this fall.

A state analysis showed the school is able to demonstrate academic improvement with some of its students. But the number of students demonstrating either standard or high growth falls well below a majority. In July, the board denied the waiver request. Horizon can still serve current voucher students and those who pay tuition.


Pressuring schools to raise test scores got diminishing returns, new study of No Child Left Behind finds

From Chalkbeat
...a new study shows that continuing to “raise the bar” during the No Child Left Behind era only had a modest effect at best. That raises questions about whether the small gains were worth the political controversy, and what critics claim were the educational costs, of putting a greater focus on test scores.

“These results suggest that the ratcheting [up] of test-based accountability pressures alone is not enough to sustain improvements in student achievement”


Arne Duncan talks a good game

From The Answer Sheet
What he didn’t do, which some in the education world argue is the most important thing he could have attacked, is this: attempt to change the way the United States funds its public schools. School districts rely in large part on property taxes, which guarantees that poor communities have schools with fewer resources. Federal funding aimed at closing the gap doesn’t come close, and, so, in this country, standardized test scores tell us only where a child lives, making reforms that place high stakes on the scores nonsensical.


Back to School in America, 2018-2019 Indiana Edition

From Live Long and Prosper
Trying to support three separate school systems, a public one, serving 90% of the students in the state, and two private school systems through vouchers and charters, has made it difficult for Indiana to support schools and pay teachers. Can we really afford that?

Only one school system is mandated by the state constitution...the one that serves all students who enter -- no exceptions.


Holcomb Details School Safety Recommendations

From Inside Indiana Business
Governor Eric Holcomb has released a report detailing recommendations on improving school safety throughout the state. The report was compiled by a working group that included officials from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Indiana Department of Education, and other agencies.

The report names 18 recommendations that were separated into three categories: enhanced mental health services; safety equipment, technology, tools and training; and policy or legislative considerations regarding school safety. As a result, the governor has directed several next steps in improving school safety...


Omarosa claims Betsy DeVos wants to ‘replace public education with for-profit schools’ — and that Trump calls her ‘Ditzy DeVos’

From The Answer Sheet
A new book about President Trump by one of his former senior advisers, Omarosa Manigault Newman, claims that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos wants “to replace public education with for-profit schools” and that Trump has called her by the nickname “Ditzy DeVos.”


NACS finds site for elementary

From Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
A soybean field near Carroll Middle School will soon make way for a new school.

Northwest Allen County Schools announced the site of its eighth elementary school Monday during a board meeting, at which the five members unanimously approved a $1.4 million real estate purchase agreement for a 98-acre property along Hathaway Road.

Voters approved the school through a $33.98 million referendum in May.


Gulen-Bay Tech Charter School in Trouble Again

From Diane Ravitch
Recently we learned that the principal of the Bay Tech Charter School in Oakland gave himself a generous severance package of $450,000, then left for Australia.

Bay Tech is a Gulen School, connected to the reclusive Imam Fethullah Gulen, who lives in seclusion in Pennsylvania while overseeing one of the largest charter chains in the U.S. You can tell a Gulen school by the disproportionate number of Tirkish people on its board and teaching staff...

...In California, laws are written to regulate public schools, not charter schools. The most powerful lobby in the state is the California Charter Schools Association, and it fights any regulation or accountability or even prohibition of conflicts of interest.


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