Monday, September 10, 2018

In Case You Missed It – Sep 10, 2018

Here are links to the articles receiving the most attention in NEIFPE's social media. 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.


A Layman’s Guide to the Destroy Public Education Movement

From Tom Ultican
The destroy public education (DPE) movement is the fruit of a relatively small group of billionaires. The movement is financed by several large non-profit organizations. Nearly all of the money spent is free of taxation. Without this spending, there would be no wide-spread public school privatization.


A Teacher from Oklahoma Explains Why Brett Kavanaugh Should Not Be Confirmed

From John Thompson via Diane Ravitch
Kavanaugh’s support for private school voucher programs, with little oversight and accountability, would siphon even more funding away from public education. Moreover, his support for anti-union rulings like Janus v. AFSCME could do to the rest of the nation what Right to Work has done to Oklahoma in the last 20 years.


“Hijacked by Billionaires:” The Shameful Role of Big Money in Buying Education and Undermining Democracy

From Diane Ravitch
This morning, the Network for Public Education Action has published a major report on the role of Big Money in buying elections to control education and undermine democracy.

“Hijacked by Billionaires: How the Super Rich Buy Elections to Undermine Public Schools” examines several districts/states where the super-rich have poured in money from out-of-state to buy control of school boards and buy policy, with the goal of advancing privatization.

The case studies include: Denver, Los Angeles, Newark, Minneapolis, Perth Amboy, N.J., Washington State, New York City, Newark, Rhode Island, and Louisiana.

This carefully documented report deserves your attention. It names names.


The Three Flavors of Choice

From Curmudgucation
For example, 97% of the schools receiving vouchers in Indiana were religiously-affiliated. And because these are private schools, they are free to reject your student for being the wrong religion or race or hair color...


Indianapolis’ new idea to get kids through college: Stop small stumbles from becoming big barriers

From The Chalkbeat
To reach the city of Indianapolis’ lofty goal of giving every resident access to college, it’s going to take more than money.

It’s going to take a lot of nudging.

Educators know that many students are capable of college coursework and could qualify for financial aid — but too many of them are failing at the logistics of getting into college and sticking with it until they graduate.

That’s why the city’s new education initiative, a key state scholarship program, and private organizations are all looking to improve those nudges — using a human touch to prepare students for college, encourage them to apply, and push them to graduate.


Still a problem and still outrageous: Too many kids can’t drink the water in their schools

From The Answer Sheet's not just in Michigan: A new U.S. government report says millions of children were potentially exposed to unsafe drinking water at their schools, but nobody really knows how many. Why? Because many states don't bother running the tests.

A July 2018 report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, which surveyed school districts across the country on testing for lead in drinking water in 2017, found:

● 41 percent of districts, serving 12 million students, had not tested for lead in the 12 months before completing the survey.

● 43 percent of districts, serving 35 million students, tested for lead. Of those, 37 percent found elevated levels and reduced or eliminated exposure.

And then there was this: 16 percent of the districts replied to the nationally representative survey by saying that they did not know whether they had tested.


State to seek damages against delayed ISTEP+ results

From The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
Indiana Department of Education officials plan to seek damages against testing vendor Pearson for scoring issues and a delay of ISTEP+ results.

The contract allows for daily damages between $50,000 and $150,000 but Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick said the full impact won't be known until results are finalized.

"It's frustrating. Our team works really, really hard to get things right," she said. "We're at the mercy of the vendor getting it right."


Some Close Reading Practice

From Curmudgucation
Here at the Curmudgucation Institute, we have recently turned that corner and are now deeply interested in literature. The board of directors here at the Institute has become interested in many of the classics (and by "interested" I mean "interested in having them read aloud 20 or 30 times per hour"). But while we are deeply committed to Is Your Mama a Llama and Cleo and The I Love You Book and Feminist Baby and all the Llama Llama books, there is one book that commands our loyalty and devotion above all others.

Hop on Pop.


Arizona Supreme Court Blocks Ballot Initiative to Fund Public Education

From Jan Resseger
Paying taxes for the common good. What a novel idea these days—and something blocked last week by the Arizona Supreme Court. Failing to connect the taxes we pay with what the money buys, many of us find it easy to object to more taxes, but the case of Arizona makes the arithmetic clear. After slashing taxes for years, Arizona doesn’t have enough money to pay for public schools and universities. Not enough for the barest essentials.


Lewis Hine, the Man Whose Photographs Ended Child Labor, and Reflections on Labor and Our Moment

From Diane Ravitch
Lewis Hine was the photographer whose work led to the passage of child labor laws.


No test can capture a student's essential interests and abilities

From NACS Superintendent, Chris Himsel, in The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
Today's students are influenced, for better or worse, by extreme political divide, social media, and images of shootings at schools, churches, theaters, night clubs, cafes, and airports, along with other acts of terrorism. They have concerns about a trade war and other potential global conflicts. They have access to smartphones and hundreds of TV stations. They use the internet to stream their favorite TV programs, music and movies.

And our current senior class will be the seventh in Indiana whose entire educational career – from kindergarten through graduation – was dictated by a system of high-stakes, government-mandated standardized testing – a testing system that requires each student to regurgitate standardized answers on standardized tests. A system that promotes and encourages all students to be standard.

However, at their core, our students are far from standard. They are uniquely talented.


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