Monday, September 24, 2018

In Case You Missed It – Sep 24, 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.

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My Views on the Kavanaugh-Ford Issues

From Diane Ravitch
...Mind you, I am dead set against Kavanaugh joining the Supreme Court because he will provide the decisive vote to roll back civil rights, women’s rights, gay rights, abortion rights, and the “wall of separation” between church and state. I am also aware that the prisons contain many black men who did stupid things when they were 17, but got caught.


Ohio: ECOT Received Even More than $1 Billion in State Money!

From Diane Ravitch
The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) is the biggest online charter scandal in the nation, for now. The state poured more than $1 billion over 17 years into this for-profit enterprise, with no accountability until recently. After the state finally audited ECOT, it learned that there was no system in place to know whether students logged in, whether they participated in instruction, and commenced proceedings to recover at least $80 million. ECOT fought the state in court and lost. Rather than return the money, ECOT closed its doors.

Almost every Republican official running for statewide office received campaign funding from William Lager, the entrepreneur behind ECOT. Mike DeWine, the Republican candidate for governor, returned the ECOT money, but continues to accept contributions from other for-profit charter “schools.” Online charter schools everywhere have dismal records and are typically the worst-performing schools in every state where they are allowed.

Enrollment up in all county districts

From The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
Allen County's public school districts are reporting across-the-board increases in enrollment this year – a continuing trend for the suburban districts and more evidence the school voucher drain is slowing.

Friday was the Indiana Department of Education's collection day for average daily membership – a preliminary count of students enrolled in each district. It's an important number, as the state uses it to determine per-pupil tuition reimbursement to schools. A second enrollment count will be taken Feb. 1, but the September count determines funding.

The numbers are not yet official, as the state will track student identification numbers across schools and districts, but the preliminary figures tend to remain fairly stable.


Jeff Bezos is spending $2 billion to help the homeless and educate poor kids. Sounds good. Is it?

From The Answer Sheet
In recent years, America’s wealthiest citizens have poured, collectively, billions of dollars into efforts to change public education. Some believe the public system is inefficient; some simply don’t believe in the public sector. Whatever the motive, these billionaires have been able to drive the public education agenda in myriad ways. That includes pouring money into pet projects through nonprofit organizations that they create or heavily fund, giving money directly to school districts to pursue initiatives, or taking a leading role in public-private partnerships.

But critics say it is fundamentally undemocratic for private individuals to take over basic responsibilities of government, such as helping the homeless and educating kids. In a democracy, public policy should not be driven by people who are not elected and who are accountable to no one but themselves, these critics say.


Why Teachers Join The Union

From Curmudgucation
I want to be a teacher, and I need to provide my family with a decent standard of living...

I want to be a teacher, and I don't want to be forced to sacrifice my entire life every time my employer decides to have me give extra time for free.

I want to be a teacher, and I don't want to risk my family's livelihood every time I stand up against injustice or stand up for my students.

I want to be a teacher, and I want to work for someone who provides the support or resources to help me do the job.

I want to be a teacher, and I want to be treated fairly, professionally and respectfully.

I want to be a teacher, and because I cannot negotiate any of these conditions successfully as just one person, I'm joining a union so that we can work for these conditions for all of us, together.


Jason Seaman throws first pitch at Cubs game

From WTHR-TV, Indianapolis
Another moment of honor for Jason Seaman, the teacher who stopped the Noblesville West Middle School shooter.

Seaman headed out to the pitcher's mound at Wrigley Field wearing his own jersey with the number 18 on the back.

The Chicago Cubs invited Seaman to come up today to throw the first pitch and be recognized for his act of heroism back in May.


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