Monday, October 15, 2018

In Case You Missed It – Oct 15, 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.


Purdue awards Daniels $210K in bonuses, bringing total pay to $830K

From the Indiana Business Journal
Purdue University says trustees have approved $210,000 in bonuses for President Mitch Daniels for meeting goals in fundraising, student success and other areas, bringing his 2018 compensation to $830,000.

The Lafayette Journal & Courier reports that the total figure represents an 8 percent increase over his previous year's compensation of $769,500. It includes a $200,000 retention bonus.


Additional layer of safety: Area schools avail selves of technology

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
A new state-funded program has ensured nearly every public school district is equipped with a security tool parents support: metal detectors.

After two rounds of orders, 410 school entities have requested 3,434 of the handheld devices, which were offered at no cost to schools. Schools could request one detector per 250 students.


The Foundational Fallacy Of Charter Schools

From Peter Greene in Forbes
You cannot run multiple school districts for the same amount of money you used to spend to operate just one.

This really should not come as a surprise to anyone. When was the last time you heard of a business of any sort saying, "The money is getting tight, and we need to tighten our belts. So let's open up some new facilities."

Opening up charter schools can only drive up the total cost of educating students within a system, for several reasons.


The ‘toxic’ politics behind McCormick’s decision to reject a second term as Indiana schools chief

From Chalkbeat
“I knew the political environment was toxic between the (education department) and the governor’s office,” McCormick said in an interview with Chalkbeat, alluding to battles between Ritz and then-Gov. Mike Pence. “I thought there would be more of a willingness to address it, and do that in a manner that mirrored what I was used to in a professional, transparent, respectful manner.”

But McCormick’s splashy statements seem to have landed with a thud. The lawmakers that she was taking to task — as well as state board of education members and governor’s office staff from her own party — either won’t publicly discuss her criticism or claim they’re confused by it. And if, as she said, McCormick is stepping aside to have more of an effect on education policy, it’s unclear if calling out her fellow Republicans will make it harder for her to achieve that.


No name change to Purdue University Fort Wayne diplomas

The diplomas are staying the same at Purdue University Fort Wayne. That's the word from Purdue University's President, Mitch Daniels.

"The Board of Trustees have heard us, and they are leaving the diplomas as they are,” says Purdue University Fort Wayne’s Chancellor, Ron Elsenbaumer.

The announcement coming nearly an hour after a student planned protest about the name change to Purdue Fort Wayne's diplomas


Dysfunction and politics became a distraction, superintendent says

From Steve Hinnefeld in School Matters
The superintendent is, by statute, a member of the State Board of Education, but McCormick clashed with other members as they pushed to implement new high-school graduation requirements despite concerns voiced by educators and tried to make late changes in the Department of Education’s plan for complying with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. The last straw for McCormick may have been a behind-the-scenes effort to have the superintendent be appointed by the governor, not elected by the people, starting in 2020.

Gov. Eric Holcomb and Republicans in the Indiana House tried to enact such a law in 2017, but they lacked the votes to approve the change in the Senate. They settled for a compromise that would make the position appointed starting in 2024, potentially giving McCormick two elected terms in office.

They may have thought that, with a Republican superintendent, they could keep pushing an agenda of expanded school choice via vouchers and charter schools. But McCormick, a former Yorktown Community Schools superintendent, has been a forceful advocate for public schools. She has criticized Indiana’s voucher program and called for more oversight of charter schools and their authorizers. Recently, she has suggested that private schools that receive voucher funding shouldn’t discriminate on the basis of religion, sexual orientation or gender identity — and many do.


Fort Wayne Community Schools preparing students for life after high school

From WPTA-21
Middle and High School students in the Fort Wayne Community schools system can participate in a free program to prepare for life after high school.

Fort Wayne Community Schools is offering a free, four-week program for middle and high school students. During the programs, students can learn more about preparing for college and future careers, understanding financial literacy and developing a well-rounded portfolio.


Experts call for an end to online preschool programs

From The Hechinger Report
Research shows that children who have access to high-quality preschool reap benefits. They are more likely to graduate from high school and are less likely to be held back. Children who lack access to quality preschool “are often the target of these online programs,” according to the statement. In today’s statement, the advocacy groups claim that students who receive an online education in lieu of a high-quality in-person program are at even more of a risk of being left behind their peers. Diane Levin, a professor of early childhood education at Boston University’s Wheelock College and co-founder of Defending the Early Years, said it may seem as if children are learning from online programs, but it’s a “rote” kind of learning. “Young children learn best when they have hands-on, concrete real experiences with the world,” Levin said. “The more in-depth the learning from that is … the more solid the foundation is so that when they get older, they can move on to the next stages of cognitive development.”


The fight for teacher raises and 4 other takeaways from our IPS referendum forum

Actually, the biggest take-away from all this is that we need legislators and school board members who support PUBLIC education.

From Chalkbeat
“It’s difficult when we attempt to send a student to go have a conversation with a counselor and the counselor is too busy, overwhelmed,” said Vazquez, an English as a new language teacher at Arsenal Technical High School, which she said is struggling to serve students who transferred in when the district closed three other campuses last year. “We need more counselors. Our teachers need smaller class sizes.”

Vazquez was one of five panelists gathered Thursday for a forum hosted by Chalkbeat, WFYI, the Indianapolis Recorder, and the Indianapolis Public Library to discuss two tax measures on the ballot in November aimed at raising more money for the school system. One referendum would raise $220 million to pay for operating expenses. The second measure would raise $52 million for building improvements.

The panel also featured IPS Board President Michael O’Connor, IPS chief financial officer Weston Young, Indy Chamber chief policy officer Mark Fisher, and Purdue University professor Larry DeBoer.


State committee chooses 8 measures to alert if a school district is in fiscal trouble

"Will these same indicators be used to monitor charters and private voucher schools? Does the state even require them to submit such data? They get your tax money too." -- Julia Hollingsworth

The financial status of all Indiana school corporations is poised to be evaluated next year using eight measures that are intended to indicate whether the district may require state assistance or intervention.

House Enrolled Act 1315 directed the Distressed Unit Appeals Board to establish a Fiscal and Qualitative Indicators Committee charged with identifying which financial conditions at a school corporation should trigger a closer look by DUAB.

The committee unanimously approved eight primary fiscal indicators Thursday, along with a host of demographic and other secondary variables, that it believes will signal to DUAB that a school district is in, or heading toward, financial distress.


North Carolina: State Superintendent Goes ALEC

From Diane Ravitch

Referring to The “Department of Private Interest” – DPI’s Transformation Under Mark Johnson

From Caffeinated Rage
Public education in North Carolina receives the highest amount of money in the state budget each year. It’s supposed to. It’s literally in the state constitution. How it goes about funding public education is a process that involves numerous checks and balances to ensure fairness.

But those checks and balances have been removed somewhat by a super-majority in the NCGA elected in a gerrymandered manner that has allowed for the greatest expenditure in the state budget to be a more open coffer for private entities to profit from.

And it’s certainly changing DPI from a public service agency to a haven of private interests.


Word Choices Can Feed Bias

From Sheila Kennedy
Roncalli has received more than $6.5 million in public money over the past five years through Indiana’s most-expansive-in-the-nation school voucher program.

The issue is simple: should public dollars–which come from all Hoosiers, including gay and lesbian taxpayers–support schools that discriminate against some of those Hoosiers?

I would argue that taxpayer dollars ought not support private–and especially religious– schools at all, but that is an argument for another day. In any event, I found the Star’s headline offensive. By characterizing McCormick’s proposed standards for receipt of public dollars as “strings,” it strongly suggested that an unnecessarily picky bureaucracy was trying to make it difficult for religious schools to participate in Indiana’s voucher program. It utterly trivialized a very important issue, which is the use of public money to subsidize discrimination.


No comments: