Monday, December 17, 2018

In Case You Missed It – Dec 17, 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.

*NOTE: The In Case You Missed It series will not post again until January 7, 2019. In the meantime, follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest national and Indiana education news.


Tentative contract includes big raises for IPS teachers

IPS doing something right! Maybe our legislators will take the hint for the rest of the state?

From Chalkbeat
A month after voters approved a vast funding increase for Indianapolis Public Schools, Superintendent Lewis Ferebee’s administration and the district teachers union have reached a tentative deal for a new contract that would boost teacher pay by an average of 6.3 percent.

The agreement was ratified by union members Wednesday, according to a statement from teachers union president Ronald Swann. It must be approved by the Indianapolis Public Schools board, which is likely to consider the contract next week, before it is final.

Swann did not provide details of the agreement, but it was outlined in union presentations to teachers on Wednesday ahead of the ratification vote. The deal would cover the 2018-19 school year, and teachers would receive retroactive pay back to July 2018. The prior contract ended in June.

Good News: Kentucky Supreme Court Strikes Down Pension Bill That Provoked Teacher Protests

From Diane Ravitch
If you recall, thousands of Kentucky teachers walked out last spring and rallied at the State Capitol to protest Governor Matt Bevin’s pension plan, which bottom line eliminated defined benefit pensions for new teachers.

That bill passed in the middle of the night, tucked into a sewer bill.

The Kentucky Supreme Court just struck it down.

As Indiana’s teacher pay debate heats up, some lawmakers say schools spend too much outside the classroom

Legislators blaming everyone but themselves and their "choice"-happy, money wasting friends.

From Chalkbeat
Facing a tight budget year and widespread calls for teacher pay raises, some Indiana politicians are questioning whether school districts are spending too little of the funding that they already receive in the classroom and too much on administration.

The lawmakers point to statistics from the Office of Management and Budget showing that 57 percent of the $11.9 billion state dollars schools spent in 2016 were used in the classroom. And a report using data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows personnel hiring across the country has dramatically outpaced enrollment, with non-teacher hiring dwarfing that of full-time teachers.

Teacher pay tops union’s legislative agenda

From School Matters
Indiana educators watched quietly last spring as teachers in West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Arizona staged rallies, protests and even walkouts for higher pay. Look for that to change next month when the Indiana General Assembly convenes for its biennial budget-writing session.

The Indiana State Teachers Association released its 2019 legislative agenda Monday, and boosting teacher pay is at the top of its priority list.

Top Indiana teachers union tells governor that Hoosier educators need pay raises now

From, The Times
Teresa Meredith, president of the Indiana State Teachers Association, said Monday the multiyear study proposed last week by the Republican chief executive would only reveal what she said most Hoosiers already know: "Teachers need to be valued, respected and paid as professionals."

"Elected leaders must do more to declare teacher compensation a priority in this session," Meredith said. "This issue can't wait. We expect action in 2019.

"Many teachers have gone as many as 10 years without a meaningful pay increase, all while facing increased insurance costs, paying for their own classroom supplies and taking on second and third jobs just to make ends meet."


The Spice Girls Get Married!

When the Universe Speaks

Two of NEIFPE's founding members tie the knot. Celebration!

From Kind of a Big Dill and Diane Ravitch

The quote below is from Diane Ravitch's blog.
As readers of this blog know, Phyllis Bush writes regularly about her ongoing battle with cancer, which she derisively calls “cancer schmanzer.” In recent months, she got a colostomy bag (“Sherlock”), and she has had some rough bouts but kept her determination and humor.

Today, she has an announcement to make. She and her best friend Donna Roof got married. Since this happened on the spur of the moment, they relied on former students (an attorney and judge) to set the wheels in motion, fast.

Blessings and congratulations to the happy couple!

They live in Indiana.

Hey, Mike Pence, eat your heart out!


Betsy DeVos gets bad reviews from employees as morale at Education Department plummets, survey finds

US Education Department employees are, apparently, just as demoralized about Betsy DeVos's policies as are the rest of us!

From The Answer Sheet
Over the past year, career department employees have privately complained about DeVos’s leadership, saying their expertise has been ignored by her political appointees to top jobs. And they have expressed opposition to many of the positions she has taken. DeVos rolled back Obama-era civil rights protections for some marginalized students and made it easier for for-profit colleges to operate. DeVos has also limited the ability of employees to work from home and fought with the department’s union.

File Under: From Your Mouth To God’s Ears

From Sheila Kennedy
Trump’s cabinet–with a combined net worth estimated at $14 Billion–is filled with appointees chosen mainly for their deep antagonism to the missions of the agencies they head. (Total ignorance of the matters under the agencies’ jurisdiction is a plus.) But even in that pathetic assembly, DeVos stands out.

Hostility to public education? Check. Lack of even the slightest understanding of education policy debates? Check. Devotion to her fellow plutocrats who are making fortunes by ripping off students and taxpayers? Check. Total lack of respect, regard or concern for the students DOE supposedly serves? Check.

Six Ways Betsy DeVos Gets Teachers’ Unions Wrong

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has never worked in a public school, never attended a public school, and never send her children to public schools. How does she know anything about public school teachers?

From Peter Greene in The Progressive
...DeVos likes to toss in the “teachers care more about their jobs than children” line, one of the most insulting points reformsters use, as if teachers entered the profession strictly for the fame, glory, and riches. If it needs to be said again, I’ll do it: High stakes testing is bad for children. Bad teacher assessment systems are bad for children. Sending one child to a private school at taxpayer expense while simultaneously stripping resources from the school that nine other children still attend—that’s bad for children. Stripping teachers of job protections strips them of their ability to stand up for their students—and that’s bad for children. Teachers have opposed reformy policies because those policies are bad for children.


FL: DeSantis Tabs Team To Crush Public Ed

From Curmudgucation
There's Jennifer Sullivan, the 27-year-old homeschooled college drop out (and we're talking Liberty University here) who will be head of the House education committee. There's the longtime grifter and profiteer who, now term-limited out of the legislature, is looking for a new job and has been lined up for education chief (here's another take on just how bad Corcoran is). Both of those have been widely noted.

But for a further sign of how badly DeSantis wants to cut up public education and sell off the parts, just look at his education transition team. This will take a bit, but you need to see the full picture.

Betsy DeVos, Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill Gates want your kid’s school to close

From Jeremy Mohler
It goes without saying that closing a school is disruptive to students. When charter schools close, many students return to their neighborhood schools and struggle to catch up. Dislocated students are less likely to graduate. A 2013 study found that school closures have contributed to Chicago’s high rate of youth incarceration.

But disruption is exactly what the likes of DeVos, Zuckerberg, and Gates want. They want public education to be like a marketplace, where private boards can decide whether they listen to parents or not, large corporate-like chains like KIPP and Rocketship dominate, and schools open and close overnight in a constant churn of “innovation.”


Montana Supreme Court Says Tuition Tax Credits (Vouchers) Are Unconstitutional

From Diane Ravitch
Great news!

The Montana Supreme Court declared a law unconstitutional that was intended to offer tuition tax credits (aka vouchers) for private schools.


Indiana students’ scores lag after transferring to charter schools, new study shows

The state continues to drain tax revenue from public schools to pay for vouchers and privately run charters. Does this help students?

From Chalkbeat
Researchers from the Indiana University School of Education-Indianapolis examined four years of English and math ISTEP scores for 1,609 Indiana elementary and middle school students who were in a traditional public school in 2011 and transferred to a charter school in 2012. The main findings were that students who transferred had lower math and English score gains during the first year or two in their new school than if they had stayed in a district school.

The researchers were able to draw the conclusion by using a type of statistical analysis that enabled them to compare students’ actual score gains at the charter school to potential gains had they not transferred from a traditional school.

But for the students who stayed in charter schools for three years or more, some of those gaps disappeared, and students caught up with where they would have been if they hadn’t transferred. Both of these results — the dip in score gains after transferring and the increase over time — are consistent with other studies, researchers said.

Charter School Lobby Silent as Charter Teachers Continue Strike

From GadflyonthewallBlog
You’d think the charter cheerleaders – the folks who lobby for this type of school above every other type – would have something to say.

But no.

They are conspicuously silent.

I wonder why.

Could it be that this is not what they imagined when they pushed for schools to be privately run but publicly financed?

Could it be that they never intended workers at these schools to have any rights?

Could it be that small class size – one of the main demands of teachers at the 15 Acero schools – was never something these policymakers intended?

It certainly seems so.


Purdue board boosts possible bonus pay for Daniels

When he was the Indiana Governor, Mitch Daniels appointed members of the Purdue Board of Trustees. Now they're paying him back.

Purdue University President Mitch Daniels will be eligible for nearly $280,000 in bonus pay and a $250,000 retention payment for this school year.

...Daniels will have $430,000 in base salary for the 2018-19 school year, with total possible pay of $959,500. Daniels was paid $830,000 last year, including $210,000 in bonus money.


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