Monday, February 11, 2019

In Case You Missed It – Feb 11, 2019

Here are links to last week's 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.


ISTA to Lead A Statewide Rally March 9

ISTA President Teresa Meredith is calling on educators, parents and public-school advocates to rally at the Indiana Statehouse next month to advocate for increased teacher pay and funding for our public schools.

“Now is the time we demand more from our lawmakers,” said Meredith. “Now is the time for advocates of public schools to stand up. We are calling on our members and public education supporters to join together in Indianapolis for a Red for Ed Rally.”

The rally will be held at the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis on Saturday, March 9 beginning at 1 p.m. ET.


State superintendent on her exit from politics: ‘It’s follow the money on steroids’

It's good that she is speaking out on what she discovered. Here's hoping that her voice is heard.

From CBS4-Indy
"I came into it almost naive thinking we're going to look at data, we're going to listen to practitioners, we're going to listen to partners," [McCormick] said. "And what I quickly learned was follow the money."
Indiana schools superintendent rallies NWI educators to organize, contact legislators

Indiana Superintendent of Schools Jennifer McCormick called upon Northwest Indiana educators to organize and contact their elected officials in a nearly two-hour event Wednesday night at Merrillville High School.

"There is a way you can use your voice," McCormick said. "And I even think we're underusing it. There's power in numbers."


A new plan could drop test scores and graduation rates from Indiana high school grades

This might sound good on the surface, but where is the transparency in the plan to replace the rating systems? And do we need to be suspicious that whatever rating systems might be up the legislators’ sleeves will favor charter and private schools?

From Chalkbeat
Indiana Republicans want to give the state education board the power to drop state tests and graduation rates from high school ratings — controversial metrics that some critics have long said don’t tell the full story.

The bill, debated Wednesday in the House Education Committee, would dramatically change the high school measuring stick to look more like the state’s new graduation requirements and recommendations from Gov. Eric Holcomb’s panel on workforce development. The bill doesn’t spell out exactly how the state could measure post-high school preparedness, giving the board wiggle room to decide on its own.


Bill Phillis: Stop Wasting Money on Charter Schools and Fund Real Public Schools

From Diane Ravitch
The charter industry is notorious for outrageous high cost leasing arrangements that take funds away from charter classrooms. If charters receive more funding for facilities, much of it will be layered on top of the huge profits collected by charter facility companies allied with charter management companies.

Until charters are required to follow the same laws and rules as school districts, not one dime more should be provided to charters for facilities or any other purpose.


ALEC and Corporate Reformers Make It Hard for Teachers to Cement Gains from Last Year’s Strikes

From Jan Resseger
Why wouldn’t lawmakers support the teachers’ actions which were widely popular— supported by parents and citizens who stood with their communities’ teachers. In every one of last year’s walkouts as well as the recent strike in Los Angeles, teachers highlighted the need for better funding to support adequate staffing of schools—smaller classes and the presence of essential professionals like counselors, school nurses, and librarians. What is motivating members of state legislatures to retaliate?

To answer this question, we must turn to The One Percent Solution (2017) by political economist Gordon Lafer for a reminder about the role of a corporate agenda across America’s statehouses: “Above all, the corporate agenda is coordinated through the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)… ALEC, the most important national organization advancing the corporate agenda at the state level, brings together two thousand member legislators (one-quarter of all state lawmakers, including many state senate presidents and House Speakers) and the country’s largest corporations to formulate and promote business-friendly legislation… (I)t convenes bill-drafting committees… in which ‘both corporations and legislators have a voice and a vote in shaping policy.'” (The One Percent Solution, pp. 12-13)


Tech's education accreditation bid denied

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
Up to 40 Indiana Tech education students are in a bind after a national organization denied an accreditation request.

The university's School of Education applied for the status from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, or CAEP.

As a result of the denial, the Indiana Department of Education alerted the Fort Wayne college that it will be unable to license graduates to teach in Indiana after this academic year, university spokesman Brian Engelhart said Tuesday. He noted it doesn't affect this year's graduates.

Indiana Tech also cannot accept new education students for the fall, nor is it scheduling or promoting education classes for that semester, Engelhart said.


Keep educators in charge of education policy

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
It is safe to say neither our governor nor our legislators were elected because of their views on education.

Now, in those back rooms, they are attempting to strip voters of one of the most grassroots institutions still available to them. They have passed a law that further distances voters from their ability to direct the course of one of their community's most fundamental institutions: public education.

They now deny voters the right to elect the state superintendent of public instruction; instead, the governor will be appointing one.

This is wrong on a number of levels, as we can see from the past two elections for state superintendent.


Cory Booker has been an ed reform favorite. That could be a problem for his 2020 campaign.

Saying that "His vision for education has looked a lot like Barack Obama’s..." doesn't really help.

From Chalkbeat
On Friday, Booker vowed to run “the boldest pro-public school teacher campaign there is,” noting he’s previously been endorsed by his state’s teachers unions.

But at a time when teachers across the country are pushing for higher salaries and against charter schools, Booker’s record on education is sure to draw a skeptical eye from unions and public school advocates. And his past work alongside Betsy DeVos may make its way into campaign attack ads from his Democratic opponents, even though he voted against her as education secretary.


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