Sunday, February 17, 2019

In Case You Missed It – Feb 18, 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.


Why Donald Trump Jr.’s ‘loser teachers’ comment was ‘a chilling moment’ for educators around the world

This article is behind a paywall. You can find it reprinted HERE.

From The Answer Sheet
You may recall that President Trump held a border wall rally in El Paso on Monday and that his eldest child, Donald Trump Jr., made a speech that roused the crowd.

The president’s son drew cheers when he urged young conservatives to “bring it to your schools” (though he didn’t say exactly what “it” was) because “you don’t have to be indoctrinated by these loser teachers that are trying to sell you on socialism from birth.”

The comment drew response on social media from teachers and others who don’t see educators in the same way as he does, with the hashtag #loserteachers...

In this post, three teachers explain why Trump Jr.'s comment was more than simply mean.

Jelmer Evers of the Netherlands, Michael Soskil of the United States and Armand Doucet of Canada were featured authors in the 2018 book “Teaching in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Standing at the Precipice.”


Are Hoosier teachers underpaid?

From School Matters
A report from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis suggests they are underpaid. After adjusting for cost of living, Indiana teacher salaries rank 32nd among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, it says.

The average “real” salary for a Hoosier teacher in 2017 was $56,347 after adjusting for the state’s low cost of living. Adjusted average salaries ranged from $75,000 in Alaska to $46,230 in Oklahoma.

Significantly, Indiana’s adjusted average salary was well below that for teachers in surrounding states.


As pay debate plods on, Indiana teachers unions want more. Will they walk out?

Would you support teachers in Indiana standing up for themselves and for their profession?

From Chalkbeat
The idea of setting aside significant sums for teacher pay often gets met with “glazed-over reactions,” Sloan said, “or they smile and nod their heads. But I don’t hear anyone saying we’re going to make this happen.”

Some teachers accuse lawmakers of damaging the teaching profession through past laws that weakened unions’ bargaining powers, handed down testing mandates, and hinged teacher evaluations on student test scores. Lawmakers, they point out, also determine education spending levels, deciding to fund public schools mostly through the state, capping local property taxes, and sending public education dollars to charter schools and private school vouchers.


Extra arts education boosts students’ writing scores — and their compassion, big new study finds

What a shame that the legislators we’ve voted for have stolen the funds that would provide more arts in our public schools and given those dollars to private groups instead.

From Chalkbeat
When you’re the big fish, it’s not OK to pick on the little fish just because you can.

That’s an important lesson for everyone. But some Houston first-graders got a particularly vivid demonstration in the form of a musical puppet show, which featured fish puppets and an underlying message about why it’s wrong to bully others.

The show left an impression on the students at Codwell Elementary, according to their teacher Shelea Bennett. “You felt like you were in that story,” she said. “By the end of the story they were able to answer why [bullying] wasn’t good, and why you shouldn’t act this way.”

The puppeteer’s show was part of an effort to expand arts education in Houston elementary and middle schools. Now, a new study shows that the initiative helped students in a few ways: boosting students’ compassion for their classmates, lowering discipline rates, and improving students’ scores on writing tests.


State lawmakers nix proposal for private schools to follow bullying rules

From RTV6-Indianapolis
State lawmakers on Monday nixed a proposal that would have required private schools, or any school that accepts state funding, to have the same types of rules against bullying as public schools.

Rep. Greg Porter, D-Indianapolis, filed an amendment to House Bill 1640 that would require nonpublic schools to prohibit bullying and implement a protocol for investigating bullying including a method for anonymous reporting of bullying incidents, timetables for informing the parents and other parties like law enforcement, and support services for the bully and the victim.

The amendment would have allowed the Indiana Department of Education to review the bullying policies at any school that accepts state funding or financial assistance.


Gary Roosevelt students have stayed home for weeks due to the school's failing boiler system

Would this ever happen in a wealthy community?

From the Chicago Tribune
A failing boiler system that left the school without heat for more than two weeks will keep the Gary Roosevelt College and Career Academy closed indefinitely while officials scramble to assess the cost of the repairs and who will pay for them. Students haven’t been in school since Jan. 25.

Meanwhile, Roosevelt students in grades 7-12 will begin classes Thursday at the Gary Area Career Center. In September, a school official said Roosevelt’s enrollment was 568.


Indiana lawmakers want to help teachers learn how to shoot guns

A state lawmaker has a controversial approach to keeping kids safe at school.

He wants teachers to learn how to use a gun.

The state representative from Seymour said his bill would not require teachers to take handgun training but would allow the school district to tap into state money to pay for that training.

A year ago this week, a gunman killed 17 students and staff members at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

In May, a teenager shot a student and teacher inside Noblesville West Middle School.

"This gives the teachers, the staff, the school employee the ability to protect themselves in the horrible event of a school shooting," said Republican state Rep. Jim Lucas.

Bill to provide firearms training for Indiana teachers passes in committee

From CBS4-Indianapolis
Should Indiana teachers carry guns in the classroom?

It’s a question that comes with strong opinions on both sides. Now Indiana is one step closer to giving teachers that option.

“When evil comes calling at the classroom door it has to be met head on with people who are armed and trained,” said high school teacher Aron Bright.


Study: Inclusion benefits special-needs students

From School Matters
A new study from researchers at Indiana University provides strong evidence that students with special needs do better academically when they are placed in general-education classrooms, not separated in self-contained special education classes.


What’s wrong with charter schools? The picture in California*

From Teaching Malinche
– Guest post created by a longtime Northern California parent volunteer education advocate

• Charter schools take resources away from the public schools, harming public schools and their students. All charter schools do this – whether they’re opportunistic and for-profit or presenting themselves as public, progressive and enlightened.

• Charter schools are free to pick and choose and exclude or kick out any student they want. They’re not supposed to, but in real life there’s no enforcement. Many impose demanding application processes, or use mandatory “intake counseling,” or require work hours or financial donations from families – so that only the children of motivated, supportive, compliant families get in. Charter schools publicly deny this, but within many charter schools, the selectivity is well known and viewed as a benefit. Admittedly, families in those schools like that feature – with the more challenging students kept out of the charter – but it’s not fair or honest, and it harms public schools and their students.


Angie Sullivan: “Reform” in Nevada is Teacher-Hatred

From Diane Ravitch
I think the Nevada State School Board is moving in the wrong direction and causing a lot of issues in CCSD.

My priority would NOT be reform.

Reform is code for: HATE THE TEACHER.

It does not work and it makes us mad.

Reform is “teacher hate” bought by millionaire and billionaire eduphilantrophists. It is also known as union busting. We do not need another well-funded group that hates the people in the classroom. You have abused us for a couple of decades and nearly ruined your school system. Enough.


Eric Blanc: Cory Booker Hates Public Schools

From Diane Ravitch
For close to two decades, Cory Booker has been at the forefront of a nationwide push to dismantle public education.

According to Booker, the education system is the main cause of our society’s fundamental problems, rather than, say, inequality and unchecked corporate power. As he explained in a 2011 speech, “disparities in income in America are not because of some ‘greedy capitalist’ — no! It’s because of a failing education system.”

Public schools, Booker continued, are also responsible for mass incarceration and racial injustice. To combat such evils, Booker has openly praised Republican leader Betsy DeVos’s organization American Federation for Children for fighting to win the final battle of the civil rights’ movement.


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