Monday, April 22, 2019

In Case You Missed It – Apr 22, 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.


New ILEARN standardized test set to launch

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
As early as Monday, elementary and middle school students statewide will face Indiana's standardized test – but it won't be ISTEP+.

They will instead demonstrate their smarts through ILEARN, the new online assessment that should, state education officials say, adapt to students' knowledge and produce results quicker.

“It is actually pretty exciting with a lot of new changes to it,” said Adam Baker, Indiana Department of Education spokesman.

ILEARN stands for Indiana's Learning Evaluation Readiness Network.

DOE: New assessment is ‘not ISTEP 2.0’

From School Matters
State officials also tout the fact that ILEARN was developed with help from Indiana educators, including classroom teachers. Committees that included about 500 educators have been involved, Flores said. Another improvement, ILEARN will take less time than ISTEP; up to two hours less at each grade level.


In city stop, schools chief urges public to be a voice

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
McCormick spoke for about an hour, sharing information about student demographics and why 35% of teachers leave the profession within five years.

“They're leaving it because of pay and working conditions,” McCormick said. “For us to act like the pay doesn't matter ... pay has a lot to do with this.”

She wasn't optimistic about the current legislative session.

“I think our vouchers are going to be big winners this session, and I think our charters are going to be decent winners this session,” McCormick said. “Our public schools, I'm still very, very concerned about.”

NEIFPE recording of Superintendent McCormick's presentation.

Indiana State Superintendent talks education legislation at Ivy Tech visitFrom WANE. com
[McCormick] said the decisions regarding school safety should be left to the local level, but does not support arming teachers.

"I'm not in favor of the let's arm every teacher and hope for the best. I think that's very irresponsible. That's not the way Indiana should go," said McCormick.


Guns Headed For The Classroom

Our Hoosier legislature demonstrated today that they do NOT care about your children. Look up who voted to invite violence into our schools today and remember to vote them out next election.

From Curmudgucation
Of all the bad ideas.

I know there are folks who believe in their heart of hearts that arming teachers will make schools safer, or that putting armed police in the building will be helpful. But there are so many bad signs.

I want to believe that school resource officers can be helpful. Earlier this month, a school shooting was likely averted just up the road because students at the school felt comfortable enough with the SRO to turn in the students who were planning the attack.

But when I see stories like the one of the Chicago cops dragging a sixteen year old student down a flight of stairs, or see the video of a Florida cop body slamming an eleven-year-old, I have to conclude that sooner or later, some child is going to be killed in school.


Less funds available for budget

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
Lawmakers will have to adjust their budget priorities by about $100 million following an updated revenue forecast Wednesday.

The analysis shows tax collections growing but at slower rates than initially forecast in December – a drop of about $30 million in revenue.

On top of that, an updated Medicaid forecast shows increased net expenses of about $65 million.

That equals about $100 million in changes to a $34.6 billion budget expected to be approved next week.


National report downgrades Indiana for excluding some families from pre-K vouchers

One more way that our Hoosier legislators have let down the children of this state. When will we stop them?

From Chalkbeat
An annual national report on preschool dumped Indiana from this year’s rankings, excluding the state’s fledging On My Way Pre-K program because of a controversial requirement that bars some families in need from signing up.

In order to qualify for Indiana’s prekindergarten vouchers, income-eligible parents must also be working, attending school, or seeking a job. Local early education advocates often tout the workforce benefits of Indiana’s pre-K program, which they say helps many parents maintain or seek jobs while their children are in school.

But that means “the primary purpose is not education,” said Steve Barnett, senior co-director of the National Institute for Early Education Research. Instead, the organization deems On My Way Pre-K to be a child care program.


Why this South Carolina teacher quit mid-year: 'The unrealistic demands and all-consuming nature of the profession are not sustainable’

From the Answer Sheet
“I always joked that teaching was two full-time jobs. One was actually teaching, and the more time-consuming one was all the extra that comes with it.”


Betsy DeVos and Payday for the Charter Industry!

From Diane Ravitch
Eva got $9.8 million from her friend Betsy.

KIPP will secure a total of $86 million over five years for its San Francisco operations.

IDEA in Texas scores $116 million over five years!

Despite the report from the Network for Public Education showing that 1/3 of the grants by the federal Charter Schools Program are awarded to schools that never open or that close soon after opening, the money keeps flowing.


Bernie: Still Clueless About Charters

From Diane Ravitch
...this is point one:

We must make sure that charter schools are truly serving the needs of disadvantaged children.
This ignores the fact that charter schools are not public schools. They are privately managed. They are free to choose their students and free to expel those they don’t want.

This ignores the fact that the NAACP called for a charter moratorium. The ACLU of Southern California criticized charters for discriminating against and excluding students with disabilities and ELLS. The Southern Poverty Law Center filed suit against charters in Mississippi for seeking to divert public funds from public schools, contrary to the state constitution.


Armed teacher bill OK'd

“There should never be a gun in a classroom, never,” said Sen. Greg Taylor, D-Indianapolis. “This is a bad bill. We are going to be on the wrong side of history.”

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
All teachers authorized to carry guns in school would be forced to first undergo a personality screening and take firearms training under a bill that passed the Senate 32-14 on Tuesday.

School districts already can allow teachers to carry under state law. But House Bill 1253 goes another step and requires 38 hours of specialized weapons training to do so, as well as recurring training each year.

The personality inventory is meant to weed out teachers or staffers who might not have the right temperament to carry a firearm in school.


Indiana education advocates demand boost to school funding, teacher pay at Statehouse rally

“You get what you vote for,” she said. “You need to elect people and hold us accountable.” -- Supt. McCormick

From Chalkbeat
For many teachers, low pay means either working two jobs or leaving the profession altogether, said Teresa Meredith, president of the Indiana State Teachers Association.

Either way, she said lower pay correlates to higher teacher turnover and “at the end of the day, our kids suffer,” she said.

The rally also touched on controversial discussions taking place in the Statehouse that have drawn backlash from many teachers, such as whether projectiles should be allowed during active shooter drills and whether to prevent schools from being “gun-free zones.


Melinda Gates Achieves Peak Epic Cluelessness

This rich lady wants to experiment on your children. Are you ok with that? Do riches automatically instill educational experience and knowledge??

From Curmudgucation
Melinda Gates seems like a nice lady who means well, but her recent interview at the New York Times Magazine is a master class in how living in a very wealthy bubble can leave you out of touch with the rest of the world and an understanding of your place in it.

It starts in the very first paragraph.

“There are absolutely different points of view about philanthropy,” says Melinda Gates, who, along with her husband Bill, heads the charitable foundation that bears their name, aimed at increasing global health and reducing poverty. Its endowment, at $50.7 billion, is the largest in the world. “But we’re lucky to live in a democracy, where we can all envision what we want things to look like.”

Well, we can all envision what we want things to look like, and then become in a political process to support and elect leaders who then work within a democratic-ish government to pursue that vision. Only a few of us can use our vast wealth to completely circumvent the entire democratic process to impose our vision on the rest of the world.


Congress Should Defund the Charter Schools Program and Invest the Money in Title I and IDEA

From Jan Resseger
The Network for Public Education published its scathing report on the federal Charter Schools Program three weeks ago, but as time passes, I continue to reflect on its conclusions. The report, Asleep at the Wheel: How the Federal Charter Schools Program Recklessly Takes Taxpayers and Students for a Ride, is packed with details about failed or closed or never-opened charter schools. The Network for Public Education depicts a program driven by neoliberal politicians hoping to spark innovation in a marketplace of unregulated startups underwritten by the federal government. The record of this 25 year federal program is dismal.


Arne Duncan Makes Me Want To Punch Myself In The Brain

All was not well in the pre-Betsy era, and all is not well in our state legislature either.

From Curmudgucation
For my money, while Betsy DeVos is a truly awful and unqualified Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan inflicted far more actual damage on the US public education system. Duncan owes the students, teachers, and parents of the US a huge apology. But we're never going to get it; he'll just keep saying things that we used to say to him in an attempt to get him to realize the wrongness of his policies, only he's never going to connect the dots. He'll just smile that derpy grin, head off to his next cushy edu-guru gig, cash some more checks, and never actually see all the destruction he caused. All that and periodically raising my blood pressure.


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