Monday, April 29, 2019

In Case You Missed It – Apr 29, 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.


Public's help is vital in ending teachers' plight

Parents and public school advocates need to help teachers in their work. Supporting your local schools is more than bake sales and PTA fund-raisers. It's also contacting legislators and policy makers at the local, state and federal level.

From Letters to the Editor in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
Most legislators in my area have voted against public education by restricting our funding, limiting our ability to protect classroom conditions and funding private schools through vouchers. They aren't listening to teachers, administrators and superintendents anymore.

We need you to help support teachers. If you believe we are doing what we need to do to get your child ready for life after graduation, help us.

Vote for legislators who defend public education. Contact your legislators and ask them to support public education. Wear red on Wednesdays and announce on social media why. Encourage people to get involved. That is all we ask for.


Parents' priority: Standing up for public schools when lawmakers won't

A number of Indiana legislators believe that anything the government does is bad. It doesn't matter that the Indiana Constitution requires the support of a system of public schools. Privatization is the goal.

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
A budget reflects your priorities. When they can find increases for vouchers and charter schools, schools that don't have to accept and educate all children, but they can't find a meager increase of 3% annually to add to the budget of true public schools, clearly state legislators do not prioritize public education, our kids or our teachers. When they would rather pay for firearms training than pay for social workers, nurses and enough teachers to keep class sizes down, we know it's not a priority.

Washington Township Teachers Push For More Funding, No Guns In Schools

Legislators don't listen to teachers. They don't listen to parents. Who do they listen to?

From WFYI Indianapolis
Teachers at Westlane Middle School in Washington Township rallied this morning in a last minute push to convince lawmakers to raise teacher salaries.


Matt Barnum: New Research Shows Vouchers Do Lasting Damage to Student Achievement in Math

First they said that vouchers were to help poor children of color "escape" "failing" public schools. Once they learned that vouchers wouldn't solve the deeper societal problems of poverty they changed the purpose of vouchers to "choice." Now, Indiana's voucher system is a private school entitlement for white middle class families.

Schools that accept vouchers are no better than public schools and they drain tax dollars from the public treasury for the support of religious organizations.

From Diane Ravitch
New research on a closely watched school voucher program finds that it hurts students’ math test scores — and that those scores don’t bounce back, even years later.

That’s the grim conclusion of the latest study, released Tuesday, looking at Louisiana students who used a voucher to attend a private school. It echoes research out of Indiana, Ohio, and Washington, D.C. showing that vouchers reduce students’ math test scores and keep them down for two years or more.

Together, they rebut some initial research suggesting that the declines in test scores would be short-lived, diminishing a common talking point for voucher proponents.


IPS hoped lawmakers would help them sell Broad Ripple. The final bill has a catch.

Money and politics win again. Who loses? Indianapolis kids and neighborhoods. Looks like a deal has been successfully manipulated to both make money and to give the unneeded second Purdue Polytechnic a home. Must be great to have legislators in your pocket.

From Chalkbeat
The bill could pave the way for charter network Purdue Polytechnic, which has the backing of former Governor Mitch Daniels, to locate its second campus at the site. Since the charter school has opened a temporary location about a quarter mile from Broad Ripple, it would fall within the area governed by the provision allowing a nearby charter to pay half the market rate for facilities in the building if sold on the private market.

After years of rapid growth, only one new innovation school will open in Indianapolis next year

This article about IPS innovation schools would be great to use to teach students how to read between the lines.

From Chalkbeat
A nationally watched and controversial strategy that has transformed Indianapolis Public Schools appears to be slowing down.

The state’s largest district has added an average of five schools each year since 2015 to its network of independent innovation schools. But next fall, just one new school will join the innovation network.

This doesn’t necessarily mean innovation schools, which are managed by outside organizations such as charters schools, have fallen out of favor among district leaders. But some observers question whether Indianapolis Public Schools’ current state of uncertainty may explain why it is being less aggressive.

Indianapolis: The Purpose of School Choice is to Destroy Communities, Which Endangers Us All

From Diane Ravitch
My point is that charter and innovation schools help destroy community, which according to sociological research can lead to increased violence.


Here are Indiana’s subject areas with the greatest teacher shortages

In a market economy the cost for scarce resources -- in this case, public school teachers -- increases. The Indiana General Assembly has chosen to artificially deflate the cost of those resources, to continue to underpay teachers.

The poor pay, along with decades of disrespect and disinterest, is the reason we have a teacher shortage. The legislative goal is the destruction of public education and the destruction of public sector unions.

From Chalkbeat
Indiana is experiencing teacher shortages across 14 subjects, including in key focus areas such as science, math, and career and technical education, according to information released by the state education department.

Teacher shortage hits many areas: Several subjects lack educators

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
“This also highlights the greater issue that Indiana's educators deserve better pay and more practitioner-inclusive legislation in order to attract and retain them,” McCormick said.

Last week, McCormick told a Fort Wayne audience that 35% of teachers leave the profession within five years. Pay and working conditions are the top reasons, she said.


Budget called 'a win' for schools

Note that in Republican legislators' minds "a win for schools" means private and privately run schools...not public schools.

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta said “all that we just heard from Gov. Holcomb and Speaker (Brian) Bosma is that teachers will not be getting a pay raise this session. ... Despite Republican leadership claiming this is a historic increase in K-12 funding, it's clear that our traditional public schools will not receive the resources they need.”

Democrats note that traditional public schools – excluding charters – are getting only a 2% increase while charters are going up 10% the first year and vouchers 9%.

$34.6 billion 2-year budget OK'd: 2.5% increase for traditional public schools

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
...Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Ogden Dunes, said a $2 billion surplus is not necessary and pointed out many smaller programs that were nonchalantly dismissed.

“This budget is too meager, too tight-fisted,” she said.

Tallian noted the budget spends $2.5 million on a new swine barn but cut more than $600,000 for immunizations. And there are millions to subsidize direct flights while refusing to spend $800,000 to stabilize the Lake Michigan shore line.

The Senate approved House Bill 1001 by a vote of 41-8 and the House followed with 67-31.

Republicans focused on historic new dollars for education.


Kentucky: Heroes of Public Education, the Student Journalists from the PLD Lamplighter

From Diane Ravitch
Betsy DeVos held a “roundtable” with Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin at a public community college in Lexington, Kentucky.

When student journalists at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School heard that they were meeting, they went to the event, presented their press credentials, and were barred from covering it.

The only student invited to speak at the roundtable attends a religious school. The other participants represented Kentucky organizations that support privatization of public funds. That is, supporters of Betsy DeVos’s anti-public school agenda.


DeVos Funnels $116 Million to Open 20 Charter Schools in El Paso, Which Will Devastate Public Schools

From Diane Ravitch
Should Amy O’Rourke, Beto’s wife, send a thank-you note to Betsy DeVos?

Betsy DeVos has awarded a huge grant of $116,755,848 to the IDEA charter chain to open 20 new schools in El Paso. IDEA opened its first El Paso charter last fall.

In 2017, DeVos gave $67 million to IDEA.

IDEA has received a grand total of $225 million from the federal Charter Schools Program.

The size of this grant is unprecedented...

Betsy DeVos Gives Multi-Millions to KIPP and IDEA Corporate Charter Chains

From Diane Ravitch
In the latest round of awards from the federal slush fund for charter schools, Betsy DeVos handed out plums to the corporate chains KIPP and IDEA.


Waltons Fund “National Parents Union” to Advocate for Privatization

The goal is to starve public education and extend privatization.

From Diane Ravitch
Maurice Cunningham, a dogged investigator of Dark Money, has discovered a shell operation funded by the multibillionaire Walton family.

It is called the “National Parents Union,” and its goal is to defund public schools and transfer public money to private hands.


Steve Nelson: Excellent Communities Produce “Excellent” Schools

From Diane Ravitch
“It is, to be sure, a subtle point, but in my book I refer to my own public high school. It was “rated” among America’s best. Graduates went to college at high rates and won prizes of all kinds. The orchestra was considered among the 2 or 3 best in the country. But the teachers and classes were dull and uninspired. The orchestra was good because the kids were privileged and studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music. The parents were either affluent or in higher education or medicine or both.

“The community did not have excellent schools. The schools had an excellent community.


Schools chief sounds alarm on public's loss of control

Indiana's Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jennifer McCormick, supports public education despite the thousands of dollars privatizers sank into her 2016 campaign. Proof that Republicans, too, can support public schools.

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
The state's last elected superintendent of public instruction is not leaving office quietly. With just more than 20 months left in her four-year term, Jennifer McCormick is on a mission to warn Indiana voters of the immense power over education legislators just handed off to the governor's office.


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