Monday, May 20, 2019

In Case You Missed It – May 20, 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.

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Indiana teachers required to complete externship to renew teaching license

No educators were interviewed by the legislature before they passed into law a requirement that teachers spend 15 hours learning how business works in "a company." Senator Kruse thinks that this will help students be ready for employment when they finish school. The assumption is, of course, that teachers don't have any idea how things work in the world outside of school.

If you read the article you'll see that the requirement is for any teacher wishing to renew their Indiana teaching license. It's questionable how this requirement is going to help students in kindergarten or first grade, for example, get a job 18 - 25 years later because their teacher had to spend 15 hours learning how "a company" works.

Just like standardized tests, one size does not fit all.

President of the Fort Wayne Education Association Julie Hyndman said Fort Wayne Community Schools teachers were blindsided by this law.

"It's another opportunity to demoralize public school teachers that the Indiana legislatures have continued to do, this year and most years prior," she said. "This is a complete insult."

Hyndman, an FWCS elementary school teacher of 24 years, said lawmakers don't understand educators and the hardships and business of their career.

She explained that teachers already participate in conferences, workshops and continuing education through their districts. She doesn't see any value in going to an outside source for professional development.

"At this point I don't see it," she said. "What I really wish is that legislators that make these kind of laws would make an externship in a public school themselves for an extended period of time."

Our FWCS students and teachers are already connected with the business community.

A middle school principal in Fort Wayne explains why legislators need to talk to actual teachers before they start making unneeded and inappropriate education laws.

From Principal Matt Schiebel on Facebook (Facebook account needed to read the entire post)
Our FWCS students and teachers are already connected with the business community. Each year, local businesses graciously send employees trained by Junior Achievement to spend an entire day in our classrooms teaching every student various aspects of business, economics, and entrepreneurship. During the first semester of this year, my son was enrolled in AP microeconomics at Snider High School, a course which rivaled the one I took in college.

Teachers and administrators do not need additional professional development to obtain a license; in fact, they don’t need obstacles of any kind, particularly in a state where we cannot find enough licensed teachers in the first place. Students are receiving instruction in business within the classroom, both from teachers and volunteers from the business community.

State legislators: If you would like to add 15 more hours to our plate every five years, please wisely budget your packed schedule so you can find 4 minutes a day to actually meet with and LISTEN to a teacher explain how lawmakers can tangibly support us as we work to educate our students to high standards...


Stay educated: Public schools need our ongoing, vocal support

Teachers, have you said, "I'm not political" or "I don't have time to get involved in politics"? Parents, do you know how the policies put in place by legislators in Indiana are affecting your child's school, classroom, and teacher?

Public education is political. We need to start supporting our public schools in the ballot box as well as the bake sale.

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
In 1880, President James Garfield said: "Next in importance to freedom and justice is public education, without which neither freedom nor justice can be permanently maintained."


Lawmakers leave schools ill-prepared on mental ills

One more to thing to keep in mind when you think about who to vote for.

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
Less than a year after a student shot a classmate and teacher at Noblesville Middle School, Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a school safety bill incorporating recommendations from a task force formed after the shooting.

“Every student, teacher and staff member deserves a safe school,” Holcomb said in a news release. “This new law is key to ensuring our schools are better prepared.”

Better prepared, perhaps. But not best prepared. Bowing to pressure from powerful conservative groups, legislative leaders stripped language from the bill that would have allowed school safety grant dollars for mental health services. Advance America, a special-interest group, claimed in a post-session message to followers that the legislation “would have forced students to answer very personal and inappropriate questions from a federal government survey about their sexual activity – without prior written parental consent!”


Teen finds her voice after brother's death: Junior wins state speech title

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
Captivating the Wayne High School student body isn't an easy task, but one morning this spring, junior Aliyah Armstrong hushed about 1,000 of her peers with a performance that earned her a state championship.

The 17-year-old combined poetry about street violence, incorporating the writings of others, with personal tragedy. Her brother Darius Marcel Boone, 14, died from a gunshot to his head just days before her birthday last spring.


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