Monday, August 26, 2019

In Case You Missed It – Aug 26, 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.


David Koch Dies, Funder of Attacks on Public Schools

From Diane Ravitch
David Koch died of cancer a few days ago. He and his brother funded the free-market libertarianism that fueled the rise of the Tea Party and Trumpism. They zealously fought to destroy any government program that helped people, from Medicare to Social Security.

They were major funders of ALEC. They opposed any government regulations.

The story in the New York Times falls to mention that they funded attacks on public education and teacher certification, and they zealously supported charter schools and vouchers.


Teachers who continued to work at failing Indiana virtual schools won’t get a final paycheck

These two virtual charter schools over-collected $47 million yet they can’t find the money to pay their teachers for their last month’s work? They suggest the teachers try to get their money from Daleville.

From Chalkbeat*
When Indiana Virtual School and Indiana Virtual Pathways Academy agreed to close amid enrollment scrutiny earlier this summer, special education teacher Andi Helms started looking for another job.

But even after she found a position at another school, Helms kept working for the troubled online schools at night, reviewing special education plans and helping students finish classes and transfer to new schools. Even as the schools began to collapse — their state funding cut off entirely — Helms felt strongly that she couldn’t leave students in the lurch.

“We were pretty sure we weren’t going to get paid,” she said. “They knew there were no funds a month ago. They simply wanted us to finish the job, because they knew we wouldn’t leave our kids high and dry.”

This week, Mary Jane Lapointe, an attorney for the two virtual schools, delivered the anticipated bad news: Teachers wouldn’t be paid for the work they did between July 15 and Aug. 15.

As they ask for more money, two Indiana virtual schools say they are all but closed

From Chalkbeat
...despite painting a picture of schools that are all but shut down, she asked the oversight agency, Daleville Community Schools, for money to finish closing the schools — or even to keep them open, saying the schools’ problems could “go away eventually.” Lapointe also disputed the state auditors’ recent findings that the schools had over-reported enrollment and taken in $47 million more in state funding than they should have.


Six ways Trump’s new ‘public benefits’ immigration policies could hurt children and schools

From the Answer Sheet
This post looks at how children and public schools could be harmed by this legislation. It comes from the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) at the University of Colorado at Boulder, which seeks to publish high-quality research on issues affecting education. It is directed by Kevin Welner, who is a professor at the school specializing in educational policy and law.


Kindergarten has become a critical year of learning, but Indiana still doesn’t require it

Let’s advocate for Kindergarten in our state, but let's make sure the early grades in our schools are developmentally appropriate. Help our legislators know that when we ask for Kindergarten, we are asking for play, music, art, snacks, and stories— and not for sitting at a desk and using a computer screen or a pencil for hours on end.

From Chalkbeat
“The reality is that we have kids who come into kindergarten or first grade classrooms that don’t even know how to hold a book,” McCormick said. “They haven’t been exposed to print. Sometimes they’re not potty trained.”

The sooner those kids can get into a high-quality educational setting, the better, she said.

McCormick said her team will continue to advocate for a variety of strategies to strengthen Indiana’s early childhood education landscape. Mandatory kindergarten is still on the wish list.


The Thirteen Presenters Who Will Ruin Your First Day Back

Beginning of the year teacher inservice should be short, informative, and inspirational. Too often, it is none of those things.

From Curmudgucation
It's been a great summer. You've had a chance to recharge and reflect. You've developed some new ideas, units, and materials, and most importantly, away from the dailiness of the job, you have gotten back in touch with all the reasons you love the work. You cannot wait to get back to it., take a couple of in service days to get fully up to speed, and then-- bring on the students!

Unfortunately, your administration thinks that your very first day(s) back should be spent sitting in some professional development sessions. In some lucky few school districts, these sessions will actually be useful and even inspiring. But if you are really unfortunate, you'll spend those sessions with one of these soul-crushing people...


‘This is not rocket science’: Indiana educators bring ideas for raising teacher pay to Holcomb’s commission

From Chalkbeat
The suggestions put forth over more than two hours largely reiterated familiar calls: to reallocate funding from charter schools to public schools, strengthen teachers’ power to bargain their contracts, and bring back a pay scale that guarantees more pay for teachers each year they work.

Many teachers said they were thankful for the opportunity to be heard — but said they had shared these suggestions before.


Remembering Phyllis

From Facebook and NEIFPE
Teacher, Ohio public education activist, and friend of NEIFPE, Dan Greenberg posted this remembrance of NEIFPE co-founder Phyllis Bush this morning on Facebook.


A true public education: To fully prepare students for life outside school, a curriculum of citizenship is essential

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
For our democracy to thrive, we citizens must be engaged in the community, understand how local, state, and national policies and rhetoric affect our lives, and be informed voters. We must work toward the day when no elected official ever misrepresents American history (even if the teleprompter is covered with raindrops), where elected representatives speak truth to power, and where the average citizen can differentiate between legitimate information and propaganda, real news and fake news, truth and lies.

*Note: Chalkbeat sponsors include pro-charter foundations and individuals such as EdChoice, Gates Family Foundation, The Walton Family Foundation, and others.


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