Monday, October 28, 2019

In Case You Missed It – Oct 28, 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.


Chicago Teacher Strike: Three Things To Remember

Perhaps you have a negative view of teachers going on strike. You may want to reconsider that. The Chicago Teachers Union is fighting to help students and public schools as much as they're fighting for their profession.

For more information see The Schools Chicago Students Deserve.

From Peter Greene in Forbes
“Put the concerns of children ahead of the concerns of adults,” has been one common refrain. Another was to emphasize that education was the solution to the problems of poverty.

Reformers have argued that teachers should take responsibility for the problems of childhood poverty–so now the teachers of Chicago are doing exactly that. Critics can say that common good contracts are an overreach, that teachers should stay in their lane and not try to run the city. But teachers have been told repeatedly that it’s up to them to look out for the children and to mitigate the problems of childhood poverty. Now, in Chicago, teachers are doing exactly that.


Her first year ‘felt like a losing battle’ — until this Indianapolis teacher earned her students’ trust

Note that this teacher had minimal resources and huge class sizes since IPS (and the state) spent money funding "innovation" schools for some, rather than fully funding the city's public schools for all.

From Chalkbeat*
In her first year of teaching, Makayla Imrie ate Goldfish crackers for lunch, battled a broken copier, and was on her feet all day in a classroom without working air conditioning.

But those weren’t the hardest parts of her job.

Her fifth-period class posed perhaps the greatest challenge, with 44 chatty seniors who filled every desk in her classroom.

“This has got to be some kind of joke,” Imrie thought to herself. “This is impossible.”


DeVos Sent Millions to Unaccredited Colleges

From Diane Ravitch
The Washington Post reported today that the Education Department spent millions for student aid at for-profit colleges that were ineligible to receive federal funding.

A trove of documents released Tuesday by the House Education and Labor Committee shows the Education Department provided $10.7 million in federal loans and grants to students at the Illinois Institute of Art and the Art Institute of Colorado even though officials knew the for-profit colleges were not accredited and ineligible to receive such aid.


IPS teachers could see raises as high as $9,400 under tentative contract deal

Well paid teachers means more stability for students. If this is approved, it's thanks to some really hard work on behalf of teachers (and students) by the union.

From Chalkbeat*
Mid-career teachers in Indianapolis Public Schools could get “catch up” raises as large as $9,400 if school board members approve a tentative contract for the next two years.

Teachers across the district would see substantial pay increases under the proposal, with the district’s starting salary for teachers rising to $45,200 this school year, according to a union official.

The sweeping raises are the result of a tax referendum approved by the voters last November — with the promise of higher teacher pay — that will inject about $27.5 million a year into the school system for the next eight years. The raises also mark a significant and potentially reinvigorating victory for the Indianapolis Education Association, a teachers union that has been weakened by scandal and the district’s growing collaboration with charter schools.


South Bend school leaders face prospect of closing buildings, including a high school

From the South Bend Tribune
With the budget projecting a loss of nearly $17 million next year, South Bend school leaders say drastic adjustments will have to be made across the district, including closing schools and asking city residents to approve additional tax support.

“I’m pretty sure you will have to look at closing a high school,” Budget Director Jenise Palmer told the school board during its Oct. 14 meeting.

School Board President John Anella later said “buildings have to be closed,” as the the district’s K-12 school buildings “were built for 23,000 to 24,000 students” and now only 16,000 are enrolled.

South Bend could embrace innovation schools with Purdue charter partnership

Hopefully South Bend decides not to be as foolish as IPS.

From Chalkbeat*
In the face of shrinking enrollment and academic problems, the South Bend school district is in talks to form innovation partnerships with at least two charter schools — including Purdue Polytechnic High School, now slated to open its first campus outside the state capital.

If South Bend begins creating innovation schools, it would be the third Indiana district to pursue the strategy, which can bring charter schools under the auspice of the traditional school system. The South Bend schools, which enroll almost 16,000 students, is facing challenges that mirror some of those in Indianapolis Public Schools. Enrollment shrank by nearly 700 students this year, part of a steady decline as families opt for charter, private, and neighboring district schools. In the spring, the district staved off the threat of state takeover at a chronically failing middle school.

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


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