Monday, November 4, 2019

In Case You Missed It – Nov 4, 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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NAEP scores were released last week. Here are four articles about the results.

NAEP Test Scores Show How Stupid We Are… To Pay Attention to NAEP Test Scores

Testing measures economic status.

From Gadfly on the Wall Blog
Brace yourselves!

America’s NAEP test scores in 2019 stayed pretty much the same as they were in 2018!

And the media typically set its collective hair on fire trying to interpret the data.

Sometimes called the Nations Report Card, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test is given to a random sampling of elementary, middle and high school students in member countries to compare the education systems of nations.

And this year there was one particular area where US kids did worse than usual!

Our scores went down in 8th grade reading!

To be honest, scores usually go up or down by about one or two points every year averaging out to about the same range.

But this year! Gulp! They went down four points!


What does that mean?

Absolutely nothing.

They’re standardized test scores. They’re terrible assessments of student learning.

Indiana NAEP results show widening gap in reading

NAEP scores reflect a growing divide between affluent and poor people in Indiana...and across the U.S.

From School Matters
“The most disturbing pattern we see in the 2019 NAEP results is that both fourth- and eighth-grade reading scores decreased most among our lowest performing students,” Indiana University professor Sarah Theule Lubienski said by email. “For example, while reading scores slipped just 1 point for students scoring among the top 10%, they fell 3-6 points among those scoring within the bottom 10%.”

That’s nationwide, and the fall-off among lowest-performing test-takers was even more pronounced in Indiana. Reading scores for the bottom 10% of Indiana eighth-graders fell by 14 points. Reading scores for the bottom 10% of fourth-graders fell by 9 points. Results for highest-scoring test-takers were stable.

‘Nation’s report card’ tells a similar story to ILEARN — most Indiana students are behind

Indiana Chalkbeat should be absolutely ashamed of this headline. It is misleading, and it demonstrates a very poor understand of the NAEP scores and what they mean. Comparing the ILEARN tests and scores to NAEP scores ignores the true picture of students in Indiana schools.

From Chalkbeat*
Amid concerns over low scores on Indiana’s new standardized test, ILEARN, new results from a national exam tell a similar story about student performance.

Scores from the National Assessment Educational Progress, or NAEP, released Wednesday, showed 37% of eighth graders statewide were proficient in reading and math, and 37% of fourth graders were proficient in reading and 47% were proficient in math.

NAEP 2019 Released: No Progress in Math, Reading

NAEP scores should encourage us to invest in public education.

From Diane Ravitch
After a generation of disruptive reforms—No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top, VAM and Common Core—after a decade or more of disinvestment in education, after years of bashing and demoralizing teachers, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) for 2019 shows the results:

Over the past decade, there has been no progress in either mathematics or reading performance, and the lowest-performing students are doing worse,” said Peggy Carr, the associate commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, which administers the NAEP. “In fact, over the long term in reading, the lowest-performing students—those readers who struggle the most—have made no progress from the first NAEP administration almost 30 years ago.”



The Indiana Public Retirement System (INPRS) board voted last week to increase the monthly administrative fee for PERF and TRF members’ Defined Contribution (DC) plans from $3 to $3.75. The increase is based on higher management costs for the DC plan than original INPRS estimates accounted for the previous year. Fees cover record keeping and required Internal Revenue Service administrative oversight.

Retirees will not be affected, only members with active accounts.


KIPP, IDEA Corporate Charter Chains Criticize Elizabeth Warren’s Plan to Cut Their Federal Funding

From Diane Ravitch
In her education plan, Elizabeth Warren proposed eliminating the federal Charter Schools Program. This program was started in 1994 to help jumpstart new charter schools at a time when there were fewer than 100 charter schools in the nation. Now there are 7,000.

Today, the CSP has a budget of $440 million a year (which BETSY DeVos proposes to increase to $500 million a year). DeVos uses CSP as her personal slush fund to expand corporate charter chains. This past year, she gave $89 million to KIPP, $67 million to IDEA, and $10 million to Success Academy. None of these charter chains are struggling financially. All receive huge grants from the Waltons and other billionaires.

The Network for Public Education studied the expenditure of $4 billion by CSP from 2006-2014, predating the DeVos era. It’s report “Asleep at the Wheel,” determined that at least $1 billion of the funds spent by CSP during that period were wasted on charter schools that either never opened or closed soon after opening. Warren cited this report in her education plan, to justify eliminating the wasteful CSP.


The Walton Family: Ungrateful Graduates of Public Schools

Every dollar you spend at Walmart is a dollar spent against public education.

From Diane Ravitch
No philanthropy has spent more money to undermine and privatize public schools than the Waltons. The Waltons are the richest family in the U.S., possibly in the world, with a net worth in excess of $200 billion.

The Walton Family Foundation claims credit for launching at least one of every four charter schools in the nation. The foundation aims to eliminate public education, crush teachers’ unions, and destroy the teaching profession. The foundation has given nearly $100 million to Teach for America to supply inexperienced, ill-trained teachers to public and charter schools.


Michael Hicks: Education policies to blame for employment drop

From the Star Press, Muncie, IN
Since the third quarter of 2007, when the economy was booming, Indiana’s workforce down-skilled profoundly. We’ve seen 31 percent growth in workers with less than a high school diploma, nearly no change among those with high school diploma and under 5.0 percent growth among those who have been to college or have an Associate’s degree. The simple fact is from third quarter 2007 to third quarter 2018, a whopping 55 percent of new workers had less than a high school diploma.

I believe much of this is attributable to education policies that focus on supplying our economy with workers instead of citizens. While this might have pleased a few important political donors, it remains deeply misguided. I call it the Mississippi strategy, because it pushes Indiana into the bottom tier of educational attainment. And from the looks of it, it is doing just that.


NACS approves teacher raises

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
The Northwest Allen County Schools board Monday approved a two-year contract that includes raises for teachers.

The collective bargaining agreement presented at a meeting two weeks ago covers this year and expires in 2021. Board members Kent Somers, Liz Hathaway, Ronald Felger, Steve Bartkus and Kristi Schlatter voted unanimously to approve the contract.

“I thought it was a very thoughtful process,” Somers said, referring to negotiations with the Northwest Allen County Educators Association, which represents more than 400 teachers.

Under the contract, minimum base salaries for full-time teachers increase $1,250 to $41,250. The agreement includes $64,000 base salaries for teachers with bachelor's degrees and $70,125 for those with master's degrees.


Several NEIFPE members will be among those taking action on November 19 in Indianapolis.

Shane Phipps column: Sea of red coming to statehouse

From the The Herald Bulletin, Anderson, IN
Downtown Indianapolis will be a sea of red on Tuesday, Nov. 19.

Thousands of teachers from across the Hoosier State are expected to assemble around the Statehouse that day in a show of solidarity for the Red for Ed movement. This growing movement has been gaining steam for months. Many teachers have been wearing red to school each Wednesday in a show of silent unity.

At the center of the issue is teacher pay. Due to the fact that many thousands of educators across the state have gone years and years without a proper pay raise — or none at all — Indiana teachers (particularly the younger ones) have had a hard time keeping up with the cost of living.

Indiana has fallen into the bottom third in the nation in total teacher compensation. I know a lot of young teachers — and an ever-increasing number of older ones — who’ve had to take on second jobs just to pay the bills. That doesn’t seem fair in a profession that requires at least a bachelor’s degree (most teachers have at least one master’s degree). All that schooling comes at a cost. Most teachers start out in a huge financial hole, carrying student loan debts in the high five figures into the six-figure range. I’ve taught for 19 years and, while I make a comfortable living, I am still paying off student loans — that’s a fact.
Be sure to attend. Click here to Register.

*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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