Monday, December 23, 2019

In Case You Missed It – Dec 23, 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.

NEIFPE's In Case You Missed It will return on January 6, 2020. Keep up with our education updates on Facebook and Twitter.

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.


The Failure of Betsy DeVos and 30 Years of Corporate Influence on Public Schools!

From Nancy Bailey
Frustrated by public schools? Look no further than the corporate education reformers and what they have done to public education.

Education Secretary DeVos and her corporate billionaire friends have been chipping away at the fabric of democratic public schools for over thirty years!

The problems we see in public schools today are largely a result of what they did to schools, the high-stakes testing and school closures, intentional defunding, ugly treatment of teachers, lack of support staff, segregated charter schools, vouchers that benefit the wealthy, Common Core State Standards, intrusive online data collection, and diminishing special education services.

Big business waged a battle on teachers and their schools years ago. The drive was to create a business model to profit from tax dollars. Now they want to blame teachers for their corporate-misguided blunders! It’s part of their plan to make schools so unpleasant, parents will have no choice but to leave.


Why is Accountability Too Much to Ask of Charter Schools?

From Gadfly on the Wall Blog
If you hire someone to buy your groceries, you’ll probably ask for a receipt.

That’s really all education advocates want from the charter school industry.

Charter schools are bankrolled with tax dollars but often run by private businesses.

Is it too much to ask these businesses to account for how they spend the money?

Apparently it is because Jeanne Allen has been sending her representatives all over the country to harass Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and any other candidate with the audacity to demand charter schools be transparent and accountable.

Yesterday she wrote another blistering press release with the title:

“Democratic Candidates Asked to Listen to Voices of Struggling Parents Following Them Across Nation”
Allen is CEO and Founder of the Center for Education Reform – a billionaire backed lobbying firm for school privatization.

Not exactly a “struggling parent” or anyone who speaks for them. But she is a former member of the Heritage Foundation and current member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

She doesn’t speak for parents. She speaks for the billionaires who pay her salary.


Peter Greene: Congress to DeVos: “Sorry, Nope, No Way”

From Diane Ravitch
There is good news and bad news. Peter Greene thinks it’s mostly good news. I’d say there is both.

Congress did not appropriate a penny for Betsy DeVos’s top priority, her $5 billion request for vouchers (aka “education freedom scholarships”). Sorry, Betsy, nada. Even Republican Congressmen and Senators represent public school parents.

But Congress appropriated $440 million for Betsy’s charter school slush fund, otherwise known as the federal Charter Schools Program. The CSP is a swamp of fraud, waste, and abuse, as the Network for Public Education demonstrated in its “Asleep at the Wheel” and “Still Asleep at the Wheel” reports, which showed that more than $1 billion in federal funds were wasted on charters that either never opened or closed not long after opening...


Greater Clark County Schools discuss plan to replace art teachers with 'classified specialists'

Greater Clark County Schools said it can save more than $600,000 by making changes to its art programs.

District officials laid out a plan during a Tuesday board meeting to do away with certified art teachers by replacing them with "classified specialists." These specialists would not have to be licensed and would make roughly $17 an hour.


Goodbye to By: North Side Coach Hey dies at 91

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
Few better embodied what Indiana high school basketball was in its full flower, when there were hundreds of teams in hundreds of tiny dots on the map, and come March they all went into the same hopper. By was the quintessential product of that era, a Fort Wayne boy who played at Concordia and then came back to town as an assistant at Central and then head coach at his alma mater, and then went on to spend 31 decorated years at North Side.

By the time he gave up the whistle, he'd won 550 games across 34 seasons and took Moser and North to the state finals in 1965, where they lost to Billy Keller and Indianapolis Washington in the state championship game.

But somewhere in all of that, there was more.


Nancy Bailey: It’s Wrong to Force Four- and Five-Year Olds to Read!

From Diane Ravitch
With No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, and Common Core State Standards, some adults have been led to believe that four- and five-year-old children should read by the end of kindergarten. Preschoolers are pushed to be ready for formal reading instruction by the time they enter kindergarten.

This is a dangerous idea rooted in corporate school reform. Children who struggle to read might inaccurately believe they have a problem, or reading could become a chore they hate.

Pushing children to focus on reading means they miss listening and speaking skills, precursors to reading. These skills are developed through play, which leads to interest in words and a reason to want to read.


Can public schools have Christmas trees? What’s true — and not true — about religious expression in public schools.

From the Answer Sheet
  • While schools cannot initiate or sponsor religious activities — including prayer — nobody can stop students from praying to whatever or whomever they want, whenever they want as long, as they do it privately and don’t try to force others to follow.
  • Religious groups can meet at public schools.
  • Religious music can be played in public schools when the overall focus of the activity is not religious.
  • Anybody who wants to say “Merry Christmas” is legally permitted to do so.
  • Christmas trees can be brought into a school and decorated because a court has ruled the Christmas tree is a secular object, much like the Jewish menorah. Lighting the candles in a menorah, however, would have religious significance and therefore wouldn’t be allowed.
  • Religion can be taught as an academic subject, not as an effort to proselytize.


No comments: