Monday, March 23, 2020

In Case You Missed It – Mar 23, 2020

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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Nancy Bailey: Online Learning Can Never Replace Human Teachers

Diane Ravitch comments on Nancy Bailey's post titled Disaster Capitalism, Online Instruction, and What Covid-19 Is Teaching Us About Public Schools and Teachers

From Diane Ravitch
Online learning can never adequately replace public schools and teachers. In such a desperate time, closing public schools due to this pandemic is showing Americans how reliant we are upon those schools to fulfill, not just an educational purpose, but the real social and emotional needs of children and families.

We’re left with stark revelations about this country’s shortcomings, while at the same time we witness the heroism of teachers and staff who care for all children at this dark time. It is that caring and love that have always been the hallmark of what teaching and public schools have been all about. It is and will continue to be what saves public education and the teaching profession.

This crisis will not throw students into a future of nothing but online learning. It will instead remind parents and students of how much their public schools and teachers mean to them.


EACS staff to be paid in shutdown: Board unanimous in approval of resolution

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
A few East Allen County Schools employees waited for a text from Superintendent Marilyn Hissong on Tuesday night, eager to know the outcome of the school board meeting.

Their curiosity was understandable. The agenda included action on a resolution addressing payment during a pandemic-related emergency closure.

They needn't have worried about the board's vote. The seven board members readily endorsed the item, which authorized wage payments to employees – salaried and non-salaried – who are instructed not to report to or perform work at the direction of the superintendent.


It's Okay. You Don't Have To Homeschool.

Maybe schools and teachers and parents should take a reasonable approach during the current school closures!

From Curmudgucation
Like most teachers, I've had those student requests. End of the period, usually, they stop by the desk, usually looking downhearted. "Could I have the assignments for the next week or so," they ask. And then the cause. Death of a relative. Family emergency. A non-elective operation. A family tragedy. Some sort of unavoidable crisis that would take them away from school.

My answer was usually something along the lines of, "Just worry about taking care of yourself. We can sort out the work when you get back." On the occasions when the absence might cause extra falling-behind stress, I would offer some general direction ("We're going to be finishing the novel, wrapping up the rough draft, working in groups for the project"), but always with the same caveat-- take care of yourself first.


Washington State: All Standardized Tests Canceled for Students for Spring 2020

From Diane Ravitch
As of March 13, state assessments are canceled statewide for the remainder of the 2020 school year. These include: Smarter Balanced Assessments (English Language Arts and Math) for grades 3–8 and 10; Washington Access to Instruction and Measurement (WA-AIM) English Language Arts and Math for grades 3–8 and 10; English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA21); Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science for grades 5, 8, and 11; Washington Access to Instruction and Measurement (WA-AIM) Science for grades 5, 8, and 11; WIDA Alternate ACCESS for English learners; and WaKIDS for Transitional Kindergarten.


Interim Guidance for Administrators of US K-12 Schools and Childcare Programs

This is a good place to reference often as information changes. How should schools handle the coronavirus pandemic?

From the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Plan, Prepare, and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Who is this guidance for?
Why is this guidance being issued?
What is the role of schools in responding to COVID-19?
How should schools prepare for, and respond to, COVID-19?
When a confirmed case has entered a school, regardless of community transmission
When there is no community transmission (preparedness phase)
When there is minimal to moderate community transmission
When there is substantial community transmission


My Failed Effort to Correct News about the CDC’s Advice to Schools

Diane attempts to correct some misunderstandings.

From Diane Ravitch
As soon as I saw Laura’s comment, I read the CDC guidance and promptly posted the full CDC guidance.

**Note: The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette has changed its online access and is now behind a paywall. Digital access, home delivery, or both, are available with a subscription. Staying informed is important, and one way to do that is to support your local newspaper. For subscription information go to


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