Monday, March 30, 2020

In Case You Missed It – Mar 30, 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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FWCS shifting to new measure of achievement

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
Fort Wayne Community Schools is investing in a new way to measure student progress.

Replacing two existing internal assessments with the Northwest Evaluation Association's MAP/Skills assessments will benefit teachers and parents, Superintendent Wendy Robinson told the school board this month.

“We can't rely on the state accountability, and we have to stop adding things that aren't aligned to our curriculum that won't help teachers with instruction,” Robinson said...

The school board March 9 approved the testing purchase at a cost of $235,986, which will be paid from the 2019-20 formative assessment grant awarded by the Indiana Department of Education. The licenses are for reading/language arts and math, according to documents provided to the board.

FWCS teachers will continue to receive paychecks

A free article from the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
Members unanimously endorsed a resolution authorizing Superintendent Wendy Robinson to carry out actions necessary for the safety and well-being of the FWCS community during the unprecedented school closure. This includes – but isn't limited to – authorizing continued paychecks.

Robinson commended the board for its support. Some FWCS employees work multiple jobs and have lost their other sources of income, she said.

“It was the right thing to do,” Robinson said.

Anne Duff, board secretary, called it an “easy decision.” Board President Julie Hollingsworth agreed, describing it as “very easy.”

FWCS approves pandemic preparedness measures

The Fort Wayne Community Schools Board of School Trustees approved a resolution granting the Superintendent and/or her designee to carry out any action deemed necessary for the safety and well-being of the school community during the closure of schools because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes, but is not limited to, authorizing the continued payment of employees.


‘I don’t have a clue what to do’: What Indiana’s coronavirus school closures mean for special education

From Chalkbeat*
Katie Vescelus has resigned herself to the idea that, with schools closed statewide in response to the coronavirus outbreak, her son, Matthias, will likely fall behind his fifth-grade peers. For Matthias, who is blind, working remotely means relying on technology his parents aren’t very familiar with and losing some critical real-time help from his teacher.

Schools in Indiana are closed until at least May 1, and campuses may shut down through the end of the school year amid the global pandemic. While some schools could cancel classes altogether, the push toward teaching students remotely leaves educators trying to figure out how to best serve students from afar.

School closures place a burden on families and raise concerns for all students’ academic progress. But the closure creates a particularly difficult challenge for the more than 173,000 students in Indiana who receive special education services, ranging from extra time on exams to one-on-one classroom aides.


Stephen Sawchuk: This Was the Week We Learned How Vital Our Public Schools Are

From Diane Ravitch
This is one of the best articles I have ever read in Education Week. It is not an opinion piece. It is a news article by veteran journalist Stephen Sawchuk.

He begins:

This was the week that American schools across the country closed their doors.

It was the week that our public schools—often dismissed as mediocre, inequitable, or bureaucratic—showed just how much they mean to American society by their very absence.

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

**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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