Monday, August 31, 2020

In Case You Missed It – August 31, 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.

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.


Trump's Education Agenda

Trump comes out officially for privatization, and Curmudgucation responds: “Lots of public school teachers voted for Trump first time around. There may have been some question about how things would go that time, but this time out there can be no doubt-- a vote for Trump is a vote against public education.“

From Peter Greene at Curmudgucation
Trump has released his agenda for his second term, and it's special. Cut taxes. Add jobs. Eradicate Covid-19. End reliance on China. Cover pre-existing conditions. Congressional term limits. Bring violent extremist groups like ANTIFA to justice. Dismantle human trafficking. Build the world's greatest infrastructure system (so, more infrastructure week!) Stop endless wars.

It's all familiar hooey, in bullet point list form (so not a word about how or why, but education gets its own subheading, under which we find these two bullet points.

Provide School Choice To Every Child In America

Teach American Exceptionalism

That's it. That's the whole thing. Get some of that good old ahistorical jingoism back in the classroom, and dismantle the public education system and replace it with a privatized one. It's a fun pairing because if you're going to have a school choice system, how are you going to force every school to teach exceptionalism? For that matter, how will you force a free and open market to serve every single student (spoiler alert--you can't).


Indiana teachers union will sit out governor’s race despite key education issues at play

From Chalkbeat Indiana*
At a time when Indiana’s governor will exert greater control over education and school reopening remains a key political issue, Indiana’s largest teachers union said it won’t be taking sides in this fall’s gubernatorial race.

In what some observers say is a pragmatic move to maintain policy influence, the political arm of the Indiana State Teachers Association will not make an endorsement in what looks like an easy cruise to reelection for Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb against Democratic challenger Dr. Woody Myers.

Instead, the Indiana Political Action Committee for Education will focus on supporting dozens of legislative races, particularly those in which teachers are running.


FWCS leader expects more planned delays: EACS chief also takes part in forum

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
Superintendent Mark Daniel thanked families Thursday for cooperating with this week's two-hour delay that gave Fort Wayne Community Schools teachers time for professional development as they navigate an unprecedented academic year.

Daniel, who likened the situation to building a jet while flying it, said more planned delays – and perhaps even a full in-service day – are likely.

He hopes to release details today about next week, if not for the next several.

“It has nothing to do about closing,” Daniel said during a Facebook Live forum hosted by Fort Wayne United in partnership with City Life. “It's about how do we stay open.”

The forum also featured East Allen County Schools Superintendent Marilyn Hissong. The district leaders spent about an hour fielding questions about the first few weeks of school.

Teachers are tired, Hissong said, but she also credited other employees for their contributions, including the custodians who are disinfecting buildings and bus drivers ensuring students are wearing masks.

“It does take your whole entire staff to make this work,” Hissong said.

Message from Superintendent Mark Daniel

From Fort Wayne Community Schools
Dear Parents/Guardians:
We've made it through another week of the 2020-21 school year. Each day we get a little better working with in-person and remote students and are starting to settle into a routine.

Our teachers and school staff members found this week's professional learning time valuable for learning how to use new technology and planning how to work with in-person and remote students. After hearing from principals, teachers and other staff, we have decided to have four full days of professional learning on Wednesdays in September...

Anxiety running high at FWCS: Survey shows teachers feeling stress this year

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
Anxiety levels remain high among Fort Wayne Community Schools employees as they and students adjust to an academic year during a pandemic, Superintendent Mark Daniel said Monday, noting the district has multiple COVID-19 cases.

“We are in a stressful time,” Daniel told the school board, citing FWCS and Fort Wayne Education Association survey results. “There's no doubt about that.”

Daniel's impromptu report followed less than 10 minutes of school board business, including approval of new daily rates for substitute teachers. Substitutes now will make a minimum of $110 per day, up from the previous minimum of $95.

The 30,000-student district, which began classes Aug. 13, has had two staff members test positive for the coronavirus and about a dozen student cases, Daniel said after the meeting.

FWCS is using seating charts – including during school board meetings – to help identify those who might have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

“That is critical,” Daniel said.

Daniel highlighted the nursing staff, which was bolstered this year by several new hires.

*Note: Financial sponsors of Chalkbeat include pro-privatization foundations and individuals such as Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, 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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