Monday, January 25, 2021

In Case You Missed It – January 25, 2021

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.

Suspend High Stakes Student Testing Webinar - January 26, 2021
Register now - National Town Hall on Suspending High Stakes Student Testing on 1/26 at 6 p.m. EST with Congressman Jamaal Bowman, NPE Board Member Dr. Julian Vasquez Heilig, and many more. The event will be MC'd by Bob Schaeffer of FairTest and Ilana Spiegel, University of Colorado Board of Regents. - register here


Without offering a plan, Holcomb repeats his promise to raise teacher pay

How long do Indiana teachers need to wait? No one seems to know...not even the Governor.

From Chalkbeat*
In his State of the State address Tuesday, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb called increasing teacher pay a matter of “when,” not “if,” but stopped short of offering a concrete plan for how to make that happen.

In a pre-recorded address, Holcomb set an ambitious goal for teacher salaries in Indiana, which currently pays educators less on average than do neighboring Midwestern states.

“When we do this, we will be one of the best in the Midwest for teacher pay,” Holcomb said, “and we’ll be better able to attract and retain teacher talent, including attracting more minority candidates.”

Holcomb did not specify when and how that would be accomplished.


Free Market Facts And School Choice

Finding a good school for a child is not like shopping for shoes. That's why states like Indiana have public education written into their constitution.

From Peter Greene at Forbes
...the last two months of U.S. history are more than sufficient to demonstrate why allowing citizens to make a free market selection of their own preferred facts is bad for us as a country. Free market fans like to argue that only the best products win in the marketplace. But the free market doesn’t foster superior quality; the free market fosters superior marketing. And in the free market of ideas, sometimes the most effective marketing is simply, “Wouldn’t you rather believe this?”

There is no benefit to society in encouraging parents to choose post-truth fact-impaired education for their children, certainly not enough benefit to justify spending taxpayer dollars to pay for it. Choosing your own preferred facts from a wide open marketplace simply enables willful ignorance, and that is never good for society as a whole.


Trump’s ‘patriotic education’ report excuses Founding Fathers for owning slaves and likens progressives to Mussolini

“It’s a hack job. It’s not a work of history. It’s a work of contentious politics designed to stoke culture wars.”

From the Answer Sheet
President Trump’s “patriotic education” commission released a report on Martin Luther King Day that equates American progressives with European fascists and says it is “untrue” that the Founding Fathers were hypocrites for enslaving people while calling for equality in the nation’s founding documents.

The report is the product of the “1776 Commission” created by Trump late last year after nationwide Black Lives Matter protests against racial injustice. He tasked the 18-member panel with promoting a “pro-American curriculum” that celebrates “the miracle of American history.”

In Pennsylvania, The Dismantling Of A Public School System

A Pennsylvania school system has been completely taken over by charter schools. There's no research that shows charters do better than real public schools. This is simply a question of the state reneging on its responsibility to provide every child a public school education. Part of what makes this story so horrifying are the similarities to Indiana's unaccountable privatization plans.

From Peter Greene at Forbes
It may well become the first district in the state to be completely—or almost completely—privatized. The district’s story is complicated—this long post skips over many other issues there—but the lesson is simple. When a district is segregated, abandoned, underfunded, and deprived of resources, it suffers. And when the state, rather than aiding it, allows it to be picked over and fed upon by private for-profit businesses, it suffers even more, creating the possibility of a community that is no longer able to fulfil the promise of a free public education for all of its children. Chester Upland seems less likely to have a happy ending and more likely to end as a tragic cautionary tale. Pennsylvania’s students deserve better.

*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.

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