Monday, May 10, 2021

In Case You Missed It – May 10, 2021

Here are links to last week's articles receiving the most attention on NEIFPE's social media accounts. Keep up with what's going on, what's being discussed, and what's happening with public education.

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Biden’s Proposed American Families Plan Would Revolutionize Life for Poor Children

Reformers have never caught on (or have never wanted to catch on) that the biggest obstacle to student achievement is poverty. President Biden has introduced a plan to begin to alleviate the problems of poverty.

From Jan Resseger
When public policy has been entirely inadequate and misguided for decades, it is difficult to grasp the full implications of the beginning steps for reform. Such is the case with President Joe Biden’s proposal last week to respond to our society’s outrageous level of child poverty. The development of coherent, efficient policy to ameliorate the overwhelming and complicated problems of America’s poorest families will take a long time, even if Democrats continue to occupy the White House and sustain Congressional majorities.

But on April 28, President Biden introduced a plan to begin the journey to remedy fiscal austerity when it comes to our society’s poorest families and children. We can turn to some experts to put the significance of President Biden’s proposed American Families Plan in perspective.


FWCS to offer full online option

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
Fort Wayne Community Schools students will have one option for remote learning next academic year : a new online-only K-12 program.

The Fort Wayne Virtual Academy will accept up to 720 students : about 2.5% of the district's 28,460 enrollment : through a lottery process in June, officials announced Monday.

Superintendent Mark Daniel said the online option was designed for students and families seeking an alternative to the traditional school environment.

"While we believe the majority of students learn best in person, we also know there are some students who found over the past year that they thrive in a virtual environment," Daniel said in a statement. "We also know many of our parents are not ready to have their children attend school in person as long as there is an ongoing pandemic. We are establishing this option to meet the needs of those students."

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week – How About Restoring Respect For The Teaching Profession

This post from a teacher in North Carolina applies to teachers everywhere! What do teachers need for Teacher Appreciation Week? They need appreciation and respect.

From the Caffeinated Rage Blog
For fourteen months, educators have adapted, invented, created, and constructed ways and means of helping students in this time that could never have been envisioned before. No standardized test could ever measure what educators and schools have done, yet we have a governing body that still insists on introducing bills and other edicts that do not honor our profession.

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week, and many policy lawmakers in Raleigh seem to think that the best way to show appreciation for teachers is offering rewards.

What teachers and other education professionals really deserve is respect – especially after these last fourteen months.


These Indiana schools will get the most money per student in latest stimulus package

It’s discouraging to see so much money going to schools that aren’t held accountable and/or don’t accept all students. But it is nice that the public schools will get some money too.

From Chalkbeat: Indiana*
Schools serving high-poverty students, among the campuses hardest hit by COVID-19, will receive the most per student in federal relief. In Indiana, the top five districts and charter schools expected to get the most money per student — and many others high on that list — are in Gary, where de-industrialization has caused economic decline, population loss, and neglect. For some schools, the federal money could essentially double their typical annual state funding.

For Thea Bowman, a Phalen Leadership Academies [charter] school in Gary, the stimulus funds are even more of a boon. The school usually receives around $7,000 per student in state funding. The unprecedented boost in federal money prompted the charter network to solicit ideas for how to spend it from students, teachers, and families.

“It’s a massive influx of funds for our schools and for our [students] and obviously we want to use it to have the biggest impact we can,” said CEO and founder of the Phalen charter network, Earl Martin Phalen. “We’re incredibly excited.”

Falling Behind In An Actual Classroom

Peter Greene explains why the "Learning Loss" panic is being led by folks who don't know what it's like in an actual classroom.

From Curmudgucation
One of things you get better at with experience is assessing what the students bring to the table, both academically and otherwise. And then you go from there.

This initial assessment does not tell you anything about pace. Not once in my career did I ever start the year thinking, "Oh, lordy, these guys are behind, so I will switch into my special secret accelerated mode so that I can teach them more, faster." For a couple of reasons. First, not once in four decades did I stumble upon a fast mode that let me teach more, faster, which I then shelved for some reason. Because one thing you know after just a couple of years is that there is never enough time, and so part of your practice is to squeeze the very most out of the time you have.

Second, if there are students who are not quite as far along as you wish they were, acceleration is backwards. "Since you don't quite understand this yet, I'm going to spend less time on it," said no teacher ever.
*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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