Monday, May 24, 2021

In Case You Missed It – May 24, 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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Pre-K And The Importance Of Measuring The Right Things

Our legislators have shown themselves to be shortsighted when it comes to education policy. They don't seem to understand that the very real benefits of quality Pre-K programs can have a long-term positive impact on our students and society.

From Peter Greene in Forbes
..."Does high-quality preschool work?"

The answer—and this is important—depends on what you mean by "works."

Preschool had no real effect on test scores in the short term, and any effects had disappeared by later years. Preschool did not raise scores on the state's Big Standardized Test.


Preschool reduced the likelihood that a student would get in trouble in high school or ever be jailed. And preschool increased the likelihood that students would graduate from high school and that they would go on to attend college.

These are good things, and if preschool done right can deliver these results, that's good news.


SACS board signs off on one-time stipends

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
Southwest Allen County Schools put a price Tuesday on the extra work school employees performed this academic year.

The school board unanimously approved one-time stipends of 500 and 1,000 for part-time and full-time employees, respectively.

The five members also agreed the superintendent or designee has the discretion to increase any employee's stipend in recognition of an unusual increase in that employee's work time and responsibilities due to the pandemic. The total amount of additional stipends may not exceed $25,000.

Why is “Critical Race Theory” Controversial and What Is it?

There are those who believe that Critical Race Theory means that schools are going to teach students to "hate America." They apparently believe that the nation has been perfect since its inception and any history that says otherwise must be hidden and purged.

A must read!

From Diane Ravitch
In several states, the Governor and Legislature have denounced “critical race theory” and even (in Idaho and some other states) banned it from their schools. The controversy over teaching about race gained ground when former President Trump condemned CRT as divisive and launched his own quickie commission to teach “patriotic” education. The object seems to be to minimize or eliminate teaching about racism, past or present.

Retired teacher Nancy Flanagan dissected the controversy here, in one of the best-informed analyses.


Impoverished Pennsylvania District About to Be Fully Charterized, Despite Parent Opposition

School choice apparently doesn't apply to those parents who want to choose public schools. This is a travesty.

From Diane Ravitch
This is an important story, well told by this reporter. It follows the template for charterization: Underfund a predominately African-American school district for years, then have the state take control because of financial issues. Strip the school board of all power and appoint a single “receiver” to make all decisions. Begin the charterization process with as little transparency as possible knowing that parents and community do not want it. Put out RFPs to charter companies. Hold one meeting at which parents, educators and community make clear their opposition but feel that the fix is in despite their wishes. Receiver, who is not accountable to the community or the voters, makes his decision.
The movement to privatize public schools marches on during coronavirus pandemic

The move towards privatization of America's public schools continues...

From the Answer Sheet
...By Carol Burris

Legislatures in 35 states have proposed bills to enact or expand voucher programs or charter schools. A few have passed; others have failed. Still others are sitting on governors’ desks or are stalled in the state’s House or Senate. Several are obvious attempts to please right-wing donors with no chance of moving out of committee. So far, eight states have enacted one or more bills.

A flurry of proposed school privatization legislation appearing on state dockets has been the pattern for several years. What is different this year is their success, albeit limited. In prior years, few, if any, reached the finish line. So what is different about 2021?

**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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