Tuesday, December 28, 2021

In Case You Missed It – December 27, 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.

Be sure to enter your email address in the new Follow Us By Email box in the right-hand column to be informed when our blog posts are published.

Another Day Another Charter Scandal

The Network for Public Education has a charter scandal page up on its website. One more reason to support public schools over privatization...

From The Network for Public Education
Our Another Day Another Charter Scandal page now includes a sorting feature that allows you to search charter scandals by state and by 12 different categories. You can also search by keyword. Just use the ‘X’ to clear search terms and return to the full list of scandals.


1619 belongs in classrooms

Steve Hinnefeld, who blogs at School Matters, makes a convincing argument for including 1619 in our history instruction. Race has been a continuing theme in the United States for four hundred years...the nation was built on the enslavement of an entire group of people. Africans were kidnapped and enslaved for 250 years of history on this continent. Race is embedded in the US Constitution (Article I, Section 2). Throughout the 19th and 20th-century laws were enacted to limit the rights of people of color. Laws limiting the rights of people of color lasted for another 100 years. It wasn't until 1965 that a voting rights act was passed to make sure that the right to vote was guaranteed to everyone. Even that is now being threatened.

From School Matters
We remember the canonical years from our American history classes: 1492. 1776. 1861-65. It’s past time to add 1619 to the list. I just read the 1619 Project book, and I’m convinced.

It was in August 1619 that Jamestown, Virginia, colonists bought 20 to 30 enslaved Africans from English pirates. “They were among the more than 12.5 million Africans who would be kidnapped from their homes and brought in chains across the Atlantic Ocean in the largest forced migration in human history until the Second World War,” writes Nikole Hannah-Jones in the book’s introductory essay.

Arguably no event had a more pivotal and long-lasting impact on the United States. As the 1619 Project makes clear, chattel slavery and the accompanying doctrine of white supremacy shaped American history and American attitudes, and they continue to do so today.

Indiana Republican lawmakers want parents to review school curriculum

According to Indiana's Governor Holcomb, Critical Race Theory isn't being taught in Indiana's schools because it's not part of the standards. The Republicans in the legislature want to pass laws making sure that it's not taught. They likely don't have any idea what Critical Race Theory is. Our guess is that they consider it anything that makes white people look bad, or feel guilty, because of the racist history of the nation.

From Chalkbeat*
In the wake of contentious school board meetings throughout Indiana over critical race theory, leading Republican lawmakers said they will propose allowing parents to have more of a say in what their children are taught in schools.

Critical race theory has migrated from a little-known academic framework, which examines how policies and the law perpetuate systemic racism, into a political touchstone for Republicans nationwide. It has animated debate about how schools teach about the role of race in this country.

Indiana Republicans are drafting multiple education bills for the 2022 legislative session in response to these controversies, without mentioning critical race theory by name.


New Book Includes Wonderful Retrospective Essay by the Late Mike Rose

Jan Resseger reviews an essay by Mike Rose.

From Jan Resseger
Rose considers the many possible lenses through which a public can consider and evaluate its public schools: “Public schools are governmental and legal institutions and therefore originate in legislation and foundational documents… All institutions are created for a reason, have a purpose, are goal driven… Equally important as the content of curriculum are the underlying institutional assumptions about ability, knowledge, and the social order… Public schools are physical structures. Each has an address, sits on a parcel of land with geographical coordinates… By virtue of its location in a community, the school is embedded in the social and economic dynamics of that community… The school is a multidimensional social system rich in human interaction… With the increasing application of technocratic frameworks to social and institutional life, it becomes feasible to view schools as quantifiable systems, represented by numbers, tallies, metrics. Some school phenomena lend themselves to counting, though counting alone won’t capture their meaning… And schools can be thought of as part of the social fabric of a community, serving civic and social needs: providing venues for public meetings and political debate, polls, festivities, and during crises shelters, distribution hubs, sites of comfort.”

“Each of the frameworks reveals certain political, economic, or sociological-organizational aspects of the rise of comprehensive schooling while downplaying or missing others,” explains Rose. “It might not be possible to consider all of these perspectives when making major policy decisions about a school, but involving multiple perspectives should be the goal.”
*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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