Monday, December 19, 2022

In Case You Missed It – December 19, 2022

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 Follow Us By Email box in the right-hand column to be informed when our blog posts are published.

NOTE: The next posting of NEIFPE's In Case You Missed It will be on Jan 9, 2023. Happy Holidays.

Today's articles feature charters, vouchers, and superintendent salaries.


U.S. Senate Rejects GOP Effort to Overturn Biden Administration Charter Regulations

Private schools that receive public tax dollars should be subject to public oversight.

From Diane Ravitch
Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina offered a resolution to overturn the Biden administration’s new regulations on federal funding of charter schools. The vote was 49-49, strictly on party lines. Even charter school supporters like Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey and Senator Michael Bennett of Colorado voted to sustain the new rules.

Every Republican voted to reject the rules. The charter lobby was not at all pleased.

The Network for Public Education has worked very hard to persuade the Department of Education and Congress to regulate the federal Charter Schools Program. When Betsy DeVos was Secretary of Education, there was no chance that the Department would try to regulate the $440 million handed out to new charter schools every year. The federal government was the single biggest contributor to new charter schools.

NPE published reports about the large number of charter schools that closed or never opened. It wrote about for-profit charters that were enjoying federal largesse. It drew attention to charter school scandals, including white flight academies subsidized by federal funds.

Not until the Biden administration took office did anyone in the Department take seriously its responsibility to oversee federal funding of charters.

What do the new regulations require? What did every single Republican Senator try to block? We’re [sic] they upset about the limits on for-profit operators? Or did they object to transparency and accountability for federally funded charters?

NPE executive director Carol Burris explained in this article published at Valerie Strauss’s Answer Sheet blog...


Josh Cowen: What about the Kids Who Give Up Their Vouchers?

Vouchers cause disruption to students' lives when they transfer in and out. The reasons students leave voucher schools are varied. Sometimes the school decides that the student isn't "the right kind of student." Sometimes the student and their family decide that school isn't right for them. Sometimes the cost of the school so exceeds the voucher that the student can't afford to attend. Whatever the cause, student mobility has an impact on student learning.

From Diane Ravitch
Betsy DeVos likes to say that schools shouldn’t be “one size fits all.” She’s conceding more than she knows with that analogy because unlike clothing, or a car you can test drive down at the Ford dealer, there’s a real cost to trying a school on and having it fail to fit.

Study after study has shown how harmful school mobility is for kids, both those who actually move between schools and those whose classrooms are full of peers coming in and out.

As Russell Rumberger, an expert in this area has succinctly summarized:

“The research literature suggests that changing schools can harm normal child and adolescent development by disrupting relationships with peers and teachers as well as altering a student’s educational program.”


Maine “Town Academy” Voucher School Refused to Address Racial Intimidation

Private schools which accept public funds should be subject to public oversight.

From Public Voices for Public Schools
The “Big 10” Maine Town Academies have been in operation for over 225 years. They are known as “60/40” schools because at least 60% of their funding is public money. Many are almost 100% publicly funded, and these voucher schools are “private schools” when it is convenient and “public” when they want public money.

The ”private” nature of our town academy became a reality when I sought protection from continuing racial harassment—both of my children and me. What follows is what happened to us and why taxpayers should not continue to fund town academies without serious reforms.


Fort Wayne Community Schools superintendent gets $10,000 raise

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
Superintendent Mark Daniel’s salary will increase by $10,000 under his first raise since returning to Fort Wayne Community Schools more than two years ago.

The 4.6% pay bump brings Daniel’s annual salary to $225,000.

Anne Duff, school board president, announced the board’s decision to increase the superintendent’s compensation Monday. Approval wasn’t required during the meeting, Duff said, but the elected leaders wanted to mention the raise for transparency’s sake.

“I think we all agree that he’s done a great job for us,” Duff said.

Daniel – a 1979 North Side High School graduate who also started his education career there – was one of three finalists for FWCS’ top job. He succeeded Wendy Robinson, who retired from the position in 2020 after leading the district for 17 years.

The terms of Daniel’s contract state the board can increase his base salary by 1% to 10% if he is evaluated as highly effective or effective and achieves annual performance objectives established by the board.

Under Daniel’s leadership, Amp Lab at Electric Works became a reality and FWCS partnered with Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana to implement the 3DE concept at the high school level, Duff said. She noted Daniel also worked with Tom Kelley in forming the Jim Kelley Career Pathway Center.


East Allen County Schools eyes southeast Fort Wayne property transfer

It's disappointing that a public school system is doing anything to support privatization. Here we have East Allen County Schools transferring property to a charter school.

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
East Allen County Schools doesn’t intend to make money off property it recently learned it still owns.

Instead, it is planning a straight transfer of the two southeast Fort Wayne parcels to a charter school that has property nearby, said Chief Financial Officer Pat McCann, who presented information about the situation during a public hearing and subsequent board meeting Tuesday.

The midday public hearing at the East Allen Career Center in New Haven generated no input.

The parcels along Christofer Lane and Werling Drive were apparently overlooked when, in 2006, EACS gave the former Village Woods Middle School building to an organization that wanted to open a community center in the space.

Smith Academy for Excellence purchased the property, 2700 E. Maple Grove Ave., in 2019 for $69,000. The charter school’s construction plans affect the nearby EACS-owned parcels, McCann said.

“East Allen County Schools does not have any need for the two parcels,” he said, “and Smith Academy is requesting that the parcels be transferred.”

**Note: The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette is 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 [NOTE: NEIFPE has no financial ties to the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette]

Note: NEIFPE's In Case You Missed It is posted by the end of the day every Monday except after holiday weekends or as otherwise noted.


Monday, December 12, 2022

In Case You Missed It – December 12, 2022

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 Follow Us By Email box in the right-hand column to be informed when our blog posts are published.

Our children and our public education systems are being hurt by bad policies.


The Impact of Active Shooter Drills in Schools

Active shooter drills are hurting our children. We're hurting them by trying to teach them how to avoid being killed by weapons that have no business being on the street. Instead of taking bold action against the easy availability of weapons of war, we're traumatizing our children.

From Everytown
...Active shooter drills in schools are associated with increases in depression (39%), stress and anxiety (42%), and physiological health problems (23%) overall, including children from as young as five years old up to high schoolers, their parents, and teachers. Concerns over death increased by 22 percent, with words like blood, pain, clinics, and pills becoming a consistent feature of social media posts in school communities in the 90 days after a school drill. These findings unveil even more reason to pause before rushing toward active shooter drills as a potential solution to school violence, as evidence suggests that they are causing lasting emotional and physical harm to students, teachers, and the larger community.


Why Public Schools Are On the GOP’s Hit List

This is certainly true in Indiana. For the last decade, the Republican supermajority in the General Assembly has targeted public schools. Vouchers and charter schools have drained money from public education. Punitive testing and union-busting actions have driven teachers from the classroom. Privatization is the goal. The complete destruction of public education seems to be the plan.

By Thom Hartman in The Hartman Report [bold in original]
So why would Pompeo, pursuing the 2024 Republican nomination for president, risk triggering an American domestic terrorist to train his sites on [Randi Weingarten, President of AFT]? Why would an educated man have such antipathy toward public school teachers?

Public schools are on the GOP’s hit list, just as they were in Chile during the Pinochet regime, and for the same reasons:

— Fascism flourishes when people are ignorant.

— Private for-profit schools are an efficient way to transfer billions from tax revenues into the coffers of “education entrepreneurs” who then recycle that money into Republican political campaigns (just like they’ve done with private for-profit prisons).

— Private schools are most likely to be segregated by race and class, which appeals to the bigoted base of the Republican party.

— Most public school teachers are unionized, and the GOP hates unions.

— While public school boards are our most basic and vigorous form of democracy, private schools are generally unaccountable to the public.

— Whitewashing America’s racial and genocidal history while ignoring the struggles of women and queer folk further empowers straight white male supremacy.

— Nothing inspires fear and terror in the minds of parents than a threat to their children, and the GOP — being totally committed to enriching the rich and impoverishing everybody else — has nothing else to sell than fear and hate to win elections. (See item #1: fascism.)


The Culture War on Public Education

Blogger Peter Greene explains the danger and harm to our schools and our children by ”culture wars.”

From Peter Greene in The Progressive
It seems like ages since so many of us suddenly had to take a crash course in critical race theory (CRT). Then, seemingly five minutes later, just as Christopher Rufo, a fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute, had promised, the CRT panic broadened into the “culture wars,” fought on a dozen different fronts by educators: “Don’t say gay” laws, “anti-woke” legislation, calls to ban books, gag laws for teachers, and private rights of action, so that parents could sue schools any time they felt a line had been crossed.

Culture wars continue to flare, but we should be discussing their true victims.


Opinion: Ohio lawmakers will 'circumvent the will of the people' with school board bill

Jeanne Melvin is a retired public school teacher who spent 39 years as a central Ohio educator. She is a founding member and president of Public Education Partners, an all-volunteer statewide coalition of parents, grassroots citizen groups, school board members, educators, and school administrators that advocate for high-quality public education in Ohio.

From the Opinion Page in the Columbus Dispatch
Written by guest columnist, Jeanne Melvin
Because of the state [Board of Education]’s influence, it’s very important to have members who are true advocates for public education.

Our elected state school board members serve the will of their constituents. They are not selected to serve at the pleasure of the governor's political party, which is no friend to public education.


State prepares to launch new education dashboard

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
A new state education dashboard is set to launch “very soon,” Indiana Secretary of Education Katie Jenner said Tuesday.

The Indiana Graduates Prepared to Succeed (GPS) website – or at least the first version – is nearing completion and will be discussed during today’s State Board of Education meeting.

While Jenner did not provide an exact launch date during a virtual demonstration of the dashboard, she said it will happen in December “short of anything major happening.”

One of the major goals of the GPS dashboard’s design is to break down data in a way that makes the information accessible to people around the state. It includes year-by-year statistics on various metrics, including the percentage of eighth graders enrolled in the 21st Century Scholars program, the FAFSA completion rate and the median income of graduates, along with data from state assessments like ILEARN and IREAD-3.

The data can be broken down by school and by school district. It can also be viewed by demographic statewide or on a school-by-school basis.

**Note: The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette is 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 [NOTE: NEIFPE has no financial ties to the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette]

Note: NEIFPE's In Case You Missed It is posted by the end of the day every Monday except after holiday weekends or as otherwise noted.


Monday, December 5, 2022

In Case You Missed It – December 5, 2022

Here are links to the last two 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 Follow Us By Email box in the right-hand column to be informed when our blog posts are published.


This week we start with politics.

Since public education is paid for with tax money, it has frequently been used as a political football by politicians. This has become even more pronounced since the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Our political discussions today range from bashing teachers' unions to the conspiracy theories promoted by right-wing pressure groups.

Other topics covered in today's posts are testing and vouchers.


Teacher: Why I Quit

After Teaching For 11 Years, I Quit My Job. Here's Why Your Child's Teacher Might Be Next.

There's a teacher shortage in the U.S.

Peter Greene describes it as "a slow-motion walkout, an open-ended strike that's hard to see because teachers are walking off the job one at a time." The pressures of teaching coupled with the last few years dealing with COVID, followed by the political backlash against masking, the conspiracies of "grooming," CRT, book banning, and the like, have created a perfect storm. Would you continue to work in an industry in which politicians, the media, and even your patrons bullied you, called you names, and threatened you?

Not to mention the almost daily incidents of school violence...and the lack of political will to control firearms in our society.

From Huffpost
...there is currently a full-blown cultural war against teachers (and counselors and school board members). It’s not a coincidence that the anti-teacher narrative has grown in tandem with the push for “universal school choice.” The corporate education reform movement is far from organic. The people pulling the strings (and providing the dark money) have a very specific ulterior motive: to discredit the public school system so they can completely privatize education. Ironically, their “indoctrination” accusations and efforts to restrict educators’ professional autonomy are actually in service of their own goals to censor what students learn and gradually eliminate the separation of church and state. If you think I’m exaggerating, read this.

This movement is not democratic. Proponents want to consolidate power over the education system among an even smaller group of decision-makers with different priorities from most Americans. Currently, decisions about how to operate schools are made by school boards composed of district residents — usually elected by other district residents — who, at least in theory, have students’ and communities’ best interests at heart. But when public institutions become vehicles for profit and political influence, shareholders do not historically prioritize the common good.

Thank You, Teachers

Dan Rather: Thank You, Teachers

We'll try to ease the pain of the above post with Dan Rather's thank you to teachers for their work.

From Diane Ravitch
“The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called ‘truth.’”

I believe every word of it. These aren’t empty sentiments. They come from my lived history. A while back here on Steady, I shared my own experiences as a student of public schools, including an emotional return to my elementary school in Houston.

For all the challenges our schools face, right now millions of children are learning about the world and themselves thanks to dedicated teachers. Teachers are going the extra mile, reaching out to kids in need, tweaking lesson plans to include new insights, passing their own inspirations to the young people before them.

The work is not easy — far from it. And it can be an incredible grind, especially when it seems that society doesn’t value it or is even outright hostile to teachers. With this as a backdrop, it is understandable that many are choosing to leave the profession. This is not a reflection on them, but rather on the nation that is allowing it to happen.

Moms for Liberty? Moms Against Public Education!

Mercedes Schneider on “Moms for Liberty” Takeover of Local School Board: Let the Litigation Begin!

The radical right wing in the United States understands that "all politics is local." Aside from anti-public education legislation from state legislatures, a place to begin their effort to destroy public education is the local school board. Supporters of public education must organize to defeat them at the polls.

From Diane Ravitch
Mercedes Schneider describes the arbitrary and capricious actions of the Berkeley School Board in South Carolina. “Moms for Liberty” won control of the board in the recent election. At its first meeting, it fired the superintendent and the board’s attorney and immediately replaced them.

I posted a report previously about this extremist takeover, written by Paul Bowers, a journalist in South Carolina who attended the tumultuous meeting.

She points out that the superintendent had been rated “proficient” unanimously by the previous board only a month earlier.
Politicians Jockeying for Position

Pompeo: Randi Weingarten Is “the Most Dangerous Person in the World”

Mike Pompeo is testing the waters for a presidential run in 2024 by bashing teachers' unions. He claims that the most dangerous person in the world is a teachers union president.

From Diane Ravitch
Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo just proved that he is the stupidest person in the world. He said in an interview that Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, is “the most dangerous person in the world.”

More dangerous than the President of China, Xi Jinping, who is threatening the survival of Taiwan and re-imposing a repressive regime across China.

More dangerous than President Kim, the dictator of North Korea, who is threatening South Korea and the rest of the world, with his intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons.

More dangerous than Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, who is trying to destroy the people of Ukraine by destroying their access to heat, light, and water as winter begins,in addition to raining deadly missiles on them.

No, Pompeo says, Randi is “the most dangerous person in the world.”

Why? Because she leads a teachers’ unions, and unions are evil.

Florida: School Boards Endorsed by DeSantis Begin Firing Superintendents

Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis has been working overtime to damage his state's public schools.

From Diane Ravitch
Have you ever heard of a state governor endorsing candidates in local school board elections?

At the last election, DeSantis endorsed 73 local school board candidates who share his hard-right views. More than half won. Most of the same candidates were endorsed by the fringe group “Moms for Liberty.” Where the DeSantis candidates won a majority, they wasted no time in firing the superintendent. Teachers in DeSantis-led counties must be very careful in teaching about race, racism, gender, American history or anything likely to offend the ideologues who control the board.

Politico reported on the swift actions taken by DeSantis-endorsed school boards:
Florida: Why Does Governor DeSantis Appoint Local School Board Members?

From Diane Ravitch
In one county, his appointees fired the district superintendent and school board attorney at their first public meeting.

Just days ago, he appointed a campaign donor to the Miami-Dade school board.

LOL, We Already Knew It

Grumpy old teacher explains that we already knew that state testing was a waste of time and money.

From Grumpy Old Teacher
...the teacher was told that the state did not report data (test results) by benchmark and the district did not allow teachers to review questions with students and analyze why students chose wrong answers; therefore, a third test was needed so teachers could look at the questions, go over them with students, and look at what wrong answer was most often chosen and why it was wrong.

Reread that paragraph carefully. Ha, ha, ha, did a district employee just admit what we always knew?! That state and district tests have little value for the classroom teacher. Their tests tell us nothing except that our schools no longer focus on what students need. It’s about the data. Students are nothing more than dogs running around a track for the bettors and the house who sets the odds so that it always wins.


School Vouchers Don’t Increase Academics; They Increase Bigotry

Vouchers don't work...other than to divert public tax dollars from public schools to private and religious schools.

From Gadfly on the Wall Blog
Let’s be honest.

At best, school vouchers are a failed education policy experiment.

At worst, they’re an attempt to normalize bigotry.

Using taxpayer money to send your child to a private or parochial school has got nothing to do with getting a quality education.

If we look at the facts, using a school voucher to go from a public school to a private one actually hurts kids academically.

Large-scale independent studies in Indiana, Louisiana, Ohio and Washington, D.C., show that students who used vouchers were as negatively impacted as if they had experienced a natural disaster. Their standardized test scores went down as much or more than students during the Covid-19 pandemic or Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

This should come as no surprise. When we give children school vouchers, we’re removing their support systems already in place.

They lose the friends, teachers, and communities where they grew up. It’s like yanking a sapling from out of the ground and transplanting it to another climate with another type of soil which may not be suited to it at all.

Vouchers have nothing to do with helping kids escape struggling public schools.


Even with a Gerrymandered, Voucher-Supporting Legislature, Ohio Advocates Will Keep on Pushing for a Strong System of Public Education

Ohio finds itself where Indiana has been for more than a decade -- in the grip of an anti-public education supermajority in the state legislature.

From Jan Resseger
After the November election, we woke up in Ohio to a troubling political reality. We have only one remaining Democratic official elected statewide—U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, who now begins the final two years of a six year term. Our state is highly gerrymandered, and all the people elected to run our state government, from Governor Mike DeWine on down, are Republicans—most of them increasingly conservative. Republicans now hold a 26-7 supermajority in the Ohio Senate and a 68-31 supermajority in the Ohio House of Representatives.

Although the term-limited, outgoing House Speaker, Bob Cupp lowered himself by joining Senate President Matt Huffman to create illegal (and implemented nonetheless) gerrymandered legislative and Congressional districts for the November, 2022 election, Cupp’s biography summarizes a complex and nuanced political career: “Speaker Bob Cupp is serving his fourth term in the Ohio House of Representatives. He has served as an elected official in all three branches of government and at both the local and state levels: as an Allen County commissioner, a four-term state senator, a court-of-appeals judge, and a justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio.” Extremely knowledgeable about public school finance, Cupp led a several-years-long commission to design a new Fair School Funding Plan and sponsored the legislation as part of the FY22-23 state budget.

Here, however, is the Columbus Dispatch‘s Anna Staver describing Cupp’s replacement, Derek Merrin, who was just elected by his peers to become House Speaker in January: “A 36-year-old realtor and real estate investor who launched his political career before he could legally drink is about to become one of the most powerful lawmakers in Ohio… Merrin told reporters… that he plans to push a ‘bold conservative agenda’ in the next General Assembly… Merrin helped shepherd the 2019 ‘heartbeat bill’ through the House Health Committee where he served as chairman… When the next two-year legislative session gets underway, the leaders of both the Ohio House and Senate will be strong supporters of expanding school choice. Senate President Matt Huffman, R-Lima, is known around the statehouse as the school voucher guy, and Merrin co-sponsored ‘the backpack bill.’ That’s a plan by House Republicans to make every K-12 student in Ohio eligible for a tuition voucher for private school. ‘Speaker-elect Merrin has been a strong supporter of funding students, not systems,’ Center for Christian Virtue President Aaron Baer said. Baer worked closely with lawmakers on House Bill 290, (the Backpack Bill) which was introduced more than a year ago.”

Senate President Matt Huffman has been shamelessly willing to brag about the power his gerrymandered, Republican supermajority grants him. Last spring, he told reporter Anna Staver: “We can kind of do what we want.”

Note: NEIFPE's In Case You Missed It is posted by the end of the day every Monday except after holiday weekends or as otherwise noted.


Wednesday, November 23, 2022

So, What do kids need?

The Indiana General Assembly's Organization Day was yesterday, Tuesday, November 22, 2022. Cathy Fuentes-Rohwer, president of the Indiana Coalition for Public Education, spoke to members of AFT Indiana at the Statehouse.

She has graciously allowed us to reprint her comments, here. We urge you to support public education in Indiana and support the ICPE. Click the link below to join:

So, What do kids need?

As we head into a budget session this January, we must ask ourselves how we can best support Indiana's children and prepare them for a bright future. As all good educators, we must start with where the child is and go from there.

Indiana ranks 31st in the country in terms of children's overall wellbeing. The American Academy of Pediatrics sounded the alarm last year when they declared a national mental health crisis for our children. Indiana is 26th in the nation in terms of mental illness rates and access to care. Our domestic violence rates are above the national average. Our child abuse rates are twice the national average. We know that these overall well being statistics are disproportionately affecting our children of color and children from other historically marginalized communities. We also know that the effects of the pandemic had a serious and continued effect on these many concerns for our kids.

It was during the pandemic that our country discovered what we public education advocates have been saying: our schools are the heart of our communities. Our public schools were and are on the frontline of care for our children. The people who work in those schools are the first responders for our kids’ health, education and overall well being. We need to support this system of community public schools.

Instead, Indiana is still faced with a real teacher shortage. Our rural and small schools are struggling to provide kids with the advanced courses and experienced, well paid teachers that all children deserve. Other school systems serving some of our most vulnerable kids are in the same boat. Our public schools are for all and serve all kids–and yet, increasingly the state legislature is siphoning away resources and precious tax dollars to those private and privately run schools that can select their few. Last school year alone, we lost around a quarter of a billion dollars to vouchers alone.

The Indiana Coalition for Public Education will be pushing for more funding in this upcoming legislative session for our public schools. The cost of inflation and the attack on public education, the failure to provide enough funding for the complexities of the burdens of poverty on children's learning and well being, the shrinking pool of teachers with experience and education to meet the needs of our kids, is creating a sustained crisis for Indiana's children.

Here is what we don't need: We don't need another reimagining of high school. You have messed around with how and what our kids need to accomplish before they graduate enough. Let teachers inform policy. Let teachers teach.

Here is what we 
don't need: an increase in public funds going into private hands through charters, innovation schools, private schools, ESAs (education scholarship accounts), or whatever the next best way of cutting public education is. Public schools have kids who are medically fragile, who are houseless, who are new to this country, who are dealing with situations that most of us can't imagine–and “school choice” will not help them. They choose public schools where they are all accepted and served. Fund PreK, not discrimination.

Here's what we also 
don't need: adults getting bogged down in absurdity, accusing our teachers of horrible nonsensical things, looking for litter boxes and porn in the classroom. Let teachers teach. Let educators inform policy. Let them teach truth in history.

Our kids need for the policymakers in this building to stop the attack on their schools, their communities, and on them. Kids need acceptance and love and to continue to walk into schools that accept them and are welcoming. They don't need this continued opening and closing of schools with the market, the revolving door of teachers, the continued loss of funding and resources into private hands that are unaccountable, to all this: STOP!

Public funds belong in public schools..where all children are accepted and cared for. Your budget is your priority: will our kids be prioritized? We will be watching. We will keep the public in public education.


Monday, November 21, 2022

In Case You Missed It – November 21, 2022

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 Follow Us By Email box in the right-hand column to be informed when our blog posts are published.

The next In Case You Missed It will post on December 5.

This week's post has important, analytical information about the NAEP test scores, including a reminder that "proficient" does NOT equal grade level.

We also have reports on the school board elections in Indiana, the governor of Virginia's plan to whitewash history, and educational harassment at a charter chain. Jan Resseger answers all of those with a call for public education advocates to fight back.

Fort Wayne Community Schools sets a test score goal and some ideas for bringing success to public school systems.


Worried About Helping Students “Catch Up”? Here’s How To Do It.

The NAEP, like most other standardized tests, is being misused and incorrectly interpreted. The public needs to be constantly reminded that "proficient" does not equal "grade level." Read Peter Greene's analysis.

From Peter Greene in Forbes
You've been seeing plenty of headlines about the dismal scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress test scores.

Despite the panic, the NAEP results have provided no clear answers about any of the things people want answers about. As we saw with the "little" NAEP results, there's no clear connection between school closings and dropped scores— staying open when other schools were closed did not produce any clear advantages. And in fact some score declines mirrored other pre-pandemic declines.

Add this on top of the usual caveats about the test. NAEP’s “proficient” is set considerably higher than grade level, as noted on the NAEP site. (This is a lesson that has to be relearned as often as NAEP scores are released.) Students who don’t achieve “proficient” are not “below grade level.” And when interpreting scores, NAEP is extraordinarily clear that folks should not try to suggest a causal relationship between scores and anything else. There are too many factors in play to point to any single factor as a clear cause.


‘Anti-CRT’ candidates underperform

Sadly, Indiana's school board elections have become political.

From School Matters
Indiana, unlike most of the country, did experience a partisan red wave on Nov. 8. Republicans won every statewide race, easily. They won seven of nine congressional districts and came close to winning an eighth. They held their supermajorities in the state House and Senate. If there’s a state where anti-CRT rhetoric should have swept ideologues onto school boards, Indiana is it.

But there’s not much evidence that happened. Surveys show that most Americans, regardless of politics, have a positive view of their local public schools. Farfetched claims that schools are indoctrinating students with a “woke” agenda may play well on right-wing media, but most Hoosiers know better.


Virginia: Governor Youngkin Directs Whitewashing of History Standards

Virginia Governor Youngkin wants to remove non-white history from the state's history curriculum.

From Diane Ravitch
Educators, parents, and civil rights groups in Virginia are outraged because Governor Glen Youngkin has directed the rewriting of the state’s history standards. The Youngkin standards eliminate anything that extremists and rightwingers find objectionable. The Youngkin team initially deleted all mention of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from the elementary curriculum. Presumably any discussion of Dr. King’s life and legacy might be interpreted as “critical race theory” by the Governor’s allies.

At the same time, Youngkin’s cultural warriors expanded coverage of Ancient Greece and Rome, expecting children in the early elementary years to learn about major figures in those civilizations for whom they have no context or understanding.

In the rewrite of the standards by the Youngkin team,, a startling amount of material about African Americans was deleted. The curriculum and standards were literally whitewashed.

And as you will notice, the Youngkin draft refers to Native Americans and indigenous peoples as “the first immigrants.” What?

The Multi-Layered Attack on Public Schooling and Why We are Obligated to Fight Back

We can't sit back and let the anti-public education forces destroy our public schools. We have to fight back.

From Jan Resseger
...This background from experts prepares us to recognize today that Moms for Liberty and similar groups disturbing local school boards with racist and homophobic attacks are part of a conscious strategy of funders like the Heritage Foundation and the Goldwater and Manhattan Institutes to grow school privatization and undermine public support for our society’s largest and most universal civic institution. In my state, Ohio, House Bill 290, the universal, Education Savings Account school voucher bill, which will be hashed out this month in a lame-duck session of our gerrymandered, supermajority Republican state legislature, is intimately connected with the mass of culture war bills that have been introduced in the same legislature—bills that would ban books and ban any discussion that touches on race, gender, and sexuality. The culture war bills are there to make us define some of our children as “other” or deviant, to generate fear and unease, and to destroy commitment to a public system of education that has been made more inclusive over the decades in accordance with its declared mission of serving each and every child.

Whose responsibility is it to push back against today’s attack on public education? In his 2021, book, The Privatization of Everything, Donald Cohen assigns the obligation for protecting a democracy to its citizens: “In a democratic society, public goods…. should be defined by the public and its values. Just because some people can be excluded from having a public good does not mean we should allow that to happen. In fact, after we the people define something as a public good, we must use our democratic power to make certain that exclusions do not happen… no winners or losers—when it comes to education (or clean water, or a fair trial, or a vaccine), even if it’s possible to do so. We decide there are things we should do together. We give special treatment to these goods because we realize that they benefit everyone in the course of benefiting each one—and conversely, that excluding some hurts us all. That starts with asserting public control over our fundamental public goods… What’s important is that public goods exist only insofar as we, the voters and the people, create them. That’s how democracy should and often does work. But it really works only if we can hold on to an idea of the common good. Is it good for individuals and the whole?” (The Privatization of Everything, pp. 6-8)


Success Academy Parents Speak Out. Part 2 “I was told my seventh-grade daughter had to repeat entire grade because she failed one course by one point”

From Gary Rubinstein's Blog
Success Academy is known for its high 3-8 standardized test scores and its extreme rigidity. In a way, the rigidity is part of what causes them to have such high test scores. They demand compliance from their students and from the families of those students. When a student or the family of a student is not conforming to the expectations of the school, that student or family are going to be harassed, humiliated, and punished until they either fall into line or ‘voluntarily’ transfer to another school.

The heartbreaking saga of a girl I will call ‘Carla’ began pleasantly enough eight years ago when she was accepted into Success Academy Springfield Gardens as a kindergartener. From kindergarten through fourth grade, she thrived at the school. Her fourth grade report card grades were mostly the highest or second highest category, except for writing where she was struggling.

In fifth grade, she started having problems academically, though not catastrophically, and then as we all know, the pandemic hit and schools in New York went remote for the next year and a half. For the end part of fifth grade and all of sixth grade, Carla struggled to learn remotely. She had various connection issues and would wait in zoom waiting rooms endlessly. She was really traumatized by the pandemic year and was eager to return to in person classes for her seventh grade year.


FWCS sets reading goal of 95% passing by 2027

It's too bad that FWCS needs to focus on test scores. The pandemic caused emotional trauma, aside from academic losses. Focusing on the test scores alone, and of third graders, in particular, might cause some to ignore the real needs of children. Luckily, we know that most teachers rarely ignore the needs of children to focus entirely on test scores, but children's needs, rather than test scores, should be the system-wide focus.

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
The Fort Wayne Community Schools board formalized its expectations Monday about students' reading skills, matching a statewide goal of reaching a 95% passing rate on a key exam by 2027.

Board member Steve Corona, who presented the resolution, hopes FWCS' resolution encourages other boards and districts to do the same.

"We as a state have to get serious about this," Corona said after the meeting.

FWCS and other districts saw their scores plummet on the Indiana Reading Evaluation and Determination assessment, or IREAD-3, when testing resumed in 2021 after disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The exam measures third grade literacy proficiency.


Disrupting disruption: How 3 school districts improved with steady work

From the Answer Sheet
Public schools are frequently in the news these days, and seldom is the news good. The spotlight is on ideological donnybrooks over how race and gender-related topics are discussed in classrooms; the growing demand that parents, not teachers, decide what their children should be taught; assaults on the system by opportunistic politicians; and the learning loss blame game, with schools faulted for keeping schools closed during the pandemic. Some state lawmakers have proposed junking the common school and replacing it with a market-based regime.

The good news is that it doesn't have to be this way.

In “Disrupting Disruption,” my co-authors and I shine a light on three racially and ethnically diverse school systems: Roanoke, nestled in Virginia’s Shenandoah mountains; Union, Okla., Tulsa’s neighbor; and Union City, N.J., across the Hudson River from Manhattan. Their students don’t resemble those in highflying places like Wilmette, Ill., or Lexington, Mass., predominantly White and well-off, with their off-the-charts test scores and graduation rates, and they do not appear on any list of the nation’s highest-performing districts. But they look like much of America, where White students don’t constitute a majority, and many come from low-income families.

**Note: The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette is 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 [NOTE: NEIFPE has no financial ties to the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette]

Note: NEIFPE's In Case You Missed It is posted by the end of the day every Monday except after holiday weekends or as otherwise noted.


Monday, November 14, 2022

In Case You Missed It – November 14, 2022

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 Follow Us By Email box in the right-hand column to be informed when our blog posts are published.

If you read one article this week, make it the first one in our list below. Peter Greene, at Curmudgucation, reminds us that support for public education doesn't end when an election is over. Privatizers haven't stopped. Neither should we.

Speaking of privatizers, we have two articles that measure the damage done to public education by charter schools.

Finally, we end this week with three short pieces about our local Fort Wayne area schools.

Thank you for your support of public education.


The election is over and the supermajority of anti-public education forces is still in control in Indiana. We need to be active, vocal, and vigilant in our support of public education.

The Long Haul

From Curmudgucation
I want to speak in favor of the long haul.

This is what the folks over on the right have always good at. The long march toward dismantling public education arguably stepped of with that made-to-order condemnation of public ed, A Nation At Risk, and there's been a slow steady tread in that direction ever since. High stakes testing, by which we can "prove" that public schools are failing. Bad top-down standards, by which we hobble public ed and sow distrust of it. Continued attacks on schools for teaching Bad Things, by which we further convince folks that public ed cannot be trusted. Charter schools, by which we move the Overton Window to where the idea of multiple many-tiered privately owned and operated schools don't seem so far fetched. (And some of this has been on the move since long before even A Nation at Risk--some of these folks are very patient).

All of these (and others as well) were pushed and supported by some people with a sincere belief in their value, but the anti-public ed crowd made use of the opportunity that was presented. Because opportunism is a critical element of the long game...

...If you work in public education, you should be a vocal advocate for public education. Beyond doing the work, you need to stand up for it.

Randi Weingarten on the Election

From Diane Ravitch
“When public education was on the ballot, public education mainly won. Dynamic, progressive governors who ran on a positive agenda focused on the promise and potential of public schools prevailed. Ballot initiatives in California, Massachusetts and New Mexico passed. Even in Florida, against millions spent by Ron DeSantis, levies boosting funding for schools saw widespread success.

“These results show a deep reservoir of support for public schools and for the sustained investment that parents want to help their kids thrive. And the endorsement of collective bargaining provisions in multiple states and cities comes at a time when the labor movement—including unions representing educators—maintains strong and enduring approval. AFT members—educators, healthcare workers, public employees, and retirees—campaigned relentlessly for what our kids and communities need, and those efforts made a difference.

Charters hurt public education. Here's the research...

Four Ways Charter Schools Undermine Good Education Policy

This post discusses a research article titled, How Charter Schools Undermine Good Education Policymaking by Helen Ladd.

From Peter Greene in Forbes
Charter schools are privately owned and operated schools funded with public tax dollars. That tension between private interests and public education has been at the heart of much debate about charter school policy. In a policy paper released today by the National Education Policy Center, Helen Ladd (Duke University) argues that there are four ways in which modern charter schools are at odds with good education policy.

Charter Schools Worsen the Teacher Shortage

The study Diane Ravitch refers to in her post can be found in the post, How Do Charter Schools Affect the Supply of Teachers from University-Based Education Programs?

From Diane Ravitch
...This study is one of the first to examine the possibility that charter schools affect the teacher pipeline. We focus specifically on how charter schools affect the number of traditionally prepared teachers who receive a bachelor’s in education.

Using data from 290 school districts with at least one commuter college nearby, we analyze the effect on the traditional teacher pipeline from schools of education. We draw the following conclusions:

Increasing district charter school enrollment by 10% decreases the supply of teachers traditionally prepared with a bachelor’s in education by 13.5-15.2% on average.

Charter-driven reductions in the supply of traditionally prepared teachers are most apparent in elementary, special education, and math education degrees.

This is consistent with the fact that charter schools mostly serve elementary grades, express interest in subject matter experts (e.g., math majors), and are less likely to assign students to special education.

These charter-driven reductions are concentrated in metropolitan areas and are largest among Black teachers.

Given how central teachers are to the educational process, any effect on the teacher pipeline is important...


Here are three articles about Fort Wayne area schools.

Fort Wayne Community Schools to seek input from parents on high school start times

Fort Wayne Community Schools will seek input from parents at a handful of meetings regarding a proposal to change high school start and end times to earlier in the day.

The idea of an earlier start time is “to give students more opportunity to work, obtain internships and participate in co-curricular activities after school,” the district said in its notice about the meetings.
Bands strut their stuff at state

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
Marching bands from across Indiana, including seven from the Fort Wayne area, took the field Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium to compete for the state's marching band titles.

The highest-placing area band was Homestead in Class A, which was won by Carmel.

FWCS aims to become model of inclusivity

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
Written in black dry erase marker, ideas for how to make Fort Wayne Community Schools a model of inclusivity covered a whiteboard in Maureen Bender's downtown office.

It's an effort that will involve staff, students and the community, and Bender is navigating the process with few K-12 models to consider for guidance. Diversity, equity and inclusion work has traditionally happened in higher education or the corporate sector.

"We've even looked at models throughout the country for where that exists (in K-12), and there's very few," Bender said. "We're drawing on experience and knowledge from both those entities to try and pave our own path here at Fort Wayne Community Schools."

**Note: The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette is 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 [NOTE: NEIFPE has no financial ties to the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette]

Note: NEIFPE's In Case You Missed It is posted by the end of the day every Monday except after holiday weekends or as otherwise noted.


Monday, November 7, 2022

In Case You Missed It – November 7, 2022

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 Follow Us By Email box in the right-hand column to be informed when our blog posts are published.


Charters and NAEP scores are in the news this week. Plus NACS is growing and needs to plan for the future.


Indianapolis charter school announces intent to acquire IPS school building if it closes

The image of this charter school as a “vulture circling” comes to mind. Don’t forget that it’s our legislators who are turning our public schools into “roadkill.” Time to vote for people who respect our public schools that serve all students without discriminating.

The charter school is in the same neighborhood as the public school. Were there enough students for another school in that neighborhood? What kept the public school from improving its program? Could it have been a lack of funding caused by a drain on public funds by charters and vouchers?

From Chalkbeat*
A charter school within Indianapolis Public Schools borders is hoping to acquire Paul Miller Elementary School 114 if the school board approves its closure next month.

Victory College Prep, a K-12 school just half a mile from School 114, hopes to use the property to accommodate its growing enrollment.

“The Paul Miller property is just two city blocks from the VCP campus — and annually, in recent years, we’ve welcomed a growing number of Paul Miller transfer students into our VCP classrooms,” Ryan Gall, the school’s executive director, told the board on Thursday.

The district’s Rebuilding Stronger plan — an attempt to address declining enrollment amid charter school growth — would leave multiple school buildings open for charter schools to potentially occupy. Victory College Prep is the first to publicly announce its intentions to acquire such a building.

State law allows charter schools to lease or acquire empty school buildings for $1.


Preston Green: Charter Schools Must Be Regulated

Charter schools use public funds. They should have public oversight.

From Diane Ravitch
Preston Green, Ed.D, is the John and Maria Neag Professor of Urban Education at the University of Connecticut. He delivered these remarks as part of the Graduate Schools of Education’s annual Barbara L. Jackson, Ed.D., lecture. Green is a specialist on the subject of education and the law. He warned that charter schools without sufficient oversight may actually threaten students’ civil rights. For the protection of students, charter schools must be regulated by government.

Jan Resseger: Don’t Get Stressed About the NAEP Scores

Diane Ravitch asks some good questions about our obsession with testing. Why should we expect this year's fourth graders to do better than last year's fourth graders? Do we have realistic expectations? Click to read the article.

From Diane Ravitch
Since the two sets of NAEP scores were released recently, commentators have gone into a panic about “learning loss” and used the declines to promote their favorite reform: more of this, less of that. DeSantis even released a press release claiming falsely that Florida’s formula of ignoring the pandemic was just right (California stuck with the CDC guidelines and did at least as well, maybe better, than Florida, but Gavin Newsom did not issue a press release).

Jan Resseger has words of perspective that I sum up as: why are we surprised that learning was disrupted by the pandemic?

My question, having served on the NAEP board for seven years, is why the media and the reform crowd thinks that NAEP scores should go up every year? Why should fourth and eighth graders this year know more than fourth and eighth graders two years ago or four years ago? Isn’t it reasonable to assume that students of the same age and grade are likely to have the same scores? Yet if they do, the media sends out loud lamentations that scores are “flat.” Oh, woe! Surely we want to see a rise in the scores of the lowest scoring students, and a narrowing of gaps, but the media assumes that everyone must increase their scores or the education system is failing. This is nuts...


Northwest Allen County Schools told to prioritize middle schools with enrollment forecast

NACS is growing.

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
With Northwest Allen County Schools’ enrollment forecasted to increase by more than 800 students in the next decade, a demographer recommends the middle and high schools get top priority...

McKibben’s forecast shows NACS will have 8,996 students in the 2032-33 academic year. That’s 859 more students than it has now, he said, and most of that forecasted growth will happen in the next five years...

McKibben said a few primary factors are driving growth in NACS: the sustained rate of new home construction and the relatively high number of elderly housing units turning over coupled with a steady rate of young families moving into the district.

Future NACS boards must address the middle schools. The two buildings are full now, he said, and enrollment for grades six, seven and eight is forecasted to climb to nearly 2,200 students, from about 1,950.
*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 is 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 [NOTE: NEIFPE has no financial ties to the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette]

Note: NEIFPE's In Case You Missed It is posted by the end of the day every Monday except after holiday weekends or as otherwise noted.


Monday, October 31, 2022

In Case You Missed It – October 31, 2022

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 Follow Us By Email box in the right-hand column to be informed when our blog posts are published.


This week we cover the latest NAEP scores and the pandemic's impact on student achievement. We also look at the teacher exodus, charter schools, and a particular student mural in Michigan that has parents losing their minds.


New NAEP scores have been released and, as expected, the pandemic had an impact on the results. Before you read the three articles below, it might help to take a refresher course on what the levels Basic, Proficient, and Advanced actually mean. Tom Loveless wrote an article back in 2016 that's still one of the best explanations of why low Proficiency on the NAEP should not cause widespread panic.

The NAEP proficiency myth
NAEP does not report the percentage of students performing at grade level. NAEP reports the percentage of students reaching a “proficient” level of performance. Here’s the problem. That’s not grade level.

In this post, I hope to convince readers of two things:

1. Proficient on NAEP does not mean grade level performance. It’s significantly above that.
2. Using NAEP’s proficient level as a basis for education policy is a bad idea.
Proficient on NAEP is not grade level. It's "significantly above that." NAEP agrees [emphasis added]...
NAEP achievement levels are performance standards that describe what students should know and be able to do...Students performing at or above the NAEP Proficient level on NAEP assessments demonstrate solid academic performance and competency over challenging subject matter. It should be noted that the NAEP Proficient achievement level does not represent grade level proficiency as determined by other assessment standards (e.g., state or district assessments).
It's true that students scored lower this year than in past years, but when you read in Chalkbeat, below, that only a third of fourth graders scored at or above the Proficient achievement level in reading, that does not mean that two-thirds of Indiana's fourth-graders are reading below grade level.

Can we do better? We hope so, but we don't need to panic.

NAEP Scores Confirm that COVID Disrupted Schooling; They Do Not Reflect a Downward Trajectory in School Achievement

Jan Resseger suggests that the test scores are a benchmark of where we were during the pandemic.

From Jan Resseger
There is no cause for panic. Schooling was utterly disrupted for the nation’s children and adolescents, just as all of our lives were interrupted in so many immeasurable ways. During COVID, while some of us have experienced the catastrophic death of loved ones, all of us have experienced less definable losses—things we cannot name.

I think this year’s NAEP scores—considerably lower than pre-pandemic scores—should be understood as a marker that helps us define the magnitude of the disruption for our children during this time of COVID. The losses are academic, emotional, and social, and they all make learning harder.

Schools shut down and began remote instruction in the spring of 2020, and many stayed online through the first half of last school year. While most public schools were up and running by last spring, there have been a lot of problems—with more absences, fighting and disruption, and overwhelming stress for educators. It is clear from the disparities in the scores released last week among high and low achievers that the disruption meant very different things to different children. It is also evident that the pandemic was a jolting shock to our society’s largest civic institution. It should be no surprise, then, that the attempt to get school back on track was so rocky all through last spring…

While the NAEP is traditionally used to gauge the trajectory of overall educational achievement over time, and while the trajectory has been moderately positive over the decades, the results released last week cannot by any means be interpreted to mean a change of the overall direction of educational achievement.

Indiana’s NAEP scores show biggest decline in math as leaders weigh COVID’s fallout

To their credit, Chalkbeat does mention somewhere buried in the article, that "the bar for achieving proficiency on NAEP tests is generally higher than it is for state exams." Perhaps we would have been better served by Chalkbeat if they had given us data on the percentage of students who scored Basic or above.

From Chalkbeat*
Indiana students’ math and reading scores on “the nation’s report card” declined from pre-pandemic results, with the state’s average math scores declining the most.

Scores released Monday from the most recent National Assessment Educational Progress — or NAEP — showed that 33% of fourth graders and 31% of eighth graders were proficient or better in reading, while 40% of fourth graders and 30% of eighth graders were proficient or better in math.

Those proficiency rates were lower than in 2019 except in fourth grade reading, where the rates are statistically about the same as in 2019.

Indiana’s average reading scores were around the national average this year, and math scores were higher than the national average scores.

Your All-Purpose NAEP News Release

From Curmudgucation
As always, the main lesson of NAEP is that contrary to the expectations of so many policy wonks, cold hard data does not actually solve a thing.

The NAEP remains a data-rich Rorschach test that tells us far more about the people interpreting the data than it does about the people from whom the data was collected. Button up your overcoat, prepare for greater-than-usual pearl-clutching and solution-pitching from all the folks who still think the pandemic shutdown is a great opportunity to do [whatever it is they have already been trying to do].


The Teacher Exodus Continues Whether You Care or Not

Reformers are working hard to privatize all education. One of their goals is to remove those pesky professionals (who actually know something about teaching, learning, and child development) from the schools.

From Gadfly on the Wall Blog
Remember when federal, state and local governments actually seemed poised to do something about the great teacher exodus plaguing our schools?

With an influx of money earmarked to help schools recover from the pandemic, many expected pay raises and bonuses to keep experienced teachers in the classroom.

Ha! That didn’t happen!

Not in most places.

In fact, the very idea seems ludicrous now – and this was being discussed like it was a foregone conclusion just a few months ago at the beginning of the summer.

So what happened?

We found a cheaper way.

Just cut requirements to become a teacher.

Get more college students to enter the field even if they’re bound to run away screaming after a few years in.

It doesn’t matter – as long as we can keep them coming.

The young and dumb.

Or the old and out of options.

Entice retired teachers to come back and sub. Remove hurdles for anyone from a non-teaching field to step in and become a teacher – even military veterans because there’s so much overlap between battlefield experience and second grade reading.

And in the meantime, more and more classroom teachers with decades of experience under their belts are throwing up their hands and leaving.

Stop and think for a moment.

This is fundamentally absurd.


Arthur Camins: Democrats, It’s Time to Give Up on Charter Schools

"Are you listening, Senator Corey Booker of New Jersey, Senator Michael Bennett of Colorado, Governor Jared Polis of Colorado, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, and other charter allies?"

From Diane Ravitch
It is time for Democrats–voters and the politicians who represent them–to abandon charter schools as a strategy for education improvement or to advance equity. Charter schools, whether for- or non-profit, drain funds from public schools that serve all students, increase segregation, and by design only serve the few. Continuation of tax generated funds for charter schools, all of which are privately governed, support the current broader assault on democracy. That should not be the way forward for democracy loving Democrats. In addition, public support for private alternatives to public education suborns the lie that government cannot be the agency for solving problems.

The United States is tilting sharply toward, if not rushing headlong into, a less equitable, less democratic, more authoritarian, more racially divided, and meaner way of governing and living together. Out-for-youselfism is alarmingly rampant. Sadly, continued bipartisan state and federal support for charter schools that pit parents against one another for limited student slots reflects those tendencies.


Michigan: Parents Go Bonkers Over Mural in School

The education right wing can't seem to tolerate tolerance.

From Diane Ravitch
Thanks to Christine Langhoff for sharing this horrifying video.

It shows parents at Grant Middle School in Grant, Michigan, demanding the removal of a mural painted by a high school student. The mural was meant to make all students feel welcome.

But parents saw frightening symbols in it, such as a T-shirt that was a trans symbol, another that was a gay symbol, others graphics that were allegedly demonic or Satanic.
A high school student's mural angers parents over what they say are hidden messages

*Note: Financial sponsors of Chalkbeat include pro-privatization foundations and individuals such as Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, EdChoice, the Gates Family Foundation, The Walton Family Foundation, and others.

Note: NEIFPE's In Case You Missed It is posted by the end of the day every Monday except after holiday weekends or as otherwise noted.