Monday, August 15, 2022

In Case You Missed It – Aug 15, 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 have news from Fort Wayne Community schools and other local school systems. Diane Ravitch reports on some national issues.

Regular readers should pay particular attention to the last article about Facebook tracking codes, even if you don't use Facebook.


Take Me Back to the Classroom...

Anne Duff is the current President of the Fort Wayne Community School Board and a member of NEIFPE.

From Anne Duff for Education
...Sometimes working with young people can be a thankless job. While your students really do appreciate what you do, they may not always let you know – no thank you, no hug, no sign that you made a difference. But sometimes it creeps up on them…it took me nearly 40 years to realize that Mrs. Shearer was an awesome teacher. So when your students are out in the world as adults, something may trigger a memory for them. Then they just may look you up on Facebook and send you that message that you really did change their life.

I know my story is about a teacher and a student, but all of you can have an impact on a child – or even one of your co-workers. Though you may never hear it, you have given your students strength. You have given them memories; you have shown them love. As you begin this year, remember that you are creating memories for your students that they may reflect on later in life. Continue to love and inspire them! Continue to make a difference every day.

FWCS staff kicks off new year

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
Speakers included Superintendent Mark Daniel, board President Anne Duff and John Urbahns, president and CEO of Greater Fort Wayne Inc. They offered motivational messages from home plate to the roughly 4,000 employees, who will welcome almost 30,000 students back to school Wednesday.

"We get to wake up and sell Fort Wayne and Allen County, trying to create jobs, trying to bring investment to our community," Urbahns said of his organization. "But without people like you, training our kids, caring for them every day, it would not be an easy task."

Daniel further emphasized FWCS' role in the city.

"Hopefully, you understand how important we are as educators - public schools, pre-K through 12th grade," the superintendent said. "We're the building blocks for future economic growth."

Duff, a retired educator and guidance counselor, acknowledged that working in education can be a thankless job.

She shared personal stories to illustrate the effect school employees can have on students.

"When you go back to school this year, remember you do make a difference," Duff said.

Fort Wayne Community Schools leader prepares for 'pivotal' year

Local schools are going back to (the new) normal this year. COVID is not being ignored, but teachers and administrators have learned how to deal with widespread contagions.

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
Schools across Allen County will begin the academic year this week in a way they haven’t since 2019 – with regular operations in place.

Boards for districts including East Allen County Schools and Southwest Allen County Schools have approved plans confirming as much. The COVID-19 policies and procedures that affected the last two years are largely gone, including mask mandates and social distancing.

“It’s not as much a focus on COVID,” EACS Superintendent Marilyn Hissong said while summarizing changes to the Return to School Plan for school board members last month.

Rather, she continued, the protocols are good to fight any disease, such as the flu: “You know, taking the normal precautions, cleaning and disinfecting.”

Mark Daniel of Fort Wayne Community Schools told his school board in July that he looks forward to being “as much back to normal as possible” and seeing the gains students will be able to attain.

NACS board unclear on Huntertown annexation

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
Huntertown has asked Northwest Allen County Schools to voluntarily annex part of its property into the town, but board members Monday night said they aren't clear about the impacts and tabled it.

NACS' new superintendent, Wayne Barker, said school officials were told the town needs to have a continuous property line in order to annex new residential development. But to achieve that, he said, the district would need to allow the property of Carroll Middle and Eel River Elementary schools to become part of Huntertown.

Barker said he did not know the size of the land to be annexed, or which upcoming or existing developments were seeking annexation. A representative from Huntertown approached school officials with a proposal it wants the board to pass. But those officials could not attend Monday's meeting to explain it because of a schedule conflict.

The annexation of residential development would bring additional tax money into Huntertown. The annexation of the schools' land and buildings would not, as the properties are tax exempt.


Oklahoma Downgrades Two Districts for Making Whites Feel “Uncomfortable”

From Diane Ravitch
Tulsa is a majority-minority district, but it made the mistake of teaching something other than lily-white stories about America., where racism might have long ago existed. Teaching about racism today is intolerable.
Representatives for the Tulsa and Mustang school districts did not immediately respond to requests for comment Saturday. In a statement to the Oklahoman, Tulsa Public Schools denied that the training stated that people of a certain race were inherently racist, saying it would “never support such a training,” but the system defended the need for implicit bias training.

“In Tulsa, we are teaching our children an accurate — and at times painful, difficult, and uncomfortable — history about our shared human experience,” the district told the newspaper. “We also teach in a beautifully diverse community and need our team to work together to be prepared to do that well.”


Florida: Is DeSantis Purposefully Driving Teachers Away?

From Diane Ravitch
Ron DeSantis, Governor of Florida, has pushed policies that are driving teachers out of their profession. He knows exactly what he is doing. He favors charter schools and voucher schools, where teachers have no job security, no pensions.

Teachers are leaving public schools. They are quitting. DeSantis is getting what he wants.
BOCA RATON, FL ( (Copyright © 2022 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — The Palm Beach County School District appears to be in desperate need of teachers as the new school year gets underway. The first day of school for students is August 10th. Several teachers tell that they — and their colleagues — are leaving their long-held positions due to what they call the politicization of teaching by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Facebook has started to encrypt links to counter privacy-improving URL Stripping

This article claims that Facebook has changed its link protocol so that when you click on a link it will track you and the browser you're using will not be able to strip the tracking code from the link. According to our research, this has not yet happened.

Since many of our readers avoid Facebook for this very reason (internet tracking), we at NEIFPE have always stripped the tracking code on articles that we've posted on these In Case You Missed It posts. When, and if, Facebook changes its protocol for links we will continue to make sure the links we provide do not have the Facebook tracking codes.

Facebook has started to use a different URL scheme for site links to combat URL stripping technologies that browsers such as Firefox or Brave use to improve privacy and prevent user tracking.

Some sites, including Facebook, add parameters to the web address for tracking purposes. These parameters have no functionality that is relevant to the user, but sites rely on them to track users across pages and properties...

There is no option currently to prevent Facebook's tracking of users via links. Users could avoid Facebook, but that may not be possible all the time. URL tracking does not help much if other tracking means, e.g., through cookies or site data, are not available. While Facebook gets some information from URL-based tracking, it can't link it if no persistent data is available.

Users who don't sign into Facebook and clear cookies and site data regularly, may avoid most of the company's tracking.
**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 weekly except on holiday weekends or as otherwise noted.

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