Monday, August 1, 2022

In Case You Missed It – August 1, 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.

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Fort Wayne Community Schools approved corporate sponsorship with a local credit union, public schools around the country are keeping their virtual programs, and the right-wing culture wars are still targeting public schools and their libraries.


Amp Lab lands Fort Wayne Community Schools' first corporate sponsorship for naming rights

Make no mistake, inadequate funding from the state of Indiana and the low priority of public education and children in general, are reasons that school systems have to go begging for corporate sponsors.

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
The Fort Wayne Community Schools board approved an unprecedented request Monday – naming rights to a commercial entity.

The seven members cemented the $625,000 sponsorship with 3Rivers Federal Credit Union about two weeks before the launch of Amp Lab at Electric Works, the district’s immersive half-day program for juniors and seniors. In exchange, one of Amp Lab’s four educational studios will be named for the credit union for five years.

Steve Corona, a board member, stressed the significance of the announcement, saying the partnership illustrates Superintendent Mark Daniel’s promise to engage businesses.

“We know that it costs money to run Amp Lab,” Corona said. “And we need our business partners to do that.”


Andrea Gabor: Online Schooling Is a Very Bad Idea

Many schools have opted to keep their virtual programs that were developed during the pandemic.

From Diane Ravitch
Nearly all of the 20 largest US school districts will offer online schooling options this fall. Over half of them will be offering more full-time virtual school programs than they did before the pandemic. The trend seems likely to continue or accelerate, according to an analysis by Chalkbeat.

That’s a problem. School closings over the last two years have inflicted severe educational and emotional damage on American students. Schools should now be focusing on creative ways to fill classrooms, socialize kids and convey the joy of collaborative learning — not on providing opportunities to stay home.

Historically, various forces have pushed for online education — not all of them focused on improving education. These include: the quest for cheaper, more efficient modes of schooling; the push to limit the influence of teachers unions by concentrating virtual teachers in non-union states; and a variety of medical and social factors that lead some students and families to prefer online learning.


Right-wing groups are continuing their attack on public schools and their libraries.

Georgia: Will the State Ban Teaching the Truth About Racism?

From Diane Ravitch
In Florida, lawmakers are seeking to make it illegal for white students to feel discomfort. In Oklahoma, a recent proposed bill would allow parents to sue teachers for $10,000 per day if they discuss any topic that does not perfectly align with a student’s closely held religious belief.

The House and Senate bills here in Georgia do not mention critical race theory by name. But they are part of this growing ideological trend to manufacture and capitalize on outrage as it relates to what students are taught or not taught in schools — the front line, as it were, of the nation’s culture war.

While there have long been efforts from the political right to censor curriculum and ban books in U.S. schools, these efforts have reached a fever pitch over the past two years. First, parents shouted at local school boards to ignore medical science and reopen schools as well as remove mask mandates during the height of the pandemic. Then, concerns over the teaching of CRT began to spring up across the country.

Librarians Are Targets for Fascists

[emphasis in original]

From Diane Ravitch
This essay is dedicated to librarians and library staff across America, and to a family member who worked as a library clerk in an elementary school for many years.

“It felt like a knife in my heart,” said Audrey Wilson-Youngblood, a Texas library services coordinator, of the flood of accusations from parents that she and other library staff in the Keller Independent School District harmed students by having books on LGBTQ themes in their collections.

Across the country, librarians in school and municipal libraries feel that knife being turned. Activist parents, sometimes working in conjunction with GOP politicians or right-wing groups such as Moms for Liberty, are waging an authoritarian-style assault on libraries and librarians.

**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 holiday weekends or as otherwise noted.

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