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.


Monday, October 24, 2022

In Case You Missed It – October 24, 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.

A judge in Mississippi understands that public funds shouldn't be spent on private, religious schools.

Memphis, Tennessee school board rejects two new charters.

Jan Resseger (as promoted by Diane Ravitch) argues against third-grade retention laws.

And a middle school teacher wonders why we don't care enough about children to protect them from gun violence.


Mississippi: Judge Rules Against Using Public Funds for Private Schools

A decade ago, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that state tax money, in the form of vouchers, can be spent at religious institutions despite Article I, Section 4, and Section 6, of the Indiana Constitution...

Section 4. No preference shall be given, by law, to any creed, religious society, or mode of worship; and no person shall be compelled to attend, erect, or support, any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry, against his consent.

Section 6: No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution.

The money used for school vouchers in Indiana belongs to the public schools and is diverted to mostly Christian, religious schools. Apparently, even Mississippi knows better.

From Diane Ravitch
Here is good news. The politicians in Mississippi tried to divert public funds to benefit private schools. This is taking from the poor and middle-class to benefit the children of the affluent. The judge said no. In most red states, state judges have repeatedly ruled that state constitutions are invalid when it comes to funding private and religious schools. All state constitutions require that public funds are for public schools. Mississippi is lucky to have a judge who ruled that the state constitution means what it says.


Tennessee: State Charter Commission Rejects Two Charter Schools in Memphis

Charters lose this round in Tennessee.

From Diane Ravitch
The executive director of the Tennessee Public Charter School Commission has recommended against approving two proposed charter schools in Memphis, siding with a school board that found the charter applications failed to meet state standards.

Tess Stovall’s recommendations uphold the Memphis-Shelby County School board’s unanimous decision in April and again in July to reject the applications for the proposed Binghampton Community School and Tennessee Volunteer Military Academy. Leaders of both schools had appealed the decisions to the state.

Jan Resseger: Why Ohio Must End the Failed Policy of 3rd Grade Retention

Third grade retention policy, which is also part of Indiana's education environment, should be ended. Diane Ravitch reports on why retaining students in third grade is a bad idea.

From Diane Ravitch
Jeb Bush and his ExcelInEd Foundation have been dogged promoters of the Third Grade Guarantee, but last May, the Columbus Dispatch’s Anna Staver traced Ohio’s enthusiasm for the Third Grade Guarantee to the Annie E. Casey Foundation: “In 2010, the Annie E. Casey Foundation released a bombshell special report called ‘Early Warning! Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters.’ Students, it said, who don’t catch up by fourth grade are significantly more likely to stay behind, drop out and find themselves tangled in the criminal justice system. ‘The bottom line is that if we don’t get dramatically more children on track as proficient readers, the United States will lose a growing and essential proportion of its human capital to poverty… And the price will be paid not only by the individual children and families but by the entire country.’”

But it turns out that promoters of the Third-Grade Guarantee ignored other research showing that when students are held back—in any grade—they are more likely later to drop out of school before they graduate from high school. In 2004, writing for the Civil Rights Project, Lisa Abrams and Walt Haney reported: “Half a decade of research indicates that retaining or holding back students in grade bears little to no academic benefit and contributes to future academic failure by significantly increasing the likelihood that retained students will drop out of high school.” (Gary Orfield, ed., Dropouts in America, pp. 181-182)


Will We Even Try to Keep Students and Teachers Safe from Gun Violence? Or Just Keep Preparing for the Worst?

Right-wing politicians get all bent out of shape by the "damage" done to America's school children who were forced to wear masks in order to keep them, their peers, their families, and school staff safe during the coronavirus pandemic, don't seem to care enough to do much about the "pandemic" of school shootings.

From Gadfly on the Wall Blog
“Teachers, we are operating on a lockdown. Please keep your doors locked until we tell you it has been lifted.”

Before me a sea of wide eyes and scared faces.

I slowly walked toward the door continuing the lesson I had been giving before the announcement. The door was already shut and secured but I nonchalantly turned the extra deadbolt.

“Click!” it sounded like a gunshot across the suddenly silent room.

I continued talking while making my way back to the blackboard pretending that nothing out of the ordinary was happening.

That’s just life in the classroom these days.

According to Education Week, there have been 38 school shootings in the US this year resulting in injuries or deaths. That’s up from 34 last year and the highest it’s been since the media source began tracking such things in 2018.

During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, there were only 10 such shootings in 2020, and 24 each in 2019 and 2018.

That comes to a total of 130 school shootings in the last five years.

“Mr. Singer, can I go to the bathroom?” DeVon asked.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “We’re still under lockdown. I’ll write you a pass as soon as it’s lifted.”

It seems like nowhere is safe.
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 17, 2022

In Case You Missed It – October 17, 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.

Steven Singer refutes Republican nightmares about public schools, North Carolina wants to used test scores to grade teachers, teaching the controversy of the holocaust, and new plans for NACS.


Top Five Republican Nightmare Fantasies About Public Schools

Do public schools teach children to be gay? Steven Singer refutes Republican nightmare fantasies about public schools.

From Gadfly on the Wall Blog
Republicans are fighting against a version of public education that does not exist.

Critical race theory, pornographic school books, and other bogeymen haunt their platforms without any evidence that this stuff is a reality.

Doug Mastriano, the GOP nominee for Governor of Pennsylvania, actually promises to ban pole dancing in public schools.

Pole dancing!

“On day one, the sexualization of our kids, pole dancing, and all this other crap that’s going on will be forbidden in our schools,” he says.

Mr. Mastriano, I hate to tell you this, but the only school in the commonwealth where there was anything like what you describe was one of those charter schools you love so much. The Harambee Institute of Science and Technology Charter School in Philadelphia used to run an illegal nightclub in the cafeteria after dark.

But at authentic public schools with things like regulations and school boards – no. That just doesn’t happen here.

Maybe if your plan to waste taxpayer dollars on universal school vouchers goes through you’ll get your wish.

But reality has never stopped the state Senator from complaining about a list of fictional public education woes.


North Carolina: A Teacher Explains Why the State is Pushing a Disastrous Plan

Here is another response to North Carolina's new education plan that continues to move public education in the state from a highly acclaimed system a decade ago to privatization. The plan calls for paying teacher for test scores, which hasn't worked and ends up driving teachers out of education...causing a teacher shortage.

...which is likely one of the goals of the privatizers. Peter Greene explains more about the plan in his Forbes column -- Who Is Behind North Carolina’s Plan To Upend Teacher Pay.

From Diane Ravitch
A few days ago, I posted a column by Peter Greene about a dreadful plan in North Carolina to align teacher pay and evaluation with test scores, an approach that has always failed and that always demoralizes teachers.

Peter was relying on the thorough research of Justin Parmenter, a North Carolina teacher who is a National Board Certified Teacher.

Another North Carolina teacher wrote the following comment...


Teachers: Would Your District or State Allow You to Teach Ken Burns’ Series on the Holocaust?

New state laws about teaching "controversies" might get in the way of teaching history.

John Thompson's comments can be found here, John Thompson: Will Oklahoma Schools Dare to Show Ken Burns’ Series on the U.S. and the Holocaust?

From Diane Ravitch
I recently posted a commentary by John Thompson, a retired teacher in Oklahoma who speculated about whether the state would permit high school teachers to teach Ken Burns’ series on the U.S. and the Holocaust. Oklahoma has a law—HB 1775–which might intimidate teachers.

In response, a teacher in Utah said that he or she felt sure that the Burns’ series would not be allowed because it’s controversial.


Creating a 'North Star' among goals for Northwest Allen County Schools superintendent

The new superintendent of Northwest Allen County Schools announces his plan to collect input from district stakeholders.

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
Superintendent Wayne Barker plans to give Northwest Allen County Schools stakeholders an opportunity to shape the district’s future.

Leading the 8,000-student district through a strategic planning process is among four goals Barker and the school board set for his superintendency. That’s the best way to collect input the public is eager to share, Barker said Monday.

“It’s letting the community, first of all, say, ‘Here’s what we want from Northwest Allen County Schools,’” Barker said. “‘These are the things that are important to us. These are the things that maybe we do well now. Here are things that we should be focused on in the future.’”

Although Barker has spearheaded strategic plans in other districts, he said the district will likely hire someone to do that work, and not just because of the district’s size.

“We need to make sure it, quite honestly, looks neutral, that we totally solicit the public’s input on that in a neutral way,” Barker said, acknowledging the tensions and division NACS has experienced in recent years.
**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.


Friday, October 14, 2022

Vic’s Statehouse Notes #367

Vic Smith, founder and board member of the Indiana Coalition for Public Education (ICPE), sent out this email about the upcoming midterm election.

Click the link at the end to read the entire post.
Vic’s Statehouse Notes #367

Dear Friends,

The threat to public education by Education Scholarship Accounts (ESAs) is clear. ESAs could be expanded to all students in the upcoming session of the Indiana General Assembly.

Before the election, ask every candidate for the Indiana House or the Indiana Senate: Will you oppose expanding Education Scholarship Accounts (ESAs) to all students?

If the candidates don’t answer with a clear “YES” to oppose ESAs, they should not get your vote.

Take action before the election on November 8.

This election could decide whether public education is further privatized and undermined in Indiana.

What are ESAs?

For those who would privatize our public schools, their goal is in sight.

Followers of Milton Friedman in Indiana have long had a plan to undercut our public schools and give tax dollars for K-12 education directly to parents rather than to our public schools. In Indiana, the mechanism is called Education Scholarship Accounts.

The 2021 General Assembly, despite our vigorous opposition, already approved ESAs for special education students by attaching the proposal to a popular budget. Now, a proposal to expand ESAs to all students, known as universal Education Scholarship Accounts, the holy grail of school privatizers, is getting behind-the-scenes support from key leaders in the General Assembly. That support appears to be enough to put ESAs in a glide-path to be included in the budget.

The only apparent way to stop ESAs is the election.

Read the rest at Vic’s Statehouse Notes #367


Monday, October 10, 2022

In Case You Missed It – October 10, 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.

Indiana names the Teacher of the Year and we feature posts discussing the failure and danger of standardized testing.


Bluffton teacher named Indiana’s Teacher of the Year

Tara Cocanower, a Bluffton High School history teacher has been named Indiana Teacher of the Year for 2023.

From WANE dot com
The Indiana Department of Education announced the honor on Wednesday.

“For many educators, becoming a teacher is a calling to serve others and make a positive impact on the world, one student at a time, and Mrs. Tara Cocanower is the embodiment of someone who was truly meant to be a teacher,” said Dr. Katie Jenner, Indiana Secretary of Education. “When you see the way she connects with her students, it is clear to those around her that in addition to maximizing student learning, she is positively impacting lives and preparing her students to do the same. By believing in her students and being a trusted mentor, she is empowering the next generation of leaders and, as she calls them, world changers.”


The United States has weaponized standardized tests for decades. We have overused and misused them to punish students for being poor, to punish teachers for working with hard to teach students, and to separate the haves from the have-nots.

Privatizers have used tests to claim that public schools are failing, when the failure is our society's inability to conquer racism and poverty.

Bloggers Nancy Bailey and Steven Singer wrote about standardized tests on their respective blogs this week, and our readers were interested.

Dear Dr. Cardona: Punitive Student Assessment is Meant to Privatize Public Schools!

Nancy Bailey's open letter to the U.S. Secretary of Education...

From Nancy Bailey's Education Website
High-stakes standardized tests have been punitive for years casting teachers as failing, closing public schools, opening charters, and pushing vouchers.

Tests, done right, can be a professional tool for teachers to understand students better. But corporate reformers stole that process years ago to make teachers look bad to close schools.

High-stakes standardized tests have unrealistically raised expectations even for the youngest learners. See Is Kindergarten the New First Grade? Children bear the pressure of high-stakes standardized testing, which can last a lifetime.

Public schools have been scrutinized, while charters and private schools are given free rein. See The New York Times’s recent report, In Hasidic Enclaves, Failing Private Schools Flush With Public Money, where gender-segregated schools funded with $1 billion from the government agreed to subject students to standardized tests, with dismal results.

And if test results were to ensure [public] schools would receive the resources they need, why are teachers resorting to charity, begging for materials, and using Donors Choose?

When Good Students Get Bad Standardized Test Scores

Gadfly on the Wall blogger Steven Singer posted twice about standardized tests. Why on Earth are we still using these ineffective and damaging so-called assessments?

From Gadfly on the Wall Blog
Ameer is a good student.

He takes notes in class, does all his homework and participates in discussions.

He writes insightful essays and demonstrates a mastery of spelling and grammar.

He reads aloud with fluency and inflection. He asks deep questions about the literature and aces nearly all of his classroom reading comprehension tests.

However, when it is standardized test time, things are very different.

He still arrives early, takes his time with the questions and reviews his work when he’s done – but the results are not the same.

His grades are A’s. His test scores are Below Basic.

How is that?

How can a student demonstrate mastery of a subject in class but fail to do the same on a standardized test?

And which assessment should I, his teacher, take seriously?

After all, they can’t BOTH be correct.

The Racist Origins of Standardized Testing Still Matter

From Gadfly on the Wall Blog
Would you walk across a bridge that was designed to break?

Of course you wouldn’t.

But what if someone told you the bridge had been fixed?

Would you trust it – especially if people were still falling off of it all the time?

That’s the situation we’re in with standardized testing.

The tests were explicitly created more than a century ago to fail minorities and the poor.

And today, after countless revisions and new editions, they still do exactly the same thing.

Yet we’re exhorted to keep using them.

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 3, 2022

In Case You Missed It – October 3, 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.

Surprise...charter schools are wasting public money and NPE Executive Director, Carol Burris, discusses. Peter Greene sees a danger to public education in Justice Alito's opinion in the 2014 Hobby Lobby decision.

We also report on two local school systems.


Audit of charter school program finds big problems

The Office of Inspector General (OIG), an independent watchdog of the U.S. Department of Education, found that for 2013-16 grants only 51% of the schools promised by Charter School Programs (CSP) recipients opened or expanded. Read NPE Executive Director Carol Burris's piece in the Washington Post Answer Sheet.

From the Answer Sheet
The U.S. Education Department’s Office of Inspector General has released a new audit of the federal Charter School Programs that found some alarming results about how charter school networks have used millions of dollars in funding. Among other things, the audit found that charter school networks and for-profit charter management organizations did not open anywhere near the number of charters they promised to open with federal funding. This piece looks at the new audit and what it tells us.

...Charter schools are publicly funded but privately managed. The federal charter program, which began in 1994 with the aim of expanding high-quality charters, had bipartisan support for years, but many Democrats have pulled back from the movement, citing the fiscal impact on school districts and repeated scandals in the sector. The Biden administration is making some changes to the program in an effort to stop waste and fraud and provide more transparency to the operation of charters.

This piece was written by Carol Burris, executive director of the Network for Public Education and a former award-winning principal in New York. She has been chronicling the charter school movement and the standardized-test-based accountability movement on this blog for years. The Network for Public Education is an alliance of organizations that advocates for the improvement of public education and sees charter schools as part of a movement to privatize public education.


Alito's Time Bomb And Education

Curmudgucation blogger Peter Greene explains how a horrible court decision could adversely affect our public schools and our civil rights.

From Curmudgucation
...suppose their religious belief is offended by students from the Wrong Background or whose parents aren't properly married, or a whole laundry list of reasons to discriminate against students. [Justice] Kennedy was worried about decisions forcing the government to create new programs, but when it comes to education, the government program is already in place--public schools.

So Alito's time bomb could be used for any sort of "sincerely held" religious-based discrimination that charters or voucher-collecting schools care to impose. "Well, they can always just go to public school," becomes a free pass for any sort of discrimination, bigotry and repression they care to indulge in, and public schools become a dumping ground, resources stripped for choice programs. Not that this isn't already happening (see here and here), but Koppelman's argument suggests one more legal protection for this twisting of the promise of public education.

People of faith ought to oppose this sort of reasoning. When "sincerely held" religious belief becomes a free pass for all manner of misbehavior, it's only a matter of time before religion becomes overrun with scam artists and grifters who find it convenient to suddenly develop "sincerely held" beliefs. Same as it ever was.

FWCS approves window upgrade

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
Fort Wayne Community Schools' facility director didn't want to estimate how many windows $1.5 million is buying at three buildings.

"I have no idea," Darren Hess told the school board as it considered the latest spending request supported by the district's $156 million allocation of federal emergency relief. "I'm not going to garner a guess."

The board on Monday unanimously awarded the window replacement contract to Schenkel Construction Inc., the lowest of two bidders.


Huntertown, NACS cooperate on annexation

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
Board members of Northwest Allen County Schools on Monday agreed to allow Huntertown to annex district property surrounding Carroll Middle and Eel River Elementary schools.

There were no acrimonious comments from board members. No wrathful speeches to report. The vote was unanimous...
**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.