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.

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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.


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