Monday, February 13, 2023

In Case You Missed It – February 13, 2023

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.

Join us on March 1, 2023, at the Allen County Public Library for an update on public education and potential legislation being proposed regarding funding, vouchers, and the 2023 legislation may affect public education. Presentations will be by Dr. Jennifer McCormick, former Indiana State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Cathy Fuentes-Rohwer, President of the Indiana Coalition for Public Education (ICPE).


The Far Right Has Used Culture War Politics to Open the Gate to a Vast Expansion of School Vouchers

The attack on public education is not new. The far right has been doing its best to privatize public education for a long time. The so-called "culture wars" are just the latest attempt to damage public education in America.

The current calls for education "reform" through curriculum cleansing and book banning are not uprisings of grassroots parent groups. There is big money behind the quest to do away with public schools.

[Note: emphasis added]

From Jan Resseger
In Merchants of Deception: Parent Props and their Funders, a new report just out from the Network for Public Education, Massachusetts political scientist, Maurice Cunningham explores what appeared a couple of years ago to be the spontaneous emergence of angry parents’ groups protesting teaching about racism, sex and gender.

“In truth,” he begins, “political interests use crises to turn politics and policy their way. This has happened during the COVID pandemic as right-wing ‘parent’ groups came out of nowhere to protest health measures such as masking and vaccine requirements in schools, then moved on to Critical Race Theory, then LGBT issues, book banning, and an endless stream of other ginned up culture war issues. In truth the Right has been massing its forces for years to undermine public education, but the sudden proliferation of ‘parents’ and ‘moms’ groups has signaled a new and more virulent turn… Conservative groups have exploded since 2021 and include operations like Parents Defending Education (PDE) and Moms for Liberty (M4L). They draw on white backlash politics and resentment.”


March 1, 2023, event announced

Please join us and the Indiana Coalition for Public Education at the event with the state's finest public education advocates -- Cathy Fuentes-Rohwer and Jennifer McCormick -- supporters of public education in Indiana!


Partisan school board bill advances

Should school board members announce their party affiliation? Do we really need to add more political influence to public education? We think not.

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
Indiana Republicans forged ahead Wednesday with a proposal that would upend the current nonpartisan school board elections across the state despite opponents arguing the change would further inject politics into local schools.

The Indiana House elections committee voted 6-4 along party lines to endorse a bill that would establish a system allowing each of the state's nearly 300 school districts to determine whether to require candidates to declare a political party.


The College Board Lied about Black Studies AP Course. It Had Frequent Exchanges with Florida Officials

The College Board folded under pressure from the far right led by Florida Governor DeSantis.

From Diane Ravitch
Governor Ron DeSantis and his Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. denounced the new AP African American Studies course in January. They listed specific objections to the syllabus. When the College Board released its final draft on February 1, everything that Florida opposed had been deleted.

The College Board insisted that it did not bow to political pressure because the revisions were made before Florida officials denounced the original.

The New York Times reported that the College Board and Florida officials were in frequent contact between September and February 1. The first attack on the AP course was written by Stanley Kurtz and published in the National Review on September 12. Kurtz warned that the AP course was “NeoMarxist” and takes “leftist indoctrination to a whole new level.”

About the same time, the College Board and Florida officials began negotiations.

SACS board moving, plans to show meetings online

The Southwest Allen County Schools school board finally goes online.

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
The Southwest Allen County Schools board is preparing for a move - and their remote-viewing debut.

Beginning March 7, the five elected officials will no longer conduct business in the district administration building along Homestead Road. They will instead meet in a conference room at a nearby facility that houses transportation staff, Superintendent Park Ginder said Tuesday.

SACS plans to offer an option to watch meetings online - either through livestreaming or a recording - once the necessary equipment is in place, Ginder said.

**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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