Monday, September 11, 2023

In Case You Missed It – September 11, 2023

Here are links to the last two weeks' 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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"These attacks are couched in the vocabulary of "parents’ rights" and student freedom, but they don’t serve the students at all, nor do they advance the rights of parents interested in a good, comprehensive education for their children, as opposed to one dictated by the most narrow-minded ideologues in their state." -- Michael Hiltzik in The right-wing campaign to make our kids dumber.


Chris Rufo: A Soldier in the War Against Public Schools

Rob Rogers created an excellent TikTok video that shows where Chris Rufo fits into the war on public schools.

From Diane Ravitch
Rufo invented the “critical race theory” hysteria out of whole cloth. He’s proud of his malicious role in “laying siege to the institutions.” Of course, Ron DeSantis appointed him to the board of New College as part of a rightwing takeover of that once highly esteemed liberal arts college that welcomed free-thinkers. To people like DeSantis and Rufo, free thinking is anathema.

Michael Hiltzik: The Republican Plan to Dumb Down America’s Youth

Republicans say they want to get rid of “indoctrination” but they are busily erasing free inquiry and critical thinking. What do they actually want? Indoctrination.

From Diane Ravitch
For reasons that may not be too hard to understand, Republicans and conservatives seem to be intent on turning their K-12 schools, colleges and universities into plantations for raising a crop of ignorant and unthinking students.

Donald Trump set forth the principle during his 2016 primary campaign, when he declared, “I love the poorly educated.”

Is Public School On Its Deathbed?

Peter Greene reviews an interview with author Cara Fitzpatrick about her new book, "The Death of Public School: How Conservatives Won the War Over Education in America". The book will be published next week.

From Curmudgucation
It's not just about privatizing the education product; it's about privatizing the responsibility for procuring an education for your children. A world in which vouchers rule and public education is dead is a world in which getting your child a quality education is nobody's problem but yours. It's a world in which you have to find vendors you can convince to take your child on as a "customer," and if that's hard--well, that's your own problem. Hard to pay for that quality education on your own, even with your voucher pittance? That's also your own problem.

Voucherworld is all about ending society's shared responsibility for providing each child with a decent education, and letting the market decide who deserves what based on their ability to pay, just as the market decides who deserves to drive a new Lexus and who deserves to drive a used Kia. Who deserves a fancy prep school, who deserves a microschool of neighborhood kids gathered around a computer screen, who deserves an education composed of facts rather than church-approved "facts," and who deserves to get an "education" in widget building? In voucherworld, the marketplace will decide, and parents will have no avenue for appeal.


“School Choice”: Who Chooses? The School or the Family?

Teachers College Press released this description of recent research on school choice.

From Diane Ravitch
...“charter schools often play an outsize role in shaping enrollment.” They cite an assortment of practices that charter schools have implemented to deter the enrollment of certain groups of students. And they conclude, “even when parents are able to enroll their child in their preferred school of choice, academic requirements and disciplinary policies may prevent enrollment in subsequent years.”

One Question: What's Behind the Politics of School Choice?

A panel of experts weighs in.

From The Progressive

Board Member of the Indiana Coalition for Public Education

The answer to this question is complex because “school choice” does not exist in a vacuum. The politicization of education is intrinsically connected to housing, economic development, and juvenile justice reform, laced with the co-opted language of equity that entices families to segregate voluntarily. However, the main motivation for modern attacks on education likely stems from the need to increase tax revenue in major urban cities nationwide.


What the legislature got right

Steve Hinnefeld at School Matters discusses some of the education bills the legislature got right.

From School Matters
Four months have passed since Indiana legislators finished their work. Yes, the session was mostly a disaster when it comes to education, but there were a few positives. Let’s give credit where credit is due.


Northwest Allen County Schools expects flat tax rate next year

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
Northwest Allen County Schools anticipates its tax rate will remain flat next year – an aspect one board member expressed gratitude for, considering the district recently opened a new elementary school and is undertaking three building projects.

“To be able to responsibly manage the budget and keep a tax rate that is consistent, if not lower, is something I feel really thankful for,” board Secretary Kristi Schlatter told Chief Financial Officer Brandon Basham after his 2024 budget presentation Monday.

A public hearing about the proposed budget is set for 6 p.m. Sept. 20 at Perry Hill Elementary School, 13121 Coldwater Road, with adoption Oct. 9.

Blackhawk Middle School renovation to cost nearly $16 million

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
Blackhawk Middle School’s makeover won’t exceed $16 million, the Fort Wayne Community Schools board learned Monday.

The elected leaders also agreed to spend nearly $360,000 to install security film on windows districtwide.

The Blackhawk project is among three major school renovations to be funded by the 2020 referendum. The board agreed in January to hire Weigand Construction Co. to update the building, which was built in 1972. The work will include architectural, mechanical, plumbing and electrical improvements.

Teacher Honor Roll: FWCS educator makes students feel loved, valued, smart

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
Kelcey Stinson (Raleigh)
School: Forest Park Elementary

Grade teaching: Third grade

Education: Ivy Tech Community College, Associate of Science in elementary education; Purdue University Fort Wayne, bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

Years teaching: Three

City born and current hometown: Fort Wayne

I will say my favorite part of each day is community circle with my students. It is a time when we come together and connect as a class family and learn new things about one another. No matter how busy our day is, I make sure to fit this in because it brings happiness, love and joy into each and every day.

**Note: The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette is behind a paywall. Digital access, home delivery, or both are available with a subscription. Staying informed is essential; 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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