Monday, October 30, 2023

In Case You Missed It – October 30, 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 of our blog page to be informed when our blog posts are published.

"If anything is ever to change, we need to get off our asses to do the hard work of living in a democracy. We need to get informed, to get engaged, to get involved, to think, and to hold our elected officials to the same standard as we would hold our friends and families.

"Rather than waiting for Superman, we need to channel our own inner strength and roll up our sleeves to do what is necessary to change the world."
-- Phyllis Bush, May 4, 2016, in Where Do We Go From Here?.


Dan Greenberg presents the Phyllis Bush Memorial Grassroots Award to Public Education Partners at the Network for Public Education 10 Anniversary Conference in Washington, D.C.

[Note you need a Facebook account to follow the link above. The Network for Public Education often posts videos of their conference. If, or when the video of this presentation becomes available we will share a link for it.]

Our memories of Phyllis Bush come to life when this award in her honor is presented at the NPE Conference. Her legacy lives on through groups nationwide as they continue their work to fight for public education. Congratulations to Ohio's Public Education Partners, this year's award recipients, for their advocacy.

Below is a quote from one of our earliest blog posts, That's a lot of numbers, Grandma! which Phyllis wrote in 2013.
As I have grown older, I have become more aware of who I am. I will always be a teacher. Helping others discover their strengths and find their own voices is what I love doing. Standing up for, respecting, and defending the voiceless is the fire that has burned within me for as long as I can remember. Pushing back against injustice is what gives me a reason to get up each morning.
NEIFPE Co-Founder, Phyllis Bush


M4L Continues to Post Misleading Information

M4L continues the misinterpretation and misuse of test scores that has done so much damage to public education.

From Accountabaloney blog
Lately, the Moms for Liberty crew has been deflecting from criticism by highlighting the so-called failures of public schools, claiming we are failing to teach students to read. Specifically, they are misusing scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) to claim that America’s students cannot do math or reading on grade level.

NAEP “Proficiency” is NOT a measurement of on-grade level performance, but something much higher. This is made clear on NAEP’s own website which states:

“Students performing at or above the 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).” NAEP “Proficiency” is a bar set well above “grade level.”

If you need more convincing, Tom Loveless, PhD wrote a great piece in Brookings in 2016, entitled The NAEP Proficiency Myth, where he said, “Confounding NAEP proficient with grade-level is uninformed.“

“It is an unreasonable expectation, one that ill serves America’s students, parents, and teachers–and the effort to improve America’s schools.“


7 area marching bands to vie for state championships Saturday

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
Marching bands from across the state, including perennial power Homestead and six others from the Fort Wayne area, will take the field Saturday at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium for a chance at one of four state titles.

Joining Homestead in the Class A finals of the state’s largest schools is Carroll. North Side competes in Class B; Concordia Lutheran, Angola and Garrett face off in Class C; and Adams Central rounds out the northeast Indiana contingent in small-school Class D. Each division has 10 competing bands.

All of the Fort Wayne-area schools but Garrett competed in last year’s state finals.

Homestead was the highest-placing area band last year, coming in sixth in Class A. Saturday will mark its 35th straight appearance in the state finals.

Fort Wayne Community Schools eyes student recruitment strategies

The Indiana Constitution demands that the legislature provide "a general and uniform system of Common Schools, wherein tuition shall be without charge, and equally open to all." The public schools are that system. Since 2011, the Indiana General Assembly has diverted billions in tax dollars to private schools and charter schools, shortchanging the vast majority of the state's students who attend the constitutionally mandated public schools.

Local school systems now have to spend precious dollars -- which should be used for instruction -- to remind the public that there is only one group of schools in the state that accepts every child...the public schools.

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
Fort Wayne Community Schools – which saw enrollment decrease by less than 1% this fall – is developing strategies to boost student recruitment.

Attracting and retaining students are areas of focus for the nearly 30,000-student district because families have more options regarding their children’s education, said Krista Stockman, the district’s communication and marketing director.

“Public schools are no longer in the same position as decades ago when students just enrolled in their neighborhood schools,” she said Wednesday. “Parents have many choices, and it is incumbent upon us to make sure parents know about and understand their options. If we don’t actively share our story with parents, they might get misinformation or not be aware of programs offered for free at FWCS.”

Fort Wayne Community Schools board OKs pay hikes

Our teachers deserve it.

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
The Fort Wayne Community Schools board ratified a two-year teachers contract Monday that increases the salary schedule by 3% and 1% this year and next.

Depending on how educators progress on the salary schedule – which considers performance and education levels – individual pay will increase between 5.8% and 9.9% over the two years.

Teachers aren’t the only district employees getting a raise. After unanimously approving the collective bargaining agreement with the Fort Wayne Education Association, the board voted twice more to boost pay for most other workers.

“We want to reward our teachers and our other staff,” Superintendent Mark Daniel said after the meeting.

The agreement with teachers increases the position’s starting salary to $46,627, from $43,998. That had been the lowest starting teacher pay in Allen County.


Cartoons of Teachers, Parents, and Students Dealing with School

From Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice
From time to time, I run across cartoons on teachers bemoaning that time when they make out report cards on their students’ academic progress. Also there are cartoons showing parents trying hard to do their best with their sons and daughters but either advertently or inadvertently putting pressure on their children to do even better in school than they currently are. And cartoons about students reactions to the pressure of getting good grades. Here is a sampling. Enjoy!

**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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