Monday, November 20, 2023

In Case You Missed It – November 20, 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.

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NOTE: NEIFPE's In Case You Missed It will not be published next week. We'll be back with more updates on December 4, 2023. Thanks for supporting Public Education.


"The Finnish and Estonian education systems are far from perfect, and Finland’s PISA scores have dipped a bit in recent years. But both countries have done more than just achieve high rates of high performers — they’ve achieved some of the world’s lowest rates of low performers, with remarkably small performance gaps between schools and between richer and poorer students. Being disadvantaged is less of a disadvantage in Finland and Estonia than almost anywhere else." -- by Adam Grant in What Most American Schools Do Wrong


Adam Grant: What We Can Learn from International Assessments

Using techniques developed in the USA, other countries are showing educational performance gains.

From Diane Ravitch
I have been critical of the focus on international tests because real life teaches us that the test scores of 15-year-old students do not predict future economic success for nations. I find it bizarre that people say that America is a great country but its schools are no good. That doesn’t make sense.

Adam Grant, a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, injects a dose of common sense into that newspaper’s education coverage:

He writes:

Which country has the best education system? Since 2000, every three years, 15-year-olds in dozens of countries have taken the Program for International Student Assessment — a standardized test of math, reading and science skills. On the inaugural test, which focused on reading, the top country came as a big surprise: tiny Finland. Finnish students claimed victory again in 2003 (when the focus was on math) and 2006 (when it was on science), all while spending about the same time on homework per week as the typical teenager in Shanghai does in a single day.

Just over a decade later, Europe had a new champion. Here, too, it wasn’t one of the usual suspects — not a big, wealthy country like Germany or Britain but the small underdog nation of Estonia. Since that time, experts have been searching for the secrets behind these countries’ educational excellence. They recently found one right here in the United States.


Network for Public Education 2023 Conference Videos

Videos from the Network for Public Education’s D.C. conference are out! Watch keynote speakers as well as seven of forty-four panels and highlights of previous conferences.

From the Network for Public Education

Watch This! Gloria Ladson-Billings Speaks at NPE Conference about Attacks on Public Schools

From Diane Ravitch
If you missed the 10th annual conference of the Network for Public Education, you missed some of the best presentations in our ten years of holding conferences.

You missed the brilliant Gloria Ladson-Billings, Professor Emerita and formerly the Kellner Family Distinguished Professor of Urban Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Ladson-Billings gave an outstanding speech that brought an enthusiastic audience to its feet.

A Useful Guide to the Privatization Movement: Please Add Your Nominees!

From Diane Ravitch
Maurice Cunningham, a retired professor of political science and an expert on dark money in education elections, prepared A CITIZEN’S GUIDE TO SCHOOL PRIVATIZATION.

It is posted on the website of the Network for Public Education.

It is a glossary of the organizations and individuals who lead the effort to privatize education.

Please open the guide and see if you have names and groups to add.


FWCS board OKs security vehicles purchase after successful referendum

Referendum money at work...

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
The Fort Wayne Community Schools board on Monday approved a request that voters made possible only days earlier – the purchase of four security vehicles.

The Ford Explorers will be funded by the safety and well-being referendum, which will generate up to $96 million in additional property tax dollars over eight years or up to $12 million annually. Unofficial results showed 53% of voters last week supported the initiative.

The district budgeted a $7.2 million spending plan for 2024, and officials are laying the groundwork now to ensure those plans become reality. Matt Schiebel, executive director of safety and community partnerships, described those efforts after the board meeting.

“It was important to us to show people meaningful change quickly and also to be responsible, fiscally responsible, with the money that we will be given,” he said.

FWCS’ job listings now include student advocate, a new referendum-funded position responsible for a school’s safety and security. The district eventually wants 56 total student advocates, but Schiebel said it is planning to start with 24, with priority on the middle and high schools.
**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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