Monday, November 6, 2023

In Case You Missed It – November 6, 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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"Somewhere in between our rush to put a man on the moon and the advent of computers in all our classrooms, we lost our “public good” mojo, the generous and very American impulse to stir the melting pot and offer all children, our future citizens, a level playing field, educationally." -- Nancy Flanagan in Talking About Public Education: The Good, the Deceptive, and the Destructive


Talking About Public Education: The Good, the Deceptive, and the Destructive

Have we become so selfish that we no longer consider supporting the Public Good essential?

From Nancy Flanagan, Teacher in a Strange Land Blog
Education is a major major public good where we tax the rich in order to provide a public benefit that you get just by right of being a citizen. When they talk about needing to do away with the entitlement mentality, the most problematic entitlement for them is not Medicare or Social Security. It’s education. Education is even more of a problem for them because teachers are trying to encourage kids to think they can do more. And that’s dangerous.

The core of the public confusion around schooling has been carefully cultivated for decades.

It’s worth talking about—the uniquely American principle of a free, high-quality education for every single child—even if the dialogue is heated. We’re in danger of losing the very thing that made us great.


Phonics Is Important. But There Is No “Science of Reading”

Indiana, like other states, is now dumping tax dollars into "the science of reading." Is it worth the money?

From Diane Ravitch
After the disgrace of the Reading First program, support for phonics dissipated. But in the past few years, journalists (led by Emily Hanford) have trumpeted the idea that the report of the National Reading Panel established the “science of reading.” New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote about the “Mississippi Miracle,“ claiming that the “science of reading” had lifted fourth grade reading scores, and no new spending was needed in a very poorly resourced state. Kristof did not explain why the SOR did not cause a rise in eighth grade scores in Mississippi, nor did he understand that retaining low-scoring third graders raises the percentage of fourth graders who get high test scores. State after state is now mandating the “science of reading.”

And so the cycle begins again.

Another Day Another Charter School Scandal

The Network for Public Education provides an ongoing listing of charter scandals nationwide. Real public schools have the oversight of publicly elected school boards.

Over 20 scandals were found in the month of October.

From the Network for Public Education
10/06/2023 - Indianapolis charter school closing permanently on Friday Just weeks into the school year, Vanguard Collegiate has announced it is closing.

Read More


Teacher contracts are in the news...

East Allen County Schools could top area districts in starting teacher pay

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
East Allen County Schools is poised to offer the highest starting teacher salary – $47,300 – in the county under a tentative agreement presented during a special board meeting Wednesday.

Raises for individual teachers could total nearly $4,000 in the first year of the two-year contract with the East Allen Educators Association.

“Overall, I think we’re quite competitive with our neighbors,” said Pat McCann, chief financial officer.

...Individual raises would be based on a points system that considers performance, experience and education. Teachers could earn up to seven points, which would be worth $555.28 in the first year.

Northwest Allen County Schools ratifies teachers contract, picks new school name

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
The new Northwest Allen County Schools teachers contract includes compensation that shows respect for educators, the education association said moments after the board on Monday ratified terms including individual salary increases of up to 9.5%.

The elected leaders also approved the name of the district’s newest school. Construction on Willow Creek Middle School is expected to begin February or March, depending on weather.

The collective bargaining agreement with the Northwest Allen County Education Association brings the minimum base salary to $46,500 from $44,500.

The maximum salaries are $74,400 for teachers with bachelor’s degrees and $81,375 for those with master’s degrees. That’s up from $71,200 and $75,650, respectively.

The contract uses a performance-based salary compensation model, through which eligible teachers will earn increases of about 5.6% to 9.5%.

**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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