Monday, December 18, 2023

In Case You Missed It – December 18, 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.

NEIFPE's In Case You Missed It will be on hiatus until January 8. Thank you for your support of public education.

"The evidence that grade retention will work over the long run is mixed, at best. And making students repeat a grade has negative social and emotional impacts, especially for poor children and students of color. Let’s hope Indiana officials keep all that in mind in their efforts to improve reading." -- Steve Hinnefeld in More on Reading and Retention


Retention of students in grade has been used for decades as a way to help slower learners "catch up." In recent years state legislatures have required third-grade students to pass a reading test or be retained. Yet retention alone doesn't seem to help in the long run.

Do we even know if the tests accurately measure student learning?

Grade Retention Sleight of Hand

Peter Greene is a retired English teacher. Here he uses his knowledge to explain how words are used to put a positive spin on grade retention while downplaying the need for additional help for struggling students aside from retention.

From Curmudgucation
Flunking 8 and 9 year olds because they didn't pass a Big Standardized Test is easy; giving additional supports and resources to students in poor and under-resourced schools is hard. "Flunk everyone who didn't make the cut score," is quick and simple. Broad support systems require investments of time, money, and staffing. And, of course, the retention is a hot new reform idea, while the broad support for students who need it has been the request of teachers since the invention of dirt.

Maybe this research is solid, or maybe it's just well-packed baloney. I'm not going to get into that now (though my suspicions have a first name). But even if this is legit, the framing of it is irresponsible; it's a sleight of hand trick aimed at getting you to pick the card they want you to pick. Whenever someone brings up this report, ask them why they didn't write the sentence the other way.

More on reading and retention

Steve Hinnefeld at School Matters wants to know if 'parental rights' will be ignored when it comes to the retention of students in grade.

From School Matters
Indiana legislators say they want more children to repeat third grade if they don’t pass the state’s IREAD-3 test. Data released last week suggest that would be a big change in elementary schools.

According to the Indiana Department of Education, nearly all third-graders who weren’t proficient on IREAD-3 in spring 2023 were promoted to fourth grade anyway. Many of those students had “good-cause exemptions” because they were in special education, were English learners or had previously been held back twice. But even among the 8,337 students without such exemptions, 95% were promoted.


The Rise and Fall of Moms For Liberty

Moms for Liberty has had some difficulties lately...

From The Progressive: Public Schools Advocate
On June 30, 2023, a Washington Post headline declared “Moms for Liberty didn’t exist three years ago. Now it’s a GOP kingmaker.” On November 10, 2023, after a raft of school board elections across the country, the Post ran another headline: “Voters drub Moms for Liberty ‘parental rights’ candidates at the ballot.” Moms for Liberty (M4L) not only didn’t make any kings, it didn’t even make many school board members. What happened?


John Thompson: The Most Important Lesson That Students Need Today

Can we restore our attention?

From Diane Ravitch
D. Graham Burnett, Alyssa Loh, and Peter Schmidt begin their New York Times opinion piece, “Powerful Forces Are Fracking Our Attention. We Can fight Back,” with an eloquent version of a statement that should have long been obvious:
We are witnessing the dark side of our new technological lives, whose extractive profit models amount to the systematic fracking of human beings: pumping vast quantities of high-pressure media content into our faces to force up a spume of the vaporous and intimate stuff called attention, which now trades on the open market. Increasingly powerful systems seek to ensure that our attention is never truly ours.
Then Burnett, Loh, and Schmidt use equally insightful language to explain why “We Can Fight Back” against “the little satanic mills that live in our pockets.” They recall that “for two centuries, champions of liberal democracy have agreed that individual and collective freedom requires literacy.” Today we face widespread complaints that reading is being undermined by “perpetual distraction,” due to commercial use of digital technologies. They add, “What democracy most needs now is an attentive citizenry — human beings capable of looking up from their screens, together.”

Fort Wayne Community Schools board awards superintendent with raise, bonus

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
Superintendent Mark Daniel’s salary will increase by 3% under his second raise since returning to Fort Wayne Community Schools more than three years ago.

Maria Norman, school board president, announced the board’s decision to increase the superintendent’s compensation and award him a $5,000 bonus during Monday’s meeting. She noted the raise aligned with the raises other employees received.
**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.


No comments: