Monday, June 3, 2024

In Case You Missed It – June 3, 2024

Here are links to articles from the last two weeks 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.

"The rise of vouchers is especially damaging given that we now know what does boost educational outcomes: more spending on public education. Leaving these potential gains on the table and promoting voucher programs instead of investing in public education demonstrates that kids’ education is not a priority." -- from Vouchers undermine efforts to provide an excellent public education for all


Indiana's 2023-24 Voucher Report is out now. Here are three articles about the findings.

Indiana: Vouchers Gain Momentum as Income Limits Are Removed

From Diane Ravitch
Indiana started small with vouchers. They were supposed to “save poor kids from failing schools.” But it was the old camel’s-nose-under-the-tent routine. The real goal of voucher advocates was not to help poor kids escape “failing schools,” but to subsidize upper-middle-class and wealthy families who already had children in private schools.

And although 87% of Indiana’s students are enrolled in public schools, the Republican governor and legislature continue to expand the voucher program.

A new state report described the voucher expansion. Mind you, no one claims that students are getting a better education in nonpublic schools, just that are getting public money to subsidize the costs.

439 million ‘dollars to discriminate’

From Steve Hinnefeld at School Matters
Indiana’s 2023-24 voucher report is out, and the results are what we expected. The program, which provides state-funded tuition vouchers for students in private schools, got a lot bigger and a lot more expensive with legislation that made nearly all Hoosier students eligible.

It enrolled a record 70,095 students, a 31% increase over the previous year. And the cost to taxpayers ballooned to $439 million, some 40% higher than in 2022-23.

Indiana private school voucher participation sees historic boost, according to new report

From Indiana Capital Chronicle
Indiana’s private school voucher program enrollment jumped about 32% in the most recent school year, marking a historic single-year jump, according to the state’s latest voucher report.

The state-funded program enrolled a record 70,095 students in 2023-2024, costing taxpayers $439 million — which is around 40% higher than the $311 million spent on vouchers in the year prior.


Vouchers undermine efforts to provide an excellent public education for all

Vouchers harm schools and students.

From Economic Policy Institute
Since the early 2000s, many states have introduced significant voucher programs to provide public financing for private school education. These voucher programs are deeply damaging to efforts to offer an excellent public education for all U.S. children—and this is in fact often the intention of those pushing these programs.


Texas education leaders unveil Bible-infused elementary school curriculum

Texas injects religion into its public schools.

From Dallas Weekly dot com (DW)
...Districts will have the option of whether to use the materials, but will be incentivized to do so with up to $60 per student in additional funding... initial review of the proposed state textbooks show that religious materials feature prominently, with texts sourced from the Bible as the most heavily used...

What Would Religious Charter Schools Mean for Public Education?

More on public dollars used for religious purposes...

From Education Week
The charter school movement was once the golden child of the U.S. education reform world, celebrated and bolstered by billionaire philanthropists and by politicians of both major parties. But charter schools are in the midst of radical changes and are confronting an increasingly unstable alliance supporting them.


The Siren Song of “Evidence-Based” Instruction

Education lecturer and author Alfie Kohn writes about evidence-based instruction. There's thoughtful information here that can be used to analyze the current "science of reading" fad.

From Alfie Kohn
I’m geeky enough to get a little excited each time a psychology or education journal lands in my mailbox. Indeed, I’ve spent a fair portion of my life sorting through, critically analyzing, and writing about social science research. Even my books that are intended for general readers contain, sometimes to the dismay of my publishers, lengthy bibliographies plumped with primary sources so that anyone who’s curious or skeptical can track down the studies I’ve cited.

Why, then, have I developed a severe allergy to the phrases “evidence-based” and “the science of…” when they’re used to justify certain educational practices? It took me awhile to sort out my concerns and realize that these terms raise five distinct questions.

1. What kind of evidence?


Indiana’s new diplomas emphasize flexibility for older students, but some requirements are controversial

From Chalkbeat Indiana*
A proposed redesign of Indiana’s high school graduation requirements to emphasize student choice and work-based learning has drawn concerns from educators who say it’s too much change too soon.


Public meetings scheduled to approve new SACS Superintendent

This is a video report on a series of public hearings for SACS proposed superintendent.
June 11 at 7 PM, Administrative Conference Room
June 18 at 6 PM, School Board Meeting
July 1, First day on the job if approved
From 21 Alive News

Southwest Allen County Schools announces new superintendent

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Southwest Allen County Schools has announced that a new superintendent will take over for the district starting July 1 after Dr. Park Ginder announced his retirement after the 2023-2024 school year.

The SACS Board of Trustees has named Dr. Kent DeKoninck as the next superintendent of the SACS district.
Fort Wayne, IN

*Note: Financial sponsors of Chalkbeat include pro-privatization foundations and individuals such as Bloomberg Philanthropies, Gates Family Foundation, The Walton Family Foundation, and others.

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: