Phyllis Bush, one of NEIFPE's co-founders and retired FWCS teacher, wrote about the founding of NEIFPE in NEIFPE Beginnings, posted in February 2012.
...I have been bothered by the direction of the “Education Reform” movement ever since No Child Left Behind became law. The latest “reform” movement, The Race to the Top, appears to be a punitive extension of the No Child Left Behind. Given the rapid nature that Indiana has passed so called education reforms, I am appalled that those who have never taught and those who have never worked in education seem to be deciding the direction of how reform should be addressed. I am also appalled that those who are on the front lines of working with young people seem to be the target of all of the reform.Upon their return from Washington, D.C. the NEIFPE co-founders, joined by other teachers, retired teachers and concerned citizens, formed a group to help educate themselves and others about the current issues in public education. That group is NEIFPE.
I am bothered that no one who is making all of the charges about our "failing schools" seems to address the fact that learning is a collaborative effort which must include students, parents, teachers, and a community that values education. I am also bothered that no one making policy has addressed poverty as an issue. While no one would ever suggest that poor children cannot learn, how important is learning to a child who is hungry, to a child whose school has substandard facilities, to a child who is homeless?
NEIFPE's mission statement outlines the goal of support for public education.
We are citizens, teachers, administrators, and parents united by our support for public education and by concerns for its future. Recent federal and state reform measures have created an over-emphasis on testing and have turned over public education to private interests. We believe that these reforms threaten the well-being of our children and jeopardize their futures. Our goal is to inform ourselves and to start community discussion about the impact of these measures on our public schools and, more importantly, on our children.In its short history NEIFPE has accomplished quite a bit. In early 2012 NEIFPE...
- Sponsored the movies Waiting for Superman, The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman, and Rise Above the Mark at the Fort Wayne Cinema Center.
- Started a Facebook Page
- Started a Blog site
- Sponsored the Four State Conference: Public Schools Across America Regional Action Planning Meeting at Plymouth Congregation in Fort Wayne. It was attended by public school supporters and activists from Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan.
- started a Twitter feed
- started a LinkedIn group
- been instrumental in the drive to elect Glenda Ritz to the post of Superintendent of Public Instruction of Indiana
- testified at Indiana State School Board meetings, lobbied on behalf of Indiana's public schools in Indianapolis, attended hearings, and met with legislators
- sponsored a second Four State Conference in Fort Wayne
- written in support of public education in op-ed columns, in letters to the editors, and to legislators
- started a Pinterest page
Where We Stand: NEIFPE Platform
Why Are We Concerned?
What Can You Do?
What Can You Do?
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