Walker’s reform proposals include:
- Expanding private school vouchers to school districts with at least 4,000 students and at least two schools receiving school report card grades of “fails to meet expectations” or “meets few expectations.” The expansion, which would include Madison schools, would be capped at 500 students statewide next year and 1,000 students the following year.
- Creating a statewide charter school oversight board, which would approve local nonreligious, nonprofit organizations to create and oversee independent charter schools. Only students from districts that qualify for vouchers could attend the charter schools. Authorizers would have to provide annual performance reports about the schools.
- Expanding the Youth Options program, which allows public school students to access courses offered by other public schools, virtual schools, the UW System, technical colleges and other organizations approved by the Department of Public Instruction.
- Granting special education students a private school voucher.
- Eliminating grade and residency restrictions for home-schooled students who take some courses in a public school district. School districts would receive additional state funding for home-schooled students who access public school courses or attend virtual schools.
Additionally, Walker’s spokesman confirmed plans to make no additional funding available for public schools in the budget he plans to propose Wednesday.
- Credit for non-Madison School District Courses.
- An interview with Henry Tyson, Superintendent of a successful Milwaukee voucher school.
- 61 Page Madison Achievement Gap Plan: Accountability Plan & Progress Indicators:
“The other useful stat buried in the materials is on the second page 3 (= 6th page), showing that the 3rd grade proficiency rate for black students on WKCE, converted to NAEP-scale proficiency, is 6.8%, with the accountability plan targeting this percentage to increase to 23% over one school year. Not sure how this happens when the proficiency rate (by any measure) has been decreasing year over year for quite some time. Because the new DPI school report cards don’t present data on an aggregated basis district-wide nor disaggregated by income and ethnicity by grade level, the stats in the MMSD report are very useful, if one reads the fine print.”
- Madison area reaction to the Governor’s voucher proposal.
- Alan Borsuk on voucher schools, politics and per student spending.
- When all third graders read at grade level or beyond by the end of the year, the achievement gap will be closed…and not before (2005)
- Richard Zimman’s 2009 Madison Rotary Club speech is always worth listening to, along with his recent letter to Wisconsin Governor Walker.
Finally, perhaps everyone might focus on the big goals: world class schools.