“An emphasis on adult employment”; the implications

Karol Markowicz The lives of our children were destroyed by lockdowns — and long lockouts — from school during the pandemic. This policy was largely forced through by Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers.  But we now know that President Biden and his wife-teacher, Jill Biden, were the ones who overruled their own medical … Continue reading “An emphasis on adult employment”; the implications

“An emphasis on adult employment”

I think this is broadly correct, but there are strong teacher unions across Europe too. They were overruled by a political consensus in favor of kids. The US lacked this consensus. We don’t put kids first. https://t.co/OqW1XfnWa6 pic.twitter.com/H0jn2VFHUl — Anya Kamenetz (@anya1anya) May 12, 2023 Pre-pandemic test score results (blue bubbles) show enormous district-level inequality. … Continue reading “An emphasis on adult employment”

An Emphasis on adult employment

Given the academic and social challenges that students face, many local education agencies are planning to use #Covidrelief money to hire more staff members and beef up training, benefits and pay for those already on the payroll. https://t.co/UiT0INSU8N — FutureEd (@FutureEdGU) January 25, 2022 Mandates, closed schools and Dane County Madison Public Health. The data clearly indicate that … Continue reading An Emphasis on adult employment

“An emphasis on adult employment”; Chicago Teachers Union 2022 edition

NEW: The Chicago Teachers Union says its planned vote tonight would see members refuse in-person work until Jan. 18 or until the city’s COVID-19 wave falls below the threshold Chicago Public Schools set last year, whichever happens first. — Nader Issa (@NaderDIssa) January 4, 2022 Maureen Kelleher: If ever there was a moment to ensure … Continue reading “An emphasis on adult employment”; Chicago Teachers Union 2022 edition

Mandates, adult employment and children’s mental health

School closings and “remote learning” have caused a massive mental health crisis among teenagers. This, and the disruption to their intellectual development, will be enduring and severe.https://t.co/Q3mtWJ9MnR pic.twitter.com/ONrnYIWBPI — Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) December 26, 2021 I think about whenever I (frequently) see children running around outside, masked. Notes and links on Dane County Madison Public … Continue reading Mandates, adult employment and children’s mental health

“And emphasis on adult employment” – Wauwatosa edition

Open Record: It’s a FOX6 investigation that sparked change before it even went to air. Thousands of tax dollars poured into a school program — but was it for the kids or a school leader’s relationship? In this episode of Open Record, FOX6 Investigator Amanda St. Hilaire explains how she came upon AVID and the … Continue reading “And emphasis on adult employment” – Wauwatosa edition

Political Posturing, interests and “adult employment” on taxpayer supported Dane County Madison public health ordering schools closed

Wisconsin Supreme Court: For the respondent, there was a brief filed by Remzy D. Bitar, Sadie R. Zurfluh, and Municipal and Litigation Group ̧ Waukesha. There was an oral argument by Remzy D. Bitar. For the petitioners Wisconsin Council of Religious and Independent Schools, et al., there was a reply brief filed by Richard M. … Continue reading Political Posturing, interests and “adult employment” on taxpayer supported Dane County Madison public health ordering schools closed

“An emphasis on adult employment “

There are no hidden complexities that could possibly explain this misalignment of social priorities. #openschools@GavinNewsom pic.twitter.com/GfPCXWEq8b — Jeanne Noble (@JeanneNoble18) April 3, 2021 Related: Catholic schools will sue Dane County Madison Public Health to open as scheduled Notes and links on Dane County Madison Public Health. (> 140 employees). Molly Beck and Madeline Heim: which pushed Dane County this week not … Continue reading “An emphasis on adult employment “

Achievement, Teacher Unions and “an emphasis on adult employment”

The ultimate nightmare scenario for teachers unions isn’t a case like Janus but large numbers of African-American parents rejecting them as legitimate and not viewing them as partners in a shared cause. And this is why the Warren affair is so important. — James Merriman (@JamesMerriman6) November 25, 2019 Item 10.11: $100,000 contract to WestEd … Continue reading Achievement, Teacher Unions and “an emphasis on adult employment”

Money, Politics and Adult Employment/School Choice

Collin Anderson: Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren raked in tens of thousands of dollars from teachers’ unions before reversing her past support for student vouchers and education reform. In 2004, Warren argued that vouchers “relieve parents” from relying on failing public schools. Her campaign’s newly-released education plan attacks charter schools and school choice. Warren’s reversal … Continue reading Money, Politics and Adult Employment/School Choice

Deja vu: 2008 – 2019 Credit for non MadIson School District Courses and Adult Employment

Logan Wroge: To help students make the transition to a higher-intensity setting, two Madison School District teachers spend time at Goodman South instructing courses with solely STEM Academy students and some with a mix of traditional college and high school students. “We thought it was really important to have high school teachers be part of … Continue reading Deja vu: 2008 – 2019 Credit for non MadIson School District Courses and Adult Employment

“Rule Making”, achievement, adult employment, mulligans and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

Molly Beck: Tuesday’s decision overturns the court’s own ruling just three years ago when a split panel of justices said in Coyne v. Walker that Evers could write rules and regulations related to education policy on his own — without permission from then-Gov. Scott Walker and the Legislature — because the state constitution provides him with … Continue reading “Rule Making”, achievement, adult employment, mulligans and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

Adult Employment: Bay Area teachers hold sickout to support striking Oakland teachers

ABC 7: The Albany Teachers Association is currently in negotiations with its district. Their contract expires in the fall. They feel the real battle though is with the state and plan on addressing school funding with Governor Gavin Newsom. “Because the districts can do what they can do, but the state has a lot more … Continue reading Adult Employment: Bay Area teachers hold sickout to support striking Oakland teachers

Adult employment and the Madison School Board’s self interest

Chris Rickert: Like the rest of the board, both also voted to approve the 304-page employee handbook that replaced union contracts beginning in summer 2016. District legal counsel Dylan Pauly pointed to two board policies that include provisions related to managing conflicts of interest among board members. One says board members should “avoid conflicts of … Continue reading Adult employment and the Madison School Board’s self interest

Feeling the Squeeze: Pension Costs Are Crowding Out Education Spending; The Focus On Adult Employment

Josh McGee Taxpayer contributions to teachers’ retirement plans are expected to grow substantially over the next decade. But the underfunding shortfall is so large that aggregate pension debt will also continue to grow. Retirement costs per pupil are already approaching 10% of all education expenditures. Without meaningful reform, these costs, as well as the aggregate … Continue reading Feeling the Squeeze: Pension Costs Are Crowding Out Education Spending; The Focus On Adult Employment

Adult Employment and Empty Milwaukee Public Schools’ Buildings

Erin Richards: Spurred by a deal gone sour between Milwaukee Public Schools and the developer commissioned to renovate one of its empty buildings — a deal that kept a private school from buying the facility — Common Council President Michael Murphy has introduced an ordinance that would position the city to take charge and sell … Continue reading Adult Employment and Empty Milwaukee Public Schools’ Buildings

Heavy Adult Employment Focus in the Milwaukee Public a Schools

Erin Richards But after Tyson made his offer, an MPS teacher who also is a teachers’ union employee submitted a plan to reopen Lee as a district-run charter school. The School Board was said to be considering both options. It was scheduled to discuss the potential sale or lease of several empty buildings, including the … Continue reading Heavy Adult Employment Focus in the Milwaukee Public a Schools

Deja Vu: A Focus on “Adult Employment” or the Impossibility of Governance Change in the Madison Schools

The Madison School Board discussed the renewal of Administrator contracts (500K PDF) during their June 10, 2013 meeting (video, about 50 minutes into the meeting). Listen via this 5mb mp3 audio.
The timing and length of administrator contracts along with substantive reviews is not a new subject:
February, 2006: Are Administrators Golden?

Lawrie Kobza pointed out last night that 2-year rolling administrative contracts may be important for some groups of administrators and that the School Board should consider that issue. Otherwise, if the annual pattern continues, extensions will occur in February before the School Board looks at the budget and makes their decisions about staffing. Even though the Superintendent has indicated what positions he proposes to eliminate for next year, when the School Board has additional information later in the budget year, they may want to make different decisions based upon various tradeoffs they believe are important for the entire district.
What might the School Board consider doing? Develop criteria to use to identify/rank your most “valuable” administrative positions (perhaps this already exists) and those positions where the district might be losing its competitive edge. Identify what the “at risk” issues are – wages, financial, gender/racial mix, location, student population mix. Or, start with prioritizing rolling two-year contracts for one of the more “important,” basic administrative groups – principals. Provide the School Board with options re administrative contracts. School board members please ask for options for this group of contracts.
Ms. Kobza commented that making an extension of contracts in February for this group of staff could make these positions appear to be golden, untouchable. Leaving as is might not be well received in Madison by a large number of people, including the thousands of MMSD staff who are not administrators on rolling two-year contracts nor a Superintendent with a rolling contract (without a horizon, I think). The board might be told MMSD won’t be able to attract talented administrators. I feel the School Board needs to publicly discuss the issues and risks to its entire talent pool.
Mr. Nadler reported that MMSD might be losing its edge in the area of administration. He gave one example where there more than a few applicants for an elementary school position (20 applicants); however, other districts, such as Sun Prairie, are attracting more applicants (more than 100). The communities surrounding Madison are becoming more attractive over time as places to live and to do business. If we don’t recognize and try to understand the issues, beyond simply wages and benefits, the situation will continue to worsen. I feel the process in place needs to change in order to be a) more responseive to the issues, b) more flexible for the School Board in their decisionmaking processes, especially around budget time.

Administrator Contracts – School Board Adds to Agenda

Questions that are not clear to me include: a) is a two-year rolling contract required for all administrators, b) what is the difference between non-renewal and extension of a contract – is the end of January date really an extension?, c)is there a Board policy – if not, does one need to be developed, d) are there options open to the School Board to hold on one-year contract extensions due to upcoming cuts to the budget, e) how can changes be made by moving/retraining staff if needed, and f) can grant money being used to pay for administrators be used in other ways (not including grant oversight/accounting? We’re in the same spot as the past two years – not talking about administrator contracts until one week or so before a deadline.
I feel this information needs to be clear and to be transparent to all employees, the board and the community. I believe a multi-year staffing strategy as part of a multi-year strategic plan is important to have, especially given the critical nature of the district’s resources. This idea is not proposed as a solution to the public school’s financial situation – not at all, that’s not the point.

Retired Ripon Superintendent Richard Zimman on the “adult employment focus”.
Additional administrator contract links, here.
It is ironic, in my view, that there has not been much change in the District’s administration from the Rainwater era….

An Emphasis on Adult Employment



Andrew Coulson:

This week, President Obama called for the hiring of 10,000 new teachers to beef up math and science achievement. Meanwhile, in America, Earth, Sol-System, public school employment has grown 10 times faster than enrollment for 40 years (see chart), while achievement at the end of high school has stagnated in math and declined in science (see other chart).
Either the president is badly misinformed about our education system or he thinks that promising to hire another 10,000 teachers union members is politically advantageous-in which case he would seem to be badly misinformed about the present political climate. Or he lives in an alternate universe in which Kirk and Spock have facial hair and government monopolies are efficient. It’s hard to say.

Related: Madison School District 2010-2011 Budget Update: $5,100,000 Fund Balance Increase since June, 2009; Property Taxes to Increase 9+%, and Ripon Superintendent Richard Zimman:

“Beware of legacy practices (most of what we do every day is the maintenance of the status quo), @12:40 minutes into the talk – the very public institutions intended for student learning has become focused instead on adult employment. I say that as an employee. Adult practices and attitudes have become embedded in organizational culture governed by strict regulations and union contracts that dictate most of what occurs inside schools today. Any impetus to change direction or structure is met with swift and stiff resistance. It’s as if we are stuck in a time warp keeping a 19th century school model on life support in an attempt to meet 21st century demands.” Zimman went on to discuss the Wisconsin DPI’s vigorous enforcement of teacher licensing practices and provided some unfortunate math & science teacher examples (including the “impossibility” of meeting the demand for such teachers (about 14 minutes)). He further cited exploding teacher salary, benefit and retiree costs eating instructional dollars (“Similar to GM”; “worry” about the children given this situation).

Janet Mertz:

Thanks much for taking the time from your busy schedule to respond to our letter below. I am delighted to note your serious interest in the topic of how to obtain middle school teachers who are highly qualified to teach mathematics to the MMSD’s students so that all might succeed. We are all in agreement with the District’s laudable goal of having all students complete algebra I/geometry or integrated algebra I/geometry by the end of 10th grade. One essential component necessary for achieving this goal is having teachers who are highly competent to teach 6th- through 8th-grade mathematics to our students so they will be well prepared for high school-level mathematics when they arrive in high school.
The primary point on which we seem to disagree is how best to obtain such highly qualified middle school math teachers. It is my strong belief that the MMSD will never succeed in fully staffing all of our middle schools with excellent math teachers, especially in a timely manner, if the primary mechanism for doing so is to provide additional, voluntary math ed opportunities to the District’s K-8 generalists who are currently teaching mathematics in our middle schools. The District currently has a small number of math-certified middle school teachers. It undoubtedly has some additional K-8 generalists who already are or could readily become terrific middle school math teachers with a couple of hundred hours of additional math ed training. However, I sincerely doubt we could ever train dozens of additional K-8 generalists to the level of content knowledge necessary to be outstanding middle school math teachers so that ALL of our middle school students could be taught mathematics by such teachers.

Wisconsin DPI Reading Curriculum Evaluation list

The taxpayer funded Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s early literacy review, as a result of Act 20. (Letter to Leaders). Letter to JFC Early Literacy Curriculum Comparison “At a Glance” ELCC Center for Collaborative Classroom Ratings American Reading Company (ARC) ELCC Ready 4 Reading Ratings Voyager Passport Intervention ELCC Into Reading Wilson Language Training CKLA … Continue reading Wisconsin DPI Reading Curriculum Evaluation list

“Which gives us pause. We need educators who aren’t cookie cutter. Because what they’re doing ain’t workin”

David Blaska: Public school bureaucrats talk in a code all their own. According to Abbey Machtig’s excellent account in the Wisconsin State Journal, Gothard promises courses in “critical ethnic studies.” Sounds like emulating higher education’s various grievance studies, which is what got us into this mess in the first place. Teaching victimhood excuses and perpetuates failure. Gothard is quoted … Continue reading “Which gives us pause. We need educators who aren’t cookie cutter. Because what they’re doing ain’t workin”

Another new Madison k-12 Superintendent

Kayla Huynh In his new role, Gothard will oversee the second largest school district in Wisconsin, which serves over 26,000 students in 52 schools and has a nearly $600 million annual budget. He’ll take over at a challenging time, with COVID-19 federal funding set to expire and the board determining the 2024-25 budget. Gothard will … Continue reading Another new Madison k-12 Superintendent

Literacy momentum stalls in Wisconsin (DPI): Why would Wisconsin’s state leaders promote the use of curriculum that meets “minimal level” criteria, instead of elevating the highest-quality

Karen Vaites: All eyes have been on Wisconsin, where politics threaten to stall promising curriculum improvement efforts.  The Badger State’s Act 20 literacy bill was one of the bright spots in a flourishing national legislative phase. The bill had a refreshing focus on all aspects of literacy, and recognized the importance of curriculum in fostering change. Act 20 called … Continue reading Literacy momentum stalls in Wisconsin (DPI): Why would Wisconsin’s state leaders promote the use of curriculum that meets “minimal level” criteria, instead of elevating the highest-quality

Wisconsin DPI vs learning to read

Jenny Warner: Last week, Wisconsin’s expert Early Literacy Curriculum Council recommended the highest-quality list we have seen from any state. Then @WisconsinDPI tried to overrule them, for no sound reason. More. The nine-member Early Literacy Curriculum Council reviewed and recommended four curriculums. The council includes six members chosen by the Republican majority leaders of the … Continue reading Wisconsin DPI vs learning to read

“We have made things happen for children.”

AJ Bayatpour As MPS (Milwaukee Public Schools) asks taxpayers for $252 million in April, I asked Supt. Keith Posley about national testing data (NAEP) that show Milwaukee 4th graders have been scoring worse than the average big city district for more than a decade. —- and: For reference, 10 points is about the equivalent for … Continue reading “We have made things happen for children.”

“Currently, only about 30 percent of Wisconsin school districts use a science of reading approach”

Corrinne Hess: “I think DPI is trying to appease the masses and go with the status quo,” Warner said. “I think they are putting in too many, and putting in poor quality because they are not willing to push the envelope of what they are expecting in schools.”  —— More. —— Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin … Continue reading “Currently, only about 30 percent of Wisconsin school districts use a science of reading approach”

For those of you watching the state curriculum list developments in Wisconsin…

For those of you watching the state curriculum list developments in Wisconsin… @WisconsinDPI‘s team just sent an eye-opening email to regional teams. Why is @DrJillUnderly‘s team proposing a list of programs that meet requirements “at a minimal level”? cc: @SenMarklein… pic.twitter.com/7umc3Efm6m — Karen Vaites (@karenvaites) February 20, 2024 Quinton Klabon: “DPI is recommending all…instructional materials … Continue reading For those of you watching the state curriculum list developments in Wisconsin…

By the Book: We’re investigating why many Wisconsin kids struggle to read. We want to hear from you.

Danielle DuClos In Wisconsin, at least 79% of school districts surveyed by the Department of Public Instruction use curriculums that don’t meet academic standards recommended by the department. Many teacher preparation programs aren’t embracing this science to help new educators learn to teach reading either. Are you an elementary school teacher whose students are having … Continue reading By the Book: We’re investigating why many Wisconsin kids struggle to read. We want to hear from you.

Notes on Wisconsin DPI Reading Curriculum Selections

Quinton Klabon: Whoa! Wisconsin reading curriculum update! @WisconsinDPI @DrJillUnderly disagree: NO to Bookworms, YES to basals, bilingual. See screenshot. Tensions come out in explanatory literacy text! Joint Finance @repborn @SenMarklein @JFCDemocrats decide now. What will they choose?! ——- Jenny Warner: DPI adding ARC to the list proves they have no idea what three cueing looks … Continue reading Notes on Wisconsin DPI Reading Curriculum Selections

Madison’s taxpayer funded K-12 systems’s lack of transparency

Abigail Leavins: Monica Santana Rosen, the CEO of the Alma Advisory Group, which consulted on the superintendent search, explained why the board thought it was important to provide a platform for students, in particular, to ask questions of the candidates, but she did not answer why additional panels were not made available to the public. … Continue reading Madison’s taxpayer funded K-12 systems’s lack of transparency

“The Madison school district is planning to hit up taxpayers for $1 billion — one Billion with a capital B dollars — in referenda over the next 20 years to go carbon neutral”

David Blaska: Someone tell the Madison public schools we need more global warming, not less. The school district is planning to hit up taxpayers for $1 billion — one Billion with a capital B dollars — in referenda over the next 20 years to go carbon neutral.  MMSD can’t teach or keep young Javon safe … Continue reading “The Madison school district is planning to hit up taxpayers for $1 billion — one Billion with a capital B dollars — in referenda over the next 20 years to go carbon neutral”

Overall, the Taxpayer supported Madison School District plans to spend about $591 million this school year”

Chris Rickert: Math achievement did not necessarily line up with per-pupil spending in Dane County and Wisconsin’s largest districts. Madison spent the most, for example, of the 10 county districts included in the analysis, or $18,896 per pupil in the 2021-22 school year, according to data from the state Department of Public Instruction. Among the … Continue reading Overall, the Taxpayer supported Madison School District plans to spend about $591 million this school year”

Notes on changes in Wisconsin taxpayer K-12 funding policies

WILL: The Assembly is currently considering AB900—a bill that would “decouple” public school spending from spending on the voucher and independent charter school programs. While the concept likely sounds quite confusing, it’s actually relatively straightforward, and will benefit public schools, taxpayers, and choice schools as well. We’ll explain how below.  PUBLIC SCHOOLS  Currently, when a student … Continue reading Notes on changes in Wisconsin taxpayer K-12 funding policies

“diminishes our district’s ability to maintain our high standard for 4K services that are needed for our families” – credentialism

Rich Kremer: The Wisconsin Association of School Boards, the Wisconsin Educational Association Council teachers union and Wisconsin State Reading Association have registered against the bill. The Wisconsin Child Care Administrators Association and the Wisconsin Early Childhood Association have registered in support. Wisconsin Early Childhood Association Co-Director Paula Drew told legislators that while the organization “acknowledges … Continue reading “diminishes our district’s ability to maintain our high standard for 4K services that are needed for our families” – credentialism

Why did the legislature remove third-grade literacy as a goal?

Catrin Wigfall: There is no doubt that the 2023 legislative session was “transformational.” I have written here about the numerous new education mandates that the DFL-controlled legislature passed and what they mean for Minnesota students, families, and educators.  But there were also things removed — such as the goal to support third-grade students in achieving grade-level literacy. … Continue reading Why did the legislature remove third-grade literacy as a goal?

Literacy or Loyalty? Mulligans?

Lauren Gilbert: In a discrete choice experiment in which bureaucrats in education were asked to make trade-offs between foundational literacy, completion of secondary school, and formation of dutiful citizens, respondents valued dutiful citizens 50% more than literate ones. For many policy makers, the goal is not the production of knowledge, but the fostering of nationalism. This may … Continue reading Literacy or Loyalty? Mulligans?

Notes on 3 taxpayer supported Madison k-12 Superintendent candidates

Abbey Machtig: The community will be able to hear from the three finalists for Madison School District superintendent in a series of public interviews this week. Yvonne Stokes, Mohammed Choudhury and Joe Gothard will be interviewed in person by two panels on Tuesday. The public can watch the interviews through a livestream. The livestream can … Continue reading Notes on 3 taxpayer supported Madison k-12 Superintendent candidates

Notes on the most recent group of taxpayer supported Madison K-12 Superintendent candidates… Achievement?

Abbey Machtig: The candidates will be interviewed again Wednesday, but those discussions will not be livestreamed, recorded or open to the public. The interviews will involve teachers, district leaders, students and selected community members. Eric Murphy: Choudhury is one of three finalists for superintendent in Madison, along with Joe Gothard, the superintendent of Saint Paul … Continue reading Notes on the most recent group of taxpayer supported Madison K-12 Superintendent candidates… Achievement?

Madison’s Taxpayer Supported K-12 Superintendent Candidate Notes

Dave Cieslewicz: Notice what’s missing? There’s nothing in there about a track record of actually improving, you know, education. Nothing about a record of improving test scores. That’s concerning because MMSD’s record in that regard is not good. This morning the New York Times ran a story that allowed readers to check on how their district … Continue reading Madison’s Taxpayer Supported K-12 Superintendent Candidate Notes

Should We Teach to Empower Students or to Keep Them as “Sacred Victims”?

George Leef: Among the many destructive ideas that “progressive” thinking has unleashed on education in America is that it’s unfair to hold students from “underrepresented groups” to the same standards as others. Schools and colleges should “help” minority students succeed by lowering expectations for them—somehow atoning for wrongs done to their ancestors in the distant … Continue reading Should We Teach to Empower Students or to Keep Them as “Sacred Victims”?

Searching for a new UW-Madison Education School Dean

Gavin Escott: The search is underway for a new dean of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education after Diana Hess stepped down as the head of one of the nation’s highest-ranked education schools.  Hess, who served as the dean of the School of Education since 2015, announced in October she would be leaving her … Continue reading Searching for a new UW-Madison Education School Dean

Madison school district finalists: Two had resigned under criticism

Kayla Huynh: The Madison Metropolitan School District has named two former education administrators and one current administrator as finalists to be the next superintendent. Two of the finalists left their former jobs after facing criticism for their performance. The finalists are Mohammed Choudhury, the former state superintendent of schools at the Maryland Department of Education; … Continue reading Madison school district finalists: Two had resigned under criticism

Madison school district Superintendent finalists’ history: One resigned, one fired

Kayla Huynh: The Madison Metropolitan School District has named two former education administrators and one current administrator as finalists to be the next superintendent. Two of the finalists left their former jobs after facing criticism for their performance. The finalists are Mohammed Choudhury, the former state superintendent of schools at the Maryland Department of Education; … Continue reading Madison school district Superintendent finalists’ history: One resigned, one fired

Legal Motion to Defend Wisconsin Act 10 on behalf of Public-School Employee

WILL: WILL Client, Kristi Koschkee, stated, “Act 10 is pro-taxpayer and pro-freedom. This legislation provides public employees like me the freedom to not participate in unionization, or be compelled to finance or support political speech I do not agree with. It’s critical that we stand up for this law and not undo the years of … Continue reading Legal Motion to Defend Wisconsin Act 10 on behalf of Public-School Employee

Don’t Fuss About Training AIs. Train Our Kids

Esther Dyson: People worried about AI taking their jobs are competing with a myth. Instead, people should train themselves to be better humans. We should automate routine tasks and use the money and time saved to allow humans to do more meaningful work, especially helping parents raise healthier, more engaged children. We should know enough … Continue reading Don’t Fuss About Training AIs. Train Our Kids

Chipotle steps into the education void

Sabrina Escobar: “To attract Gen Zers, Chipotle is rolling out a plan that helps workers pay off student loans while saving for retirement, a debit card to help them build credit, and broader access to mental-health resources and financial education. Chipotle noted that Gen-Zers “are experiencing notable financial challenges,” from credit-card debt to “not feel[ing] … Continue reading Chipotle steps into the education void

Wisconsin’s latest early literacy curriculum bake off

Quinton Klabon: APPROVED FOR DPI & LEGISLATURE Amplify: Core Knowledge Great Minds: Wit And Wisdom AND Really Great Reading NOT APPROVED, WILL BE DISCUSSED MORE Benchmark: Advance Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: Into McGraw Hill: Wonders REJECTED Savvas: MyView Zaner-Bloser: Superkids —— Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004- Underly and our long term disastrous reading results…. WEAC: … Continue reading Wisconsin’s latest early literacy curriculum bake off

Apples to Apples; Comparing Wisconsin public, charter, and private voucher schools

Will Flanders: It’s an unfortunate reality that demographic factors historically play a large role in student performance; any honest assessment of how schools and school sectors are performing must take those factors into account. Much of the reporting on school performance, though, ignores this reality. This report endeavors to incorporate these factors through rigorous statistical … Continue reading Apples to Apples; Comparing Wisconsin public, charter, and private voucher schools

Notes on student achievement and US decline

Myra Adams: 1. Uncontrollable U.S. Debt: The U.S. Debt Clock displays the inevitability of American decline — a “ticking time bomb” of data and financial evidence — especially the following three. The U.S. government’s total unfunded liabilities — the combined amount of payments promised without funds to recipients of Social Security, Medicare, federal employee pensions, veterans’ benefits and … Continue reading Notes on student achievement and US decline

Notes on construction in the taxpayer funded Madison School District

Abbey Machtig: The pandemic significantly affected the projects. Not only did it exacerbate inflation and supply chain delays, but it also altered the scope of work by bringing new needs to attention — such as improving HVAC systems and ventilation and getting rid of environmental hazards such as asbestos in the old school buildings. These … Continue reading Notes on construction in the taxpayer funded Madison School District

An update on Wisconsin’s Literacy changes

IMPORTANT ACT 20 LITERACY UPDATE TODAY, council MAY soft-approve first batch of reading curriculum. (DPI and legislature must agree.) District/charter/voucher that pick them get partially reimbursed. If not, they pay for new Themselves. NOT recorded, so follow this thread! — Quinton Klabon (@GhaleonQ) January 12, 2024 Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004- —- Underly … Continue reading An update on Wisconsin’s Literacy changes

In Massachusetts’ richest towns, many top-ranked schools cling to outdated methods of teaching reading

Naomi Martin and Mandy McLaren At school, she panics if she has to read aloud. She’s a conscientious student and keeps her grades up, but it isn’t easy; at times she has such trouble synthesizing the novels she reads in English class, she Googles plot summaries to remind herself of what happened. Even in math, … Continue reading In Massachusetts’ richest towns, many top-ranked schools cling to outdated methods of teaching reading

Madison School Board incumbents will run for reelection unopposed

Kayla Huynh: The 2024 Madison School Board election cycle will include both incumbents running for re-election unchallenged. Candidates for the board began circulating nomination papers and gathering the required signatures in December. Incumbents Maia Pearson and Savion Castro were the only two to submit those papers by the Jan. 2 deadline, according to Ian Folger, … Continue reading Madison School Board incumbents will run for reelection unopposed

“Board, Superintendent ruined Madison’s fine public schools”

James Lister: The Madison School Board needs to take a hard look at the lessons of the last 10 years. The general functioning and the overall management of the school district have been poor and unprofessional. If you call the central offices, you seldom get ahold of a person or get a call back. Teachers … Continue reading “Board, Superintendent ruined Madison’s fine public schools”

Sources of isomorphism in the Milwaukee voucher school sector

Michael R Ford and Fredrik O Andersson In this article, 25 years of data are utilized from nonprofit schools operating in the United States’ oldest and largest private school voucher program to test theories of isomorphism. We find that startup and religious schools belonging to an umbrella organization such as an archdiocese are particularly likely … Continue reading Sources of isomorphism in the Milwaukee voucher school sector

“It showed only a modest relationship between high school grades and college grades, partly because so many high school students now receive A’s”

David Leonhardt: Now, though, a growing number of experts and university administrators wonder whether the switch has been a mistake. Research has increasingly shown that standardized test scores contain real information, helping to predict college grades, chances of graduation and post-college success. Test scores are more reliable than high school grades, partly because of grade inflation … Continue reading “It showed only a modest relationship between high school grades and college grades, partly because so many high school students now receive A’s”

More of the Same in the taxpayer supported K-12 School District

Dave Cieslewicz: Anyone hoping for improvement in Madison’s public schools will need to keep waiting. Incumbent school board members Savion Castro and Maia Pearson will be reelected by default in April as no challengers showed up before the filing deadline yesterday. Sincere congratulations to Castro and Pearson. They’ve stepped up. They put their names on … Continue reading More of the Same in the taxpayer supported K-12 School District

Evers criticizes lawsuit seeking to end the Milwaukee voucher program

Molly Beck: Gov. Tony Evers says he opposes abolishing the state’s oldest school voucher program through a lawsuit filed by some of the governor’s strongest supporters. Evers, a former state superintendent and public school educator, said eliminating the taxpayer-funded voucher system in Milwaukee could have “traumatic” effects on the nearly 30,000 students who attend more … Continue reading Evers criticizes lawsuit seeking to end the Milwaukee voucher program

“I knew better than to recruit certified teachers”

Dr Kevin Roberts: Twenty years ago, when I was hiring teachers for the private K-12 school I founded, I knew better than to recruit certified teachers. That’s right—I didn’t want to hire certified teachers. Why? Because from my previous work as a college history professor, I knew that the people least prepared to teach a … Continue reading “I knew better than to recruit certified teachers”

“Parents may feel like they don’t have a clear of an understanding of how their child is performing in school and students may fear falling behind their peers”

Abbey Machtig: “You have to manage the expectations, the emotions, the fears of ‘is my child making the right progress’ — that is the question I think we hear families ask the most,” she said.  Students and parents also may worry that grades won’t translate on applications to colleges, jobs or other opportunities after high school. … Continue reading “Parents may feel like they don’t have a clear of an understanding of how their child is performing in school and students may fear falling behind their peers”

“United Teachers of Dade falls short of its required members in Miami-Dade to be recertified. An election with competition looms”

Wall Street Journal: Public unions once in power rarely have to prove their value to workers in order to keep power. A new law in Florida set out to change that, and it’s getting results. Signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis in May, the law requires public unions to prove that at least 60% of workers … Continue reading “United Teachers of Dade falls short of its required members in Miami-Dade to be recertified. An election with competition looms”

Looking ahead to 2024 and the taxpayer funded Madison School District

Abbey Machtig: The Madison School Board is scheduled to hire a new superintendent by February or March. The board began interviewing candidates in closed meetings this month and will continue into January. The board is expected to announce two or three finalists and hold open interviews where the public can participate. The new superintendent will eventually replace … Continue reading Looking ahead to 2024 and the taxpayer funded Madison School District

Reading Recovery program being phased out as new law takes effect

By Sue Loughlin Under a new law, HEA 1558, the state of Indiana is mandating instruction and curriculum that aligns with the science of reading; use of Reading Recovery must be phased out by fall of 2024. Science of reading is a methodology that uses direct, systematic use of five elements in literacy instruction: phonemic … Continue reading Reading Recovery program being phased out as new law takes effect

Commentary on Wisconsin’s K-12 System

Mackenzie Krumme In her 2023 State of Education Address, the head of the Department of Public Instruction said schools are undergoing significant change. We speak with Superintendent Jill Underly on issues facing Wisconsin’s schools in the past year and look ahead to 2024. Underly and our long term disastrous reading results…. WEAC: $1.57 million for Four … Continue reading Commentary on Wisconsin’s K-12 System

Decline has consequences: One of them is more decline.

Paul Mirengoff: Yesterday, Ted Leonsis, owner of the Washington Wizards (NBA) and the Washington Capitals (NHL), announced that he has reached a non-binding agreement under which both teams would move to Alexandria, Virginia. Gov. Glenn Youngkin appeared with Leonsis to tout the relocation, for which the Commonwealth will make a major financial commitment.  The original owner of … Continue reading Decline has consequences: One of them is more decline.

History (revisionist…?), Governance and Madison’s long term, disastrous reading results

David Blaska: Here in Madison, the proponents of one-size-fits-all government monopoly schooling are rewriting history to cover their misdeeds. The occasion was the recent passing of barely remembered Daniel Nerad, superintendent of Madison public schools between 2008 and 2012.   Capital Times publisher Paul Fanlund marvels that the same problems that beset Nerad a dozen years ago plague the … Continue reading History (revisionist…?), Governance and Madison’s long term, disastrous reading results

Notes on DIE climate and the 2024 Madison School Board election

David Blaska: Madison school board members Savion Castro and Maia Pearson are seeking re-election in April. They are thoroughly Woke. Get 100 signatures to get on the ballot. Nomination papers are not due until January 3. The forms candidates need can be found here even though, strangely, the city’s website has not been updated! Blaska’s … Continue reading Notes on DIE climate and the 2024 Madison School Board election

The Biden administration’s unseriousness on PISA

By Dale Chu The latest PISA results dropped earlier today and, perhaps to no one’s surprise, they weren’t good. U.S. students saw a 13-point drop in math, which was “among the lowest ever measured by PISA in mathematics” for the U.S., according to the OECD. This morning’s headlines summarize the bad news: “U.S. students’ math scores plunge … Continue reading The Biden administration’s unseriousness on PISA

‘Right-to-read’ settlement spurred higher reading scores in California’s lowest performing schools, study finds

Jill Barshay: In 2017, public interest lawyers sued California because they claimed that too many low- income Black and Hispanic children weren’t learning to read at school. Filed on behalf of families and teachers at three schools with pitiful reading test scores, the suit was an effort to establish a constitutional right to read. However, … Continue reading ‘Right-to-read’ settlement spurred higher reading scores in California’s lowest performing schools, study finds

School Choice Commentary (achievement not found)

Bob Peterson Establishing two school systems — one public and one private, yet both supported with tax dollars — only expands the ability of private schools to pick and choose the most desirable students Supporters of Wisconsin’s voucher schools make it seem that the schools are just one of many variations of our public schools. Don’t be fooled. Voucher … Continue reading School Choice Commentary (achievement not found)

Learning loss and the teacher unions

David Blaska: The teachers union laid down a gauntlet of demands — over two dozen! — before they would return, including (Surprise! Surprise!) that teachers union default: More Money, aka “hazard pay.” Socialist provocateur John Nichols had their back. When a former governor encouraged schools to reopen for in-class instruction, Comrade Nichols lit the match: “Scott Walker is exploiting the pandemic … Continue reading Learning loss and the teacher unions

Lawfare and school choice

David Blaska: Who is behind the lawsuit seeking to bring down Wisconsin’s school choice program that helps 52,000 low-income, often minority students, escape failing public schools? Guy named Kirk Bangstad.  Killing school choice is written into the Democrat(ic) party platform. Obeisance to the teachers union and the one-size-fits-all government school monopoly is central to Woke progressivism. … Continue reading Lawfare and school choice

“Achievement levels are at multi-decade lows at the same time as spending and staffing levels are at all-time highs.”

Chad Adelman: Public charter schools are more productive than traditional school districts in terms of their ability to translate a given level of investment into math and reading gains for students. That’s the finding of a new report from researchers at the University of Arkansas. Charter schools in Indianapolis; Camden, New Jersey; San Antonio, Texas; and New … Continue reading “Achievement levels are at multi-decade lows at the same time as spending and staffing levels are at all-time highs.”

Wisconsin’s School Report Cards Are Broken-Here’s How to Fix Them

Will Flanders and Noah Diekemper Annually, when Wisconsin’s new school report cards are released, we learn that Wisconsin’s schools must all be located in Lake Wobegone, where everyone is above average. School districts like Beloit (14.1% proficiency in reading) and Milwaukee (11.5% proficiency in math) are somehow not judged to be deserving of a ranking … Continue reading Wisconsin’s School Report Cards Are Broken-Here’s How to Fix Them

Commentary on Madison and Wisconsin’s K-12 Report Cards

Scott Girard The Madison Metropolitan School District once again “met expectations” for student learning in 2022-23 and six of its schools received the highest possible rating, according to state report cards released Tuesday. Two MMSD schools failed to meet expectations, the lowest rating. The district’s score of 68.3 was a slight increase over last year’s … Continue reading Commentary on Madison and Wisconsin’s K-12 Report Cards

“Only 54 percent of first-time Teacher test takers passed for the 2020-21 school year. That’s down from 66 percent in 2014-15”

Corrinne Hess: The proposed bill, authored by Sen. Mary Felzkowski, R-Irma, and state Rep. Jeff Mursau, R-Crivitz, extends that exception to applicants for all licenses that require the FORT exam.   Felzkowski and Mursau did not respond to requests for comment.  Lawmakers, DPI and the Wisconsin Association of School Boards say the change is necessary to … Continue reading “Only 54 percent of first-time Teacher test takers passed for the 2020-21 school year. That’s down from 66 percent in 2014-15”

“It seems (Wisconsin) DPI has set those expectations too low”

Corrine Hess: The state report cards include data on multiple indicators for multiple school years across four priority areas: achievement, growth, target group outcomes, and on-track to graduation.   A district or school’s overall accountability score places it in one of five overall accountability ratings: Significantly Exceeds Expectations (five stars), Exceeds Expectations (four stars), Meets Expectations … Continue reading “It seems (Wisconsin) DPI has set those expectations too low”

“Some schools with less than 5% proficiency in math and English are rated as “Meets” or “Exceeds” expectations on the current report card”

Will Flanders: WILL Research Director Will Flanders’s new policy brief, Needs Improvement: How Wisconsin’s Report Card Can Mislead Parents, provides an important explanation of how Wisconsin’s school report cards work and how the various inputs work towards a school’s score. Specifically, Flanders highlights: The Report (PDF). Underly and our long term disastrous reading results…. WEAC: $1.57 million for … Continue reading “Some schools with less than 5% proficiency in math and English are rated as “Meets” or “Exceeds” expectations on the current report card”

“Districts seeing a 10% decline in enrollment, for example, are almost two times more likely to go to referendum than districts with rising enrollments”

Abbey Machtig: The Madison School District is in the middle of two referendums approved by voters in 2020. The $317 million capital referendum has gone toward building a new elementary school and funding significant high-school renovations. The smaller operating referendum gave the district an additional $33 million to work with over four years. Despite this … Continue reading “Districts seeing a 10% decline in enrollment, for example, are almost two times more likely to go to referendum than districts with rising enrollments”

Implications of closed schools and teacher union influence

Ann Althouse If you’re not seeing the replies there — I know I’m not — then read “Randi Weingarten gets educated about exactly who is to blame for the rise in homeschooling/The American Federation of Teachers union boss shared an article on ‘What’s behind the increase in homeschooling’” Underly and our long term disastrous reading results…. … Continue reading Implications of closed schools and teacher union influence

Comparing k-12 per student $pending growth

Chad Aldeman: At the national level, public schools spent an average of $15,810 per pupil in 2019-20, not including debt or construction costs. But that figure hides tremendous variation across the country. Idaho and Utah schools, for instance, spent less than $10,000 per pupil, whereas Vermont; Washington, D.C., and New York schools spent upward of $25,000 per … Continue reading Comparing k-12 per student $pending growth

The poor, powerless casualties of Wisconsin’s school choice lawsuit

Patrick McIlheran: Two-thirds of children whose schools are under attack by Minocqua beer baron are racial or ethnic minorities, many are poor, many are very likely his fellow Democrats In the lawsuit bankrolled by the Minocqua beer marketer, Kirk Bangstad, who’s trying to kill school choice in Wisconsin, his lawyers make an icy admission: They … Continue reading The poor, powerless casualties of Wisconsin’s school choice lawsuit

Democratic operative Sachin Chheda gets sweet new gig with Wisconsin DPI for $138,000 a year

Daniel Bice: Back in 2021, Democratic operative Sachin Chheda played a major role in helping Jill Underly get elected state school superintendent. Now Underly appears to be returning the favor. Underly announced Monday that she is hiring Chheda to a $138,000-per-year job at the Department of Public Instruction, which Underly oversees. Chheda started his new job on Monday as … Continue reading Democratic operative Sachin Chheda gets sweet new gig with Wisconsin DPI for $138,000 a year

Student Madison School Board meeting at West High School

Scott Girard: Safety and sustainability are on the minds of West High School students. A Madison School Board panel, organized by the school’s Sifting and Winnowing Club, featured student-generated questions that repeatedly focused on those two subjects, with a few others mixed in. More than 400 students attended the two sessions Friday afternoon in the … Continue reading Student Madison School Board meeting at West High School

Why is denying less well-off families the same educational options that more well-to-do families have progressive?

Dave Cieslewicz Now comes a predictable lawsuit from a liberal group that was filed recently directly with the state Supreme Court, skipping the usual process that starts with lower courts. It’s predictable because now that the Court has a 4-3 liberal majority every liberal cause in the state that can afford a lawyer will be … Continue reading Why is denying less well-off families the same educational options that more well-to-do families have progressive?

Where Should Teachers Turn When Marxist Training Leaves Them Unprepared For Real Classrooms?

Daniel Buck: Walking into a classroom my first year of teaching, I experienced less a transition shock and more a disgraceful-lack-of-preparation shock. It turns out the university lectures on self-care and transgender literacies didn’t quite prepare me for a student calling another student’s mother an indecorous word. Nor did a few sample lesson plans equip … Continue reading Where Should Teachers Turn When Marxist Training Leaves Them Unprepared For Real Classrooms?

Notes on taxpayer funded Madison K-12 Governance

David Blaska For all practical purposes, Jennifer Cheatham remains the superintendent of Madison WI public schools. She left four years ago for Harvard University (where 32 student groups announced their support for Hamas terrorism). Her mission: clone more ultra-Woke school chiefs like herself. (“Areas of expertise: diversity, equity, and inclusion.”)  Matters not that teachers hate it, Cheatham’s race-forward … Continue reading Notes on taxpayer funded Madison K-12 Governance

Notes on absenteeism in the taxpayer funded Madison K-12 system

Scott Girard: In total, nearly 9,000 children in Madison public schools missed more than 10% of the school year, a rate of absenteeism that can indicate broader problems facing children and puts them at risk of a serious, long-term disadvantage in learning. Grelinda Isom’s four children are among those considered chronically absent. Isom herself has … Continue reading Notes on absenteeism in the taxpayer funded Madison K-12 system

“Call it the end of an era for fantasy-fueled reading instruction”

Kendra Hurley: Call it the end of an era for fantasy-fueled reading instruction. In a move that has parents like me cheering, Columbia University’s Teachers College announced last month that it is shuttering its once famous—in some circles, now-infamous—reading organization founded by education guru and entrepreneur Lucy Calkins. For decades, the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project … Continue reading “Call it the end of an era for fantasy-fueled reading instruction”

Notes on Lawfare, taxpayer k-12 $pending and the Minocqua Brewing Company

Quinton Qlabon I feel like when Minocqua Brewing Company turns in homework, it should not have factual errors in it. Anticlimactic. Locally, Madison spends > $25k per student. Corrine Hess: Wisconsin’s choice program serves over 52,000 students and plays a vital role in Wisconsin’s education system,” Esenberg said in a statement. “Unfortunately, far-left interest groups … Continue reading Notes on Lawfare, taxpayer k-12 $pending and the Minocqua Brewing Company