Chicago’ teacher contract shows why Scott Walker got it right (with act 10)

David Blaska: [The contract] will boost Chicago teacher compensation — already among the highest in the nation … to nearly $100,000. (By contrast, the median Chicago household earns $52,000.) Teachers will now be permitted to bank an incredible 244 sick days (up from 40) and claim full pension credit for those days upon retirement, creating … Continue reading Chicago’ teacher contract shows why Scott Walker got it right (with act 10)

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker sets goal of topping nation in high school grads in four years

Molly Beck: Gov. Scott Walker said he wants Wisconsin high school students to graduate at a rate higher than any other state in the nation by the end of his third term should he be re-elected this fall. Walker, who in an interview late Monday called himself “an education governor,” set the goal to coincide … Continue reading Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker sets goal of topping nation in high school grads in four years

At Democratic forum Matt Flynn says Scott Walker will eat Tony Evers for lunch

Matthew De Four: It wasn’t until the end of Wednesday night’s Democratic gubernatorial forum at the Madison Public Library that someone took a swing at the candidate who has led in all of the polls. Former party chairman Matt Flynn in his closing statement called State Superintendent Tony Evers “Republican lite” and criticized him for … Continue reading At Democratic forum Matt Flynn says Scott Walker will eat Tony Evers for lunch

Supreme Court gives win to Tony Evers over Gov. Scott Walker in case challenging authority

Molly Beck: “The constitution creates the role of a state superintendent and gives the superintendent authority to supervise public instruction. That is all the constitution confers upon the superintendent,” Bradley wrote. “The majority creates a dangerous precedent. It brandishes its superintending authority like a veto over laws it does not wish to apply. In doing … Continue reading Supreme Court gives win to Tony Evers over Gov. Scott Walker in case challenging authority

Democrats say they would repeal Act 10 if they unseat Scott Walker

Patrick Marley: The Democrats running for governor are pledging to end GOP Gov. Scott Walker’s union restrictions, while Walker is promising to veto any changes to Act 10 if he wins re-election and Democrats take control of the Legislature. Act 10 — adopted amid massive protests shortly after Walker took office in 2011 — brought … Continue reading Democrats say they would repeal Act 10 if they unseat Scott Walker

Scott Walker vs. Tony Evers: The governor and a Democratic challenger go before the Supreme Court

Patrick Marley: Attorneys for Evers contended Schimel and his aides were violating ethics rules for lawyers because they were not pursuing the case in the way Evers wanted, were not conferring with him and did not honor his decision to fire them. Past court rulings have determined the schools superintendent has broad authority and that … Continue reading Scott Walker vs. Tony Evers: The governor and a Democratic challenger go before the Supreme Court

Gov. Scott Walker, AG Brad Schimel block Tony Evers from getting his own attorney

Patrick Marley: Superintendent Evers should welcome greater accountability at (his Department of Public Instruction), not dodge it,” Evenson said in his email. “It’s not politics, it’s the law.” The lawsuit centers on the powers of Evers. It was brought Monday by two teachers and members of the New London and Marshfield school boards, represented by … Continue reading Gov. Scott Walker, AG Brad Schimel block Tony Evers from getting his own attorney

UW-Madison wins, UW-Milwaukee and Parkside lose under Scott Walker’s performance funding plan

Karen Herzog: Consider the highly touted goal the UW System announced in April 2010 to boost the number of four-year degree holders in Wisconsin. At the time, 26% of Wisconsin residents had a four-year college degree — a bit lower than the national average and significantly less than the 32% of Minnesota residents with a … Continue reading UW-Madison wins, UW-Milwaukee and Parkside lose under Scott Walker’s performance funding plan

Gov. Scott Walker’s budget would shift Wisconsin’s approach to school funding

Jason Stein and Erin Richards: Gov. Scott Walker’s budget would do more than just increase state aid to schools — it would also double down on a significant change to how that aid gets divvied up among districts. Under the GOP governor’s two-year budget bill, the state would put $509 million more into a relatively … Continue reading Gov. Scott Walker’s budget would shift Wisconsin’s approach to school funding

Scott Walker proposes 5% tuition cut, $135 million more in funding for University of Wisconsin System

Karen Herzog and Jason Stein: After extending a tuition freeze into a fifth year for resident undergraduates at University of Wisconsin System campuses, Gov. Scott Walker announced Tuesday that he wants to cut tuition by 5% beginning in fall 2018. He said he would make up for the lost tuition dollars by giving campuses $35 … Continue reading Scott Walker proposes 5% tuition cut, $135 million more in funding for University of Wisconsin System

Wisconsin schools chief urges Scott Walker to veto education measures

Erin Richards: Education issues have been some of the most controversial elements of the 2015-’17 state budget. The proposal calls for allowing much more public money to flow to private, mostly religious schools while keeping public school funding mostly flat. Public schools would see a modest increase in funding in the second year of the … Continue reading Wisconsin schools chief urges Scott Walker to veto education measures

Scott Walker Is Undermining Academic Freedom at the University of Wisconsin

Nancy Kendall: Walker has said that the proposed tenure changes will provide “more autonomy” for the UW system’s Board of Regents (the governing body that oversees the UW system) and for chancellors to manage the cuts. It would do so by allowing tenured faculty to be laid off at the discretion of the chancellors and … Continue reading Scott Walker Is Undermining Academic Freedom at the University of Wisconsin

They really are the party of stupid: The real story behind Scott Walker’s war on higher education

Heather Cox Richardson: Movement Conservatives made Reagan’s anti-intellectualism an article of faith. Although George W. Bush held degrees from both Yale and Harvard, his supporters portrayed him as an outsider from Texas, cutting brush on his newly purchased Texas ranch. Movement Conservative personalities increasingly made whipping boys of members of the “liberal academy,” with hosts … Continue reading They really are the party of stupid: The real story behind Scott Walker’s war on higher education

Jerry Brown, Scott Walker confronting universities

Dan Walters: Brown, meanwhile, is negotiating privately with Napolitano – herself a former governor of Arizona – to see whether compromise is reachable. A first increment of the threatened tuition increase has been postponed, but publicly Napolitano is threatening to cap admissions by California students. The amount of state UC aid involved is relatively tiny … Continue reading Jerry Brown, Scott Walker confronting universities

Scott Walker, and the problem with valuing credentials over competence

Edward Morrissey: My father hadn’t followed his own advice. He dropped out of the University of Arizona much like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker did later at Marquette, closer to a degree than I ever got, for personal reasons unrelated to academic achievement. He went into the aerospace industry and spent 29 years working on the … Continue reading Scott Walker, and the problem with valuing credentials over competence

Court rules against measure letting Scott Walker halt school administrative rules

Patrick Marley: Parents of students and members of teachers unions sued Walker over the law as it applied to rules put together by the Department of Public Instruction, which is headed by Evers. Walker is a Republican and Evers is aligned with Democrats, though his post is officially nonpartisan. The state constitution says that “the … Continue reading Court rules against measure letting Scott Walker halt school administrative rules

What choice schools don’t like about Scott Walker’s voucher plan

Alan Borsuk: An important thing to understand about Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal for making an unlimited number of private school tuition vouchers available across Wisconsin is how unattractive, as a practical matter, his plan is to the schools that it could serve. An upcoming gusher of private school vouchers? More likely, as it stands, it … Continue reading What choice schools don’t like about Scott Walker’s voucher plan

Why Scott Walker’s allegedly mistaken attempt to change the University of Wisconsin’s mission statement is an omen for big changes to higher education in America

Alia Wong: Last Wednesday, Wisconsin’s Republican Gov. Scott Walker released a biennium budget plan that had a strange twist nestled inside. This line item didn’t have much, if anything, to do with how he intended to spend the state’s money; it had no numbers, dollar signs, nor provisos. It did, however, deal ever-so-vaguely with Wisconsin’s … Continue reading Why Scott Walker’s allegedly mistaken attempt to change the University of Wisconsin’s mission statement is an omen for big changes to higher education in America

Dormant for now, expect Common Core to flare in next Scott Walker term

Alan Borsuk: January approaches and so, presumably, does the first hot round of education action of the second term of Republican Gov. Scott Walker. There will be many other rounds, especially by the time the state budget is completed in June. In solidly re-electing Walker on Tuesday, Wisconsin voters made clear which side is going … Continue reading Dormant for now, expect Common Core to flare in next Scott Walker term

Governor Scott Walker asks Wisconsin DPI to begin hearings on revoking license of teacher who viewed porn at school

Molly Beck:

Gov. Scott Walker has asked State Superintendent Tony Evers to begin hearings on revoking the teaching license of a Middleton teacher reinstated to his job earlier this month after being fired in 2010 for looking at pornographic images at school.
“After hearing from concerned parents, I am asking you to act efficiently in your investigation into the actions of Mr. Harris and to initiate revocation proceedings,” Walker wrote in a letter dated Jan. 28. “The arbitration process afforded to Mr. Harris failed the school district and the students. It has taken both a financial and emotional toll on the district. Cases, such as this one, are a good example of why our reforms are necessary.”
Walker also wrote cases like the one in Middleton “prompted me to sign 2011 Act 84 giving the State Superintendent clear authority to take action.”
The law allows the Department of Public Instruction to revoke a license for immoral conduct, defined under state law to include looking at pornography at school.

Democrats testing the waters for Scott Walker challengers, including Madison School Board Member Mary Burke

Patrick Marley:

With a recently leaked poll, the first contours of the 2014 race for governor are coming into view.
Democrats have contended for months that they see Gov. Scott Walker as vulnerable, but they have not offered a candidate to run against him. But last month a poll was conducted testing the viability of Mary Burke, a former state commerce secretary and former Trek Bicycle Corp. executive.
The poll was conducted around the same time an unknown person registered five Burke-themed Internet addresses, such as BurkeForWisconsin.com and BurkeForGovernor.com. None of the websites are active.
Burke, who was elected to the Madison School Board last year, has not responded to interview requests since the poll surfaced in June. Mike Tate, the chairman of the state Democratic Party, issued a statement at the time saying Democrats were conducting polls for “several potential strong challengers” to Walker.
Democrats are hungry for a victory after Walker became the first governor in the nation’s history to survive a recall election last year. Republicans are equally motivated to keep him in office after having to elect him twice for one term.
Democratic strategists said Burke is seriously considering a run but has not made a final decision. They noted others could run, but they hoped to have just one candidate to avoid a Democratic primary.
Democrats said they liked Burke’s background in business and economic development — as well as the personal funds she could bring to the race — while Republicans pointed to her ties to former Gov. Jim Doyle and other issues as matters they could exploit.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker: Future voucher expansion should be based on student performance

Matthew DeFour:

“If the students are performing at or better than they were in the schools they came from, then that would be a compelling case to offer more choices like that to more families across the state,” Walker said. “If the majority are not performing better, you could make a pretty compelling argument not to.”
Sen. Luther Olsen, R-Ripon, chairman of the Senate Education Committee, said work on an accountability bill is wrapping up and he hopes it will begin circulating for sponsors by the end of this month. He hopes hearings will be held in late summer and early fall with a bill sent to the governor by the end of the year.
“I hope that everyone comes away happy that this is the right thing to do,” Olsen said. “The voucher people want a bill like this because they’re only as good as their weakest school.”
Olsen said the bill will not only apply the report card system to schools participating in the voucher program, it will also make changes to the report card for public schools.
The report card released last fall didn’t measure high school student growth, because it was based on one test taken in 10th grade. The state budget the governor signed Sunday expands high school testing to grades nine and 11. The accountability bill will ensure future report cards include those tests, Olsen said.
Democrats have been skeptical that Republicans will follow through on holding private voucher schools accountable. Earlier this year Senate Minority Leader Chris Larson, D-Milwaukee, compared talk of a bill to Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown.
In February, Walker told the State Journal editorial board that he hoped to sign a voucher school accountability bill before the budget was approved. That didn’t happen, but Walker said there was push back from the Legislature.

Much more on vouchers, here.

Madison progressive political machine hands Scott Walker another school victory

David Blaska:

Congratulations to Madison’s white power elite, especially to Democrats, organized labor, John Matthews and his teachers union. You very well may have elected a teachers union-first (“Collectively we decide …”), children second school board. You also just handed Scott Walker a powerful case for expanding private school vouchers.
What are you afraid of? That more parents might not choose the taxpayer-coerced public school monopoly? What do you expect, when you leave them no (ahem) … choice.
I would like to hold out hope that absentee ballots will make the difference, but 279 votes is probably too many for Wayne Strong to overcome to defeat Dean Loumos, who holds an 18,286 to 18,007 lead. If there are 1,333 absentee ballots that need to be counted, as the city clerk’s website advertises, Strong would have to beat Loumos 806 to 527 in those uncounted votes.
(BTW: Is this the new normal? As absentee voting becomes more popular, winners won’t be declared for a week after the election?)

Much more on the 2013 Madison School Board election, here.

Wisconsin schools superintendent: Lawmakers should reject Scott Walker’s voucher expansion

Jason Stein:

Addressing the most contentious issue in Gov. Scott Walker’s budget bill, state Schools Superintendent Tony Evers on Thursday called on members of the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee to reject a proposed expansion of voucher schools and to give more money to public schools.
Citing figures from the Legislature’s nonpartisan budget office, Evers said the $129 million in new state aid Walker included in his two-year budget bill drops to $39.2 million after accounting for how part of that money would go to private and charter schools under the proposal. Walker seeks to increase funding for existing and future voucher schools, expand them to nine new school districts and allow special-needs students from around the state to attend private schools at taxpayer expense.
At the same time, Walker wants to use the state public school aid to hold down local property taxes rather than increase spending on education.
Evers, who is running for re-election on April 2 against Rep. Don Pridemore (R-Erin), said Walker’s budget pitted public schools against private schools by increasing state funding for voucher school initiatives by 32% while keeping overall revenue to schools flat.
“This has to stop. The state cannot continue to play favorites. We can and must meet our constitutional obligation to invest in all of our kids,” Evers said.
In its third straight day of budget hearings, the Joint Finance Committee took testimony Thursday on Walker’s 2013-’15 budget proposals for Wisconsin’s K-12 schools, technical colleges and universities. The hearing made clear that the governor’s education proposals will face resistance from some senators in the Republican-controlled Senate and have strong support from Republicans in charge of the Assembly, leaving its future in doubt.

Key Senate Republicans say changes needed for Scott Walker’s Wisconsin voucher-expansion plans to pass

Erin Richards:

When Miriam Oakleaf was 10 months old, her parents noticed something was wrong.
By 2 1/2 she had been formally diagnosed with autism, epilepsy and a rare skin and central nervous system condition called linear nevus sebaceous syndrome.
Now 8 and in second grade at Crestwood Elementary School in Madison, Miriam’s schooling requires extensive support and planning from a variety of education professionals – administrators, therapists, teachers and aides – in addition to her parents.
The story of Miriam and children like her is at the heart of a $21 million proposal in Gov. Scott Walker’s state budget that would allow 5% of kids with disabilities in Wisconsin to attend private or public schools outside their home districts on a taxpayer-funded voucher.
The proposal has driven a wedge through the state’s network of special-needs parents. Some believe it would open up more schooling options for their children while others contend it will drain more resources from their local public schools.

There was more to Scott Walker’s fight with unions than speeches and protests

Jason Stein & Patrick Marley:

Hunkered down in Illinois to block labor legislation back in Wisconsin, 14 Democratic senators gathered in Libertyville two years ago for a secret meeting at a teachers union office.
Arriving at the Illinois Education Association branch on Feb. 26, 2011, some Democrats in the group were surprised to find that they would be strategizing not just among themselves but also with three labor officials. That trio included the incoming head of a national teachers association, the biggest union in the country, who had worked with the Wisconsin lawmakers in the past and had just registered to lobby them again.
One senator skipped the meeting out of concerns over appearance and propriety. The other lawmakers got a pitch from the union leaders on why they should stay in Illinois to prevent a vote on Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to repeal most collective bargaining for most public employees.
“The undercurrent message was, ‘You’re winning; stay out,’ ” recalled former Democratic Sen. Jim Holperin of Conover, one of those attending the meeting.
Behind the scenes, there was more to the Republican governor’s fight with public employee unions than just Walker’s speeches and the massive protests of union supporters. An in-depth review reveals a rich backstory, including the undisclosed visit to Wisconsin by President Barack Obama’s campaign manager just before the effort to recall Walker; the role played by a conservative Milwaukee foundation in pushing labor legislation in Wisconsin and elsewhere; and the tension between Walker’s office and law enforcement over handling the demonstrations that greeted the governor’s proposal.
Walker emerged from the legislative fight and the subsequent recall election with a majority of support among Wisconsin voters, deep opposition from Democrats, and a hero’s status among conservatives nationally. Public worker unions lost fundamental powers and in some cases their official status altogether.

Scott Walker’s budget proposal could increase charter school growth

Alan Borsuk:

Just what is a charter school? That’s the question I get most often when I talk to people in the general public. It’s a good question. What’s going on with charter schools around here is both important and tough to grasp.
Gov. Scott Walker unveiled ideas last week for momentous steps related to education around the state as part of his budget proposal for the next two years.
One of them was not allowing public schools to spend more money for operations in the next two years than they’re spending now. I was betting Walker would back a modest increase, at least in line with increased state aid for schools. By not increasing what is called the revenue cap on schools, Walker effectively proposed using increased education aid for property tax relief, not education. That would mean putting public schools statewide in increasingly tight circumstances. Will Republicans in the Legislature accept that or moderate it? A big question for the coming months.
Another Walker proposal would allow launching private school vouchers in as many as nine more cities in the state (Milwaukee and Racine have them now). It’s very controversial and we’ll talk about it in coming weeks.
But Walker’s budget proposal also includes important charter school changes. Those have gotten less attention, so let’s focus on them here, mostly in the form of a primer on charters.

Wisconsin Governor: Scott Walker proposes expanding voucher school program, raising taxpayer support

Jason Stein and Patrick Marley:

Gov. Scott Walker is proposing increasing by at least 9% the taxpayer funding provided to private and religious voucher schools – an increase many times larger in percentage terms than the increase in state tax money he’s seeking for public schools.
The increase in funding for existing voucher schools in Milwaukee and Racine, the first since 2009, comes as the Republican governor seeks to expand the program to nine new districts, including Waukesha, West Allis-West Milwaukee and Madison. Walker is also proposing allowing special-needs students from around the state to attend private schools at taxpayer expense.
Even after the proposed increase to voucher funding and the substantial cuts Walker and lawmakers approved for public schools in 2011, the aid provided to voucher schools would still be substantially less on a per-pupil basis than the overall state and local taxes provided to public schools.
But to provide that bigger increase to voucher schools, the Republican governor will need to persuade lawmakers to break a link in state law that currently binds the percentage increase in aid to voucher schools to the percentage increase in state general aid given to public schools.

Related links:

Finally, perhaps everyone might focus on the big goals: world class schools.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker Proposes a 1% K-12 Redistributed State Tax Dollar Spending Increase

Associated Press:

Gov. Scott Walker will propose a modest increase in funding for Wisconsin public schools in his budget to the Legislature on Wednesday, two years after his steep cuts and all but elimination of collective bargaining for teachers sparked the unsuccessful movement to recall Walker from office.
Walker is also making incentive money available, which could be used as incentive payments for teachers based on how well schools perform on state report cards, Walker told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview.
Walker provided details of his education funding plan to the AP ahead of its public release Sunday. Not only will he put more money into K-12 schools in his two-year budget, Walker will increase funding for the University of Wisconsin System and technical colleges two years after their funding was also slashed.
The roughly 1 percent increase in aid to schools Walker is proposing comes after he cut aid by more than 8 percent in the first year of the last budget. Schools would get $129 million in aid under Walker’s plan, but total K-12 funding would go up $276 million

Related: Wisconsin State Tax Based K-12 Spending Growth Far Exceeds University Funding (2008).
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to propose modest increase in public school funding by Erin Richards & Scott Bauer::

Tom Beebe, project director for Opportunity to Learn Wisconsin, a liberal-leaning group and former executive director of the Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent Schools, has been critical of Walker’s cuts to education.
He said the amount of general aid increase proposed for this next biennial budget – $129.2 million over two years – only amounts to about $161 for each of Wisconsin’s 800,000 public-school students.
“If the revenue cap does not go up, then there is no new money going to schools no matter how much aid increases,” Beebe said. “The increase in school funding simply goes to property taxpayers not into the classroom.”
Mary Bell, president of the Wisconsin Education Association, the state’s largest teacher union, said the modest increase was really just keeping overall revenue for schools flat.
“The stagnant revenue on top of the largest cuts to education funding in Wisconsin history in the last budget is another clear indication that this governor has no intention of supporting neighborhood schools,” Bell said in a statement.
“(Walker’s) real focus is privatizing public education with another infusion of resources to the unaccountable taxpayer-funded private school voucher program while leaving our neighborhood public schools on life support,” she added.

Scott Walker Tilts K-12 Education Toward the Needs of Business

Rebecca Kemble:

Under Scott Walker’s reign in Wisconsin, multinational corporations are given undue influence over public policy. Nowhere is this more evident than in public education. Some of the largest corporations in the world – GE, Caterpillar, Koch Industries – have privileged seats at Walker’s policy table, but they don’t necessarily show up themselves. Instead, they activate a whole network of local actors to do their bidding.
In his seminal work, Propaganda (1928), the “Father of Public Relations” Edward Louis Bernays wrote:
The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.

Putting ideology aside, how have Wisconsin’s K-12 policies over the past few decades improved student learning, at all? www.wisconsin2.org

Madison Teachers, Inc. Executive Director John Matthews on the achievement gap, Act 10 and Scott Walker

Pat Schneider:

CT: What about the training and capabilities of Madison school teachers and how they deliver in the classroom day to day — is there room for improvement there?
JM: Well, there’s always room for improvement — there’s room for improvement in what I do. I can only say that the Madison School District has invested all kinds of things in professional development. One thing teachers tell us if they have time to work together, they can make strides. I found early in my career if I’m having a teacher identified as having a performance problem, ask the principal who is the best at doing what they want this teacher to do. Then you go to that teacher and say: “You have a colleague who needs help, will you take them under your wing?” I don’t have access to any of what they talk about, management doesn’t have access to that — it’s been a remarkably successful venture.
CT: In discussion of the achievement gap in Madison I’ve heard from African-American parents up and down the economic spectrum who say that their children are met at school with low expectations that really hamper their performance.
JM: I’ve heard that too. The Madison School District has an agreed-upon mandatory cultural course that people have to take. But there are people in society who don’t like to be around other races. I don’t see that when teachers are together. And we have a variety of people who are leaders in MTI — either Asian or Indian or black — but there are people who have different expectations from people who are different from them.
CT: Does the union have a role in dealing with teachers whose lowered expectations of students of color might contribute to the achievement gap?
JM: The only time MTI would get involved is if somebody was being criticized for that, we’d likely be involved with that; if someone were being disciplined for that, we would be involved. We’ve not seen that.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and other state leaders concerned with education should work toward a common school evaluation system.

Milwaukee Journal – Sentinel:

Wisconsin needs a new system of school accountability, but implementing effective measures will be difficult because there are so many different ideas about what it takes to make a good school.
The best schools have high standards in the basics – reading, math, science and writing. But they also excel at art, music and gym. They are places with strong leadership, inspired teachers and an organic system of training and mentoring.
To create more such schools and hold all schools accountable in a fair manner, though, requires all those with an interest in that issue to be at the table. Unfortunately, that’s not the case now.
When Gov. Scott Walker and State Superintendent Tony Evers formed a team to improve school accountability, the Wisconsin Education Association Council chose to sit this one out.
We get it: The state’s largest teachers union has plenty of reason to be upset with Walker for stripping it and other public employee unions of their collective bargaining rights – and for cutting funding to schools. But we still think the union’s refusal to take a place at the table was a mistake. The union needs to be involved in such efforts. Now, it’s on the outside looking in.

Wisconsin’s current assessment system is the oft-criticized WKCE, which has some of our nation’s lowest standards.
A Closer Look at Wisconsin’s Test Scores Reveals Troubling Trend by Christian D’Andrea.
WEAC’s Mary Bell advocates a “holistic” approach to school accountability.

Scott Walker Tilts School Accountability Standards to Favor Charter and Private Schools

Rebecca Kemble:

Scott Walker is now waging his war on public education by coming up with accountability standards that favor charter and private schools. His School and District Accountability Design Team consists of thirty business and education professionals from across the state.
The Design Team is led by “Quad-Chairs” Governor Scott Walker, Senator Luther Olsen, chair of the Senate Education Committee, Representative Steve Kestell, chair of the Assembly Education Committee, and Tony Evers, State Superintendent of Schools in Wisconsin. The proceedings are being facilitated by a team of high-paid consultants working with the American Institute for Research (AIR), a company that racked up $299 million in revenue for the 2009 fiscal year.

Arne Duncan Meetings With Rahm Emanuel, Scott Walker Don’t Address Teachers Union Controversy

Joy Resmovits:

Stopping in areas notorious for volatile labor relations this year, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan wrapped up his Great Lakes bus tour in Milwaukee and Chicago on Friday with little talk of teachers union battles.
In Milwaukee, Duncan was joined by Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who outraged educators by signing a budget in June that severely limited their collective bargaining rights, at a town hall event focused on connecting learning to career skills.
“All of us feel your presence today but appreciate your interest in Milwaukee and particularly the Milwaukee Public School system,” Walker said in the library of Milwaukee’s School of Career and Technical Education.
“You’ve done some things we agree with, and you’ve done some things that we don’t agree with,” Duncan said, addressing Walker. “Limiting collective bargaining rights is not the right way to go,” he added, garnering applause.

Scott Walker and Mitch Daniels on Public Employee Unions

Ira Stoll:

The governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, and the governor of Indiana, Mitch Daniels, were both in New York City earlier this week for a Manhattan Institute conference about a “new social contract” with public employees.
Mr. Walker spoke first. He said the changes enacted in Wisconsin that had opponents sitting in and sleeping over in the state capital in protest earlier this year had saved $1.44 billion for state and local governments combined. He said school districts had used the savings to hire more teachers to reduce class sizes and to offer merit pay.
Mr. Walker said voters are looking for “not Republican leadership, not Democrat leadership, they just want leadership.”
Mr. Walker contrasted his approach with that of Governor Patrick Quinn, a Democrat, of Wisconsin’s neighbor Illinois, who “laid off thousands” of state workers after “massive tax increases.”

WEAC head Mary Bell stands up to Gov. Scott Walker with sometimes controversial tactics

Roger Bybee:

Mary Bell, president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council, is quiet and thoughtful in one-on-one conversations. She’s a middle-aged, cheery, bespectacled woman whose dimpled face is surrounded by a thick corona of whitish-gray hair.
But when fighting for her members, Bell forcefully projects her belief in teachers’ right to respect, decent pay and union representation. At a rally with tens of thousands at the Capitol on a snowy, bitter Feb. 26, Bell expressed outrage at Gov. Scott Walker’s proposals for the near-total stripping of union rights for teachers, librarians, highway workers, prison guards and other public workers across the state. Yet her anger was tempered by her humor and her belief in Wisconsinites’ fundamental commitment to fairness and public education.
The rhetoric Mary Bell used that day about “Wisconsin values” was no stretch for her, because she perceives herself as a typical Wisconsinite, sharply different from the image of the insular Madison insider, as Walker likes to portray his enemies.

Reforming Wisconsin education Gov. Scott Walker and state schools superintendent Tony Evers should be inclusive in their efforts.

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

Creating a new system of accountability for schools in Wisconsin could be a great help to parents and school districts and, thus, an important educational reform for the state. If the new system is fair and done right, it would provide plenty of clear information on which schools are achieving the right outcomes.
Ideally, it would measure schools not only on whether they have met certain standards but how much students and schools have improved over a certain time period. It also would measure all schools that receive public funding equally – public, charter and voucher – so that families would have the information they need to make good choices. That’s all important.
Gov. Scott Walker, state schools superintendent Tony Evers and others have signed on to create a new school accountability system and to seek approval from the U.S. Department of Education to allow the system to replace the decade-old, federally imposed one they say is broken. The feds should give that approval, and the state should move forward with this reform and others.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s school choice bills face some hurdles

Susan Troller:

Republican Gov. Scott Walker will be on a national education stage tonight to tout his efforts to expand charter school and voucher programs, but he is running into obstacles back home, and not just from those you might expect.
At an Assembly Education Committee hearing last week, for example, a bill Walker backs that would allow parents of special education students to use state tax dollars to pay for private school tuition hit significant roadblocks. In fact, the Republican chair of the committee, Rep. Steve Kestell of Elkhart Lake, called the funding mechanism for the legislation in its current form a “fatal flaw” in a telephone interview Friday.
“The bill is an intriguing proposal,” Kestell says. “Where we have a big challenge is how to pay for it.”
Kestell and other representatives grilled the authors of the bill during committee testimony. The language of the proposal appears to be taken fairly literally from generic legislation used in other states that have passed special education voucher programs. Kestell says the legislation would have to be “Wisconsinized” to be acceptable.
The bill was also sharply criticized by disability rights groups, who say it would strip hard-won legal rights from families with special-needs children, and by the state Department of Public Instruction, which faults the bill for demanding no accountability from private schools for actually providing the special education services that would be the basis for the vouchers.

Gov. Scott Walker can thank Michelle Rhee for making teachers unions the enemy

Richard Kahlenberg:

Education writer explains how the former D.C. schools chief helped stoke anti-union fires
A half-century ago, Wisconsin became the first state in the nation to pass legislation allowing collective bargaining for public employees, including educators. At the time, teachers across the country, who make up a significant share of public employees, were often underpaid and mistreated by autocratic administrators. In the fight for greater dignity, union leaders such as Albert Shanker in New York City linked teacher unionization to the fledgling civil rights movement.
Today, Wisconsin is again at the forefront of a union battle – this time in Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s effort to cut his state’s budget deficit in part by curtailing collective bargaining for teachers and other public employees. How did it become okay, once more, to vilify public-sector workers, especially the ones who are educating and caring for our children?

K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Wisconsin Governor Candidates Tom Barrett and Scott Walker: Both run as budget hawks

Jack Craver:

A couple weeks ago Scott Walker proudly released Milwaukee County’s budget numbers, which showed the county with a surplus, after a deficit had been projected at the beginning of the year.
Not to be beaten (unless there’s a metal pipe around) Tom Barrett released the city of Milwaukee’s numbers today:

WisPolitics Lunch (2/3/2006): Mark Green and Scott Walker

WisPolitics.com is hosting a lunch for Republican Gubernatorial candidates Mark Green and Scott Walker who are facing off to run against incumbent Democrat Jim Doyle this fall. Cost is $15 for Madison Club members and $19 for non-members. Call Loretta to RSVP at the Madison Club, 608-255-4861. This is perhaps one of the best local … Continue reading WisPolitics Lunch (2/3/2006): Mark Green and Scott Walker

3 Attacks on School Choice in Governor Evers’ Wisconsin Budget Proposal

Will Flanders: Governor Tony Evers’ 2021-23 budget includes a Christmas tree for teachers unions in the form of higher spending and no requirements to get kids back into the classroom. But it also represents a renewed assault on the state’s high-performing school choice and charter programs. Below are three school choice takeaways from the governor’s budget proposal.    Enrollment Caps on Choice Programs   … Continue reading 3 Attacks on School Choice in Governor Evers’ Wisconsin Budget Proposal

Mulligans for “Act 10”?

Patrick Marley and Molly Beck: Republican legislative leaders immediately rejected the full proposal because of provisions within it that would roll back policies they enacted under a Republican governor. “He’s not serious about governing, he’s serious about politics,” Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, told reporters after the budget address. Vos said the budget proposal was … Continue reading Mulligans for “Act 10”?

Study: Act 10 leads to improvement in Wisconsin math testing results

Noel Evans: Math test scores in schools across Wisconsin have been steadily improving, according to a new study. The study from The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL), “Keeping Score: Act 10’s Impact on Student Achievement,” attributes the rise in scores, particularly in the math scores of students from kindergarten through high school, to … Continue reading Study: Act 10 leads to improvement in Wisconsin math testing results

Civics: Evers still failing open government

empower Wisconsin: Nearly 14 months ago, the Associated Press reported the Evers Administration was “evaluating how to better present “accurate information about public records to the public.” The promise to do better – or at least evaluate how to do better – was in response to criticism of Gov. Tony Evers not following former Gov. Scott Walker’s executive … Continue reading Civics: Evers still failing open government

On the education front, one way to move from anger to action would be to make sure all youngsters are proficient in reading

Alan Borsuk: First, success in reaching proficiency in reading is shockingly low among students from low-income homes and those who are black or Hispanic. The Wisconsin gap between white kids and black kids has often been measured as the worst in the United States.  Only 13% of black fourth through eighth graders in Wisconsin were rated as proficient or … Continue reading On the education front, one way to move from anger to action would be to make sure all youngsters are proficient in reading

Commentary on the Madison School District’s teacher climate

David Blaska: In a school district that is 18% black, 57% of students suspended from school the first semester of the current school year (2019-20) were African-American. White students, 43% of the student body, accounted for 11% of out-of-school suspensions. To school board member Ali Muldrow, the data showed more about school staff than about … Continue reading Commentary on the Madison School District’s teacher climate

Wisconsin taxpayers have been protected from high school referendum costs

Benjamin Yount: Sen. Duey Stroebel of Wisconsin’s 20th District wants taxpayers in the state to know two things. One, property taxes in Wisconsin are actually down over the past decade. That’s thanks, he says, to Republican lawmakers and former Gov. Scott Walker. And two, Stroebel said the state legislature has protected homeowners from the skyrocketing … Continue reading Wisconsin taxpayers have been protected from high school referendum costs

2020 Madison School District Referendum Climate: city tax and spending increases

David Blaska: It was what we thought it was. Madison is 10 to 1 opposed to the city’s $40 wheel tax, judging from the 2,000 pages [CORRECTED] of e-mails that flooded city hall from 250 individuals. Kudos to Chris Rickert of the WI State Journal for filing the open records request to get that info. … Continue reading 2020 Madison School District Referendum Climate: city tax and spending increases

ANother Lost Decade: Madison’s Reading Crisis Continues

Simpson Street Free Press: On the wall at Simpson Street is a feature editorial from the Wisconsin State Journal. The headline reads “Support State Reading Initiatives” and announces the launch of a bipartisan effort co-chaired by Tony Evers and Scott Walker. The editorial is dated September 12, 2012. Local News and Numbers Recent reports by … Continue reading ANother Lost Decade: Madison’s Reading Crisis Continues

Civics: Open Records and the Wisconsin Governor’s Office

Libby Sobic and CJ Szafir: The Wisconsin Attorney General’s office issues a best practices guide for open records requests for all government entities. Democrat Attorney General Kaul, along with his predecessor Republican Attorney General Schimel, recommends 10 business days as a generally reasonable timeline for Neither the administrations of Schimel nor former Governor Scott Walker … Continue reading Civics: Open Records and the Wisconsin Governor’s Office

“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

Commentary in our three branch government systeM

David Blaska: Nichols is in a dither because the Legislature — meeting after the 2018 election in which Democrat Tony Evers defeated Scott Walker — passed legislation curbing the new governor’s powers. (Among other things: to prevent the new governor from rescinding Medicaid work requirements without legislative approval and to withdraw Wisconsin from multi-state lawsuit … Continue reading Commentary in our three branch government systeM

K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Proposed property tax increases

Mark Sommerhauser: The increased tax bills are driven largely by Evers’ plan to boost by 2% the amount counties and municipalities could collect through local property tax levies. But a countervailing effect comes from Evers’ plan to give a $1.4 billion infusion of state aid to school districts in the next two years. That would … Continue reading K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Proposed property tax increases

Commentary on Wisconsin Governor Ever’s Proposed Budget, including K-12 Changes

Logan Wroge: The Democratic governor included the funding formula revision in his executive budget released Thursday. As state superintendent during four previous budgets, Evers sought to shake up the formula to deliver more funding to high poverty and rural school districts, but former Gov. Scott Walker did not advance the proposal. After narrowly beating Walker … Continue reading Commentary on Wisconsin Governor Ever’s Proposed Budget, including K-12 Changes

Civics: You Can’t Be A Good Judge If You’re A Christian

Joy Pullman: With six weeks left until election day in Wisconsin’s Supreme Court race, several far-left organizations are using media outlets to amplify a smear campaign against a judge based on his Christianity. Brian Hagedorn, a current Wisconsin Court of Appeals judge and former Scott Walker legal counsel, is being publicly trashed for being on … Continue reading Civics: You Can’t Be A Good Judge If You’re A Christian

Wisconsin has a serious case of the blahs when it comes to education

Alan Borsuk: To set the context briefly: Comparing three years ago to last year, the percentage of students statewide who are rated as proficient or advanced in language arts, math and science has gone down. Just above 40% of Wisconsin kids are proficient or better in each subject, which means close to 60% are not. … Continue reading Wisconsin has a serious case of the blahs when it comes to education

Commentary on Wisconsin K-12 Governance and the November, 2018 Election

<a href=”https://madison.com/ct/news/local/education/democratic-legislators-look-to-make-big-changes-to-state-education/article_882a0ddd-3671-5769-b969-dd9d2bc795db.html”>Negassi Tesfamichael</a>: <blockquote> Many local Democratic state legislators say much of the future of K-12 education in Wisconsin depends on the outcome of the Nov. 6 election, particularly the gubernatorial race between state superintendent Tony Evers, a Democrat, and Republican Gov. Scott Walker. Legislators spoke at a forum at Christ Presbyterian Church Wednesday night, … Continue reading Commentary on Wisconsin K-12 Governance and the November, 2018 Election

Gubernatorial Candidate Tony Evers Proposal: Spend 12.3% more taxpayer funds on Wisconsin K-12 school districts; while killing substantive reading improvement efforts.

Kelly Meyerhofer: Walker proposed $13.7 billion in total state support for public schools for the 2017-19 biennium. That includes about $2.2 billion in property tax credits that are counted as K-12 funding, but don’t go directly into the classroom. Walker’s campaign spokesman Brian Reisinger touched on the record amount in a Saturday statement: “Scott Walker … Continue reading Gubernatorial Candidate Tony Evers Proposal: Spend 12.3% more taxpayer funds on Wisconsin K-12 school districts; while killing substantive reading improvement efforts.

Election and K-12 Governance Commentary

Jessie Opoien: Two Republican leaders in the state Legislature said Wednesday that state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers — a Democrat challenging Republican Gov. Scott Walker in November — didn’t take the lead on urging lawmakers to pass legislation making it easier to revoke the licenses of teachers who behave inappropriately. Senate Majority Leader … Continue reading Election and K-12 Governance Commentary

TOPICALTOP STORY UW System’s budget proposal tailors to Republicans’ demand for campus accountability

Kelly Meyerhofer : The University of Wisconsin System is asking for $107 million more in state money, three-quarters of which would be outcomes-based, rewarding or punishing campuses based on how well they meet performance metrics such as student access, progress toward completion, “workforce contributions” and operating efficiencies. The 2019-21 budget proposal, released by the UW … Continue reading TOPICALTOP STORY UW System’s budget proposal tailors to Republicans’ demand for campus accountability

Wisconsin DPI hasn’t revoked teacher’s license in 1 out of 5 immoral conduct cases

Matthew DeFour: The Department of Public Instruction has declined to revoke the license of a teacher accused of immoral conduct 88 times, or in only one out of every five cases, since State Superintendent Tony Evers took office a decade ago. In a greater number of cases, 150 out of the 432 investigations opened since … Continue reading Wisconsin DPI hasn’t revoked teacher’s license in 1 out of 5 immoral conduct cases

Milwaukee’s Public School Barricade: The bureaucracy defies a state law on selling vacant buildings

The Wall Street Journal: Teachers’ unions and their liberal allies are desperately trying to preserve the failing public school status quo. Witness how the Milwaukee Public School (MPS) system is defying a state mandate to sell vacant property to charter and private schools. Milwaukee’s public schools are a mess. Merely 62% of students graduate from … Continue reading Milwaukee’s Public School Barricade: The bureaucracy defies a state law on selling vacant buildings

Tony Evers’ Election Rhetoric (running for Governor), despite presiding over disastrous reading results

Jessie Opoien: There was once a time when Tony Evers didn’t like cheese. But there was also a time when he didn’t see himself running for governor, and now multiple polls show him leading the field of Democrats vying for a chance to challenge Republican Gov. Scott Walker. Evers, 66, won his third statewide victory … Continue reading Tony Evers’ Election Rhetoric (running for Governor), despite presiding over disastrous reading results

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin’s Education (Governor campaign) Rhetoric

Matthew DeFour: Soglin offered some of the sharpest zingers aimed at Walker. Asked how he would “undo the damage Walker has done to public education,” Soglin said, “We understand the purpose of education is not a career and a technical job, the purpose of an education is to teach young people how to think, which … Continue reading Madison Mayor Paul Soglin’s Education (Governor campaign) Rhetoric

Strengthening Reading Instruction through Better Preparation of Elementary and Special Education Teachers (Wisconsin DPI, lead by Tony Evers, loophole in place)

Elizabeth Ross: This study examines all 50 states’ and the District of Columbia’s requirements regarding the science of reading for elementary and special education teacher candidates. Chan Stroman: “Report finds only 11 states have adequate safeguards in place for both elementary and special education teachers.” Make that “10 states”; with Wisconsin PI 34, the loophole … Continue reading Strengthening Reading Instruction through Better Preparation of Elementary and Special Education Teachers (Wisconsin DPI, lead by Tony Evers, loophole in place)

Wisconsin Act 10 Commentary: Madison schools are near the low end of what districts now require for teacher health insurance premium contributions, at 3 percent,

Mark Sommerhauser: Wisconsin school districts ratcheted up health care costs on teachers and other employees after the state’s Act 10 collective bargaining changes, with the average district now requiring teachers to pay about 12 percent of their health insurance premiums, newly released data show. Madison schools are near the low end of what districts now … Continue reading Wisconsin Act 10 Commentary: Madison schools are near the low end of what districts now require for teacher health insurance premium contributions, at 3 percent,

Wisconsin’s Democratic gubernatorial candidates are out of step on school choice

Christian Schneider: The last line of the Sentinel article added one final bullet point, almost as an afterthought. The day before, Thompson had signed a “parental choice” program which would soon allow 930 Milwaukee students to attend a private, non-sectarian school for free. In the ensuing 28 years, Milwaukee’s school choice program has been fiercely … Continue reading Wisconsin’s Democratic gubernatorial candidates are out of step on school choice

Records runaround: In Wisconsin, long delays are common for those requesting documents

Steven Elbow: Last month the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council did something unexpected. Members voted to award one of its Openness Awards — or Opees — to Gov. Scott Walker. That’s the same guy who has fought the disclosure of political donors, whose administration directed cabinet secretaries to avoid creating publicly accessible records while conducting … Continue reading Records runaround: In Wisconsin, long delays are common for those requesting documents

Controversy follows UW-Stevens Point decision to cut Humanities programs

Mark Sommerhauser: The proposal also reignited questions about the value of higher education in an era of skyrocketing student debt and questions about U.S. worker productivity: Should universities cultivate niche specialties of academic subjects or offer a broad array of them? Should they teach students skills tied to specific occupations, or widen students’ worldview while … Continue reading Controversy follows UW-Stevens Point decision to cut Humanities programs

Commentary on UW-Madison Student Fees

Campus Reform: In the University of Wisconsin system, student fees are known as segregated university fees (SUF), and fall into two categories: non-allocable and allocable, with the former constituting 83 percent of SUF and “support commitments for fixed financial obligations,” and the latter providing “substantial support for campus student activities.” In 2017, Wisconsin Governor Scott … Continue reading Commentary on UW-Madison Student Fees

Commentary on Wisconsin Teacher Union Certification Election Data

Dave Zweifel: The MTI case was a narrow one. Like all public unions, thanks to Scott Walker’s infamous Act 10 MTI has to hold an annual certification election supervised by the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission to continue representing workers. But Act 10 requires approval of not the majority of those voting, but a majority of … Continue reading Commentary on Wisconsin Teacher Union Certification Election Data

Fewer than half of Wisconsin school districts have certified teachers unions

Molly Beck: Six years after Gov. Scott Walker and state Republicans made labor unions’ ability to retain members much more difficult, fewer than half of the state’s 422 school districts have certified unions. In the latest certification election — held in November and required by Walker’s signature 2011 legislation known as Act 10 — staff … Continue reading Fewer than half of Wisconsin school districts have certified teachers unions

Lawmakers propose program to give money to ‘gifted’ children in low-income households

Molly Beck: Children living in low-income households who are considered to be advanced learners will be eligible to receive a taxpayer-funded scholarship to use to pay for education expenses under a new program proposed by three lawmakers this week. The scholarship program would provide $1,000 to families with “gifted and talented” students who are already … Continue reading Lawmakers propose program to give money to ‘gifted’ children in low-income households

Wisconsin Education Superintendent Tony Evers ‘fires’ DOJ lawyer, Brad Schimel says he won’t step aside

Jesse Opoien: State Superintendent Tony Evers said Tuesday he is declining legal representation from the Wisconsin Department of Justice in a lawsuit brought by a conservative law firm. Attorney General Brad Schimel said he will not step aside. Evers, a Democrat, is one of several candidates seeking to challenge Gov. Scott Walker in 2018. Both … Continue reading Wisconsin Education Superintendent Tony Evers ‘fires’ DOJ lawyer, Brad Schimel says he won’t step aside

Attacks on Public-Sector Unions Harm States: How Act 10 Has Affected Education in Wisconsin

David Madland and Alex Rowell: This issue brief examines the impact of the law on Wisconsin’s K-12 public education system and state economy. While this brief focuses on Act 10’s impact on Wisconsin teachers based on the data available, the same forces driving changes in the teaching workforce can also affect the broader public sector.3 … Continue reading Attacks on Public-Sector Unions Harm States: How Act 10 Has Affected Education in Wisconsin

Governance Diversity: Proposal requires University of Wisconsin schools to seek non-academic applicants for chancellor jobs

Todd Richmond: The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents adopted sweeping changes Thursday that clear the way for non-academics to lead the state’s colleges. Under the plan, campuses can’t block people who lack terminal degrees and tenure from serving as System president, chancellors or vice chancellors. The System must look to recruit applicants from … Continue reading Governance Diversity: Proposal requires University of Wisconsin schools to seek non-academic applicants for chancellor jobs

Wisconsin Educrats Have a Proposal—but It’s Dull and Conventional

C.J. Szafir and Libby Sobic , via a kind email: Today state legislators all over the country are deciding how to comply with ESSA. When the last deadline for submitting proposals arrives this September, we may see a crop of promising plans for the future of K-12 education. Yet in Wisconsin, the planning process has … Continue reading Wisconsin Educrats Have a Proposal—but It’s Dull and Conventional

Schools superintendent Tony Evers to make run for Wisconsin governor official Wednesday

Jason Stein State schools superintendent Tony Evers will formally announce his gubernatorial run Wednesday, making him the third Democrat to commit to a bid and the first statewide office holder to challenge GOP Gov Scott Walker. Evers, who heads the state Department of Public Instruction, will announce his run at a suburban Madison park for … Continue reading Schools superintendent Tony Evers to make run for Wisconsin governor official Wednesday

Money isn’t the problem facing Wisconsin schools

Will Flanders and Rick Esenberg: Let’s look at the long run and the short run. Since 1993, per-pupil spending, after adjusting for inflation, has increased by 7.2%. Although measures of student performance have been flat over that time period, the long-term trend in spending has clearly been up. And the short term is no different. … Continue reading Money isn’t the problem facing Wisconsin schools

Tim Slekar: Next Step in Wisconsin’s War on Teachers

Diane Ravitch Blog, via a kind reader: “The TEACHERS OUR CHILDREN DESERVE will never enter our schools through the dismantling process of deregulating the profession and intentionally lowering standards. The standards were put in place to guarantee a level of expertise. “In summary, “WE DON”T HAVE AN EMERGENCY THAT REQUIRES DUMBING DOWN THE PROFESSION OF … Continue reading Tim Slekar: Next Step in Wisconsin’s War on Teachers

Thoughts on Janesville: “many people who went to Blackhawk didn’t finish what they were studying for a whole lot of reasons”

I recently read, with interest, Amy Goldstein’s book Janesville. The work is a worthwhile look at Janesville’s history, including George Parker (Parker Pen) and Joseph A. Craig (brought GM to Janesville). Goldstein revealed the workforce’s culture, opportunity and ultimate cost of the shutdown. She also dwelled quite a bit on Congressman Paul Ryan and Governor … Continue reading Thoughts on Janesville: “many people who went to Blackhawk didn’t finish what they were studying for a whole lot of reasons”

Thoughts on Janesville: “many people who went to Blackhawk didn’t finish what they were studying for a whole lot of reasons”

I recently read, with interest, Amy Goldstein’s book: Janesville. The work is a worthwhile look at Janesville’s history, including George Parker (Parker Pen) and Joseph A. Craig (brought GM to Janesville). Goldstein revealed the workforce’s culture, opportunities and the shutdown’s ultimate cost. Further, she dwelled extensively on Congressman Paul Ryan and Governor Scott Walker, with … Continue reading Thoughts on Janesville: “many people who went to Blackhawk didn’t finish what they were studying for a whole lot of reasons”

K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: General Motors plant closes, residents emerge from the Great Recession into an uncertain future

Alyssa Shuman: Television crews from as far away as the Netherlands and Japan had come to film this moment, when the oldest plant of the nation’s largest automaker turned out its last. Janesville, Wis., lies three-fourths of the way from Chicago to Madison along Interstate 90. The county seat of 63,500 people is the home … Continue reading K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: General Motors plant closes, residents emerge from the Great Recession into an uncertain future

Midwestern Legislators Take Aim at Academic Tenure-for-Life

Higher Ed Watch: Following in the footsteps of Scott Walker’s Wisconsin, which in 2015 and 2016 weakened tenure protections for public university faculty, legislators in Iowa and Missouri have introduced bills to eliminate the practice in their states. “I think the university should have the flexibility to hire and fire professors and then I don’t … Continue reading Midwestern Legislators Take Aim at Academic Tenure-for-Life

Wisconsin school-choice supporters cheer DeVos pick

Erin Richards: With her deep ties to Wisconsin’s private-school choice movement and disdain for unions thwarting reforms, Betsy DeVos, president-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for U.S. Education Secretary, was a name that sent shock waves through the state’s education circles Wednesday. “It is completely jazzing the entire school-choice community nationwide,” said Jim Bender, president of advocacy … Continue reading Wisconsin school-choice supporters cheer DeVos pick

Obama’s Education Policies Failed To Trickle Down

John Thompson Although probably not one of the main reasons for the 2016 Democratic defeat, education reform could have cost Clinton electoral votes in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Because it is the policy that I most fully understand, I will describe education reform as a metaphor for how “the Billionaires Boys Club” and the Obama administration … Continue reading Obama’s Education Policies Failed To Trickle Down

Teacher shortage is payback for anti-teacher attitudes

Dave Zweifel: Many in Wisconsin are convinced that the teacher shortage here stems from Gov. Scott Walker’s and the Republican Legislature’s Act 10, the 2011 legislation that not only made it illegal for teachers’ unions to bargain, but required them to shoulder part of the load for their benefits, which resulted in take home pay … Continue reading Teacher shortage is payback for anti-teacher attitudes

Walker calls for extending UW tuition freeze in next state budget

Nico Savidge: Gov. Scott Walker says he wants to extend the freeze on University of Wisconsin System tuition for another two years. The Republican governor also told UW and most other state agencies they should not anticipate any new funding in his next budget. UW officials and supporters have called for greater state funding for … Continue reading Walker calls for extending UW tuition freeze in next state budget

2011’s Act 10 helped Madison diversify its teaching staff

Chris Rickert: An increasingly diverse Madison School District student body will see at least 55 new teachers of color next year — a major increase in minority hiring from the year before. If those concerned about the district’s long-standing racial achievement gaps are looking for people to thank for this improvement, they might as well … Continue reading 2011’s Act 10 helped Madison diversify its teaching staff

Wisconsin School District Spent $130 Million Above Caps Without Voter Approval

Molly Beck: More than 100 school districts have spent $138 million above their state-imposed revenue limits without voter approval since 2009, according to an analysis from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance. Since that year, school districts have been able to spend above their revenue caps without first going to voters if the money is being used … Continue reading Wisconsin School District Spent $130 Million Above Caps Without Voter Approval