Might Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers’ education mulligans be a 2022 election liability?

Laura Meckler and Matt Viser: Democratic governors have responded by dropping mask mandates, urging that schools remain open and emphasizing there is a light at the end of the dark covid tunnel. They also are trying to change the subject, with a focus on education investment and recovery and warnings about the consequences if Republicans … Continue reading Might Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers’ education mulligans be a 2022 election liability?

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers’ school choice veto shows he doesn’t care about education

Shannon Whitworth: School Choice advocates across the nation were given a gem of an opportunity this past year to prove the value of their programs when teachers unions refused to return teachers to classrooms when it was demonstrably safe to do so. In fact, across 30 states nearly 50 school choice bills were introduced this … Continue reading Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers’ school choice veto shows he doesn’t care about education

Teachers unions in largest districts call on Wisconsin Governor (& former DPI Leader) Tony Evers to require schools start virtually

Annysa Johnson & Molly Beck: Teachers unions in the state’s five largest school districts are calling on Gov. Tony Evers and the state’s top health and education leaders Monday to require schools to remain closed for now and to start the school year online only, arguing the threat from the coronavirus remains too high for students and staff … Continue reading Teachers unions in largest districts call on Wisconsin Governor (& former DPI Leader) Tony Evers to require schools start virtually

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers stands by warning journalist of prosecution over Child Abuse reporting

Molly Beck: But media law experts say the First Amendment protects journalists’ possession and publication of truthful information in the public’s interest, regardless of how the information was released to them — and even trying to stop a reporter from publishing violates the U.S. Constitution. “Yes, I get it that if some reporter gets some information … Continue reading Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers stands by warning journalist of prosecution over Child Abuse reporting

Gov. Tony Evers calls on lawmakers to take up $250 million plan to bolster K-12 education

Briana Reilly: Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is calling on lawmakers to use $250 million in newly projected surplus dollars to bolster K-12 funding through school-based mental health services and special education aid in districts across the state. The former state schools superintendent, who signed an executive order Thursday ordering a legislative special session to act on the sweeping … Continue reading Gov. Tony Evers calls on lawmakers to take up $250 million plan to bolster K-12 education

Milwaukee TV station sues Gov. Tony Evers for withholding copies of his emails

Briana Reilly: A Milwaukee TV station has sued Gov. Tony Evers for withholding copies of his emails — records his office eventually released, in part, minutes after the lawsuit was filed earlier this week.  The lawsuit, filed in Dane County Circuit Court on Tuesday, came after Fox 6 repeatedly filed requests dating back to September … Continue reading Milwaukee TV station sues Gov. Tony Evers for withholding copies of his emails

Civics: Staff shields Governor Tony Evers’ emails from public access

Amanda St. Hilaire: Governor Tony Evers’ office is denying open records requests for his emails. The governor’s attorney says the decision saves taxpayer resources; transparency advocates say they’re worried about the erosion of the public’s right to know. “If you want to see what government is up to, you have to see the emails that … Continue reading Civics: Staff shields Governor Tony Evers’ emails from public access

My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results

Wiseye @ 24 September WisPolitics Lunch: Jim Zellmer: Thank you for your service Governor Evers. Under your leadership, the Wisconsin d.p.i. granted Mulligan’s to thousands of elementary teachers who couldn’t pass a reading exam (that’s the “Foundations of Reading” elementary teacher reading content knowledge exam), yet our students lag Alabama, a state that spends less … Continue reading My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results

Commentary on Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers’ proposed budget

WILL Policy Brief: Today WILL is releasing “A Deep Dive into Governor Evers’ K-12 Budget Proposal” that goes through nearly every single education proposal in Evers’ budget while utilizing new research as well as LFB analysis and JFC testimony. For each proposal, we explain how it impacts schools and students across Wisconsin. We dive deep … Continue reading Commentary on Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers’ proposed budget

Here’s another view of what the research says about Tony Evers’ proposals

Will Flanders: Perhaps the most egregious omissions are in the discussion of school funding and its effect on student outcomes. While the author cites one study – not yet peer-reviewed — the preponderance of evidence for decades has suggested little to no impact of per-student funding on educational achievement. This study, and others like it … Continue reading Here’s another view of what the research says about Tony Evers’ proposals

Gubernatorial Candidate Tony Evers Proposal: Spend 12.3% (10%?) more taxpayer funds on Wisconsin K-12 school districts; while killing substantive reading improvement efforts.

Jessie Opoien: Evers, a Democrat, is asking for $1.4 billion in additional funds for the state’s K-12 schools in the 2019-21 budget. The $15.4 billion request, submitted by Evers on Monday, comes less than two months before Walker and Evers will meet on the ballot — and Evers’ budget letter includes a swipe at the … Continue reading Gubernatorial Candidate Tony Evers Proposal: Spend 12.3% (10%?) more taxpayer funds on Wisconsin K-12 school districts; while killing substantive reading improvement efforts.

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.

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

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)

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

Election Year Taxpayer Spending Rhetoric: Tony Evers Edition

Politifact: “Tony misspoke,” his campaign spokeswoman Maggie Gau told us. “We acknowledge it’s not correct. As much as we try to prevent them, no one is perfect and mistakes happen on the trail.” UW System’s funding streams The UW System is composed of 13 campuses, including the University of Wisconsin-Madison, that offer four-year and advanced … Continue reading Election Year Taxpayer Spending Rhetoric: Tony Evers Edition

Tony Evers vows to restore state (taxpayer) commitment to fund two-thirds of schools in 2019-’21 budget

Annysa Johnson: A brief summary of the proposal, provided by Evers’ office, said the budget would, among other things: Ensure that no district receives less in aid than they previously received. Allow districts to count 4-year-old kindergarten students as full time for state funding purposes. They are currently funded at 0.5 and 0.6 full-time equivalent. … Continue reading Tony Evers vows to restore state (taxpayer) commitment to fund two-thirds of schools in 2019-’21 budget

Teacher revocations spike under Tony Evers after GOP accuses him of being tardy on issue

Daniel Bice: “Tony Evers refused to take action when it was time to protect children, but he moved pretty quickly when his political career was in danger,” said Alec Zimmerman, spokesman for the state GOP. Maggie Gau, spokeswoman for Evers, was dismissive of the criticism: “The Republicans are now attacking Tony for doing his job … Continue reading Teacher revocations spike under Tony Evers after GOP accuses him of being tardy on issue

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

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

Governor Candidate & Wisconsin Public Instruction chief Tony Evers Governance Commentary (track record?)

Tony Evers: As state superintendent, I’ve fought Walker’s school privatization schemes. I’ve proudly stood by our educators and fought for more funding for our public schools, while Walker has cut funding. We must never forget that under Walker, over a million Wisconsinites voted to raise their own taxes to adequately fund their schools. This isn’t … Continue reading Governor Candidate & Wisconsin Public Instruction chief Tony Evers Governance Commentary (track record?)

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

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

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

Wisconsin State Superintendent Tony Evers considers run for governor

Molly Beck: Since he was first elected state superintendent in 2009, Evers has asked Walker and the Legislature four times to significantly increase funding for schools, by raising state-imposed revenue limits and changing the equalized aid formula to account for districts with high poverty, declining enrollment and rural issues. His proposal to revamp the state’s … Continue reading Wisconsin State Superintendent Tony Evers considers run for governor

DPI race between Tony Evers, Lowell Holtz centers on future of education in Wisconsin

Annysa Johnson: “Wisconsin is the worst in the nation for achievement gaps and graduation gaps,” said Holtz, who believes public charter and private voucher schools could do a better job than some public schools. “We’re leaving a generation of students behind.” Evers says Wisconsin schools have raised standards, increased graduation rates and expanded career and … Continue reading DPI race between Tony Evers, Lowell Holtz centers on future of education in Wisconsin

Tony Evers seeks a third term after battles with conservatives, cancer and Common Core

Molly Beck: “The ability for school boards to use charters as kind of an incubator — I think that’s great,” Evers said, who lamented that the public often conflates private voucher schools with charter schools. Evers, who now opposes the expansion of taxpayer-funded school vouchers in Wisconsin, also once voiced support for them in 2000 … Continue reading Tony Evers seeks a third term after battles with conservatives, cancer and Common Core

Wisconsin DPI Superintendent Tony Evers Responds to Madison Teachers’ Questions

Tony Evers (PDF): 1. Why are you running for State Superintendent of Public Instruction? I’ve been an educator all my adult life. I grew up in small town Plymouth, WI. Worked at a canning factory in high school, put myself through college, and married my kindergarten sweetheart, Kathy-also a teacher. I taught and became a … Continue reading Wisconsin DPI Superintendent Tony Evers Responds to Madison Teachers’ Questions

Wisconsin Education Superintendent Tony Evers faces re-election amid big GOP wins, union membership losses

Molly Beck: John Matthews, former longtime executive director of Madison Teachers Inc., called Evers a “hero” and said he deserves to be re-elected. He said Wisconsin “residents know of his advocacy for their children.” “That said, I do worry that the far right and the corporations which want to privatize our public schools and make … Continue reading Wisconsin Education Superintendent Tony Evers faces re-election amid big GOP wins, union membership losses

Wisconsin Superintendent Tony Evers: Stop bad-mouthing teachers

Todd Richmond: Wisconsin can slow a growing shortage of teachers if people stop bad-mouthing educators and pay them more, the state’s schools superintendent said Thursday. Superintendent Tony Evers warned during his annual State of Education speech in the state Capitol rotunda that fewer young people are entering the teaching profession and districts are having a … Continue reading Wisconsin Superintendent Tony Evers: Stop bad-mouthing teachers

Letter: Tony Evers did not object to DOJ dropping DPI as a client in lawsuit

Molly Beck: But in a May 25 letter to Walker’s office, DPI’s chief legal counsel, Janet Jenkins, said Evers had no objection to DOJ withdrawing from a federal lawsuit over a transportation dispute with a private school in Hartford. “I don’t think he objected to them withdrawing but objected to the manner with which they … Continue reading Letter: Tony Evers did not object to DOJ dropping DPI as a client in lawsuit

Wisconsin School Superintendent Election: Tony Evers & Don Pridemore Word Cloud

Tony Evers WISTAX 2013 Election Interview Word Cloud:


Don Pridemore WISTAX 2013 Election Interview Word Cloud:


Links: A recent Wisconsin State Journal Evers endorsement.
wuwm.com

Three weeks from today, Wisconsin voters will decide who will oversee K-12 public education for the next four years. Incumbent state Superintendent Tony Evers faces a challenge from Republican state Rep. Don Pridemore.
Evers says he’s proud of his accomplishments over the past four years. He highlights the implementation of Common Core Standards. The national initiative sets benchmarks for students to meet in English, Language Arts and Math, to make sure they’re prepared for the workforce.
“We’re developing new assessment systems and accountability systems. We have a new reading screener we’ve implemented at kindergarten that’s been very good as far as providing information for classroom teachers to intervene early,” Evers says.
Evers says his biggest challenge has been competing with choice or voucher schools for state funding. Students in Milwaukee and Racine can attend private schools – taking with them, the tax money that would have gone to the public system. Evers opposes Gov. Walker’s plan to expand the voucher program to nine more school districts and increase funding for participating students.
“There’s a zero dollar increase for our public schools per pupil and then on the voucher side there’s a $1,400 per student increase for $73 million. To me that’s a concept that isn’t connected in any good way for our public schools,” Evers says.
Evers opponent, Republican Rep. Don Pridemore of Hartford supports the expansion of choice. He says there would not to be need for it, if public schools better prepared students. Pridemore says if he’s elected, he’ll work to expand the program statewide.

Wisconsin State superintendent race is incumbent Tony Evers’ to lose

Jack Craver:

Last week, Senate Democrats lashed out at a Republican bill they said was intended to weaken the already enfeebled Office of the Secretary of State, currently held by Democrat Doug La Follette.
“It’s directed to take the one Democrat elected to statewide office and cut him out of the legislative process,” state Sen. Fred Risser, D-Madison, says of the legislation, which would remove the secretary of state’s ability to delay the publication of a bill for up to 10 days after passage, as La Follette did following the controversial passage of Gov. Scott Walker’s collective bargaining bill two years ago.
Technically, Risser is correct. The secretary of state, which Gov. Tommy Thompson long ago relegated to obscurity, is the only statewide office held by Democrats.
But while the superintendent of public instruction is technically a nonpartisan position, current Superintendent Tony Evers, like his predecessors for the past 30 years, is supported by Democratic-affiliated groups and has been an outspoken opponent of many of Walker’s policies.
And unlike La Follette, Evers has a meaningful platform to influence one of the most important issues facing the state.
It’s noteworthy, then, that Evers does not seem to be a significant target for conservatives, even though his lone challenger in the April 2 election for another four-year term is a GOP member of the Assembly: Don Pridemore.

Wisconsin DPI Superintendent Tony Evers (running for re-election in 2013) Proposes New State Tax $ Redistribution Scheme

Jennifer Zahn and Erin Richards:

State Superintendent Tony Evers on Monday reintroduced a proposal from two years ago to increase state funding for public education and change the way the state finances its public schools as part of his 2013-’15 budget request.
The proposal calls for a 2.4% increase in state aid in the first year of the budget and a 5.5% increase in 2014-’15, which Evers said would put the state back on track to return to two-thirds’ state support for public school costs by 2017.
The Department of Public Instruction’s 2013-’15 budget proposal guarantees state funding of $3,000 per pupil and would result in every school district either getting more state money or the same money as before, but Republican legislators on Monday did not express confidence in the total package.
Luther Olsen, chair of the Senate Education Committee and a Republican from Ripon, said Evers’ “Fair Funding for our Future” plan just shifts money around between districts and doesn’t really award more money to schools.
Olsen did say he would like to increase districts’ revenue limit authority per student – or the combined amount they can raise in state general aid and local property taxes – by at least $200 per pupil starting in the first year of the next biennial budget.
Evers announced his 2013-’15 state public education budget request Monday at Irving Elementary School in West Allis.

WisPolitics:

Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie said the proposal will be reviewed in the context of the overall budget, but said education is one of Walker’s top budget priorities.
“The governor will work to build off of the work done with Superintendent Evers on school district accountability and Read to Lead as he creates the first version of the state budget, which will be introduced early next year,” Werwie said.
Evers also said he’ll run for re-election next year, adding that despite the funding cuts, he’s excited to continue pushing reform and accountability.
“In order for us to create a new middle class and to move our state forward in a positive way, our public schools need to be strong, and the reforms we’re implementing now are going a long way toward accomplishing that,” Evers said. “We’re in a great place as a state and we’ll keep plugging away.”
Various conservative education sources said no candidate has come forward to challenge Evers yet, but talks were ongoing with potential challengers. Nomination papers can be circulated Dec. 1 and are due back to the GAB Jan. 2.

Matthew DeFour has more.

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 DPI Superintendent Evers calls voucher expansion ‘morally wrong’ in memo to legislators; Tony Evers Needs a Reality Check on School Choice

Karen Herzog:

State Superintendent Tony Evers [SIS link] in a memo Monday urged the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee to restore funding for public schools and work collaboratively to improve the quality of all Milwaukee schools before considering any voucher expansion.
“To spend hundreds of millions to expand a 20-year-old program that has not improved overall student achievement, while defunding public education, is morally wrong,” Evers said in the memo.
Gov. Scott Walker has proposed eliminating the income limits on participating in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, eliminating the enrollment cap and has proposed opening up private schools throughout Milwaukee County to accept vouchers from Milwaukee students. Walker has spoken of expanding the voucher program to other urban areas in the state, such as Racine, Green Bay and Beloit.
The Milwaukee Parental Choice Program was created to improve academic performance among low-income students who had limited access to high-performing schools. Low-income students use taxpayer money to attend private schools, including religious schools. Each voucher is worth $6,442. The program now is limited to 22,500 students; 20,189 are in the program this year.
However, after 20 years and spending over $1 billion, academic performance data and the enrollment history of the school choice program point to several “concerning trends,” Evers said in his analysis of voucher student enrollment, achievement, and projected cost for long-term expansion.
Low-income students in Milwaukee Public Schools have higher academic achievement, particularly in math, than their counterparts in choice schools. Evers cited this year’s Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts exams and the legislatively mandated University of Arkansas study, which showed significant numbers of choice students performing below average on reading and math.

Aaron Rodriguez:

At a press conference in Racine, DPI Superintendent Tony Evers gave his harshest criticism of school vouchers yet. Well beyond the typical quibbles over test scores and graduation rates, Evers claimed that school vouchers were de facto “morally wrong.” It’s not every day that a State Superintendent of education accuses an education-reform program of being immoral. In doing so, Tony Evers may have bitten off more than he could chew.
Calling a school voucher program morally wrong inculpates more than just the program, it inculpates parents, teachers, organizations, lawmakers, and a majority of Americans that endorse it. In fact, one could reasonably argue that Evers’ statement makes himself morally culpable since Milwaukee’s voucher program operates out of the Department of Public Instruction of which he is the head. What does it say about the character of a man that knowingly administers an immoral program out of his own department?
In short, Evers’ argument goes something like this: voucher programs drain public schools of their financial resources; drained resources hurt children academically; hurting children academically is morally wrong; ergo, voucher programs are morally wrong.

Wisconsin DPI Superintendent Tony Evers’ Budget Testimony

Questions, via WisPolitics:

JFC co-chair Robin Vos, R-Rochester, said in the last budget, cuts to K-12 education were offset by millions of stimulus dollars from the federal government.
“It was a luxury that was great at the time,” he said. “Now we don’t have that one-time money.”
While he admitted that the “tools” Gov. Walker provides may not offset funding cuts dollar-for-dollar, he said asking teachers to pay more for health insurance coverage and pension will help. Vos then asked Evers if he supports the mandate relief initiatives Walker proposed in his budget.
Evers said the mandates, which include repealing the requirement that schools schedule 180 days instruction but retains the required number of hours per school year, won’t generate much savings for school districts. He said the challenge schools face from reduced funding is much greater.
“It’s nibbling around the edges,” Evers said of the mandates. “I think we’re beyond that.”

via WisPolitics:

Excerpts from Department of Public Instruction Superintendent Tony Evers prepared remarks to the Joint Finance Committee:
“We know that resources are scarce. School districts around the state have demonstrated that they are willing to do their part, both in recent weeks in response to this state budget crisis and throughout the past 18 years under the constraints of revenue caps. While this difficult budget demands shared sacrifice, we need a budget that is fair, equitable, and does not undercut the quality of our children’s education,” Evers said.
“As you know, the Governor’s budget proposal, which increases state spending by 1.7 percent over the next two years, would cut $840 million in state school aids over the biennium – the largest cut to education in state history. While these cuts present unprecedented challenges, an even larger concern is the proposed 5.5 percent reduction to school district revenue limits, which dictate exactly how much money schools have available to spend. Depending on the school district, schools would have to reduce their spending between $480 and $1,100 per pupil. Statewide, the proposed revenue limit cuts will result in a $1.7 billion cut over the biennium, as compared to current law. These dramatic and unprecedented revenue limit cuts will be a crushing challenge to our public schools, especially by the second year of the budget.”

A Letter from Polly Williams to Tony Evers on the Milwaukee Public Schools

Wisconsin Representative Annette Polly Williams:

February 5, 2010
State Superintendent Tony Evers
Department of Public Instruction
125 S. Webster Street
PO Box 7841
Madison, WI 53707-7841
Dear Superintendent Evers:
I am contacting you regarding your Notice of Decision dated February 4, 2010 issued to the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) which would potentially eliminate the $175 million in federal funds received for services to low-income children through the Title I program. In your press statement, you indicated that you had a legal responsibility to the children of Milwaukee and that you were using the only tool allowed under state law to ensure these federal funds are used effectively to improve MPS. Not only I am deeply perplexed by the timing of this notice, but I’m equally concemed over the use of your authority to withhold federal dollars to “speed up change” in MPS. I find your efforts to be disingenuous.

Clusty Search: Polly Williams, Tony Evers. Via the Milwaukee Drum.

Tony Evers Evokes Change as He Enters Wisconsin DPI Superintendent Office

WisPolitics:

“Education is all about continued improvement, and the status quo is not satisfactory,” Evers told the audience at a WisPolitics.com luncheon Tuesday at the Madison Club.



In addition to guiding local schools as they navigate state cuts and an influx of federal stimulus funding, Evers is promoting a single federal test and an overhaul of accountability and assessment standards for public education. Under the new system, which Evers said would be formed quickly over the next few months, the state will be able to consistently measure other educational categories aside from test scores.



The test score measurement mandates under the federal No Child Left Behind law drew criticism from Evers for their incomplete picture of education, but he said the federal standard has done educators “a tremendous favor” by showing disparities between performance of white and non-white students.



He also called for a national standard of testing and curriculum, which he said 46 states had backed. He said that Wisconsin isn’t able to truly compare its educational growth to other districts and states because 50 different tests are being administered annually. He also called the current system “economically irrational.”
“Public education, even though it’s a state responsibility, is a national endeavor, and we have to view it as such,” Evers said. “By doing this, we’re going to make our system more transparent.”



Perhaps nothing will test the new state accountability system as much as Milwaukee. Evers went to great lengths to discuss the “magic” that teachers work with many less fortunate students in the state’s largest school district, but recognized a graduation rate that, despite increasing to about 70 percent, lags well behind the state average.

Third Party Group Leafletting for Wisconsin DPI Candidate Tony Evers

Advancing Wisconsin is leafletting (and profiling voters with handheld devices) for Wisconsin DPI Candidate Tony Evers (opposed by Ruth Fernandez) (watch a recent debate), Supreme Court Candidate Shirley Abrahamson (opposed by Randy Koschnick) and Dane County Incumbent Executive Kathleen Falk (opposed by Nancy Mistele).

2009 Wisconsin DPI Superintendent Candidate Debate Tony Evers and Rose Fernandez



Via Wisconsin Public Television. CTRL Click here to download the 382MB 60 minute event video, or this 26MB mp3 audio file.
Candidate websites: Tony Evers & Rose Fernandez
Amy Hetzner:

Rose Fernandez regularly refers to herself as an outsider in the race to become the state’s next schools chief.
The implication is that her April 7 opponent, Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers, is an insider who is unlikely to change what is happening with education in the state.
The outsider candidate who can change things and shake up the status quo has long been a popular thrust in political campaigns. President Barack Obama, although a U.S. senator at the time, used aspects of the tactic in his campaign last fall.
But some wonder whether it will have the same impact in what is likely to be a low-turnout election April 7.
“The advantage to the insider is being able to draw off of established, organizational support,” said Charles Franklin, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “The outsider’s goal is to try to become visible enough that people unhappy with the status quo can voice their outsider outrage.”
From her Web site address – www.changedpi.com – to frequently tying her opponent to the state’s largest teachers union, the Wisconsin Education Association Council, Fernandez appears to be trying to capitalize on one of her many differences with her opponent.
“There are perils with entrenchment,” said Fernandez, a former pediatric trauma nurse and past president of the Wisconsin Coalition for Virtual School Families. “With that there comes an inability to see the problems as they really are.”
But being an outsider also has some disadvantages, which Evers is trying to play up as well.
At a recent appearance before the Public Policy Forum, Evers puzzled about Fernandez’s stance against a provision in Gov. Jim Doyle’s bill that he said was supported by voucher school proponents while she expressed support for voucher schools.

Wisconsin DPI Superintendent Candidate Tony Evers Advocates Charter Schools

Tony Evers campaign, via email:

Tony Evers today pledged to continue his long commitment to Wisconsin’s charter schools, which provide innovative educational strategies. Dr. Evers has played a major educational leadership role in making Wisconsin 6th in the nation, out of all 50 states, in both the number of charter schools and the number of students enrolled in charter schools.
“We are a national leader in charter schools and I will continue my work for strong charter schools in Wisconsin,” Evers said. “As State Superintendent, I will continue to promote our charter schools and the innovative, successful learning strategies they pursue as we work to increase achievement for all students no matter where they live.”
Evers, as Deputy State Superintendent, has been directly responsible for overseeing two successful competitive federal charter school grants that brought over $90 million to Wisconsin. From these successful applications, Evers has recommended the approval of over 700 separate planning, implementation, implementation renewal, and dissemination grants to charter schools around the state since 2001.
During the past eight years, the number of charter schools in Wisconsin has risen from 92 to 221 – an increase of almost 150%. The number of students enrolled in charter schools has increased from 12,000 students in 2001 to nearly 36,000 today.
Evers has also represented the Department of Public Instruction on State Superintendent Elizabeth Burmaster’s Charter School Advisory Council. The council was created to provide charter school representatives, parents, and others with the opportunity to discuss issues of mutual interest and provide recommendations to the State Superintendent.

Burmaster Won’t Seek 3rd Term as Wisconsin Education Superintendent, Tony Evers Announces Run

Tamira Madsen:

There had been some speculation Burmaster was interested in running for governor if Gov. Jim Doyle didn’t seek re-election in 2010, but she said that type of campaign is not in her plans.
She would not elaborate on her future career endeavors except to say, “I’m an education leader and I want to continue to serve in that capacity.” She also said she will get back to working in community schools with students in a “hands-on” role.

Interviews with 2005 Candidates for the Wisconsin DPI Superintendent position can be seen here.
WisPolitics interview with Burmaster.

Notes on violence in Madison’s taxpayer supported schools

David Blaska: Surveys revealed a terrifying situation throughout Madison’s school district brought on by an overly permissive environment. Students complained of “too many fights,” and feeling “unsafe in hallways, common areas, bathrooms and buses.” Bullying has become a major problem. It was mentioned 450 times in the survey responses. Students attribute these problems to an environment with “no … Continue reading Notes on violence in Madison’s taxpayer supported schools

2023 Madison School Board candidates

If you’re still thinking about who to vote for in the Madison School Board election, @ssfp_news had me, @oherken and @telldylan join its students to ask the candidates some questions in a forum last Thursday evening. Watch it here: https://t.co/jgbiL3X989 — Scott Girard (@sgirard9) March 27, 2023 “Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve … Continue reading 2023 Madison School Board candidates

Taxpayer supported Madison school District and open records, continued…

Olivia Herken: LeMonds declined to comment on the matter when reached by the Wisconsin State Journal. Releasing the complaint that staff filed would harm LeMonds and the school district because he is the district’s spokesperson, LeMonds’ complaint says, arguing that the potential harm outweighs the public benefit of the document’s release. “Releasing the subject documents … Continue reading Taxpayer supported Madison school District and open records, continued…

Madison k-12 students express their top issues…. (Achievement, Reading?)

Scott Girard: Madison students found a soapbox Thursday and used it to share the biggest challenges their generation faces. Ninety middle and high school students attended the Project Soapbox event at the Overture Center, giving speeches that responded to the prompt, “What is the most pressing issue facing young people today and what should be … Continue reading Madison k-12 students express their top issues…. (Achievement, Reading?)

The tyranny of low expectations, continued

Tom Knighton: Take admission standards at prestigious prep schools. One such school decided they needed more black students, so rather than look at how they could help more black students meet the existing standard, they opted to just lower it. And one black parent is kind of pissed about it. A parent spoke out against school district … Continue reading The tyranny of low expectations, continued

“competitiveness and “white supremacy”; Taxpayer supported Madison School District

Olivia Herken A candidate for the Madison School Board on Tuesday said schools are the product of “white supremacy” and accused her opponent of favoring competition in the classroom — a characterization her opponent embraced. “Our schools are products of white supremacy,” said Blair Mosner Feltham, an equitable multi-level system of supports site coordinator at … Continue reading “competitiveness and “white supremacy”; Taxpayer supported Madison School District

$1.49B in additional federal taxpayer & for Wisconsin K-12. Where did it go?

Quinton Klabon: The coronavirus pandemic was a 2-year catastrophe for children. Students suffered through virtual schooling, quarantined teachers, and emotional misery. Academic results, the lowest this century, still have not recovered. After sending $860 million to help Wisconsin public schools manage through spring 2021, Congress sent a final $1.49 billion to get students back on track. The goal? Do … Continue reading $1.49B in additional federal taxpayer & for Wisconsin K-12. Where did it go?

Taxpayer supported Madison school board community meetings

Scott Girard: This month, the Madison School Board offered four opportunities for the community to share what’s going well — and what’s not — in the district. Events at each of the four large high schools showed what is on the minds of parents, staff and students, including how concerns differ from building to building. … Continue reading Taxpayer supported Madison school board community meetings

Texas Education Agency will take control of Houston ISD in June

Brian Lopez The move is in response to years of poor academic outcomes at a single campus in the district, Phillis Wheatley High School, and allegations of misconduct from school board members. TEA Commissioner Mike Morath said state law requires his agency to either close that campus or appoint a new board to oversee the … Continue reading Texas Education Agency will take control of Houston ISD in June

Notes on taxpayer funded building expansion amidst enrollment declines in Madison; academics?

Olivia Herken: Memorial’s new music wing is among several projects made possible in November 2020, when voters in the Madison School District approved a $317 million capital referendum to build a new elementary school and fund significant high-school renovations. Construction started around the district in 2022, and now all those plans are yielding real, tangible changes. All … Continue reading Notes on taxpayer funded building expansion amidst enrollment declines in Madison; academics?

“deeply flawed” reading curricula

By LaTonya Goffney, Sonja Santelises and Iranetta Wright: America is finally acknowledging a harsh truth: The way many schools teach children to read doesn’t work. Educators, and indeed families, are having a long overdue conversation about how one of the nation’s most widely used curricula, “Units of Study,” is deeply flawed — and where to … Continue reading “deeply flawed” reading curricula

Madison mayor election and the taxpayer supported k-12 schools

Scott Girard: The debate also featured discussions about how high-density developments affect Madison Metropolitan School District’s student population and whether it is time to bring police back into schools. Reyes said there is concern among some residents that large housing developments taking place all over the city are pricing some families out of areas and … Continue reading Madison mayor election and the taxpayer supported k-12 schools

K-12 tax & spending climate: Madison Projections show that “annual deficits could reach between $20 million and $30 million.”

Dean Mosiman: Reyes, who said she’d seek five recommendations from Finance Department staff to address coming shortfalls, sees a different landscape. “I feel right now we are on the Titanic and we’re about to hit the iceberg,” she said. “We need a strong leader who’s going to be able to make some tough decisions.” How’d … Continue reading K-12 tax & spending climate: Madison Projections show that “annual deficits could reach between $20 million and $30 million.”

Wisconsin Governor Evers Comments on our Long Term, Disastrous Reading Results

About 25 to 27 minutes into the program. Jeff Mayers: “You want a big hunk of the surplus to go to K-12, you’ve already talked about that along with the state school Superintendent. I want to focus a bit on the reading program. Last session you vetoed a bi-partisan bill to boost reading scores. This … Continue reading Wisconsin Governor Evers Comments on our Long Term, Disastrous Reading Results

DIE and the taxpayer supported Madison School District

Scott Girard: An effort that began in summer 2021 to gauge the Madison Metropolitan School District’s equity work found that students, parents and staff are aware of some district efforts toward diversity, equity and inclusion but want more involvement and more communication with district administration. The district partnered with Jerlando Jackson, now the dean of the College … Continue reading DIE and the taxpayer supported Madison School District

“But Joseph, a Haitian immigrant raising him by herself, did not know how far behind he was in reading — in the 30th percentile”

Bianca Vasquez Toness “I’m sad and disappointed,” Joseph said through an interpreter. “It’s only because I was assigned an educational advocate that I know this about my son.” It’s widely known from test scores that the pandemic set back students across the country. But many parents don’t realize that includes their own child. Schools have long faced … Continue reading “But Joseph, a Haitian immigrant raising him by herself, did not know how far behind he was in reading — in the 30th percentile”

3 Minutes: $pending, ED Schools & Reading Outcomes

Transcript: $pending, K-12 Governance, Ed Schools and Reading Outcomes [00:00:00] Senator Duey Stroebel: Actually looking at, uh, US census data, all funds, all sources. Um, Wisconsin’s at about $13,000 and Mississippi is about $9,200. So there’s significant that’s per the US census data, all funds, all sources. So pretty clear there. I think it’s, uh, … Continue reading 3 Minutes: $pending, ED Schools & Reading Outcomes

“is work completed without a teacher necessarily present, unlike “synchronous” instruction that features a live lesson”

Scott Girard: Wisconsin requires 437 hours of direct instruction to kindergartners, at least 1,050 hours of direct instruction in grades one through six, and at least 1,137 hours of direct instruction in grades seven through 12. In a message to families about the most recent change, Associate Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Cindy Green wrote … Continue reading “is work completed without a teacher necessarily present, unlike “synchronous” instruction that features a live lesson”

Wisconsin Education Committee Hearing March 2, 2023: Mark Seidenberg’s Talk, and Q&A

Video mp3 Audio Transcript Additional testimony: Kymyona Burk Instructional Coach Kyle Thayse DPI 3 Minute Summary by Senator Duey Stroebel 2021’s AB446 was mentioned. The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic” My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans … Continue reading Wisconsin Education Committee Hearing March 2, 2023: Mark Seidenberg’s Talk, and Q&A

Special Education and the taxpayer supported Madison School District

Scott Girard: But the 187 pages still feature plenty of suggestions for MMSD to improve how it works with students with disabilities, with some staff reporting pressure to pass students no matter what, criticism of the usefulness of district guidance and data highlighting the longstanding disparities for students by race and special education status. Its … Continue reading Special Education and the taxpayer supported Madison School District

LeVar Burton, ‘The Right to Read’ Director Jenny Mackenzie on the Underbelly of the American Literacy Crisis

Abby White: When director Jenny Mackenzie began working on her latest documentary, The Right to Read, it was a story focused on kindergarten readiness and pre-literacy. But once she met Kareem Weaver, a former educator and member of the Oakland NAACP Education Committee, the documentary’s game-changing story clicked into place.  And it’s an angle that doubles as … Continue reading LeVar Burton, ‘The Right to Read’ Director Jenny Mackenzie on the Underbelly of the American Literacy Crisis

Statewide, Wisconsin funds more than 20,000 “ghost students,” children outside of the school system who are still counted as being enrolled.

WILL: Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, enrollment in Wisconsin schools has dropped by more than 3%, with some districts suffering even greater declines. But an antiquated school funding system means that Wisconsin taxpayers are still paying for students that are no longer in the system. Wisconsin uses what is known as the “Three-Year … Continue reading Statewide, Wisconsin funds more than 20,000 “ghost students,” children outside of the school system who are still counted as being enrolled.

Taxpayer supported Wisconsin Administration anti school choice red tape

WILL: WILL has learned that DPI goes beyond these requirements in evaluating new school applications. Even if schools submit accurate and sufficient information according to our state law, if they do not comply in precisely the manner that DPI requires, their applications are often denied. WILL sees no justification for the practice of DPI exceeding … Continue reading Taxpayer supported Wisconsin Administration anti school choice red tape

Compare Legacy Taxpayer Supported Madison K-12 Spending with the One City Startup

Kaleem Caire, via email: February 28, 2023 Dear One City Parents, This is an important time for One City Schools and for education across the state of Wisconsin. Over the next several months our legislature and governor will be engaging with one another and individuals and organizations from across the state to inform what will … Continue reading Compare Legacy Taxpayer Supported Madison K-12 Spending with the One City Startup

Renaming Madison’s Jefferson Middle school after Ezekiel Gillespie

Lucas Robinson: The Madison School Board unanimously voted Monday night to rename Jefferson Middle School after 19th-century Black voting rights activist Ezekiel Gillespie. A survey of about half of the school’s students showed a preference to replace President Thomas Jefferson’s name with writer Maya Angelou, the other finalist whittled down by an ad hoc committee … Continue reading Renaming Madison’s Jefferson Middle school after Ezekiel Gillespie

Enrollment in the humanities is in free fall at colleges around the country. What happened?

Nathan Heller She was one of several teachers who described an orientation toward the present, to the extent that many students lost their bearings in the past. “The last time I taught ‘The Scarlet Letter,’ I discovered that my students were really struggling to understand the sentences as sentences—like, having trouble identifying the subject and … Continue reading Enrollment in the humanities is in free fall at colleges around the country. What happened?

Madison’s taxpayer supported k-12 Governance Priorities

Scott Girard: By Monday night, Thomas Jefferson Middle School could have a new name. The Madison School Board will hold its regular monthly meeting beginning at 6 p.m. Monday with a vote on renaming the school on its agenda — 364 days after the process began with then-principal Sue Abplanalp making a renaming request to the … Continue reading Madison’s taxpayer supported k-12 Governance Priorities

“I was born in Cuba, and it doesn’t sound good when people are trying to achieve equal outcomes for everyone,” said one parent.

Emma Camp: One California high school has eliminated honors classes for ninth- and 10th-grade students. While school officials claim that the change was necessary to increase “equity,” the move has angered students and parents alike. “We really feel equity means offering opportunities to students of diverse backgrounds, not taking away opportunities for advanced education and … Continue reading “I was born in Cuba, and it doesn’t sound good when people are trying to achieve equal outcomes for everyone,” said one parent.

“I was born in Cuba, and it doesn’t sound good when people are trying to achieve equal outcomes for everyone,” said one parent.

Emma Camp: One California high school has eliminated honors classes for ninth- and 10th-grade students. While school officials claim that the change was necessary to increase “equity,” the move has angered students and parents alike. “We really feel equity means offering opportunities to students of diverse backgrounds, not taking away opportunities for advanced education and … Continue reading “I was born in Cuba, and it doesn’t sound good when people are trying to achieve equal outcomes for everyone,” said one parent.

Informational hearing on the subject of reading in Wisconsin schools March 2, 2023

Wisconsin Senate (and Assembly) Committee on Education: Department of Public Instruction Laura Adams -Policy Initiatives Advisor for the State Superintendent Duy Nguyen – Assistant Superintendent for the Division of Academic Excellence Tom McCarthy – Executive Director for the Office of the State Superintendent ExcelinEd Dr. Kymyona Burk – Senior Policy Fellow University of Wisconsin–Madison Mark … Continue reading Informational hearing on the subject of reading in Wisconsin schools March 2, 2023

How diverse are Madison’s standalone honors classrooms?

Scott Girard: One of the key arguments during the debate over standalone honors courses for ninth- and 10th-graders earlier this school year was the lack of diversity in those classrooms. What did those classrooms look like in the first semester of the 2022-23 school year? Similar to how they’ve looked in each of the preceding four years, … Continue reading How diverse are Madison’s standalone honors classrooms?

How diverse are Madison’s standalone honors classrooms?

Scott Girard: One of the key arguments during the debate over standalone honors courses for ninth- and 10th-graders earlier this school year was the lack of diversity in those classrooms. What did those classrooms look like in the first semester of the 2022-23 school year? Similar to how they’ve looked in each of the preceding four years, … Continue reading How diverse are Madison’s standalone honors classrooms?

Thompson Center Summit on Early Literacy Event Archive

Thompson Center Summit on Early Literacy Event Archive: Over one third of Wisconsin students are unable to read at grade level and our state’s Black children have the lowest reading scores in the nation. Reading below grade level brings both short term and long term challenges, from a lower chance of graduating high school to … Continue reading Thompson Center Summit on Early Literacy Event Archive

Gov. Mike DeWine enters the ‘reading wars’ with budget proposal to fund change to ‘science of reading’

Laura Hancock: His budget proposal contains $162 million over the next two years to get the science of reading instructional approach into all of Ohio’s public schools. At the same time, Ohio State University has been an epicenter of the approach to reading instruction that DeWine wants to get away from – known as “balanced … Continue reading Gov. Mike DeWine enters the ‘reading wars’ with budget proposal to fund change to ‘science of reading’

Budget Season: Notes on Wisconsin’s Substantial Tax & Spending growth

Walker [17-19] Last Biennial Budget: $76 billion Evers[19-21] First Biennial Budget: $87.5 billion Evers [23-25] Proposed Biennial Budget: $103.8 billion Will you get $27.8 BILLION more value from govt? Sell underused properties, consolidate overlapping agencies. $0 INCREASE! pic.twitter.com/DNXG1aSozd — Will Martin, Business Owner & Govt Reformer (@willmartinWI) February 20, 2023 WILL budget primer: Massive Spending … Continue reading Budget Season: Notes on Wisconsin’s Substantial Tax & Spending growth

Blessed Sacrament’s Aiden Wijeyakulasuriya defends Madison All-City Spelling Bee title

Daniela Jaime: After having to fight for his first win last year, Blessed Sacrament seventh-grader Aiden Wijeyakulasuriya swiftly defended his All-City Spelling Bee title the second time around, pushing past his fellow top-three finishers in less than 10 minutes Saturday. The awards presentation at the All-City Spelling Bee on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023. The 12-year-old … Continue reading Blessed Sacrament’s Aiden Wijeyakulasuriya defends Madison All-City Spelling Bee title

Notes on legacy media, school district spending and current events

When you see “school district could shut it’s doors” headlines, be sure to google per pupil funding levels. You won’t learn this from the article. Then google the local budgets of your high achieving choice school. https://t.co/gATUrXRFVU pic.twitter.com/snXeikpsGK — Dan Lennington (@DanLennington) February 19, 2023 The article. Note that spending increases annually, with Madison taxpayers supporting at … Continue reading Notes on legacy media, school district spending and current events

Wisconsin Governor Evers proposes a 17% jump in taxpayer funded k-12 spending

By Jack Kelly, Scott Girard and Jessie Opoien: Evers’ budget will include a per pupil revenue limit increase of $350 next fiscal year, which begins July 1, and an additional per pupil bump of $650 in the second year of the biennium. The governor’s office said the increases would represent the largest per pupil adjustments … Continue reading Wisconsin Governor Evers proposes a 17% jump in taxpayer funded k-12 spending

Why 65 Percent of Fourth Graders Can’t Really Read

The Free Press: Many parents saw America’s public education system crumble under the weight of the pandemic. Stringent policies—including school closures that went on far too long, and ineffective Zoom school for kindergarteners—had devastating effects that we are only just beginning to understand. But, as with so many problems during the pandemic, COVID didn’t necessarily causethese … Continue reading Why 65 Percent of Fourth Graders Can’t Really Read

Fewer Black Children are literate in the United States in 2023 than were literate when slavery ended in 1865

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic” My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results 2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results  Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 … Continue reading Fewer Black Children are literate in the United States in 2023 than were literate when slavery ended in 1865

Notes on a recent Madison Early Literacy Summit

Scott Girard: “Most teachers are still learning how to teach reading from the commercial materials that they’re being supplied,” he said. “These materials are defective. What teachers have traditionally learned from them is poor practices. “What’s the effect? Some kids are going to learn to read anyway, but for a lot of children it makes … Continue reading Notes on a recent Madison Early Literacy Summit

Notes on Madison’s K-12 Governance Climate

David Blaska: Blaska’s Bottom Line: Used to be that some fairly accomplished individuals sought to serve in public office. Think of Mary Burke, former executive with the Trek bicycle company, and James Howard, an economist with the U.S. Forest Products Laboratory, not that long ago. On the other hand, they hired Jennifer Cheatham! More. Scott … Continue reading Notes on Madison’s K-12 Governance Climate

2022 Taxpayer Funded Madison School District Reading Program Spending

I requested copies of the contracts related to Madison’s latest reading program on May 19, 2022. Curiously, I just received a response to this simple request yesterday – after numerous email and phone followup attempts. The April, 2022 Madison School Board presentation on the latest reading program – an effort to address our long term, … Continue reading 2022 Taxpayer Funded Madison School District Reading Program Spending

Congress gave $1.49 billion in taxpayer and borrowed funds to Wisconsin schools. Are they investing wisely?

Quinton Klabon: The coronavirus pandemic was a 2-year catastrophe for children. Students suffered through virtual schooling, quarantined teachers, and emotional misery. Academic results, the lowest this century, still have not recovered. After sending $860 million to help Wisconsin public schools manage through spring 2021, Congress sent a final $1.49 billion to get students back on track. The goal? Do … Continue reading Congress gave $1.49 billion in taxpayer and borrowed funds to Wisconsin schools. Are they investing wisely?

“But I also think that if we just do more of the same, we’re going to get more of the same, which is mediocre test results and kids who can’t read. That’s dumb. So I want reform.”

Scott Girard and Jessie Opoien: The results, as Vos mentioned, have been poor. Reading and math scores on what’s known as the Nation’s Report Card dropped across the country last year, including in Wisconsin, where the gap in scores between Wisconsin’s Black and white students is the highest of any state, with only Washington, D.C. having … Continue reading “But I also think that if we just do more of the same, we’re going to get more of the same, which is mediocre test results and kids who can’t read. That’s dumb. So I want reform.”

Curious Legacy Media school “letter to the editor” policy

David Blaska: Blaska’s Bottom Line asks a bunch of questions: The Wisconsin State Journal refuses to publish Blaska’s letter asking Madison school officials whether, after eight years, is Restorative Justice working?Especially considering we have another school board election on the April 4 ballot. Editorial page editor Scott Milfred complained: “It was long …” [It was 245 words — exact … Continue reading Curious Legacy Media school “letter to the editor” policy

“While that’s still more than five substitutes per MMSD building, Lyne explained that not every substitute is equal as far as filling the daily needs”

Scott Girard: “A lot of these subs don’t work every day,” he said. “Or they will only work at certain schools or certain parts of town or certain grades; sometimes the retired teachers will only go back to their school or they’ll sub for their old colleagues.” In a worker-friendly job market over the past … Continue reading “While that’s still more than five substitutes per MMSD building, Lyne explained that not every substitute is equal as far as filling the daily needs”

Why Did Schools Stop Teaching Kids How To Read?

Zach Weissmueller and Nick Gillespie Public schools have failed to teach kids to read and write because they use approaches that aren’t based on proven techniques based on phonics. Many schools have been influenced by the work of Columbia University’s Lucy Calkins, who is the subject of a new podcast series from American Public Media, Sold … Continue reading Why Did Schools Stop Teaching Kids How To Read?

Sandburg Elementary students get free books, visit from local officials

Scott Girard: When the students found out about the plan on Wednesday, one teacher said, one of them asked if it was the “mayor of the United States” visiting. All of the officials proved popular, with students taking selfies and asking for autographs in their new books. “When we talk about partnering with the city … Continue reading Sandburg Elementary students get free books, visit from local officials