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
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
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
Molly Beck: Gov. Tony Evers’ administration sought to block a journalist from publishing information from a confidential child abuse investigation by threatening prosecution, a rare move that could violate the U.S. Constitution.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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)
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
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
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
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
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
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
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?)
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
“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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Bari Weiss: I was planning to publish a roundup today of the many thoughtful responses to Paul Rossi’s essay. I’m going to save that post for Sunday, because I was just sent this letter that has my jaw on the floor. It was written by a Brearley parent named Andrew Gutmann. If you don’t know … Continue reading Parenting, 2021
Institute for Reforming Government, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, Wisconsin, Federation for Children School Choice, Wisconsin Action ExcelinEd in Action, Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy Badger Institute, FreedomWorks and Building Education for Students Together: Dear Governor Evers, Speaker Vos, Majority Leader LeMahieu, and State Superintendent Stanford Taylor, … Continue reading Wisconsin lawmakers should allow parents to direct redistributed K-12 billion$ from American Rescue Plan
Kelly Meyerhofer: State law restricts program eligibility to African American, American Indian, Hispanic and some Southeast Asian students. WILL argues the program criteria amounts to racial discrimination — which is prohibited by the state constitution — because students who are Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, North African, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, or white don’t qualify. “It’s hard to … Continue reading A lawsuits over race based scholarships
Samantha West, Alec Johnson and Rory Linnane: Tricia Zunker said she knows school board presidents sometimes have a target on their backs. It’s part of the job, she said. But as Zunker led the Wausau School District board over the past year, she said, “People were so cruel, you’d think I personally brought the pandemic … Continue reading Commentary on Incumbent school board member election losses (unopposed in Madison…)
David Dahmer: As president, Reyes has been the face and often the spokesperson of the Madison School Board during some very trying and challenging times including the COVID-19 pandemic and the canceling of in-person classes, the hiring of new MMSD superintendent twice (Dr. Matthew Gutierrez rescinded his acceptance of the job before MMSD started over … Continue reading An Interview with Outgoing Madison School Board Member (and President) Gloria Reyes
Molly Beck: One of the most influential lawmakers over the state budgeting process said he wouldn’t support increasing funding for the state education agency because its new leader elected Tuesday was heavily backed by Democrats and teachers unions. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, made the statement just an hour after Pecatonica School District Superintendent Jill … Continue reading “and I would create a more robust communications team to foster improved public relations”- Jill Underly on Wisconsin taxpayer funded K-12 Governance
AFC: Parents and families have been on a rollercoaster when it comes to K-12 education in the time of COVID-19. A new poll from Real Clear Opinion Research finds overall support for school choice is increasing as parents need more options than ever. Major findings: – 71% of voters back school choice. This is the highest level … Continue reading School Choice Support Soars
Molly Beck: The $797 million allocated for Milwaukee amounts to $11,242 per student — the second-highest distribution of COVID-19 relief funding. On the lowest end, the McFarland School District in suburban Madison will receive $107 per student, according to an analysis released by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau. Republicans who control the state’s budget-writing committee … Continue reading Madison Receives More Redistributed Federal Taxpayer Funds; $70,659,827 (!)
Scott Girard: Madison Metropolitan School District high schools plan to move away from “standalone honors” courses for freshmen and sophomores in the next few years, with an Earned Honors system expected to replace them. The goal, MMSD leaders told the School Board Monday, is to bring rigor to all classrooms for all students and give … Continue reading Deja Vu: Taxpayer supported Madison high schools moving toward eliminating standalone honors courses for ninth, 10th grades
In the last year, I’ve gone from lightly supporting vouchers programs to vociferously supporting the complete, utter, and eternal destruction of public schools. https://t.co/30ffPiZoeK — Hans Fiene (@HansFiene) April 5, 2021 Related: Catholic schools will sue Dane County Madison Public Health to open as scheduled Notes and links on Dane County Madison Public Health. (> 140 employees). Molly Beck and Madeline … Continue reading Advocating K-12 Governance Diversity
Kareem Weaver: Where is the humility? Where is the institutional courage to admit mistakes and move forward? Individuals in leadership positions often derive their credibility from being the most knowledgeable person in the room, the unquestioned oracles of knowledge. This moment in education, however, requires leaders who will publicly position themselves as the best learners, … Continue reading A moment for humility and a new path forward on reading
There are no hidden complexities that could possibly explain this misalignment of social priorities. #openschools@GavinNewsom pic.twitter.com/GfPCXWEq8b — Jeanne Noble (@JeanneNoble18) April 3, 2021 Related: Catholic schools will sue Dane County Madison Public Health to open as scheduled Notes and links on Dane County Madison Public Health. (> 140 employees). Molly Beck and Madeline Heim: which pushed Dane County this week not … Continue reading “An emphasis on adult employment “
Jessica Holmberg: Gov. Evers recently signed two bills that increase public school choice in Wisconsin. SB 109 and SB 110 specifically aim to remove barriers to accessing Wisconsin’s largest school choice option, the Open Enrollment Program, by expanding access to virtual schools. The program allows over 65,000 students to access a public school district outside their own without living … Continue reading Bills Increase Access to Wisconsin Open Enrollment, Expanding Public School Choice
Transcript [Machine Generated PDF]: Deborah Kerr: [00:43:53] Um, whose turn is it to go first? Okay. That’s fine. Yeah, we’re pretty good at figuring this out. Um, [00:44:00] so that’s one thing we can do. Um, yes, I support the FORT. I fo I support the Praxis test. So you gotta think about something. Why … Continue reading Underly: “I support Eliminating the Foundations of Reading (FORT)” Teacher Test
John Bailey: One year after nationwide public school closures, a growing body of medical research and the firsthand experiences of school systems worldwide can provide a sound basis for determining a reopening strategy. This report examines the collective findings of more than 120 studies and considers their implications for current decisions. These studies cover a … Continue reading “We’ve likely overestimated the protective health benefits of school closures and underestimated the costs for children.”
Mengchen Dong: Status holders across societies often take moral initiatives to navigate group practices toward collective goods; however, little is known about how different societies (e.g., the United States vs. China) evaluate high- (vs. low-) status holders’ transgressions of preached morals. Two preregistered studies (total N = 1,374) examined how status information (occupational rank in … Continue reading Culture, Status, and Hypocrisy: High-Status People Who Don’t Practice What They Preach Are Viewed as Worse in the United States Than China
Alex Nextel: Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said it’s “premature” to determine if schools can resume in-person instruction this fall, despite a growing body of evidence that shows students can safely return to the classroom. In a Wednesday interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, Cardona said the rate of COVID-19 transmission in a community would play … Continue reading Education Secretary: It’s Too Soon to Say If Schools Can Reopen by Fall
Milwaukee Press Club [Machine Translation]: [00:31:11] If we had had the opportunity to, um, put restrictions on what businesses were open and closed as we did earlier in the pandemic. One of the things that is true about Wisconsin, That is not true about nearly all of the 49 other States is that because of … Continue reading An Interview with Julie Willems Van Dijk, deputy secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services
Caitlin McFall: But due to a lack of teachers willing to come back before April 14, high needs pupils, including homeless, foster and special needs students, will not be able to get into classrooms ahead of time, the newspaper reported. “At this time, we simply do not have enough staff who opted in for in-person … Continue reading Oakland teachers refuse to return to school, despite getting COVID vaccine priority
Scott Girard: “Madison was a person that benefited off of the exploitation of Black bodies, and those who embarked in such acts of racism should have no influence in today’s culture,” Berry wrote. “Expecting Black students to attend a school named after a slave owner is anti-Black.” [Glendale Elementary will be renamed for Virginia Henderson] … Continue reading Commentary on renaming a Madison High School
Tom Knighton: Look, I’m not a huge fan of public education. While I agree we need some kind of education, I’m not sure public education is the way to address it. There’s no accountability for bad systems and no options for those displeased with their schools. Yet the law requires some degree of education for … Continue reading K-12 School Governance Commentary
Scott Girard: [I have received 3 text messages and a door knock from a paid lit drop person, for one of the candidates. Guess?] 13-1 Special interest $pending for Wisconsin DPI Superintendent Candidate Jill Underly, running against Deborah Kerr. In that same forum, Kerr outlined a plan to decentralize the Department of Public Instruction by … Continue reading Commentary on the 2021 Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) Superintendent election
Laura Meckler: The first federal data on education during the pandemic finds nearly half of public schools were open for full-time, face-to-face classes, with White children far more likely than Black, Hispanic or Asian American students to be attending in person. The data suggests the nation is both close to a goal set by President … Continue reading Nearly half of schools are open full-time, survey finds
Matt Smith: Milwaukee Public School teachers would return to the classroom next week ahead of a phased-in return of students learning in April under a plan that will go before the school board Tuesday evening. The plan calls for in-person instruction four days a week, with Wednesdays set aside for cleaning when students would remain … Continue reading Milwaukee Teachers union: ‘Very irresponsible’ if school board approves in-person plan
Logan Wroge: With a $14 million donation from American Girl founder and philanthropist Pleasant Rowland, One City Schools announced plans on Tuesday to purchase an office building in Monona that will become a new home for the fast-growing independent charter school. One City will use the donation to buy a 157,000-square-foot office building on the … Continue reading One City Schools expands – in Monona (Governor Evers’ proposed budget would once again abort this school, by eliminating the UW charter office)
Commentary on Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district current governance practices, in light of long term, disastrous reading results. Related: Catholic schools will sue Dane County Madison Public Health to open as scheduled Notes and links on Dane County Madison Public Health. (> 140 employees). Molly Beck and Madeline Heim: which pushed Dane County this week not to calculate its percentage … Continue reading “Teachers taking the backseat — that flies in the face of white Western thought, right?
Joanne Jacobs: Homeschooling has more than tripled since schools closed a year ago, reports the Census Bureau. About 3.3 percent of U.S. families with school-aged children were homeschooling pre-pandemic. That rose to 5.4 percent in the first week of April. By the first week of October, 11.1 percent were homeschooling. For Black families, the change was … Continue reading 11.1% of families are homeschooling
Maciver News: Everything you thought you knew about education is being redefined as racist in Madison Schools. During this workshop last week, Madison schools teamed up with UW-Madison to root out anything they consider to be “white, western thought” and talk about how they’re replacing it. 2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School … Continue reading Redefining Racism in Madison Schools
Matt Piper Madeline Heim:￼ Even though the state budgeted $75 million to trace the virus’ path, its health department chose from the earliest days of the pandemic to reveal little about outbreak locations. Then, during last fall’s surge, the state’s most powerful business and manufacturing group sued to make doubly sure nobody but the state could access those … Continue reading A year into the pandemic, Wisconsin residents still aren’t being told where COVID-19 spread
Douglas Newby: I have left for last this tax advantage, which is the most obvious economic reason Fortune 50 companies and individual families are moving from Los Angeles to Dallas. A fourth generation Angelenos family who belongs to the most prestigious Los Angeles beach club, have their children in the finest preparatory schools, and live … Continue reading Migration, Taxpayer funded governance and policy outcomes
Mike Antonucci: A majority of only one group was able to cite some positive benefits. “Those who work at a school or college are far more likely than other government employees to report positive benefits from the pandemic,” Rasmussen reports. “By a 60% to 36% margin, those who work in education report positive benefits.” Related: Catholic schools will … Continue reading 31% Have Experienced Positive Benefits From the Pandemic
Pew Research: Most young people are at little risk of dying from the coronavirus. But a new Pew Research survey shows that they are disproportionately bearing the consequences of heavy-handed pandemic lockdowns and isolating government restrictions. Pew finds that an astounding 32 percent of young adults aged 18 to 29 report experiencing high levels of … Continue reading Lockdowns Prompting Devastating Levels of ‘Psychological Distress’ Among Young People
Scott Girard: The Madison School Board is expected to vote Monday on a controversial proposal that would minimize the importance of seniority in layoff and reassignment decisions. Madison Metropolitan School District administrators have pushed for the change, which would prioritize culturally responsive practices and student learning outcomes instead of the experience-based system in place now. They see it … Continue reading Commentary on the taxpayer supported Madison School District’s hiring and layoff practices
Joanne Ingram, Christopher J. Hand and Greg Maciejewski: Studies examining the effect of social isolation on cognitive function typically involve older adults and/or specialist groups (e.g., expeditions). We considered the effects of COVID‐19‐induced social isolation on cognitive function within a representative sample of the general population. We additionally considered how participants ‘shielding’ due to underlying … Continue reading Social isolation during COVID‐19 lockdown impairs cognitive function
Benjamin Lesser, MB Pell and Kristina Cooke: A few weeks after San Francisco’s school district moved to remote learning last year in hopes of halting the spread of the coronavirus, Kate Sullivan Morgan noticed her 11-year-old son was barely eating. He would spend days in bed staring at the ceiling. The mother formed a pod … Continue reading As U.S. schools shuttered, student mental health cratered, Reuters survey finds
Chris Rickert: Fourteen districts eventually responded with at least some of the data. The county’s two largest and most racially and socioeconomically diverse, Madison and Sun Prairie, required the newspaper to file public records requests for the data. To date, they remain unfilled. In Madison, students could be marked present simply by exchanging messages with … Continue reading Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school District continues to resist open records requests
Edward Peter Stringham: One year ago, between March 13 and 16, 2020, began what most of us would agree were the most difficult days of our lives. We thought our rights and liberties were more or less secure or could only be hobbled on the margin. We took certain things for granted, such as that … Continue reading The One-Year Anniversary of Lockdowns
Daniel Bice: No one has been a bigger promoter of public schools during the race for state school superintendent than Jill Underly. That was, no doubt, a large part of the reason that Underly, the Pecatonica school superintendent, has won the endorsement of state and local teachers unions. But back when it was her decision to … Continue reading Wisconsin Superintendent candidate Jill Underly accused of ‘hypocrisy’ for sending her children to private school
Bill Osmulski: The Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) is planning to make sweeping changes to how it handles teacher layoffs, and wokeness could become the biggest factor in who stays and who goes. All teachers would be scored in five weighted categories, according to the school board’s current draft proposal. Most of the weight would … Continue reading Get Woke Or Get Laid Off: Madison’s taxpayer supported schools
Jonathan Chait: It is entirely possible that when we look back at the coronavirus pandemic decades from now, we may see the gravest catastrophe as a generation of schoolchildren whose formative years were irrevocably stunted. Even if the year and counting of public-school rollback has not done as much damage as the death toll itself, … Continue reading Just Reopen the Schools Now
Kirabo Jackson & Claire Mackevicius: We use estimates across all known “credibly causal” studies to examine the distributions of the causal effects of public K12 school spending on test scores and educational attainment in the United States. Under reasonable assumptions, for each of the 31 included studies, we compute the same parameter estimate. Method of … Continue reading Commentary on school spending and outcomes
Philippe Lemoine: • A year ago, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit most of the world, there was arguably a good case for lockdowns. The initial growth of the epidemic implied a high basic reproduction number, which in turn meant that unless transmission was reduced the virus would quickly sweep through most of the population because … Continue reading The Case against Lockdowns
Scott Girard: The Report: WPF highlights five areas for policymakers to consider: • Elevate teacher diversity as a top education priority • Target state investments to support both individuals and institutions • Provide flexibility and rigor in teacher preparation and evaluation • Require districts and teacher training programs to demonstrate greater transparency and accountability for … Continue reading Commentary on Wisconsin teacher diversity
Samantha West: In one Wisconsin school district, two in five high school students failed a class during first semester. In another, the fall failure rate was four times what it had been in recent years. Almost all of the 60 school districts responding to a USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin survey reported that more high school students failed … Continue reading We asked Wisconsin high schools how many students failed a class during first semester. It’s not pretty. Madison?
University of Michigan: For teens, pandemic restrictions may have meant months of virtual school, less time with friends and canceling activities like sports, band concerts and prom. And for young people who rely heavily on social connections for emotional support, these adjustments may have taken a heavy toll on mental health, a new national poll … Continue reading National poll: Pandemic has negatively impacted teens’ mental health
John Hilliard: After a year turned upside down by COVID-19, some Massachusetts school districts are looking ahead to summer and how they can use the traditional time off as a chance to expand educational opportunities interrupted during the pandemic. School officials in Framingham, Chelsea, and Fall River said they hope to offer families and staff … Continue reading Massachusetts school officials eye summer school
WISN-TV: One year after the pandemic started, students in Milwaukee still haven’t returned to classrooms, and a teachers’ union leader is signaling that educators may need to see additional safety measures, beyond vaccinations, in order for them to return. Milwaukee Public Schools, the state’s largest school district, is holding classes virtually. The district has a … Continue reading “I think that vaccinations are a fundamental mitigation, but they are not the only mitigation strategy,” Mizialko said.
Wispolitics: State superintendent candidate Deb Kerr called for all K-12 schools to reopen for in-person instruction, claiming “the science is clear” such a move is kids’ best interest. Meanwhile, Kerr’s opponent Jill Underly slammed her for lying about the science behind reopening schools. At a Saturday news conference on the Capitol steps, Kerr warned the … Continue reading Wisconsin’s open and closed taxpayer supported K-12 Schools; on the April 6 Ballot
Jeffrey Carter: Most of the time when I read or listen, it’s highly educated people positing theories and desiring more centralized decision making. They usually aren’t threatened by technology. Sure, universal basic income is a great idea but I don’t need it and it will cost me little to implement it. Most of these arguments … Continue reading “It is a fool’s errand to educate young people that they have limits”
Elizabeth Beyer: Unity School District in northwestern Wisconsin made the decision to remain open and continue with extracurricular activities at the beginning of the year in concert with a number of other districts in rural Polk County. “Certainly, things look different,” Robinson said. “There’s been a lot of streaming events because we have to limit … Continue reading Commentary on taxpayer supported k-12 School Districts’ continuing in person education experiences
Elizabeth Beyer: Mark Wirtz, a third-grade teacher at Hawthorne Elementary, said he was a bit frightened to return to the classroom. “I’m really concerned about fellow staff members, really glad we are getting vaccinated, but I’m concerned about how my fellow staff members are feeling,” he said before being whisked away for his injection. “I … Continue reading Commentary on Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school remote and in person perspectives
Alan Borsuk: This means her children have been learning virtually for a year now while she has been teaching in person. As a generalization, most suburban schools have been open for in-person education, in some cases for the whole school year, in some cases since around mid-year. Also as a generalization – and almost no one disputes this – in-person … Continue reading How long will students be feeling the impact of COVID, especially those who are still not in classes?
Dylan Brogan: District officials are refusing to release a 2020 report detailing an investigation into a former Madison East High School educator. David Kruchten allegedly placed hidden cameras in the hotel bathrooms of students he was chaperoning on school trips. Students found these cameras concealed in smoke detectors, alarm clocks and air fresheners while at … Continue reading “Why should this investigation be secret?”
Doree Lowak: “But, unfortunately, teachers who opted [to work remotely] still aren’t coming in, so kids go in to learn on Zoom while wearing a mask,” she said, referring to the teachers who received permission in September to be remote for the whole year. “They could have a math teacher ‘watching’ the class while the … Continue reading Parents are abandoning troubled NYC public schools for private education
John Bailey: One year after nationwide public school closures, a growing body of medical research and the firsthand experiences of school systems worldwide can provide a sound basis for determining a reopening strategy. This report examines the collective findings of more than 120 studies and considers their implications for current decisions. These studies cover a … Continue reading “Any benefits to closing schools are far outweighed by the grave risks to children from remote-only schooling — risks that intensify the longer it continues.”
James Freeman: At the same time, shutdowns necessitated massive government spending of borrowed money to offset the loss of normal economic activity. So U.S. children were handed a massive additional debt burden at the same time their ability to generate future income was reduced. In the last year the United States has added more than … Continue reading The staggering cost of the government’s covid response
CJ Szafir: Billions in savings for taxpayers: Since 2011, Act 10 has saved taxpayers over $13 billion, according to the MacIver Institute. The sky didn’t fall on public education. A study from the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, which I co-authored, showed that Act 10 had little or no impact on student-teacher ratios, the number of licensed teachers, … Continue reading Wisconsin ACT 10 Outcomes
Rory Linnane: Deborah Kerr, one of two candidates competing to lead the state Department of Public Instruction, said she would move or rehire most of the agency’s over 400 employees away from Madison and into offices around the state. “Under DPI’s current model, agency staff are plucked from the Madison area, and that’s not inclusive … Continue reading A proposal to decentralize the Wisconsin DPI