Commentary on Madison’s 2020 Superintendent Search

Scott Girard: School Board members adopted a “leadership profile” based on that feedback earlier this month. BWP reported the input indicated the community wants a visionary team-builder with experience with diverse populations and an understanding of the district’s commitment to high levels of academic achievement for all students. An educator’s background, student-centered, dedicated, sincere and honest person … Continue reading Commentary on Madison’s 2020 Superintendent Search

Commentary on the Madison School District 2020 Superintendent Search

Scott Girard: The full report was not made available to the public Monday night, but was expected to be posted Tuesday afternoon. Board members voted to accept a leadership profile that will be used to help develop interview questions and screen candidates with a 6 to 1 vote, with Nicki Vander Meulen voting against, having … Continue reading Commentary on the Madison School District 2020 Superintendent Search

“36 people” on madison’s 2020 superinteNdent search

Logan Wroge: “The challenges of the district are actually not completely known because of a lack of transparency in how the district is doing with respect to several critical and urgent matters,” Chan Stroman, a West Side resident and education advocate said, adding she wants to see honesty and competence in the next leader of … Continue reading “36 people” on madison’s 2020 superinteNdent search

“The fact that she was disconnected from that research is evidence of the problem.” Madison….

Dana Goldstein: How Professor Calkins ended up influencing tens of millions of children is, in one sense, the story of education in America. Unlike many developed countries, the United States lacks a national curriculum or teacher-training standards. Local policies change constantly, as governors, school boards, mayors and superintendents flow in and out of jobs. Amid … Continue reading “The fact that she was disconnected from that research is evidence of the problem.” Madison….

Restoring pandemic losses will require major changes in schools and classrooms, superintendents say

Paul Hill & Kate Destler: The solutions will require new modes of spending, performance measurement, and school oversight, as well as much greater flexibility in teacher hiring, training, and work. Superintendents and school-board leaders can’t make these changes all by themselves. They’ll need serious help and new thinking from governors, state legislators, the federal government, … Continue reading Restoring pandemic losses will require major changes in schools and classrooms, superintendents say

Commentary from the Wisconsin DPI Superintendent

Jonah Beleckis: They’re going to have to get away from the notion that we’re using this money to reward schools that were open for in-person instruction. Maybe we can use that $77 million for after-school programming, for tutoring, for learning loss. That’s what we need to do. Notes and links on Jill Underly. The data clearly … Continue reading Commentary from the Wisconsin DPI Superintendent

Wisconsin DPI Superintendent Rhetoric, amidst long term, disastrous reading results

Rory Linnane: Though the position is technically nonpartisan, Underly’s campaign was heavily funded by the Democratic Party in a race that saw unprecedented spending. Her campaign spent seven times that of her opponent, former Brown Deer Schools Superintendent Deborah Kerr. The only action Underly announced Thursday was the creation of a literacy task force to … Continue reading Wisconsin DPI Superintendent Rhetoric, amidst long term, disastrous reading results

Commentary on the 2021 Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) Superintendent election

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

Wisconsin Superintendent candidate Jill Underly accused of ‘hypocrisy’ for sending her children to private school

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

Candidates for Wisconsin state school superintendent clash on leadership, vouchers

WISN: “I am pro-kid. I do not support taking away a parent’s right to choose where their kid goes to school,” Kerr said. “The state superintendent cannot change these laws. So look at the Legislature. Does anyone really think the current legislature is going to massively roll back these policies? No. But I’m going to … Continue reading Candidates for Wisconsin state school superintendent clash on leadership, vouchers

State superintendent agrees students are being “robbed” of their education; lawmakers can help by providing every student $3,000 in direct assistance

Liv Finne: As reported in The Seattle Times, State Superintendent Reykdal said Washington’s children are receiving a “sh-tty” education right now. This highest education official in Washington state is openly acknowledging that kids are feeling “robbed” of the education we have promised them. The legislature needs to step in and help families with direct educational assistance. … Continue reading State superintendent agrees students are being “robbed” of their education; lawmakers can help by providing every student $3,000 in direct assistance

After a turbulent search process, MMSD’s first Black superintendent takes charge

Benjamin Farrell: On July 10, after another, much shorter search, MMSD settled on UW-Madison alumnus and former associate principal of Madison Memorial High School Dr. Carlton Jenkins to be the district’s first Black superintendent. Since his time at Madison Memorial, Jenkinshas held high-ranking positions in school districts in New Hope, Minnesota; Beloit, Wisconsin; and Atlanta, … Continue reading After a turbulent search process, MMSD’s first Black superintendent takes charge

A summary of community feedback (website) on Madison’s recent Superintendent candidates

Scott Girard: Records released by the Madison Metropolitan School District show feedback from staff and community members included plenty of praise and criticism for the two finalists for the district’s superintendent position this summer. Both Carlton Jenkins and Carol Kelley received positive feedback from many who filled out the forms, which asked respondents to answer … Continue reading A summary of community feedback (website) on Madison’s recent Superintendent candidates

New Madison Superintendent Adds an elementary administrator

Logan Wroge: “I have to address that because if you look at the data on the elementary level, we need to focus on literacy, we need to focus on numeracy, we need to focus on our special ed, our (English-language learners),” Jenkins said in the interview. 2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School … Continue reading New Madison Superintendent Adds an elementary administrator

Hard Questions: An interview with Madison Superintendent Carlton Jenkins

via Simpson Street Free Press 2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results. My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results “An emphasis on adult employment” Wisconsin … Continue reading Hard Questions: An interview with Madison Superintendent Carlton Jenkins

New taxpayer supported Madison K-12 superintendent to prioritize students’ mental, emotional health

Scott Girard: The new Madison Metropolitan School District superintendent stressed the importance of community buy-in during his introductory press conferenceWednesday. Carlton Jenkins, hired in early July, began in the role Aug. 4. He said he will focus on improving reading abilities, improving student mental health and rebuilding trust during his first year on the job, stressing the … Continue reading New taxpayer supported Madison K-12 superintendent to prioritize students’ mental, emotional health

Madison Superintendent hire Carlton Jenkins tells Black leaders he’s ‘ready to go to work’

Logan Wroge: Former School Board member James Howard, who also served as president, said the district’s No. 1 challenge is the low reading outcomes for Black children, where only 9% of scored proficient on a state assessment. “Before our kids can succeed academically … we have to do something about our reading scores,” Howard said. … Continue reading Madison Superintendent hire Carlton Jenkins tells Black leaders he’s ‘ready to go to work’

“We know best”: Madison School Board approves superintendent contract before it becomes public

Logan Wroge: The Madison School Board approved a contract Monday to hire a Minnesota school administrator as the next superintendent before releasing details of the agreement to the public. That’s a change from how the board handled the hiring process for its first choice for superintendent — who later backed out of the job — … Continue reading “We know best”: Madison School Board approves superintendent contract before it becomes public

Carlton Jenkins is named Madison’s next K-12 Superintendent

Scott Girard: Carlton Jenkins said moving to work in the Madison Metropolitan School District would be like “going home.” One of two finalists to become the district’s next superintendent, Jenkins was an associate principal at Memorial High School in 1993 and earned his doctorate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Throughout the day Tuesday, the Robbinsdale … Continue reading Carlton Jenkins is named Madison’s next K-12 Superintendent

Commentary on Two 2020 taxpayer supported Madison School District Superintendent Candidates

Scott Girard: Madison School Board president Gloria Reyes said in the release the district is “very fortunate to have an impressive pool of highly qualified candidates participate in this process.” “With a focus on how candidates aligned with the Leadership Profile, the Board was able to select two phenomenal finalists, both with deep roots in … Continue reading Commentary on Two 2020 taxpayer supported Madison School District Superintendent Candidates

Madison K-12 Spending up 19% from 2014-2020

MMSD Budget Facts: from 2014-15 to 2020-21 [May, 2020] 1. 4K-12 enrollment: -1.6% (decrease) from 2014-15 to projected 2020-21 2. Total district staffing FTE: -2.9% (decrease) from 2014-15 to proposed 2020-21 3. Total expenditures (excluding construction fund): +17.0% (increase) from 2014-15 to proposed 2020-21 4. Total expenditures per pupil: +19.0% (increase) from 2014-15 to proposed … Continue reading Madison K-12 Spending up 19% from 2014-2020

Open Records Response: “Community Leader & Stakeholder” meeting with Madison Superintendent Candidates

On January 21, 2020, I sent this email to board@madison.k12.wi.us Hi: I hope that you are well. I write to make an open records request for a list of invitees and participants in last week’s “community leader and stakeholder” meetings with the (Superintendent) candidates. Thank you and best wishes, Jim Hearing nothing, I wrote on … Continue reading Open Records Response: “Community Leader & Stakeholder” meeting with Madison Superintendent Candidates

New Madison Schools superintendent’s $250K+ contract up for vote Monday

Scott Girard: The contract runs from June 1 to May 31 of the following year. The agreement would allow Gutiérrez 25 vacation days each year, 10 holidays off and up to 13 personal illness days. It will provide up to $8,500 for moving expenses as Gutiérrez and his family move from Seguin, Texas, and cover … Continue reading New Madison Schools superintendent’s $250K+ contract up for vote Monday

Candidate Quotes from Madison’s 2020 Superintendent Pageant

Scott Girard: Behavior Education Plan Vanden Wyngaard: “Just like in previous districts I have been in, it appears we have a perception issue in the community.” Gutiérrez: “What I’ve seen is a rather comprehensive plan. I think it may be a little overwhelming for folks. How can we simplify that to be user-friendly, easy to … Continue reading Candidate Quotes from Madison’s 2020 Superintendent Pageant

Madison 2020 Superintendent Pageant: Eric Thomas appearance notes

Logan Wroge: “We have a district that is successful for a group of kids. We have a different district that’s not being successful for a group of kids,” he said of the Madison School District. “That means our organization is uniquely and excellently designed to get the results that we’re presently getting. If we keep … Continue reading Madison 2020 Superintendent Pageant: Eric Thomas appearance notes

2020 Madison Superintendent Pageant: Eric Thomas stresses success for ‘all students’ in Madison School District is key

Scott Girard: “My background is very much anchored on supporting all students,” Thomas said. “That’s sort of why I wake up every morning. The notion that all students are able to achieve at a high level, I truly not only believe it, but I’ve seen it, I’ve experienced it. I know it’s possible.” He will … Continue reading 2020 Madison Superintendent Pageant: Eric Thomas stresses success for ‘all students’ in Madison School District is key

2020 Madison Superintendent Pageant: Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard

Logan Wroge: She also highlighted the importance of having teachers know the cognitive process of how children learn to read to improve literacy outcomes. When asked about school-based police officers, a divisive topic in the Madison School District, Vanden Wyngaard said she doesn’t have a problem with police being in schools but thinks they should … Continue reading 2020 Madison Superintendent Pageant: Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard

2020 Madison Superintendent Pageant: Gutiérrez hopes to be ‘uniter’ for Madison School District

Scott Girard: Are we able to be laser focused on a number of a initiatives?” Gutiérrez said. “When you really do the research, the most highly successful systems have just three or four initiatives that they’re focused on, and you can do them really well.” He also brings recent experience with one of the likely … Continue reading 2020 Madison Superintendent Pageant: Gutiérrez hopes to be ‘uniter’ for Madison School District

2020 Madison Superintendent Pageant: Vanden Wyngaard wants to focus on social justice, equity in MMSD if selected

Scott Girard: She noted successes while she was in Albany, mentioning the graduation rate, increased attendance rate and lower disproportionality in its special education programming among them, and said maintaining the programs that helped lead to those was part of the resignation decision. “I work from a philosophy of students first, and I always will … Continue reading 2020 Madison Superintendent Pageant: Vanden Wyngaard wants to focus on social justice, equity in MMSD if selected

Commentary on the Madison School Board’s Superintendent Search Finalists

Scott Girard: The finalists are: •Matthew Gutierrez, the superintendent of the Seguin Independent School District in Seguin, Texas. He is a former interim and deputy superintendent in the Little Elm Independent School District and received his Ph.D. in educational leadership from Texas Tech, according to the district’s announcement. •Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard, an assistant professor of … Continue reading Commentary on the Madison School Board’s Superintendent Search Finalists

Commentary on The taxpayer supported Madison School Board’s GoVernance Plans: Replacement member and SuperintendenT search

Negassi Tesfamichael: “Given that Mary will not be attending any future meetings, I do feel a sense of urgency in getting this filled,” Reyes said. “I don’t want to move forward through some of the important discussions and decisions we’ll have to make … so i think it is going to be imperative that we … Continue reading Commentary on The taxpayer supported Madison School Board’s GoVernance Plans: Replacement member and SuperintendenT search

Madison School District taps Jane Belmore (again) to serve as interim superintendent

Negassi Tesfamichael: A familiar face will serve at the helm of the Madison Metropolitan School District for the upcoming school year. The Madison School Board on Friday named Jane Belmore, a retired MMSD teacher and administrator, to serve as the interim superintendent. Belmore will take over once current Superintendent Jen Cheatham steps down at the … Continue reading Madison School District taps Jane Belmore (again) to serve as interim superintendent

Public, students speak out against Grand Rapids schools’ online education, superintendent scales back plan

Kym Reinstadler:

About 600 people attended Monday’s rescheduled Grand Rapids Board of Education meeting, with nearly 50 registering days in advance to question the board about proposed changes, including a controversial shift to online instruction at the city’s high schools.
But Wes Viersen said he came to answer the board’s questions about online classes. The Creston High School senior considers himself an expert in online courses, having completed 14 this year — a feat he said he could verify with the transcript in his pocket.
“Overall, the quality of E2020 is horrible,” Viersen told the board. “I completed courses, but I did not get an adequate education.”

Frequently asked questions about Grand Rapids proposed High School Curriculum changes.

The fallen state of experts: How can governments learn from their expert failings?

Roger Koppl: If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you’re not paying attention to the experts. Epidemiologists tell us that if we do not hide in our houses with the door securely locked, hundreds of thousands will surely perish. Economists tell us that if we do not return immediately … Continue reading The fallen state of experts: How can governments learn from their expert failings?

Madison School Board May Retreat

Madison School Board: Meeting Objectives ● Understand Applicable Legal Statutes that pertain to School Boards ● Develop a planned strategy to successfully transition to a new leadership paradigm with the MMSD school board, superintendent, administration/staff, parents/guardians, and community creating a dynamic school community team. Legal notice and zoom link. Notes and links on Madison’s 2020 Superintendent … Continue reading Madison School Board May Retreat

Resisting Open Records Requests at the taxpayer supported Madison School District

Scott Girard: The Cap Times submitted an open records request the morning of Jan. 17, the deadline for residents to submit feedback through an online form, asking for “any and all public feedback on the Madison Metropolitan School District superintendent finalists, submitted online or via forms at the public forums, as of 8 a.m. Friday, … Continue reading Resisting Open Records Requests at the taxpayer supported Madison School District

Commentary on the 2023 Madison School Board elections (2 seats). Achievement?

Scott Girard Vander Meulen has faced an opponent in each of her two previous campaigns. In 2017, Ed Hughes was on the ballot but dropped out of the race following a health issue in his family and in 2020, the late Wayne Strong ran against her, but suspended his campaign amid his own health issues before returning … Continue reading Commentary on the 2023 Madison School Board elections (2 seats). Achievement?

Madison K-12 Governance & School Safety

David Blaska: Because our Woke school boss confuses correlation with causation. Like all good critical race theorists, he’s big on disproportionality. If A doesn’t equal B, he goes all Al Sharpton.  Today’s subject is time outs in an empty room for troublemakers or, rarely, restraint. Restraint being just holding back a kid so he doesn’t bust another … Continue reading Madison K-12 Governance & School Safety

“all of them stressed the importance of more funding for public schools”

Scott Girard: “This means a lot to me because I don’t want students who are younger than me to lack various resources and opportunities that will be offered,” La Follette’s Yoanna Hoskins said. “I want my teachers to be well compensated and respected for all the hard work they put in every single day.” Adding … Continue reading “all of them stressed the importance of more funding for public schools”

Thin Madison K-12 Commentary (Achievement?)

Scott Girard: Two years into the job, Madison Metropolitan School District superintendent Carlton Jenkins received praise from the Madison School Board for his handling of the district’s 2022-23 budget and leadership. A summary of the board’s annual performance review of the district’s top staff member was released Wednesday evening. While most of the review was … Continue reading Thin Madison K-12 Commentary (Achievement?)

Commentary on legacy taxpayer supported K-12 Governance outcomes

Leah Triedler: But in a statement after the speech, Republican Sen. Alberta Darling, chair of the Senate Education Committee, said Wisconsin students’ poor performance stems from Gov. Tony Evers “refusing to reform education in Wisconsin” despite Republican efforts, including a literacy bill Evers vetoed twice. Darling said Underly is following in his footsteps. “The DPI Secretary … Continue reading Commentary on legacy taxpayer supported K-12 Governance outcomes

Elections, K-12 Governance and Parent Choice

Mitchell Schmidt: A new coalition of conservatives, policy groups and advocacy organizations has begun developing a package of education goals for the coming legislative session — with expanded school choice as a top priority — that could play a considerable role in the upcoming race for governor this November. Officials with the Wisconsin Coalition for … Continue reading Elections, K-12 Governance and Parent Choice

Elections, K-12 Governance and Parent Choice

Mitchell Schmidt: A new coalition of conservatives, policy groups and advocacy organizations has begun developing a package of education goals for the coming legislative session — with expanded school choice as a top priority — that could play a considerable role in the upcoming race for governor this November. Officials with the Wisconsin Coalition for … Continue reading Elections, K-12 Governance and Parent Choice

Mandates, School Closures and Student Academic Outcomes: Virginia Edition

Moria Balingit: While students saw across-the-board gains in the 2021-2022 school year compared to the previous academic year, state education officials said the progress was not enough, and pinned some of the good news on lowered standards — not on better student performance. “Despite the scores being up from last year, they are down from … Continue reading Mandates, School Closures and Student Academic Outcomes: Virginia Edition

History: A look back at Wisconsin Governor Tony Ever’s 1997 DPI campaign

Heather Smith: During his rough and tumble 1997 campaign Evers directly criticized fellow Democrat Benson saying he had failed to call attention to the problems in our state’s education system, and that continual promotion of the good without sounding the alarm on the bad “wrecks our credibility.”  Evers said students and districts were in trouble … Continue reading History: A look back at Wisconsin Governor Tony Ever’s 1997 DPI campaign

“In the last school year Madison police were called 640 times to Madison’s four high schools”

Dave Cieslewicz: That’s an average of about 3.5 times a day or almost once per day to each school. According to a story in this morning’s Wisconsin State Journal the breakdown is 220 calls to East, 158 to La Follette, 170 to Memorial and 92 to West. In addition to the raw numbers there were … Continue reading “In the last school year Madison police were called 640 times to Madison’s four high schools”

Notes on Wisconsin Governor Evers’ 2022 K-12 Education Campaign Advertisement

MacIver: Claim 1: Tony Evers has Taken Wisconsin Schools into the Top 10 in the U.S. The ad repeats a brag Evers has been making for months.  The top 10 ranking issued by US News, shows Wisconsin’s rank improved 10 places since the 2018 list.  Evers has been taking credit for the improvement although the … Continue reading Notes on Wisconsin Governor Evers’ 2022 K-12 Education Campaign Advertisement

Notes on Taxpayer supported Madison K-12 spending plans amidst declining enrollment

Scott Girard: While there is a large influx of federal COVID-19 relief funding, officials have expressed hesitancy at using that one-time money for ongoing operational costs like salaries. “You’re going to hear no argument from us that our teachers and our staff deserve better,” LeMonds said at one of MTI’s rallies in May. “The fiscal … Continue reading Notes on Taxpayer supported Madison K-12 spending plans amidst declining enrollment

Boston slams new state schools plan as moving sides ‘further apart’ as receivership looms

Sean Phillip Cotter: Boston Public Schools, which has narrowed its ostensibly nationwide superintendent search down to one current and one recent former BPS administrator, is beset on all sides by poor student outcomes, yawning socioeconomic achievement gaps, reports of increased violence in and around school buildings, declining enrollment and snarled student transportation strategies. The commissioner … Continue reading Boston slams new state schools plan as moving sides ‘further apart’ as receivership looms

Commentary on the 2022 Wisconsin Gubernatorial Candidates, K-12 Education and prospects

Libby Sobic: Gov. Tony Evers’s recent vetoes put him at a historic rate of total vetoes compared to previous governors. Of the more than 100 vetoes he executed a week ago Friday, about a quarter were related to education. In many veto messages, the governor cited his previous role as state schools superintendent. Yet his … Continue reading Commentary on the 2022 Wisconsin Gubernatorial Candidates, K-12 Education and prospects

Notes on politics and the achievement gap

Daniel Lennington and Will Flanders Last week, Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction Jill Underly put out a press releasebroadly outlining her plans to address Wisconsin’s racial achievement gap. While it is perhaps a positive to finally see the superintendent addressing the failings of Wisconsin’s public schools, this release offers a disturbing window into the way … Continue reading Notes on politics and the achievement gap

Wisconsin Governor Evers Friday Afternoon K-12 Vetoes: parents vs the taxpayer supported system

Molly Beck: Democratic Gov. Tony Evers on Friday vetoed legislation that would have dramatically overhauled education in Wisconsin by making all children eligible to receive a taxpayer-funded private school voucher, regardless of their household income.   Parents would have been able to sue school districts for violations of a new “parental bill of rights” under another bill Evers … Continue reading Wisconsin Governor Evers Friday Afternoon K-12 Vetoes: parents vs the taxpayer supported system

Parents, taxpayer supported Administrators and Governance Rights Notes

NEO Remember back when transgender rights was about adults, and there was lengthy screening by the medical and therapy professionals involved to make sure that those adults were not making the choice because of other mental health issues? Now it’s about keeping kids’ secrets from parents whose rights diminish every day: “Parents are not entitled … Continue reading Parents, taxpayer supported Administrators and Governance Rights Notes

Commentary on Parents and Taxpayer supported k-12 Wisconsin schools

DPI Superintendent Jill Underly: Dear Wisconsin Families and Educators, I am writing this letter to you as a fellow parent and a former teacher. Like you, I know what it means to be involved with my children’s education, and I love it. But I look at the way politicians talk about parental involvement, and I … Continue reading Commentary on Parents and Taxpayer supported k-12 Wisconsin schools

2022 Wisconsin Governer’s Race and K-12 changes

Molly Beck: Two Republicans running for governor said this week they would sign legislation that dissolves the state’s largest school district while the Democratic incumbent who spent a career in education said the idea would throw Milwaukee’s children into “chaos.” Gov. Tony Evers, a former state superintendent and public school educator, signaled Tuesday he would … Continue reading 2022 Wisconsin Governer’s Race and K-12 changes

Taxpayer supported K-12 governance legislation

Wisconsin State Senator Alberta Darling: Wisconsin has a reputation for reform. It’s time we regain our status as a national leader and innovator for education reform,” Darling said, “We are putting parents and their children firstw , we are going to increase transparency and accountability, and we will be funding students, not systems.” Parental Bill … Continue reading Taxpayer supported K-12 governance legislation

almost half of education spending in the state goes for activities other than instruction, including nearly 23% on administrative costs.

Will Flanders, DPI itself has also contributed to this problem in a number of ways.  Nearly $150,000,000 of state education spending is retained at the state level for operations.  In addition, DPI has contributed and created the barriers for teachers to access the classroom. With barrier upon barrier to get licensed to teach, it is difficult to recruit and … Continue reading almost half of education spending in the state goes for activities other than instruction, including nearly 23% on administrative costs.

Commentary on teacher union influence and closed taxpayer supported schools

Lindsey Burke and Corey DeAngelis: Imagine being a second grader in a major city right now. If you entered kindergarten during the 2019-20 school year, COVID-19 first closed your school in March, potentially offering “remote learning.” As you prepared to enter first grade the following fall, you were one of more than half of students … Continue reading Commentary on teacher union influence and closed taxpayer supported schools

Notes on Madison area K – 12 taxpayer supported school attendance

Scott Girard: MMSD spokesman Tim LeMonds told the Cap Times in an email Tuesday the district’s attendance rate Monday was 80.6%. That’s below the average of more than 90% throughout the 2020-21 school year, according to attendance data received through an open records request. Other area school districts, which all returned from winter break as … Continue reading Notes on Madison area K – 12 taxpayer supported school attendance

Milwaukee, Madison School Districts Refuse to Follow the Science

Brett Healy: Further proving that we have learned absolutely nothing from the last 22 months, both Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) and the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) announced plans to scrap students’ return to the classroom following Christmas break. Neither sounded particularly optimistic that this would be a temporary move. “While it is our goal … Continue reading Milwaukee, Madison School Districts Refuse to Follow the Science

Parents vs taxpayer supported Madison K-12 school district administration

Elizabeth Beyer: It’s a complaint echoed by parents across the district Monday, on a day most expected to see their children back at school, as they were elsewhere in Dane County (but not in the state’s largest district, Milwaukee, which also went back to online learning temporarily). Several parents said they didn’t object to the … Continue reading Parents vs taxpayer supported Madison K-12 school district administration

Hamilton County’s 3rd-grade reading scores languishing in the tank

Clint Cooper: “To a child who doesn’t read,” the nearly 50-year-old public service television advertisement intoned, “the world is a closed book. Drifting, dropping back, dropping out. Once you start a child reading, there’s no stopping them. If America is to grow up thinking, reading is fundamental.” The commercials were made on behalf of a … Continue reading Hamilton County’s 3rd-grade reading scores languishing in the tank

Parents’ Rights in Education

What is happening in our public schools? Tonight I will again be speaking at an event hosted by @RightsParents. Topics include CRT, vaccines, @WILawLiberty‘s litigation & policy work, and lots of time for Q&A – 6PM. Lancaster City Hall, 206 S. Madison Street, Lancaster, WI pic.twitter.com/inSf0kKgDW — Dan Lennington (@DanLennington) November 16, 2021 Meanwhile, Ali … Continue reading Parents’ Rights in Education

Protesting illiteracy in Minneapolis

Minneapolis parents have taken their frustrations with the school district’s level of illiteracy to the superintendent’s house pic.twitter.com/dSVOLyoUDa — Beth Hawkins (@beth_hawkins) November 7, 2021 Seth 2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results  Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous … Continue reading Protesting illiteracy in Minneapolis

Deeper Dive: Wisconsin K12 Schools’ Abysmal Proficiency Rates

Abbi Debelack: The latest data on testing and proficiency rates for Wisconsin’s children were recently released by the Department of Public Instruction and it is not pretty. Yet despite the alarmingly low test scores, there appears to be little to no outrage by the media and education establishment. Each year, Wisconsin students, in various grades, … Continue reading Deeper Dive: Wisconsin K12 Schools’ Abysmal Proficiency Rates

Wisconsin Assembly passes ban on teaching critical race theory

Riley Vetterkind: Teaching public school students and training employees about concepts such as systemic racism and implicit bias would be banned under legislation Republicans passed in the state Assembly Tuesday. GOP lawmakers also approved a bill, 61-37, that would create a statewide civics curriculum that all Wisconsin public and private schools would have to follow. … Continue reading Wisconsin Assembly passes ban on teaching critical race theory

“Funding for K-12 education in Wisconsin is at historic levels”

Representative Robin Vos: “Funding for K-12 education in Wisconsin is at historic levels, and this year our schools received a massive amount of one-time federal dollars. The Democrats’ singular focus to push more money into schools isn’t a winning strategy for our kids. We need to look at improving how they are being taught and … Continue reading “Funding for K-12 education in Wisconsin is at historic levels”

Wisconsin: spending more on K-12 Government schools, for less

In her State of Education Address, State Superintendent Jill Underly commented on the divestment of schools in WI. But schools don’t have a funding crisis. With COVID aid coming into WI, schools received a record amount of funding in the 21-23 budget. https://t.co/h3IP4iCwYq pic.twitter.com/zHwFCpNTgu — MacIver Institute (@MacIverWisc) September 23, 2021 2017: West High Reading … Continue reading Wisconsin: spending more on K-12 Government schools, for less

Mandates and Masks Commentary

Emily Files Hamilton Superintendent Paul Mielke believes his district is following CDC recommendations. “It still came across as a ‘recommend’ and we are strongly recommending [masks,]” Mielke says. “So we’re actually matching their language. If they would have said schools should mandate, we would have looked at that.” Still, Mielke says the masking decision was … Continue reading Mandates and Masks Commentary

Commentary on mask requirements in taxpayer supported K-12 schools

Elizabeth Beyer: The DeForest, Middleton-Cross Plains, Monona Grove, Mount Horeb, Stoughton, Verona and Wisconsin Heights school districts have not yet made a decision regarding mask requirements in school buildings for the 2021-22 school year. Most of the Dane County districts that responded to requests for comment said they plan to finalize safety plans in August. … Continue reading Commentary on mask requirements in taxpayer supported K-12 schools

Small California school districts will refuse to follow mask mandate

Joe Hong: Some school officials are flouting the updated state rules, saying students will be allowed to return to the classroom with or without a mask. California’s smallest school districts say they will refuse to send kids home for not wearing a mask despite a new state mandate.  Superintendents in these tight-knit and typically more … Continue reading Small California school districts will refuse to follow mask mandate

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

Sun Prairie K-12 administration eliminates ‘high stakes’ exams

Chris Mertes: Sun Prairie School Board members who questioned district administrative team decisions to end “high stakes summative” semester and final exams on Monday, June 21 were cautioned to remember board governance procedures and reminded it was not an area over which the board could take action. The questioning of administrators began during the board’s … Continue reading Sun Prairie K-12 administration eliminates ‘high stakes’ exams

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

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

Muldrow’s policies continue to drive (Madison) schools’ decline

Peter Anderson: The Capital Times editorializes, “Madison has a great public schools system” and Board President “Ali Muldrow, is a dynamic leader “who will move Madison schools in the right direction” — sentiments reminiscent of the acclaim it offered former Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham, whose policies Muldrow seems poised to continue. But is it really great? … Continue reading Muldrow’s policies continue to drive (Madison) schools’ decline

An early look at the 2022 budgets of Wisconsin’s two largest school districts; +$70M for Madison!….

Wisconsin Policy Forum: Since 2013, the Wisconsin Policy Forum has produced an annual report on the superintendent’s proposed Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) budget that analyzes and describes the key elements and provides an independent assessment for school board members as they deliberate its contents. Last year, for the first time, we produced a similar budget … Continue reading An early look at the 2022 budgets of Wisconsin’s two largest school districts; +$70M for Madison!….

‘Who’s racist?’ Lawyer mom takes on Maryland school district’s woke racism claims

James Varney: An occasional interview series with Americans who are challenging the status quo. Picking fights with lawyers and Green Berets can be a bit risky, and that is doubly true when one of them has extensive experience with totalitarian tactics. Gordana Schifanelli is a lawyer married to a former Army special forces officer, and what’s … Continue reading ‘Who’s racist?’ Lawyer mom takes on Maryland school district’s woke racism claims

Potential lawsuit over Madison West High Racial Segregation Policies

WILL: The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) issued a letter, Monday, to Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) Superintendent, Dr. Carlton Jenkins, urging the school district to address the racial segregation employed at Madison West High School for Zoom conversations on current events. This is the second occasion in the last year where WILL has warned … Continue reading Potential lawsuit over Madison West High Racial Segregation Policies

Wisconsin lawmakers should allow parents to direct redistributed K-12 billion$ from American Rescue Plan

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

An Interview with Outgoing Madison School Board Member (and President) Gloria Reyes

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

“and I would create a more robust communications team to foster improved public relations”- Jill Underly on Wisconsin taxpayer funded K-12 Governance

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

Madison Receives More Redistributed Federal Taxpayer Funds; $70,659,827 (!)

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 (!)

Underly: “I support Eliminating the Foundations of Reading (FORT)” Teacher Test

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

Wisconsin’s open and closed taxpayer supported K-12 Schools; on the April 6 Ballot

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

“Why should this investigation be secret?”

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?”

Teach First

The Economist: Montgomery County, where your columnist’s three offspring attend (loosely speaking) public school, is on track to be the last of America’s 14,000 districts to return pupils to the classroom. Provided the board does not put the brakes on its latest back-to-school plan, as it has three times previously, Lexington’s two sons in elementary … Continue reading Teach First

Madison’s Taxpayer Funded K-12 Governence Commentary; 2021 Edition

Scott Girard: Superintendent Carlton Jenkins shared the data from the family survey that went out Feb. 17 with the School Board this week. He said about 65% of families — or about 7,790 families — with a student in those grades, which will be among the first to return in a phased reopening process, had … Continue reading Madison’s Taxpayer Funded K-12 Governence Commentary; 2021 Edition

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

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

Mulligans for “Act 10”?

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

A progressive parent’s rant about the politics surrounding school reopening

Rebecca Bodenheimer, PhD: I think we’re at a crucial point in this debate on school reopening right now. Case rates are dropping quickly, the surge is over, and people are starting to get vaccinated — though way too slowly of course. The public health community, including the CDC, have reached consensus that reopening schools is … Continue reading A progressive parent’s rant about the politics surrounding school reopening

How San Francisco Renamed Its Schools

Isaac Chotiner: Last month, San Francisco’s Board of Education voted, 6–1, to change the names of forty-four schools, including schools named after Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. A committee formed by the board in 2018, in the wake of the white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville, had determined that any figures who “engaged in the subjugation and enslavement of human … Continue reading How San Francisco Renamed Its Schools

Philly teachers’ union says it’s ‘not safe’ to reopen schools, city to appoint mediator. Will teachers return?

Kristen A. Graham and Maddie Hanna: The Philadelphia School District and its teachers’ union on Thursday moved toward a possible showdown over plans to reopen schools next week, with teachers questioning whether it’s safe to return to buildings and Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. saying he expected them to do so. Days after criticism erupted over … Continue reading Philly teachers’ union says it’s ‘not safe’ to reopen schools, city to appoint mediator. Will teachers return?