Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

Governor Evers: TO THE HONORABLE MEMBERS OF THE SENATE:I am vetoing Senate Bill 454 in its entirety. The bill would mandate school boards and independent charter schools to assess the early literacy skill of pupils in four-year-old kindergarten to second grade using repeated screening assessments throughout the year and to create a personal reading plan … Continue reading Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

In support of Wisconsin AB446, urging Governor Evers signature

By Kadjata Bah, Josepha DaCosta and Moises Hernandez The Kohlenberg paper looks closely at school-to-prison pipelines and uses the 14th Amendment’s citizenship clause to emphasize her case. She points out the Constitution “authorizes and mandates Congress to guarantee a meaningful floor of adequate functional literacy instruction nationwide.” During the past few years, federal courts have … Continue reading In support of Wisconsin AB446, urging Governor Evers signature

Wisconsin AB446 Vote and Representative Remarks

AB446 Legislative links and lobbying information. (League of Women voters is against!) Speakers, in order: 0.08: Rep. Dave Considine (D-Baraboo) voted No. 4:50: Rep. Robert Wittke (R-Racine) voted Yes. 6:30: Rep. Deb Andraca (D-Whitefish Bay) voted No. 11:40 Rep. Janel Brandtjen (R-Menomonee Falls) voted yes. 14:14 Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du lac) voted yes. 30.08: … Continue reading Wisconsin AB446 Vote and Representative Remarks

Representative LaKeshia Myers on Wisconsin AB446

mp3 audio Transcript (Machine Generated). Representative LaKeshia Myers. Related: Assembly bill AB446 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 … Continue reading Representative LaKeshia Myers on Wisconsin AB446

Roadmap to Reading Success Wisconsin Assembly Vote (AB446)

October 21, 2021 11:00a.m. CST. Watch via Wisconsin Eye. Wisconsin AB 446; SIS links. The list of lobbying organizations (many taxpayer supported!) opposed to Roadmap to Reading Success is remarkable: Association of Wisconsin School Administrators League of Women Voters Wisconsin (!) Pearson NA (!) Southeastern Wisconsin Schools Alliance WIRSA Wisconsin Association of School Boards Wisconsin … Continue reading Roadmap to Reading Success Wisconsin Assembly Vote (AB446)

Kelly Butler Wisconsin AB446 Testimony

Transcript (machine generated) mp3 audio Notes and links on AB446. Kelly Butler Barksdale Reading Institute bio. 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 … Continue reading Kelly Butler Wisconsin AB446 Testimony

Donna Hejtmanek Wisconsin AB446 Testimony

“1993: Wisconsin Students #3 in the Nation in Reading 2019: #27 If Mississippi can do it, we can do it”. 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 … Continue reading Donna Hejtmanek Wisconsin AB446 Testimony

Another new Madison k-12 Superintendent

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

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

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

Wisconsin DPI vs learning to read

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

“We have made things happen for children.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes on Wisconsin DPI Reading Curriculum Selections

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes on changes in Wisconsin taxpayer K-12 funding policies

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

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

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

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

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

Literacy or Loyalty? Mulligans?

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

Notes on 3 taxpayer supported Madison k-12 Superintendent candidates

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

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

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

Madison’s Taxpayer Supported K-12 Superintendent Candidate Notes

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

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

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

Searching for a new UW-Madison Education School Dean

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

Madison school district finalists: Two had resigned under criticism

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t Fuss About Training AIs. Train Our Kids

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

Chipotle steps into the education void

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

Wisconsin’s latest early literacy curriculum bake off

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

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

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

Notes on student achievement and US decline

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

Notes on construction in the taxpayer funded Madison School District

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

An update on Wisconsin’s Literacy changes

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

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

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

Madison School Board incumbents will run for reelection unopposed

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

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

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

Sources of isomorphism in the Milwaukee voucher school sector

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

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

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

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

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

Evers criticizes lawsuit seeking to end the Milwaukee voucher program

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

“I knew better than to recruit certified teachers”

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

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

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

Looking ahead to 2024 and the taxpayer funded Madison School District

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

Reading Recovery program being phased out as new law takes effect

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

Commentary on Wisconsin’s K-12 System

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

Decline has consequences: One of them is more decline.

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

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

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

Notes on DIE climate and the 2024 Madison School Board election

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

The Biden administration’s unseriousness on PISA

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

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

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

School Choice Commentary (achievement not found)

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

Learning loss and the teacher unions

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

Lawfare and school choice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Implications of closed schools and teacher union influence

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

Comparing k-12 per student $pending growth

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

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

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

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

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

Student Madison School Board meeting at West High School

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

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

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

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

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

Notes on taxpayer funded Madison K-12 Governance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes, Politics and our long term, disastrous reading results; Madison + State

Quinton Klabon: 1 year and $1 BILLION in federal relief later, it’s still tragic. •6,000 fewer kids on college track•101,000 kids below grade level•Green Bay, Janesville stuck at pandemic low•Milwaukee Black kids not catching up Scott Girard: In the Madison Metropolitan School District, proficiency rates in both subjects are well above the state for white … Continue reading Notes, Politics and our long term, disastrous reading results; Madison + State

“they set high standards and create a disciplined classroom culture”

David Leonardt Among the reasons the Defense Department schools do so well: “Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.” The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at … Continue reading “they set high standards and create a disciplined classroom culture”

WILL & SCW Report Shows How Choice Programs Serve Students with Disabilities

WILL: The News: The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) and School Choice Wisconsin (SCW) released a new report examining amount of special needs students in Wisconsin’s choice schools serve students with disabilities. Serving All: Students with Disabilities in Wisconsin’s Parental Choice Programs shows that schools in Wisconsin choice programs serve far more disabled students than … Continue reading WILL & SCW Report Shows How Choice Programs Serve Students with Disabilities

Commentary on another Madison K-12 Superintendent Search // Priorities

Dave Cieslewicz: I’m not at all surprised.  The executive search group chosen to help find the next Madison schools superintendent reflects the biases of our current school board. The very first statement you see in the About section of the website of Alma Advisory Group out of Chicago is that it is, “is a woman-of-color-led … Continue reading Commentary on another Madison K-12 Superintendent Search // Priorities

9 Citizens at a Madison School District Superintendent Search “roundtable”

David Blaska: Once every blue moon, the Head Groundskeeper does what he says he is going to do. Posing as average citizen “David Blaska,” he sat in with eight other citizens at one of three roundtables coordinated 10-04-23 by the headhunters hired by the Madison public school district to find yet another a new superintendent. … Continue reading 9 Citizens at a Madison School District Superintendent Search “roundtable”

Teacher prep programs not on the same page as Wisconsin’s new reading law

Corrinne Hess: But data shows that most teacher education programs at colleges and universities are still not fully teaching the science of reading.  Instead of learning how to read through pictures, word cues and memorization, children will be taught using a phonics-based method that focuses on sounding out letters and phrases, with the hope of addressing … Continue reading Teacher prep programs not on the same page as Wisconsin’s new reading law

20 October Event: Cara Fitzpatrick, author of “The Death of Public School”

Marquette: Please join us for an “On the Issues” program at 12:15 p.m. on Oct. 20, 2023, at Marquette Law School. A new book by Pulitzer Prize-winning education journalist Cara Fitzpatrick takes up the rise of the school choice movement across the United States. The Death of Public School: How Conservatives Won the War over Education … Continue reading 20 October Event: Cara Fitzpatrick, author of “The Death of Public School”

Notes on K-12 $pending and Governance: Wisconsin Edition

David Blaska: Jill Underly is Wisconsin’s superintendent of public instruction. The position is elected for four years on the Spring non-partisan ballot along with city alders and circuit court judges. We are one of only 12 states to elect them. One of Jill Underly’s predecessors was Tony Evers, now governor of Wisconsin. A Democrat. If … Continue reading Notes on K-12 $pending and Governance: Wisconsin Edition

Repairing the damage Columbia’s Teachers College did to American kids will take years

Robert Pondiscio I’ve come to bury Lucy Calkins, not to praise her. Columbia University’s Teachers College announced this month what once seemed unthinkable: It’s “dissolving” its relationship with Calkins, sending the controversial literacy guru and her cash-cow publishing and consulting empire packing. The divorce came a few months after the New York City Department of … Continue reading Repairing the damage Columbia’s Teachers College did to American kids will take years

Did New York City Forget How to Teach Children to Read?

Caitlin Moscatello At a meeting with parents in May, Elizabeth Phillips, a longtime principal at P.S. 321, a highly sought-after elementary school in Park Slope, didn’t mince words about the new reading curricula being implemented across the city this fall by Mayor Eric Adams’s administration. Not only did she refer to the trio of options selected … Continue reading Did New York City Forget How to Teach Children to Read?

Almost half the students in Fort Worth schools can’t read at grade level

Dang le Fort Worth resident Maria Gonzalez knew her daughter’s grades were off.  Gonzalez’s 8-year-old daughter, Citlalic, got perfect scores at school. Her teacher said she was doing great.  Get to know your community better with our free newsletters. Sign up today so you don’t miss a thing! But Gonzalez knew something else from observation … Continue reading Almost half the students in Fort Worth schools can’t read at grade level

Notes on Mississippi’s reading progress

Bezos WaPo: “[A]n analysis homing in on the inaugural group of Mississippians subject to the state’s rule concluded that repeating third grade resulted in significantly higher reading scores in sixth grade — with Black and Hispanic students showing particular improvement…. [But i]t is impossible to disentangle retention itself from all that comes with it… after-class … Continue reading Notes on Mississippi’s reading progress