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

Martin Luther King on the Ethics of Resistance to State Authority

Ilya Somin: Georgetown philosophy Prof. Jason Brennan, himself the author of an important book on the morality of resistance to government power, has a useful summary of King’s views on these issues. As Brennan points out, King believed that disobedience to unjust laws is often entirely justified, even when the laws in question were enacted by democratic governments: Many … Continue reading Martin Luther King on the Ethics of Resistance to State Authority

School Closures Were a Catastrophic Error. Progressives Still Haven’t Reckoned With It.

Jonathan Chait: Within blue America, transparently irrational ideas like this were able to carry the day for a disturbingly long period of time. In recent days, Angie Schmitt and Rebecca Bodenheimer have both written essays recounting the disorienting and lonely experience they had watching their friends and putative political allies denounce them for supporting a return to in-person learning. … Continue reading School Closures Were a Catastrophic Error. Progressives Still Haven’t Reckoned With It.

Madison schools head says schools need ongoing community help to support students

Scott Girard: “This time, I’m going to the business community, to the churches and saying, ‘Hey, let’s start anticipating together, scenario planning, so if something happens, we can be a model for how you do it,’” he said. “Keep it rolling and keep safety first and then the rest of the stuff.” That “rest of … Continue reading Madison schools head says schools need ongoing community help to support students

Watch now: A charter school with all-day outdoor education in the middle of winter

Barry Adams: Almost all of the lessons at the Kickapoo Valley Forest School are held outdoors, even on days when the temperature plunges well below freezing. The nature-based curriculum is central for the 4K and kindergarten students and their teachers, who have had lunch outside all but four days since the first day of school … Continue reading Watch now: A charter school with all-day outdoor education in the middle of winter

‘The greatest casualty of the pandemic era is, without question, America’s public education system’

Jesse Kauffman: The greatest casualty of the pandemic era is, without question, America’s public education system. Shuttering public schools in the first panicked days of March 2020 was perhaps understandable. However, many schools—such as those my children attend in Ann Arbor, Michigan—failed to open the following year. Schools closed in defiance of any reasonable accounting … Continue reading ‘The greatest casualty of the pandemic era is, without question, America’s public education system’

Madison School District’s Early Literacy Task Force Report

104 Page PDF: The Early Literacy and Beyond Task Force was established in December 2020, charged with analyzing promising approaches to literacy education and making recommendations to Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) and the teacher education programs at the University of Wisconsin -Madison School of Education (UW-SoE) to improve literacy outcomes and reduce gaps in … Continue reading Madison School District’s Early Literacy Task Force Report

Wisconsin Assembly Education Committee Meeting 12 January 2022 on DPI’s “K-12 Report Cards”

mp3 audio (about 3 hours – not the entire session): Machine generated transcript. School and District Report Cards and the recent changes made to those Report Cards Invited speakers include: School Choice Wisconsin Action (Jim Bender) Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (Thomas McCarthy) Stride, Inc. Siena Catholic Schools Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (Prepared … Continue reading Wisconsin Assembly Education Committee Meeting 12 January 2022 on DPI’s “K-12 Report Cards”

Ehud Qimron’s Powerful Letter to the Israeli Ministry of Health

Shared via brownstone: Two years late, you finally realize that a respiratory virus cannot be defeated and that any such attempt is doomed to fail. You do not admit it, because you have admitted almost no mistake in the last two years, but in retrospect it is clear that you have failed miserably in almost … Continue reading Ehud Qimron’s Powerful Letter to the Israeli Ministry of Health

Chicago Teachers Walkout Calls the Questions — What Does ‘Safe’ Mean, and Who Gets to Decide?

Mike Antonucci: The Chicago Teachers Union decided last week to cease in-person schooling until a variety of conditions were met. In response, Chicago Public Schools refused to allow teachers to log in for remote instruction and demanded they return to the classroom. After days of negotiations, the two sides reached a tentative agreement. In-person classes … Continue reading Chicago Teachers Walkout Calls the Questions — What Does ‘Safe’ Mean, and Who Gets to Decide?

Teachers’ unions have ignored encouraging findings from other countries, such as research suggesting that teachers in schools that had opened faced no greater risk of severe sickness than other professionals.

The Economist: Over the past two years America’s children have missed more time in the classroom than those in most of the rich world. School closures that began there in early 2020 dragged on until the summer of 2021. During that time the districts that stayed closed longest forced all or some of their children … Continue reading Teachers’ unions have ignored encouraging findings from other countries, such as research suggesting that teachers in schools that had opened faced no greater risk of severe sickness than other professionals.

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

After multiple lockdowns, three vaccines, and one bout of COVID, I want my life back.

Helen Lewis: I got my COVID-19 booster shot last week, on the first day I was eligible. My shot was delayed because I caught COVID in early December, an experience that was low-key grim: two days of shotgun sneezing, no taste or smell for a week, and a constant fatigue that didn’t abate until the … Continue reading After multiple lockdowns, three vaccines, and one bout of COVID, I want my life back.

Depressed attendance rates create challenges for teaching and learning; ‘there has never been anything like this’

Scott Calvert: Public-school attendance across the U.S. has dropped to unusually low levels, complicating efforts to keep schools open, as districts also contend with major staff shortages. Many students in kindergarten through 12th grade are out sick because of Covid-19 or are being kept home by anxious parents, as the Omicron variant surges, officials say. Remote learning often isn’t being … Continue reading Depressed attendance rates create challenges for teaching and learning; ‘there has never been anything like this’

Did any of these people tell the truth back when it could have saved the generation that comprises the world’s future? Nope.

Joy Pullman: Americans are starting to feel the increasing collateral damage from our unprecedented, ineffective, and ill-advised Covid lockdowns. It was known before March 2020 that lockdowns would cause lifelong and avoidable damage to billions, yet the world’s ruling classes who claim to have earned their place atop a “meritocracy” strenuously demanded such damage be inflicted especially on children and … Continue reading Did any of these people tell the truth back when it could have saved the generation that comprises the world’s future? Nope.

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

The Great Barrington Declaration and closed schools;
Lockdowns failed to serve the collective good

Thomas Fazi and Toby Green: All of which has meant that, until the Observer’s interview with Mark Woolhouse, there has been painfully little critical analysis from the mainstream Left as to whether the raft of restrictive Covid measures we have seen over the past two years have indeed served the collective good — or saved lives … Continue reading The Great Barrington Declaration and closed schools;
Lockdowns failed to serve the collective good

Letter to Wisconsin Governor Evers on His Roadmap to Reading Success Veto

State Senator Kathy Bernier and State Representative Joel Kitchens: Literacy in Wisconsin is in crisis: 64% of Wisconsin 4th graders can’t read at grade level, with 34% failing to read at even the basic level. As co-chair of Governor Walker’s Read to Lead Task Force, you know that high quality universal literacy screening is the … Continue reading Letter to Wisconsin Governor Evers on His Roadmap to Reading Success Veto

COVID school policies set me adrift from my tribe.

Angie Schmitt: I kept hoping that someone in our all-Democratic political leadership would take a stand on behalf of Cleveland’s 37,000 public-school children or seem to care about what was happening. Weren’t Democrats supposed to stick up for low-income kids? Instead, our veteran Democratic mayor avoided remarking on the crisis facing the city’s public-school families. … Continue reading COVID school policies set me adrift from my tribe.

Commentary on Closed taxpayer supported Madison Schools (no achievement discussion)

Scott Mildred (and others) Our community didn’t let the district’s tardiness slide without a stern warning. That’s because missing in-person classes for the last week (with two days of online school) badly disrupted people’s lives, especially working parents who don’t have easy options for emergency child care. The district’s spokesman had told the State Journal on Dec. … Continue reading Commentary on Closed taxpayer supported Madison Schools (no achievement discussion)

Civics: Milwaukee votes on health policy while Dane County continues unelected administrative mandates

Corrinne Hess: At the urging of Milwaukee Public Schools and area restaurants, a Milwaukee Common Council committee moved forward an ordinance Friday for a city-wide mask mandate. Under the plan, a face covering would be required for anyone 3 years old and up inside a public building whenever the rate of transmission of the COVID-19 virus … Continue reading Civics: Milwaukee votes on health policy while Dane County continues unelected administrative mandates

Teacher Unions vs Parents and Children: political commentary

Dana Goldstein and Noam Scheiber: Few American cities have labor politics as fraught as Chicago’s, where the nation’s third-largest school system shut down this week after teachers’ union members refused to work in person, arguing that classrooms were unsafe amid the Omicron surge. But in a number of other places, the tenuous labor peace that … Continue reading Teacher Unions vs Parents and Children: political commentary

Parents sue to end illegal Chicago Teachers Union Strike

Liberty Justice Center: – A group of Chicago parents have filed a lawsuit against the Chicago Teachers Union, calling this week’s school closures an “illegal strike” and demanding that teachers return to school for in-person learning. The lawsuit was filed late Thursday by attorneys at the Liberty Justice Center, a national nonprofit law firm that … Continue reading Parents sue to end illegal Chicago Teachers Union Strike

Milwaukee Public Schools are staying virtual for now, and none of the reasons involve improving student education

Alan Borsuk: This all said, MPS is in a small club of school districts that have switched to all-virtual schooling during the current surge. The vast majority of American schools are staying in-person, even if it’s a struggle. One board member, Megan O’Halloran, suggested that schools that were reporting comparatively few COVID cases among teachers … Continue reading Milwaukee Public Schools are staying virtual for now, and none of the reasons involve improving student education

$5M in Grants to save Chicago Public School Children

STOP Award More than 340,000 Chicago Public School students have been forced to stay home by self-interests who dominate the Chicago Public School system. The failure of Chicago’s leadership to open school even after receiving more than $1.5 billion from the federal government in the past year to ensure they are always open safely to … Continue reading $5M in Grants to save Chicago Public School Children

Civics: Wisconsin Electoral Awareness

Someone just sent a picture of their child’s homework to me. Sorry @GovEvers 🤣💗 pic.twitter.com/Kf8iCOpbJu — Katie Rosenberg ✌ (@katierosenberg) January 7, 2022 Mandates, closed schools and Dane County Madison Public Health. The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic” 2017: West … Continue reading Civics: Wisconsin Electoral Awareness

Notes on administrative mandates vs elected official votes: Dane County Edition

Allison Garfield: Authored by county Supervisor Jeff Weigand, who represents District 20 just east of Sun Prairie, the resolution has been before the city and county’s joint public health committee twice, once in September and once in December. Most recently, on Dec. 1, the resolution was indefinitely postponed in committee. But the resolution made its way before … Continue reading Notes on administrative mandates vs elected official votes: Dane County Edition

Private temporary classroom for taxpayer supported Madison k-12 students

Scott Girard: It was their temporary classroom for MMSD’s second day of virtual learning amid a delayed return from winter break. Madison offered up her organization’s space on the Capitol Square hours after the district’s Dec. 30 announcement that winter break would be extended through Wednesday, Jan. 6, with virtual learning to close out the … Continue reading Private temporary classroom for taxpayer supported Madison k-12 students

The human rights implications of long lockdown and the damaging impact on young people

Ellen Townsend: The rights and needs of young people have been ignored in this crisis and this is a national and global disaster in the making. The future of our youngsters has been sacrificed in order to protect adults which goes against the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (article 3) states: “In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social … Continue reading The human rights implications of long lockdown and the damaging impact on young people

Parents vs Teacher Unions on closed taxpayer supported K-12 Schools: Chicago edition

Guilia Heyward: The possibility of more online school for John Christie’s fourth-grade son, Ian, is enough to bring Mr. Christie to tears. Mr. Christie said his son, who has been diagnosed with autism, thrived with the schedule that in-person instruction gave him during the fall. But in earlier parts of the pandemic, when school was … Continue reading Parents vs Teacher Unions on closed taxpayer supported K-12 Schools: Chicago edition

Mapping closed taxpayer supported K-12 schools

Burbio Burbio’s tracker shows 5225 schools starting a period of disruption (not offering in-person learning) of one or more days during the week beginning January 2nd, Mandates, closed schools and Dane County Madison Public Health. The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or … Continue reading Mapping closed taxpayer supported K-12 schools

Commentary on statements to open Madison’s closed taxpayer supported K-12 schools

Scott Girard: That percentage is well below the unfilled percentages in the last months of 2021: 49.81% in October, 47.37% in November and 43.56% in December. In its press release Thursday, the district acknowledged that closures of schools or classrooms could still be coming this semester. Elizabeth Beyer: “We recognize this week has affected our … Continue reading Commentary on statements to open Madison’s closed taxpayer supported K-12 schools

Civics: commentary on the Dane County Madison Public Health mask mandate, that lacks elected an official vote

Allison Garfield and Natalie Yahr: The resolution seeks to dismiss the current emergency order — which was issued by Public Health Madison & Dane County on Dec. 20, 2021 and extends the mask mandate through Feb. 1, 2022 — until public input and “consent of the governed” had been achieved. The previous emergency order had … Continue reading Civics: commentary on the Dane County Madison Public Health mask mandate, that lacks elected an official vote

Reading proficiency rates rising in some Appalachian schools
Scientifically based teaching, Direct Instruction programs driving turnaround

Richard Innes: Results on both state and na.onal tests raise important ques.ons about the general lack of effec.veness of reading instruc.on in Kentucky’s public schools. Evidence from the federal Na.onal Assessment of Educa.onal Progress (NAEP) indicates that many Kentucky teachers struggle to provide effec.ve reading instruc.on.The dimensions of this problem are enormous. Impacts were examined … Continue reading Reading proficiency rates rising in some Appalachian schools
Scientifically based teaching, Direct Instruction programs driving turnaround

Changing our metrics to suit our narratives has caused confusion, frustrated the honest, and destroyed public trust, or The Graveyard of Common Knowledge

Matt Shapiro: This kind of pronouncement was meant to imply that vaccination rates were responsible for low rates of COVID at Harvard, not the fact that Harvard is in a region that was at a COVID nadir last September. Now that the region is having a COVID outbreak, Harvard has, despite mandatory vaccines (and mandatory … Continue reading Changing our metrics to suit our narratives has caused confusion, frustrated the honest, and destroyed public trust, or The Graveyard of Common Knowledge

Madison’s taxpayer supported closed schools: 2022 edition

Emily Hamer: Heinrich also said that “while it is challenging to determine exactly where transmission occurred,” her agency was not aware of any deaths from COVID-19 linked to in-person schooling in Dane County “but it appears that there have been a small number of hospitalizations that appear to be linked to in-school transmission.” Jenkins confirmed … Continue reading Madison’s taxpayer supported closed schools: 2022 edition

Commentary on Madison’s taxpayer supported closed K-12 schools

Scott Girard: Wednesday’s meeting, which begins at 5 p.m., includes a public comment portion, a chance to summarize written public comments and an “update on safe return to school buildings for in-person learning.” The last item will be a discussion, but will not include a vote of any kind. Those interested in speaking during the meeting … Continue reading Commentary on Madison’s taxpayer supported closed K-12 schools

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

In support of California SB237

We Unanimously passed 11-0 at the SF Board of Supervisors My resolution to support @Portantino’s SB237 to require screening all students in California for risk of dyslexia in K-2nd grade. Ty @Portantino for your leadership and @GavinNewsom for all your tremendous work! — Ahsha Safai 安世輝 (@Ahsha_Safai) January 5, 2022 SB237 Wisconsin Governor Evers recently … Continue reading In support of California SB237

‘This is a disaster.’: Severity of learning lost to the pandemic comes into focus

Jessica Calefati AMERICA, WE HAVE A PROBLEM — Results from a standardized test taken by elementary and middle school students earlier this school year paint a bleak picture of the harm the pandemic inflicted on their learning.  — Performance on the iReady test administered nationally by Curriculum Associates plummeted for all students compared to the last time it … Continue reading ‘This is a disaster.’: Severity of learning lost to the pandemic comes into focus

“An emphasis on adult employment”; Chicago Teachers Union 2022 edition

NEW: The Chicago Teachers Union says its planned vote tonight would see members refuse in-person work until Jan. 18 or until the city’s COVID-19 wave falls below the threshold Chicago Public Schools set last year, whichever happens first. — Nader Issa (@NaderDIssa) January 4, 2022 Maureen Kelleher: If ever there was a moment to ensure … Continue reading “An emphasis on adult employment”; Chicago Teachers Union 2022 edition

Taxpayer supported Chicago Teacher Union and closed schools

Alex Nester: Chicago teachers are preparing to strike over what they say are unsafe working conditions caused by a spike in coronavirus cases. The Chicago Teachers Union has scheduled a Tuesday vote to determine whether its 25,000 members will refuse to return to the classroom, WBEZ reported. On Sunday, more than 6,000 union members at a virtual … Continue reading Taxpayer supported Chicago Teacher Union and closed schools

Oster Study Finds Learning Loss Far Greater in Districts that Went Fully Remote

Kevin Mahnken: What are the consequences of closing virtually every American school and shifting to online education for months at a time? It’s a question that education experts have been asking since the emergence of COVID-19, and one whose answers are gradually becoming clearer. With federal sources reporting that 99 percent of students have now returned to … Continue reading Oster Study Finds Learning Loss Far Greater in Districts that Went Fully Remote

The long-term consequences of closed schools are profound

Will Flanders and Libby Sobic: In the latest chapter of the seemingly never-ending nightmare of school closures, Milwaukee Public Schools decided Sunday, Jan. 2 to return to virtual instruction for the first week of the spring semester, Jan. 3-7. This follows the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) making a similar decision to delay the start … Continue reading The long-term consequences of closed schools are profound

Notes on taxpayer supported Madison K-12 School District Crime and achievement governance

David Blaska: Neighbors here on the SW side are outraged that the so-called safety coordinator for our public schools blows off police trying to track down kids showing off their illegal firearms in a stolen car a block away from Madison East high school. Doesn’t return their phone calls. Refuses to share photographic evidence with … Continue reading Notes on taxpayer supported Madison K-12 School District Crime and achievement governance

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

Commentary on the Democrat Party Education Axis

Matt Taibbi: However, much like the Hillary Clinton quote about “deplorables,” conventional wisdom after the “gaffe” soon hardened around the idea that what McAuliffe said wasn’t wrong at all. In fact, people like Hannah-Jones are now doubling down and applying to education the same formula that Democrats brought with disastrous results to a whole range … Continue reading Commentary on the Democrat Party Education Axis

“It’s a challenge to get back into a setting where you have strict deadlines again”

Scott Girard: Seventeen months passed between the closure of schools in March 2020 and Gordon Allen’s return to learning inside East High School. The Madison Metropolitan School District student senate president and East senior, who opted to finish the 2020-21 school year virtually rather than return via the district’s phased-in return to buildings, said this … Continue reading “It’s a challenge to get back into a setting where you have strict deadlines again”

Where Are Black Parents’ Voices on Critical Race Theory?

Kali Holloway: That would explain why CBS News last month posted a tweet that asked, “How young is too young to teach kids about race?” The network had blatantly overlooked the experiences of Black and other nonwhite kids, who mostly learn about racism through firsthand experiences at disturbingly young ages—never at a time of their … Continue reading Where Are Black Parents’ Voices on Critical Race Theory?

The Fallout From Remote Education: It’s a Fiasco for Kids, Families, and Democracy

Laura McKenna: Are we going to shutdown society and schools again? There is enormous pressure from the top to not close schools. That’s why the CDC has shifted its recommendations for dealing with positive people. Now, positive people only have to isolate for five days. Fauci says that positive people are really only contagious two … Continue reading The Fallout From Remote Education: It’s a Fiasco for Kids, Families, and Democracy

Taxpayer supported Madison School District once again closes schools

Here is the full press release announcement. Press conference tomorrow morning. https://t.co/BQWW4mAjyf pic.twitter.com/xi94AlnBe8 — Scott Girard (@sgirard9) December 30, 2021 Mandates, closed schools and Dane County Madison Public Health. The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic” 2017: West High … Continue reading Taxpayer supported Madison School District once again closes schools

Madison, Milwaukee school performance overrated by DPI

Libby Sobic and Will Flanders: Madison is ranked dead last when it comes to performance among disadvantaged students. Pre-pandemic, Madison’s overall student proficiency in English/Language Arts hovered around 35% while Milwaukee’s overall student proficiency was even worse at around 19%. Even after accounting for a huge number of students who opted out, proficiency rates plummeted … Continue reading Madison, Milwaukee school performance overrated by DPI

“the referenced study made no mention of the education of its educators as a variable”

Noah Diekemper: It’s little wonder that the American Enterprise Institute’s education research fellow Max Eden has denounced college requirements for preschool teachers as “regressive,” declaring that there is “ no evidence to support this will help with student outcomes .” Why, then, are lawmakers considering a federal law that would fund preschool programs only if lead teachers … Continue reading “the referenced study made no mention of the education of its educators as a variable”

Abolishing grades on homework will hurt the neediest kids

Jay Matthews: Now some schools are experimenting with easing homework and grading as a way to be fair and coax students back into the learning process. I had assumed educators would quickly realize this was a formula for disaster. But I have learned such take-it-easy policies are being seriously considered in what I have considered … Continue reading Abolishing grades on homework will hurt the neediest kids

Read it and cheer: David Banks’ wise words about literacy instruction in NYC schools

Robert Pondisco: In some of his first public comments since being named New York City’s incoming schools chancellor, David Banks has drawn cheers from savvy education observers and literacy experts for remarks critical of “balanced literacy,” the city’s long-standing approach to teaching reading. “‘Balanced literacy’ has not worked for Black and Brown children. We’re going … Continue reading Read it and cheer: David Banks’ wise words about literacy instruction in NYC schools

Milwaukee’s taxpayer supported K-12 schools financial rhetoric

Will Flanders & Libby Sobic: Like an old IPod set on repeat, Milwaukee Public Schools’ attempts to attack and provide misleading data about the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP) is a song-and-dance that never stops. In their latest salvo against providing families with educational options, the district included information on the “cost” to Milwaukee residents … Continue reading Milwaukee’s taxpayer supported K-12 schools financial rhetoric

Frautschi’s dónate $1m to Monona’s (Madison suburb) One City School

Scott Girard: One City Schools received a $1 million donation from the W. Jerome Frautschi Foundation to support the school as it expands to serve students in grades 4K-12. “The Frautschi family has a long history of investing in initiatives to make Madison a great city for everyone, dating back to their contributions to downtown … Continue reading Frautschi’s dónate $1m to Monona’s (Madison suburb) One City School

Jefferson Middle School teacher on leave after planned reenactment lesson

Scott Girard: A Jefferson Middle School teacher is on administrative leave after planning a Colonial-era reenactment lesson that asked students “to assume stereotypical roles which brought racialized harm,” according to an email from the school’s principal. The incident comes 10 months after officials in the nearby Sun Prairie Area School District apologized to parents for … Continue reading Jefferson Middle School teacher on leave after planned reenactment lesson

“For over 18 months, the Fairfax County School Board has focused on every political issue of the day,” O’Neal Jackson said. “In turn, [it] has not focused on what’s best for our students and families in Fairfax County.”

Alex Nester: Parents in Virginia’s largest school district collected enough signatures to recall a school board member who ignored parental concerns and kept schools closed during the pandemic. Open FCPS Coalition, a bipartisan group of parents, on Wednesday filed with a county circuit court a petition to recall school board member Laura Jane Cohen. The … Continue reading “For over 18 months, the Fairfax County School Board has focused on every political issue of the day,” O’Neal Jackson said. “In turn, [it] has not focused on what’s best for our students and families in Fairfax County.”

Loudoun County paid at least $500,000 to be twice delivered suggestions about “social emotional learning.”

Matt Taibbi: In preparation for today’s forthcoming story, A Culture War in Four Acts: Loudoun County, Virginia. Part Two: ‘The Incident,’ TK News sent Freedom of Information requests to the county on several questions. Concerned with the issue of when the controversial “Equity Collaborative” was hired, we asked for “procurement or purchasing process documents, stakeholder emails and communique … Continue reading Loudoun County paid at least $500,000 to be twice delivered suggestions about “social emotional learning.”

Test results in American schools plummeted during the pandemic

The Economist: “A school district where one-quarter of students were black spent, on average, 10 more weeks in the classroom than one where three-quarters of students were black.” A recent working paper by a group of researchers led by Emily Oster, of Brown University and the National Bureau of Economic Research, looked at the results of standardised … Continue reading Test results in American schools plummeted during the pandemic

What a Brazilian state can teach the world about education

The Economist: hen amaury gomes began teaching history in Sobral in the mid-1990s, its schools were a mess. The city of 200,000 people lies in Ceará, a baking-hot north-eastern state that has one of Brazil’s highest rates of poverty. When local officials ordered tests in 2001 they found that 40% of Sobral’s eight-year-olds could not … Continue reading What a Brazilian state can teach the world about education

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

We’ve Been Teaching Reading Wrong for Decades. How a Massachusetts School’s Switch to Evidence-Based Instruction Changed Everything

VICTORIA THOMPSON, ELIZABETH WOLFSON, AND MANDY HOLLISTER: “Teaching reading is rocket science,” Louisa Moats is well known for saying. It is something we frequently referenced during our guided reading professional development for teachers. Sadly, until we started on our Science of Reading journey two-plus years ago, we had no idea how bereft our instruction was of the … Continue reading We’ve Been Teaching Reading Wrong for Decades. How a Massachusetts School’s Switch to Evidence-Based Instruction Changed Everything

Another attempt to address Wisconsin‘s long-term disastrous reading results: AB611

The Assembly Committee on Education is holding a public hearing today on AB611, relating to the licensure requirements for teachers in regard to reading readiness. Similar to AB446 — a literacy bill vetoed by the Gov. — this bill seeks to boost WI’s dismal literacy rates. pic.twitter.com/XLUL9NVXBD — MacIver Institute (@MacIverWisc) December 14, 2021 Wisconsin … Continue reading Another attempt to address Wisconsin‘s long-term disastrous reading results: AB611

An update on the spring 2022 Madison School Board Election (3 seats)

Scott Girard: Ananda Mirilli will not run for reelection to the Madison School Board next spring, meaning two of the three seats up for election will not have an incumbent among the candidates. Cris Carusi previously announced that she would not run for reelection, while board president Ali Muldrow is running for a second term. Carusi, Mirilli … Continue reading An update on the spring 2022 Madison School Board Election (3 seats)

Controlling the narrative: Parental choice, Black empowerment and lessons from Florida

Denisha Merriweather, Dava Hankerson, Nathaniel Cunneen and Ron Matus: The shift to an increasingly choice-driven education landscape for Black students in Florida has been driven by Black parents, who have enrolled their children in choice programs in growing numbers and made it so they cannot be ignored politically. “Options make it so that I can … Continue reading Controlling the narrative: Parental choice, Black empowerment and lessons from Florida

Wisconsin Taxpayers Spend More On K-12 For Less over the past Decade

WMC Foundation PDF: When it comes to education funding in Wisconsin, both Republicans and Democrats have made it a priority. The most recent State Budget approved spending $14.2 billion in state tax dollars on K-12 education – roughly 36 percent of the general fund budget. s spending has continued to climb in recent years, educational … Continue reading Wisconsin Taxpayers Spend More On K-12 For Less over the past Decade

Madison School Board member calls for action on COVID-19 paid time off for teachers, staff

Elizabeth Beyer: Madison School Board member calls for action on COVID-19 paid time off for teachers, staff A Madison School Board member is calling for the full board to address a lack of access to COVID-19 sick leave for district teachers and staff during the next board meeting. As district policy stands, teachers and staff … Continue reading Madison School Board member calls for action on COVID-19 paid time off for teachers, staff

‘That’s not going to happen’: Report says Madison East High leader objected to charging students after assault

Chris Rickert: The mother of the victim, identified only as “Erin” in the WMTV-TV news report, said the school did not call police about the attack. LeMonds said that was accurate but that the school called the victim’s parents, who came to the school and called police themselves. He said the school would have called … Continue reading ‘That’s not going to happen’: Report says Madison East High leader objected to charging students after assault

America’s top scientists warn about the political erosion of education standards.

Wall Street Journal: The last few years have seen a proliferation of “open letters” by academics in politics and the humanities in favor of progressive causes. The hard sciences are different, and when mathematicians, physicists and engineers speak up to defend the integrity of their fields, Americans should pay attention. The latest example is a … Continue reading America’s top scientists warn about the political erosion of education standards.

Gifted & Talented Programs and Racial Segregation

Owen Thompson: Racial segregation can occur across educational programs or classrooms within a given school, and there has been particular concern that gifted & talented programs may reduce integration within schools. This paper evaluates the contribution of gifted & talented education to racial segregation using data on the presence and racial composition of gifted & … Continue reading Gifted & Talented Programs and Racial Segregation

Latest Madison Literacy Task Force Report, Slides, Commentary and links

Kvistad noted that MMSD completed a report similar to this one in 2011, but said it ended up “on a shelf.” This time, she said, the district has “got to do something different,”  12 Slide Presentation (PDF): Charge to the Task Force: 1. Reviewing and becoming familiar with the best evidence about the most effective … Continue reading Latest Madison Literacy Task Force Report, Slides, Commentary and links

Madison La Follette student charged with bringing loaded gun to school, jailed on $30,500 bail

Ed Treleven: An 18-year-old La Follette High School student accused of bringing a loaded gun to the Madison school last week was charged Monday with two gun possession-related charges, and also faces six additional new unrelated criminal cases. The seven new cases against Marquan Webb, of Madison, brings to 11 the number of criminal cases … Continue reading Madison La Follette student charged with bringing loaded gun to school, jailed on $30,500 bail

Madison schools’ war on discipline

David Blaska: Yet students of color continue to be disproportionately disciplined. “The simple fact is this: black boys do commit more violent offenses in public schools than other kids,” acknowledges John McWhorter, in his book Woke Racism. You want “equity”? According to MMSD data from 2017-18, 59% of disciplinary actions were taken against boys, even … Continue reading Madison schools’ war on discipline

“And third, I’d like to see a candidate who can actually win.”

Dave Cieslewicz That one demonstrated some of the dysfunction of the district. Their spokesperson denied that anything had happened at the school because, technically, the incident, which involved students enrolled at West, occurred on a sidewalk that wasn’t part of school property. The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for … Continue reading “And third, I’d like to see a candidate who can actually win.”

“In the Michigan Shooting, What Is the School’s Responsibility?”

Ann Althouse: By “put them in a safe place,” I think Ross means put Ethan Crumbleyin custody. He apparently begged “help me.” It sounds as though he struggled with an uncontrollable impulse. I understand the school wanting to defend itself after the fact, but what’s more important is for schools to take action to protect the students who are … Continue reading “In the Michigan Shooting, What Is the School’s Responsibility?”

Governor Evers Vetoes Legislation to Provide Parents with Access to Classroom Materials

WILL The News: Governor Tony Evers vetoed curriculum transparency legislation (SB 463/ AB 488), Friday, denying parents access to the classroom materials in our public schools. The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) supported the legislation to require all public schools to publicly provide access to the material taught in our public-school classrooms. The Quotes: WILL Director of … Continue reading Governor Evers Vetoes Legislation to Provide Parents with Access to Classroom Materials

“The popularity of low-quality online credit recovery suggests that’s a realistic concern”

Joanne Jacobs: The pandemic has accelerated a push to ease grading and homework policies, writes Washington Post columnist Jay Mathews. “Schools have stuck to an outdated system that relies heavily on students’ compliance — completing homework, behaving in class, meeting deadlines and correctly answering questions on a one-time test — as a proxy for learning, rather than measuring … Continue reading “The popularity of low-quality online credit recovery suggests that’s a realistic concern”

We Opened the Schools and … It Was Fine: Many parents feared the worst, but so far, no widespread COVID crisis has come to America’s classrooms.

Schools aren’t the problem. They never have been. One of the frustrating things about the pandemic has been our inability, even at this late date, to understand why surges occur. They hit communities with mask mandates, and communities without. Last year, we believed that the surge from October through February was caused by seasonal changes. … Continue reading We Opened the Schools and … It Was Fine: Many parents feared the worst, but so far, no widespread COVID crisis has come to America’s classrooms.

Commentary on Wisconsin’s “state k-12 report card”

Will Flanders: The News: The recent release of Wisconsin’s state report cards for individual districts and schools proved, once again, that the current composition of the report card is not doing enough to reveal the true state of education and academic performance in Wisconsin’s schools. A new policy brief from the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) … Continue reading Commentary on Wisconsin’s “state k-12 report card”

What’s Behind The Massive Spike In Violence Inside Public Schools Nationwide

Will Flanders and Dan Lennington: Ask any public high school student: violent in-school fights are on the rise and discipline is on the decline. Just consider one public high school: Madison East in Madison, Wisconsin. In late September, local media reported a series of “disturbing” cell phone videos depicting vicious fights and beatings occurring in … Continue reading What’s Behind The Massive Spike In Violence Inside Public Schools Nationwide

Why I’m Backing Charter Schools: The public school system is failing. My philanthropy will give $750 million to a proven alternative.

Michael Bloomberg: American public education is broken. Since the pandemic began, students have experienced severe learning loss because schools remained closed in 2020—and even in 2021 when vaccinations were available to teachers and it was clear schools could reopen safely. Many schools also failed to administer remote learning adequately. Before the pandemic, about two-thirds of … Continue reading Why I’m Backing Charter Schools: The public school system is failing. My philanthropy will give $750 million to a proven alternative.

Act 10 at 10

Johnny Kampis: Unions, he says, were more concerned about protecting the pensions of the old membership than in the future benefits for new members. “They weren’t fighting for the little guy. They were fighting for themselves.”  Among the proudest accomplishments in Act 10, Walker told us, was the fight for schoolchildren. Act 10 was about … Continue reading Act 10 at 10

“LeMonds said the victim’s parents called police while at the school, but “it is likely (Madison) West staff would have also.”

Chris Rickert: 16-year-old charged in beating outside Madison West High School A 16-year-old boy was tentatively charged with substantial battery after he punched another boy in the head outside Madison West High School Monday, police said. Police said the mother of the victim called them just before 3:30 p.m. to report the attack, which the victim did … Continue reading “LeMonds said the victim’s parents called police while at the school, but “it is likely (Madison) West staff would have also.”