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

“Labor Unions reduce product quality”

Alex Tabarrok: A very nice paper in Management Science by Kini, Shen, Shenoy and Subramanian finds that labor unions reduce product quality. Two strengths of the paper. First, the authors have relatively objective measures of product quality from thousands of product recalls mandated by the FDA, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Highway … Continue reading “Labor Unions reduce product quality”

“First, many states began to emphasize school accountability starting in the 1990s”

David Leonhardt: Massachusetts, North Carolina, Texas and other states more rigorously measured student learning and pushed struggling schools to adopt approaches that were working elsewhere. The accountability movement went national in the 2000s, through laws signed by George W. Bush and Barack Obama. The timing of the test-score increases is consistent with this story, as … Continue reading “First, many states began to emphasize school accountability starting in the 1990s”

Taxpayer Supported Madison School District plans to spend $543M+ during 2022-2023; about $21k/student

Elizabeth Beyer: The district is receiving $70.6 million over the course of three payments. The district’s first installment, ESSER I, was approximately $9.2 million and had been exhausted by the end of the 2020-21 school year. Currently, $39.8 million of the second two installments, ESSER II and III, are written into the 2022-23 preliminary budget. … Continue reading Taxpayer Supported Madison School District plans to spend $543M+ during 2022-2023; about $21k/student

“I would say Madison schools were definitely a place where you could be yourself more, and you’re able to explore more,” he said.”

Elizabeth Beyer: “That was my first-ever protest,” he said. “It was remarkable to see people outside of Door 1, outside of the Castle (what students call the Collegiate-Gothic style façade that faces East Washington Avenue) all together coming as one. We actually made change from it.” The protests were organized in response to what students … Continue reading “I would say Madison schools were definitely a place where you could be yourself more, and you’re able to explore more,” he said.”

K-12 Governance and Election Climate: Wisconsin edition “A lack of accountability should concern us all.”

Bill Glauber: One panelist from suburban Milwaukee was critical of the amount of time schoolchildren spend on electronic devices, including computers, claiming that it connects students to pornographic images and affects their learning. Johnson said: “This is their testimony, this is their viewpoint … that is something that should concern parents if that is happening.” … Continue reading K-12 Governance and Election Climate: Wisconsin edition “A lack of accountability should concern us all.”

The Truth About Wisconsin’s Education Reform Bills

Libby Sobic and Will Flanders: The Department of Public Instruction has estimated that expanding school choice will cost taxpayers over $500 million. This DPI estimate rests on faulty assumptions that would not occur in the real world.  If a student whose family is currently paying for private school moved on to the voucher, there are, indeed, some tax … Continue reading The Truth About Wisconsin’s Education Reform Bills

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

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

Commentary on The Education Establishment and Tuesday’s Wisconsin Primary Election

Heather Smith: School board primary elections are next week, and there is much consternation in the education establishment about the civic engagement of parents who are stepping up to take a more active role in the education of their children. The pandemic brought to light many things about our school system that served as an education … Continue reading Commentary on The Education Establishment and Tuesday’s Wisconsin Primary Election

“Due to high volume, the system is temporarily unavailable”

Benjamin Yount: It’s the latest snapshot of just how many parents in Wisconsin want to explore educational options for their kids. Tuesday was the first day for parents to enroll in the state’s Private School Choice Program. By midday, the state’s website crashed because of a flood of applications. “Due to high volume, the system … Continue reading “Due to high volume, the system is temporarily unavailable”

Advocating accountability for taxpayer supported K-12 schools

Molly Beck: Low-performing schools in Wisconsin would be forced to close under a plan to overhaul K-12 education put forward by Kevin Nicholson, a Republican who is expected to announce this week he is running for governor.   Nicholson, who was defeated in a Republican U.S. Senate primary in 2018 by former state Sen. Leah Vukmir … Continue reading Advocating accountability for taxpayer supported K-12 schools

“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

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.”

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

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

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.

Clarity about Fountas and Pinnell

Mark Seidenberg: Fountas and Pinnell have written a series of blog posts defending their popular curriculum, which is being criticized as based on discredited ideas about how children learn to read. (See Emily Hanford’s post here; EdReports evaluation here, many comments in the blogosphere.) The question is why school systems should continue to invest in the F&P curriculum and … Continue reading Clarity about Fountas and Pinnell

What do you think about how your children are learning to read? We want to talk with you.

Madeline Fox: Students in Wisconsin had two years of disrupted learning because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s heightened concerns about Wisconsin’s low reading scores on national assessments — only about 36 percent of Wisconsin fourth graders scored at or above proficient in reading on the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress.  A bill to assess kids’ … Continue reading What do you think about how your children are learning to read? We want to talk with you.

Deeper Dive: Wisconsin K12 Schools’ Abysmal Proficiency Rates

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

Peng Her Wisconsin Assembly Bill 446 Testimony

mp3 audio: PDF Transcript (Machine generated). Related: Some legislators attempt to address our long term, disastrous reading results. 2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results. My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on … Continue reading Peng Her Wisconsin Assembly Bill 446 Testimony

China Is Engineering Genius Babies

Aleks Eror:

It’s not exactly news that China is setting itself up as a new global superpower, is it? While Western civilization chokes on its own gluttony like a latter-day Marlon Brando, China continues to buy up American debt and lock away the world’s natural resources. But now, not content to simply laugh and make jerk-off signs as they pass us on the geopolitical highway, they’ve also developed a state-endorsed genetic-engineering project.
At BGI Shenzhen, scientists have collected DNA samples from 2,000 of the world’s smartest people and are sequencing their entire genomes in an attempt to identify the alleles which determine human intelligence. Apparently they’re not far from finding them, and when they do, embryo screening will allow parents to pick their brightest zygote and potentially bump up every generation’s intelligence by five to 15 IQ points. Within a couple of generations, competing with the Chinese on an intellectual level will be like challenging Lena Dunham to a getting-naked-on-TV contest.
Geoffrey Miller, an evolutionary psychologist and lecturer at NYU, is one of the 2,000 braniacs who contributed their DNA. I spoke to him about what this creepy-ass program might mean for the future of Chinese kids.

Related: New data reveal scale of China abortions and Eugenics.
Many links here.
Technology Review:

In its scientific work, BGI often acts as the enabler of other people’s ideas. That is the case in a major project conceived by Steve Hsu, vice president for research at Michigan State University, to search for genes that influence intelligence. Under the guidance of Zhao Bowen, BGI is now sequencing the DNA of more than 2,000 people–mostly Americans–who have IQ scores of at least 160, or four standard deviations above the mean.
The DNA comes primarily from a collection of blood ­samples amassed by Robert Plomin, a psychologist at King’s College, London. The plan, to compare the genomes of geniuses and people of ordinary intelligence, is scientifically risky (it’s likely that thousands of genes are involved) and somewhat controversial. For those reasons it would be very hard to find the $15 or $20 million needed to carry out the project in the West. “Maybe it will work, maybe it won’t,” Plomin says. “But BGI is doing it basically for free.”
From Plomin’s perspective, BGI is so large that it appears to have more DNA sequencing capacity than it knows what to do with. It has “all those machines and people that have to be fed” with projects, he says. The IQ study isn’t the only mega-project under way. With a U.S. nonprofit, Autism Speaks, BGI is being paid to sequence the DNA of up to 10,000 people from families with autistic children. For researchers in Denmark, BGI is decoding the genomes of 3,000 obese people and 3,000 lean ones.

The End of Unions? What Michigan Governor Rick Snyder gets right and wrong about labor policy

Richard Epstein:

The age of big government is now upon us. The question is how to respond to this daunting reality. One possible approach is prudential acquiescence to the inevitable. Conservatives could work toward incremental reform within today’s political paradigm. The Hoover Institution’s own Peter Berkowitz offers this advice in his thoughtful column in the Wall Street Journal. Libertarians, in particular, must “absorb” the lesson that frontal assaults on New Deal-era policies are out. He writes:

[C]onservatives must redouble their efforts to reform sloppy and incompetent government and resist government’s inherent expansionist tendencies and progressivism’s reflexive leveling proclivities. But to undertake to dismantle or even substantially roll back the welfare and regulatory state reflects a distinctly unconservative refusal to ground political goals in political realities.
Conservatives can and should focus on restraining spending, reducing regulation, reforming the tax code, and generally reining in our sprawling federal government. But conservatives should retire misleading talk of small government. Instead, they should think and speak in terms of limited government.

I fear the downside of Berkowitz’s counsel of moderation. For starters, no one can police Berkowitz’s elusive line between “small” and “limited” government. At its core, Berkowitz’s wise counsel exposes the Achilles heel of all conservative thought, which can be found in the writings of such notables as David Brooks and the late Russell Kirk. Their desire to “conserve” the best of the status quo offers no normative explanation of which institutions and practices are worthy of intellectual respect and which are not. No one doubts that politics depends on the art of compromise. But compromise only works for politicians who know where they want to go and how to get there.

American Teaching Standards: Don’t know much about history

The Economist:

Many states emphasise abstract concepts rather than history itself. In Delaware, for example, pupils “will not be expected to recall any specific event or person in history”. Other states teach children about early American history only once, when they are 11. Yet other states show scars from the culture wars. A steady, leftward lean has been followed by a violent lurch to the right. Standards for Texas, passed last year, urge pupils to question the separation of church and state and “evaluate efforts by global organisations to undermine US sovereignty through the use of treaties”.
Some states fare better. South Carolina has set impressive standards–for example, urging teachers to explain that colonists did not protest against taxation simply because taxes were too high. Other states, Mr Finn argues, would do well to follow South Carolina’s example. “Twenty-first century skills” may help pupils become better workers; learning history makes them better citizens.

The Economist:

Many states emphasise abstract concepts rather than history itself. In Delaware, for example, pupils “will not be expected to recall any specific event or person in history”. Other states teach children about early American history only once, when they are 11. Yet other states show scars from the culture wars. A steady, leftward lean has been followed by a violent lurch to the right. Standards for Texas, passed last year, urge pupils to question the separation of church and state and “evaluate efforts by global organisations to undermine US sovereignty through the use of treaties”.
Some states fare better. South Carolina has set impressive standards–for example, urging teachers to explain that colonists did not protest against taxation simply because taxes were too high. Other states, Mr Finn argues, would do well to follow South Carolina’s example. “Twenty-first century skills” may help pupils become better workers; learning history makes them better citizens.

Related: The State of State U.S. History Standards 2011: Wisconsin = F.

SAT Prep on the Web: A) a Game; B) Online Chat; C) All of the Above

Katherine Boehret

This Saturday, high-school students around the country will sit for hours of silent testing that will determine some portion of their future: That’s right, it’s SAT time. For both parents and kids, the preparation for taking the standardized test is stressful and expensive, often involving hours of studying and several hundreds of dollars spent on classes, workbooks and tutors. And many kids will take these tests more than once.
So this week I tried a Web-based form of test prep called Grockit that aims to make studying for the SAT, ACT, GMAT, GRE or LSAT less expensive and more enjoyable. Grockit.com offers lessons, group study and solo practice, and does a nice job of feeling fun and educational, which isn’t an easy combination to pull off.
A free portion of the site includes group study with a variety of questions and a limited number of solo test questions, which are customized to each student’s study needs. The $100 Premium subscription includes full access to the online platform with unlimited solo practice questions and personalized performance analytics that track a student’s progress. A new offering called Grockit TV (grockit.com/tv) offers free eight-week courses if students watch them streaming live twice a week. Otherwise, a course can be downloaded for $100 during the course or $150 afterward. Instructors hailing from the Princeton Review and Kaplan, among other places, teach test preparation for the GMAT business-school admissions test and SAT.

An undesirable inheritance
Children of illegal immigrants twice as likely as other kids to face poverty

N.C. Aizenman:

Eight-year-old Alex picked up a 75-cent can of fruit punch from one of the grocery store’s shelves and called excitedly to his mother in Spanish.
Maria, 38, gave her stocky third-grader a sympathetic smile. She’d already made Alex and his 3-year-old sister, Emelyn, walk 30 minutes under a broiling sun from their house in suburban Maryland to the Safeway, the closest place that accepts Emelyn’s federal milk and cereal vouchers. Then they’d trekked 20 minutes more to this cheaper Latino grocery so Maria, an illegal immigrant from Mexico who can’t afford a car and wouldn’t be eligible for a driver’s license anyway, could save $3.40 on chicken.
“At home, my son,” Maria said soothingly. “When we get home, you can drink some water.”

Education in the Arab world

The Economist:

One reason that too many Arabs are poor is rotten education
A RECENT issue of Science, the weekly journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, was devoted to research into “Ardi” or Ardipithecus ramidus, a 4.4m-year-old hominid species whose discovery deepens the understanding of human evolution. These latest studies suggest, among other things, that rather than descending from a closely related species such as the chimpanzee, the hominid branch parted earlier than previously thought from the common ancestral tree.
In much of the Arab world, coverage of the research took a different spin. “American Scientists Debunk Darwin”, exclaimed the headline in al-Masry al-Youm, Egypt’s leading independent daily. “Ardi Refutes Darwin’s Theory”, chimed the website of al-Jazeera, the region’s most-watched television channel. Scores of comments from readers celebrated this news as a blow to Western materialism and a triumph for Islam. Two or three lonely readers wrote in to complain that the report had inaccurately presented the findings of the research.

Crusader for Syntactic Disambiguation Exprobrates Banks’ Labored Locutions

Sara Schaefer Munoz:

A few months ago, 71-year-old Chrissie Maher got a mailing from her bank titled “Personal and Private Banking — Keeping You Informed.” Baffled by its blizzard of terms such as “account facility limit,” Ms. Maher replied in simpler language.
“The leaflet needs much more thought if it is to be understood by your customers,” she said in a letter to Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC. “As it stands, it should be renamed ‘Keeping You Confused.’ ”
After critiquing the pamphlet’s “tortuous and ambiguous sentences,” she redrafted it, changing terms like “maximum debit balance” to “the most that can be owed.”
RBS may have picked the wrong woman to target with financial mumbo jumbo. Ms. Maher is the founder of the Plain English Campaign, a 30-year-old group whose stated goal is to stem “the ever-growing tide of confusing and pompous language” that “takes away our democratic rights.”
Over the years, Ms. Maher and her group have battled police agencies, expansion planners at Heathrow Airport, and the “frequently bizarre language” of the European Union. (At issue: phrases such as “unlock clusters,” “subsidiarity” and “sector-specific benchmarking.”) She has blasted local government on the use of “worklessness” to refer to unemployment and once attacked the president of the U.K. Spelling Society over his claim that the apostrophe is “a waste of time.”

Contraband candy = Skittles suspension

AP:

Contraband candy has led to big trouble for an eighth-grade honors student in Connecticut.
Michael Sheridan was stripped of his title as class vice president, barred from attending an honors student dinner and suspended for a day after buying a bag of Skittles from a classmate.
School spokeswoman Catherine Sullivan-DeCarlo says the New Haven school system banned candy sales in 2003 as part of a district wide school wellness policy.
Michael’s suspension has been reduced from three days to one, but he has not been reinstated as class vice president.

Joanne has more.

“with little consideration for the staff or other customers, she said”

Daniela Jaime: Torres said she’s had to tell students repeatedly not to smoke or vape indoors and be courteous towards patrons, but the response has been so negative that on one occasion, she said, a student threw food at her after being kicked out. Torres no longer allows students to dine in, posting signs at … Continue reading “with little consideration for the staff or other customers, she said”

$pending on the 2022 Wisconsin Governor election: Evers and Michels; education climate

Molly Beck and Daniel Bice: Evers entered the final two months of the race with about $5 million more in cash than Michels. The first-term governor received $20,000 donations from 10 individuals, including Andrea Soros, daughter of liberal billionaire George Soros. Others who maxed out were Abigail Dow, an instructional coach in New York City; … Continue reading $pending on the 2022 Wisconsin Governor election: Evers and Michels; education climate

Commentary on legacy taxpayer supported K-12 Governance outcomes

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

Notes on the pros and cons of single payer (K-12 taxpayer models…)

summarised via Tyler Cowen: But going forward, I think the old metrics that showed large advantages for single payer are going to continue to slide. Unions (formal or otherwise) are going to militate for higher pay. Governments are going to have to deal with one side of the political spectrum going into hoc to the … Continue reading Notes on the pros and cons of single payer (K-12 taxpayer models…)

Why Does The NEA Want Kids To Learn Butthole-Licking?

Rod Dreher: I apologize for being gross, but it’s necessary. You have to be shocked into recognizing the moral horror of what a part of the nation’s largest teacher’s union is doing. It is unspeakable, but we have to speak about it. The most effective work that the irreplaceable Christopher Rufo does is simply to … Continue reading Why Does The NEA Want Kids To Learn Butthole-Licking?

School Choice Politics and elected officials who attended private school

This isn’t a thing. If students’ families can pick where they go, there is no segregation. In the current setup, unless you can afford to live in the neighborhoods with nice schools, you’re locked out. https://t.co/D9ETr84Bfj — Mister Vigilante (@MisterVigilante) September 16, 2022 The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement … Continue reading School Choice Politics and elected officials who attended private school

Elections, K-12 Governance and Parent Choice

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

Elections, K-12 Governance and Parent Choice

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

Taxpayer Funded Wisconsin DPI Preschool Gender Documents

🚨🚨GROOMING ALERT! The Wisconsin Dept. of Public Instruction has created a guide for “gender expansive” PRESCHOOLERS The guide dubs parents “trolls” and “jerks” if they refuse to use “they/them” pronouns or allow their kids to read books about trans toddlers pic.twitter.com/TrQ5BVc1Yw — Chrissy Clark (@chrissyclark_) September 13, 2022 DPI Commentary: “The Wisconsin Department of Public … Continue reading Taxpayer Funded Wisconsin DPI Preschool Gender Documents

Where is the federal taxpayer k-12 “windfall” being spent?

Charley Locke: Some have been pushed to take more inventive approaches to solve the staffing shortages. In Philadelphia, during a districtwide bus-driver shortage, the district paid families $300 a month to drive their kids to and from school. Atlanta Public Schools used nearly $2.2 million to provide on-site child care for 1,800 teachers to enable … Continue reading Where is the federal taxpayer k-12 “windfall” being spent?

“Because I can be smart, and I don’t have to pretend”

Wishkub Kinepoway I wanted diversity. I wanted my children to see, like, different nationalities. I wanted them to feel included. And I also wanted, like – I’m an educator, so I have an education background with early childhood, and I just wanted intentional learning experiences for my children. I was actually unfamiliar with what a … Continue reading “Because I can be smart, and I don’t have to pretend”

Schoolchildren Are Not ‘Mere Creatures of the State’

Robert Pondiscio In 1925, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned an Oregon law requiring that parents or guardians send their children to public school in the districts where they lived. The Society of Sisters, which ran private academies, claimed that the law interfered with the right of parents to choose religious instruction for their children. The … Continue reading Schoolchildren Are Not ‘Mere Creatures of the State’

“Wisconsin, on the other hand, has barely moved the needle on NAEP scores in 30 years” mulligans reign…

Charles Smith: The percentage of students who performed at or above the proficient level in reading was 36% in 2019, 35% in 2017 and 34% in 1998. While Wisconsin’s numbers remain higher than Mississippi’s, the trend line is flat. Further, Black fourth-graders in Mississippi are outperforming Black fourthgraders in Wisconsin in reading, portending what’s to … Continue reading “Wisconsin, on the other hand, has barely moved the needle on NAEP scores in 30 years” mulligans reign…

Did Woke Madison help murder Beth Potter and Robin Carre?

David Blaska: This Wednesday 09-07-22, Khari Sanford will be sentenced in Dane County Circuit Court for the execution-style slaying of Dr. Beth Potter and her husband Robin Carre. They were murdered by a person they had tried to help,” their memorial obituary reads. Khari Sanford was 18 years old on March 30, 2020 when he entered the … Continue reading Did Woke Madison help murder Beth Potter and Robin Carre?

Incumbent Wisconsin Governor proposes $2B in additional K-12 tax & Spending….

Rory Linnane: Evers said his plan for the 2023-25 budget would draw on the state’s projected $5 billion budget surplus while “holding the line” on property taxes.  Evers’ opponent in the November election, Tim Michels, called Evers’ plan “more money and more bureaucracy.”  “The tired, old Evers approach has not worked,” Michels said in a … Continue reading Incumbent Wisconsin Governor proposes $2B in additional K-12 tax & Spending….

The drops in test scores were roughly four times greater among the stu­dents who were the least pro­fi­cient in both math and read­ing

Ben Chapman and Douglas Belkin: Scores re­leased Thurs­day show un­prece­dented drops on the long-term trends tests that are part of the Na­tional As­sess­ment of Ed­u­ca­tional Progress, known as the “Na­tion’s Re­port Card.” The tests are ad­min­is­tered to U.S. stu­dents age 9. The test scores re­flect more than a pan­demic prob­lem, with ex­perts say­ing it could … Continue reading The drops in test scores were roughly four times greater among the stu­dents who were the least pro­fi­cient in both math and read­ing

Madison School Board approves $2-per-hour wage increase for education assistants

Elizabeth Beyer: Legislative Republicans have defended their decision to keep revenue limits flat by noting Wisconsin schools will be getting $2.3 billion in federal COVID relief aid, known as Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief, or ESSER funds. Madison is anticipating its share will be roughly $66.7 million. School officials have not laid out how … Continue reading Madison School Board approves $2-per-hour wage increase for education assistants

Lower Black and Latino Pass Rates Don’t Make a Test Racist

John McWhorter The Association of Social Work Boards administers tests typically required for the licensure of social workers. Apparently, this amounts to a kind of racism that must be reckoned with. There is a Change.org petition circulating saying just that, based on the claim that the association’s clinical exam is biased because from 2018 to … Continue reading Lower Black and Latino Pass Rates Don’t Make a Test Racist

Notes on taxpayer supported Madison High School Construction projects

Elizabeth Beyer: Here are highlights of the work being done currently at Madison’s four main high schools, according to the Madison School District. Notes and links on the recent Madison tax and spending increase referendum The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are … Continue reading Notes on taxpayer supported Madison High School Construction projects

“That’s very different than what you’re peddling to a sixth or seventh or eighth grader, where a teacher’s word is law.”

Adam Wren: “If you look down your nose at someone long enough, one day they will punch you in it.” And I think that’s what happened. I sat there that night — I don’t watch much television — but these national network commentators are talking to each other incredulously. What happened here? Well, these under-educated … Continue reading “That’s very different than what you’re peddling to a sixth or seventh or eighth grader, where a teacher’s word is law.”

Commentary on Parents and School choice

Patrick Brown: For much of the 1990s and 2000s, discussions around school choice focused narrowly on a bipartisan push to improve academic performance in inner-city schools. It was an era of charter schools, test scores, and “accountability.”  But that movement stalled out, in no small part because the ultimate question about the purpose of education … Continue reading Commentary on Parents and School choice

Mandates, School Closures and Student Academic Outcomes: Virginia Edition

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

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

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

59.9% of Black students in the Madison Metropolitan School District who were enrolled in an AP course in 2017-18 did not take the test.

Wisconsin Policy Forum: Scott Girard: That was the fourth-highest percentage among the 10 districts in the state with the most Black students enrolled in AP courses, behind only Beloit (83.7%), Wauwatosa (82%) and Racine (68.9%). Milwaukee Public Schools, the only Wisconsin district larger than MMSD, saw all student groups have lower rates of opting out … Continue reading 59.9% of Black students in the Madison Metropolitan School District who were enrolled in an AP course in 2017-18 did not take the test.

“For seven years in a row, Oakland was the fastest-gaining urban district in California for reading,” recalls Weaver. “And we hated it.”

Marginal Revolution: The teachers felt like curriculum robots—and pushed back. “This seems dehumanizing, this is colonizing, this is the man telling us what to do,” says Weaver, describing their response to the approach. “So we fought tooth and nail as a teacher group to throw that out.” This is one of the most crazy things … Continue reading “For seven years in a row, Oakland was the fastest-gaining urban district in California for reading,” recalls Weaver. “And we hated it.”

Officials made public-health bets that students will have to pay for

Nat Malkus: What Weingarten conveniently leaves out is the reason for “two years of disruption.” Time and again, cautious state and school leaders — disproportionately Democrats in concert with teachers’ unions — extended school closures or strict Covid protocols, demonstrated little responsiveness as new evidence on Covid emerged, and minimized the trade-offs. Many red-state leaders … Continue reading Officials made public-health bets that students will have to pay for

“What we know for certain is that schools have been lousy at teaching kids how to read”

Dale Chu: In the 1840s, Horace Mann, known as the “father of American education,” argued that children should be taught to read whole words instead of individual letters, which he described as “skeleton-shaped, bloodless, ghostly apparitions” that make children feel “death-like, when compelled to face them.” This malformed opinion morphed into the broader whole-language theory, … Continue reading “What we know for certain is that schools have been lousy at teaching kids how to read”

An update on Madison’s Long Term, Disastrous Reading Results

Administration Slides for the School Board (PDF): Forward LA Proficiency (3-5) Participation increased to 87% from 50% in 20-21, nearing pre-pandemic ranges.Overall, 40% of students grades 3-5 scored proficient on Forward ELA While a decrease from 20-21 (43%), scores that year likely inflated by non-random low participation– trends in ELA scores fairly steady or increasing … Continue reading An update on Madison’s Long Term, Disastrous Reading Results

Inside the Massive Effort to Change the Way Kids Are Taught to Read

Belinda Luscombe: As a teacher in Oakland, Calif., Kareem Weaver helped struggling fourth- and fifth-grade kids learn to read by using a very structured, phonics-based reading curriculum called Open Court. It worked for the students, but not so much for the teachers. “For seven years in a row, Oakland was the fastest-gaining urban district in … Continue reading Inside the Massive Effort to Change the Way Kids Are Taught to Read

Salary increase discussions in the Madison School District

Scott Girard: Jones’ questions included specific suggestions for using available funding for further increasing the salary schedule instead of what’s currently planned, including new positions like the Village Builders initiative, and cutting district and administrative staff positions that were “difficult to fill for the 2021-22 school year.” District leaders have continually blamed a challenging state budget that … Continue reading Salary increase discussions in the Madison School District

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

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

Notes on teacher compensation amidst Madison K-12 tax & spending growth

Elizabeth Beyer: The Madison School Board voted 6-1 in June to adopt the district’s $561.3 million preliminary budget for next school year, which included the 3% base wage increase. Negotiations began in May with MTI requesting the 4.7% increase — the annual inflationary amount and the maximum allowed in bargaining under state law. The district … Continue reading Notes on teacher compensation amidst Madison K-12 tax & spending growth

Universal school choice would help all Wisconsin families

Shannon Whitworth: Nowhere can you see self-proclaimed “progressives” more in opposition to progress than on the issue of school choice in the state of Wisconsin. Over 30 years ago, Wisconsin created the first school choice program in the nation, liberating thousands of families from failing public schools and giving many children, particularly those in our … Continue reading Universal school choice would help all Wisconsin families

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

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

a comprehensive argument that education cannot close academic gaps

Freddie deBoer: We can express the static nature of relative educational outcomes quantitatively, in a variety of ways. The simplest is to observe that by far the most consistently effective predictor of future academic performance is prior performance. This paper summarizes the reality simply: The present study shows that individual differences in educational achievement are highly stable … Continue reading a comprehensive argument that education cannot close academic gaps

Notes on reduced confidence in taxpayer supported K-12 schools

Colin Carroll: That is exactly right. And you can see that more clearly when Rufo’s correct quote is put into full context. “To get universal school choice, you really need to operate from a premise of universal public school distrust. I think that the public schools have done a remarkable job at doing just that, specifically, … Continue reading Notes on reduced confidence in taxpayer supported K-12 schools

“and may reward the party that focuses more on fundamental instruction than ideological warfare”

Jonathan Allen: “But then you want to turn to areas that are more important” such as funding and fundamental instruction. That explains the two-step thrust-and-parry messaging American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten will outline Thursday morning during her union’s convention in Boston. The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement … Continue reading “and may reward the party that focuses more on fundamental instruction than ideological warfare”

A look at staff growth amidst enrollment decline in the taxpayer supported Madison K-12 schools

Scott Girard: Despite enrollment dropping over the past five years districtwide, especially during the pandemic, the full-time equivalent (or FTE) staff positions dedicated to those areas have not dropped at the same rate. In student services, for example, the 2017-18 school year featured 105.78 students per staff member in positions including psychologist, social worker, nurse … Continue reading A look at staff growth amidst enrollment decline in the taxpayer supported Madison K-12 schools

Commentary on school of education effectiveness and k-12 diversity choices vs monoculture

Ann Althouse: But what’s really bothering Strauss isn’t the outrage of insulting education departments. It’s Hillsdale’s participation in charter schools around the country. There’s the “Hillsdale K-12 curriculum that is centered on Western civilization and designed to help ‘students acquire a mature love for America.’” Valerie Strauss: At the reception last week, held at a … Continue reading Commentary on school of education effectiveness and k-12 diversity choices vs monoculture

Ongoing costs of k-12 lockdowns

“Places with low-performing schools kept them shut for longer than others in their regions. Closures were often long in places where teachers’ unions were especially powerful, such as Mexico and parts of the US.” https://t.co/krCiBZd82p — Alexander (@alexanderrusso) July 9, 2022 The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at … Continue reading Ongoing costs of k-12 lockdowns

Governments are ignoring the lockdown effect on education

The Economist Then the pandemic struck and hundreds of millions of pupils were locked out of school. At first, when it was not yet known whether children were vulnerable to covid-19 or were likely to spread the virus to older people, school closures were a prudent precaution. But in many places they continued long after … Continue reading Governments are ignoring the lockdown effect on education

Notes on the 2022 NEA convention; “enemies list”

Mike Antonucci: I provided in-person gavel-to-gavel coverage of every National Education Association Representative Assembly from 1998 — the year of the failed merger attempt with AFT — through 2016. NEA denied me a press credential thereafter due to my partnership with The 74, which they said “does not meet journalistic standards as a credible news outlet.” … Continue reading Notes on the 2022 NEA convention; “enemies list”

We can’t solve problems if our children can’t read

Kaleem Caire: I have grave concern for our children in Dane County and Wisconsin. We face no greater long-term crisis in America than the widespread underperformance, diminishing motivation and poor preparation of children and young people in our nation’s K-12 schools, and the rapidly declining number of educators available to teach our children. Student performance … Continue reading We can’t solve problems if our children can’t read

Civics: “rule making” vs legislation

Mario Loyola and Eric Groten The EPA’s attempt to impose such a scheme on states was particularly bold because Congress had just declined to enact a similar scheme. After the 2008 election, Democrats introduced the Waxman-Markey bill, a sweeping cap-and-trade scheme to reduce carbon emissions dramatically. Even with Democratic supermajorities in both houses, Congress failed … Continue reading Civics: “rule making” vs legislation

High schooler designs new ‘I Voted’ stickers for Madison elections

Scott Girard Katina Maclin won’t be able to vote this fall, but her ideas will be present at every polling place in the city of Madison. The high school junior, who recently moved from Sun Prairie to Glendale, designed two new voting-themed stickers for voters to consider grabbing after filling out their ballot. “It speaks to how … Continue reading High schooler designs new ‘I Voted’ stickers for Madison elections

Notes on renaming Madison’s Jefferson Middle School

Scott Girard: The effort to consider a new name for Madison’s Jefferson Middle School is on pause until October, following low attendance by members of the ad hoc committee appointed for the effort. The School Board appointed the committee in March after Jefferson principal Sue Abplanalp made a renaming request to the board Feb. 28. … Continue reading Notes on renaming Madison’s Jefferson Middle School

Ongoing Taxpayer supported Madison K-12 school spending growth: 2022-2023 budget (amidst declining enrollment)

Elizabeth Beyer: An average home valued at $376,765 could see a property tax increase of up to $106, meaning the school portion of the tax bill would be roughly $3,926 in December, compared with $3,820 this past year. The district’s total property tax levy would increase 2.77% over the previous year, to roughly $366.8 million. … Continue reading Ongoing Taxpayer supported Madison K-12 school spending growth: 2022-2023 budget (amidst declining enrollment)

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

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

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

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

Governance: Cashiered Navy Officers (consequences! No Mulligans?)

Jeff Schogol: The Navy believes it is worth publicly disclosing whenever admirals in particular have been disciplined for misconduct in order to maintain the public’s trust and confidence in the Department of the Navy’s integrity, Mommsen said. Generally, that standard also applies in cases when allegations of misconduct against commanding officers, executive officers, and senior … Continue reading Governance: Cashiered Navy Officers (consequences! No Mulligans?)

Ongoing spending increase discussions in the taxpayer supported Madison Schools (bricks & mortar vs people?), amidst declining enrollment

Scott Girard: Board president Ali Muldrow, who has a conflict of interest in discussing teacher salaries as her husband is a teacher, commented only on the hourly workers’ pay rate Monday, but indicated she strongly supports an increase. “I’m really deeply vested in our ability to substantially shift how we’re compensating hourly wage workers,” Muldrow … Continue reading Ongoing spending increase discussions in the taxpayer supported Madison Schools (bricks & mortar vs people?), amidst declining enrollment

An interview with Madison’s Cherokee Middle School Principle – and recent Secondary Principal of the Year award winner

Scott Girard: One of the biggest things was how we co-created our equity vision. That was a huge piece of it, having our families, our students and our staff really lean in, look at our data, both numerical (and) looking at our interviews with our families, especially families who have not been included in school … Continue reading An interview with Madison’s Cherokee Middle School Principle – and recent Secondary Principal of the Year award winner

“Expert” idiocy on teaching kids to read

Robert Pondiscio: Calkins’s work mostly disregards this fundamental insight, focusing students’ attention in the mirror instead of out the window. For low-income kids who are less likely to grow up in language-rich homes and don’t have the same opportunities for enrichment as affluent kids, the opportunity costs of Calkins’s “philosophy” are incalculable. Endless hours of class time … Continue reading “Expert” idiocy on teaching kids to read