Achievement, Teacher Unions and “an emphasis on adult employment”

The ultimate nightmare scenario for teachers unions isn’t a case like Janus but large numbers of African-American parents rejecting them as legitimate and not viewing them as partners in a shared cause. And this is why the Warren affair is so important. — James Merriman (@JamesMerriman6) November 25, 2019 Item 10.11: $100,000 contract to WestEd … Continue reading Achievement, Teacher Unions and “an emphasis on adult employment”

An Emphasis on Adult Employment



Andrew Coulson:

This week, President Obama called for the hiring of 10,000 new teachers to beef up math and science achievement. Meanwhile, in America, Earth, Sol-System, public school employment has grown 10 times faster than enrollment for 40 years (see chart), while achievement at the end of high school has stagnated in math and declined in science (see other chart).
Either the president is badly misinformed about our education system or he thinks that promising to hire another 10,000 teachers union members is politically advantageous-in which case he would seem to be badly misinformed about the present political climate. Or he lives in an alternate universe in which Kirk and Spock have facial hair and government monopolies are efficient. It’s hard to say.

Related: Madison School District 2010-2011 Budget Update: $5,100,000 Fund Balance Increase since June, 2009; Property Taxes to Increase 9+%, and Ripon Superintendent Richard Zimman:

“Beware of legacy practices (most of what we do every day is the maintenance of the status quo), @12:40 minutes into the talk – the very public institutions intended for student learning has become focused instead on adult employment. I say that as an employee. Adult practices and attitudes have become embedded in organizational culture governed by strict regulations and union contracts that dictate most of what occurs inside schools today. Any impetus to change direction or structure is met with swift and stiff resistance. It’s as if we are stuck in a time warp keeping a 19th century school model on life support in an attempt to meet 21st century demands.” Zimman went on to discuss the Wisconsin DPI’s vigorous enforcement of teacher licensing practices and provided some unfortunate math & science teacher examples (including the “impossibility” of meeting the demand for such teachers (about 14 minutes)). He further cited exploding teacher salary, benefit and retiree costs eating instructional dollars (“Similar to GM”; “worry” about the children given this situation).

Janet Mertz:

Thanks much for taking the time from your busy schedule to respond to our letter below. I am delighted to note your serious interest in the topic of how to obtain middle school teachers who are highly qualified to teach mathematics to the MMSD’s students so that all might succeed. We are all in agreement with the District’s laudable goal of having all students complete algebra I/geometry or integrated algebra I/geometry by the end of 10th grade. One essential component necessary for achieving this goal is having teachers who are highly competent to teach 6th- through 8th-grade mathematics to our students so they will be well prepared for high school-level mathematics when they arrive in high school.
The primary point on which we seem to disagree is how best to obtain such highly qualified middle school math teachers. It is my strong belief that the MMSD will never succeed in fully staffing all of our middle schools with excellent math teachers, especially in a timely manner, if the primary mechanism for doing so is to provide additional, voluntary math ed opportunities to the District’s K-8 generalists who are currently teaching mathematics in our middle schools. The District currently has a small number of math-certified middle school teachers. It undoubtedly has some additional K-8 generalists who already are or could readily become terrific middle school math teachers with a couple of hundred hours of additional math ed training. However, I sincerely doubt we could ever train dozens of additional K-8 generalists to the level of content knowledge necessary to be outstanding middle school math teachers so that ALL of our middle school students could be taught mathematics by such teachers.

2021 K-12 Adult School Climate….

Wow! NPR tonight. Teachers justifying why it’s better for schools to be closed. “Kids are resilient. Parents tell me their kids are falling behind but they have to understand they are falling behind in arbitrary developmental goals we’ve set”. ? — Victoria Fox (@drvictoriafox) December 23, 2020 Related: Catholic schools will sue Dane County Madison Public … Continue reading 2021 K-12 Adult School Climate….

The Bias Fallacy: It’s the achievement gap, not systemic racism, that explains demographic disparities in education and employment.

Heather MacDonald: The United States is being torn apart by an idea: that racism defines America. The death of George Floyd under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer in late May 2020 catapulted this claim into national prominence; riots and the desecration of national symbols followed. Now, activists and their media allies are marshaling … Continue reading The Bias Fallacy: It’s the achievement gap, not systemic racism, that explains demographic disparities in education and employment.

MTI files complaint with state employment relations commission over budget cuts survey

Scott Girard: Madison Teachers Inc. has filed a complaintagainst the Madison Metropolitan School District related to a survey sent out to staff last week. The Prohibited Practice Complaint was filed Monday with the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission and seeks an immediate cease and desist of the survey and asks that the district be made to destroy … Continue reading MTI files complaint with state employment relations commission over budget cuts survey

Deja vu: 2008 – 2019 Credit for non MadIson School District Courses and Adult Employment

Logan Wroge: To help students make the transition to a higher-intensity setting, two Madison School District teachers spend time at Goodman South instructing courses with solely STEM Academy students and some with a mix of traditional college and high school students. “We thought it was really important to have high school teachers be part of … Continue reading Deja vu: 2008 – 2019 Credit for non MadIson School District Courses and Adult Employment

Adult Employment: Bay Area teachers hold sickout to support striking Oakland teachers

ABC 7: The Albany Teachers Association is currently in negotiations with its district. Their contract expires in the fall. They feel the real battle though is with the state and plan on addressing school funding with Governor Gavin Newsom. “Because the districts can do what they can do, but the state has a lot more … Continue reading Adult Employment: Bay Area teachers hold sickout to support striking Oakland teachers

“A Adult issues kept you out of the classroom where you belong”

Nate Bowling: That’s an injustice and there’s no way to spin that. There shouldn’t have been a strike. I found the last two weeks mind-numbingly frustrating because it was preventable. If the McCleary Settlement was done with transparency, rather than dead-of-night-last-second deal making, we wouldn’t be here. If a fair contract had been offered from … Continue reading “A Adult issues kept you out of the classroom where you belong”

Adult employment and the Madison School Board’s self interest

Chris Rickert: Like the rest of the board, both also voted to approve the 304-page employee handbook that replaced union contracts beginning in summer 2016. District legal counsel Dylan Pauly pointed to two board policies that include provisions related to managing conflicts of interest among board members. One says board members should “avoid conflicts of … Continue reading Adult employment and the Madison School Board’s self interest

“placing adult-centric politics over systemic school improvement”

Laura Waters: Plenty, according to members of the “Save Camden High School” cadre, who have rebranded themselves under the New Jersey Communities United banner and are planning a confrontation tonight at the Camden Board of Education meeting. Instead of following Sheriff Wilson’s example of placing children’s academic needs on top, this group has decided a … Continue reading “placing adult-centric politics over systemic school improvement”

Commentary on a review of Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 schools COVID-19 precautions

Emily Hamer: An independent review of COVID-19 mitigation measures at Madison School District buildings found that the steps taken are “more than adequate” to create a safe environment for students, staff and parents. The 176-page report was posted to the district’s website Tuesday. McKinstry, a local building company, conducted the Feb. 26 analysis of the … Continue reading Commentary on a review of Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 schools COVID-19 precautions

News Media Use, Talk Networks, and Anti-Elitism across Geographic Location: Evidence from Wisconsin

Chris Wells: A certain social-political geography recurs across European and North American societies: As post-industrialization and mechanization of agriculture have disrupted economies, rural and nonmetropolitan areas are aging and declining in population, leading to widening political and cultural gaps between metropolitan and rural communities. Yet political communication research tends to focus on national or cross-national … Continue reading News Media Use, Talk Networks, and Anti-Elitism across Geographic Location: Evidence from Wisconsin

San Francisco Parents Work to Recall School Board Members Amid Reopening Controversy

Alejandro Lazo: Fed up with the pace of plans to reopen public schools, parent groups are mobilizing against San Francisco’s elected school board, arguing it has given priority to social justice issues over getting kids back in classrooms. Two parents have launched a formal recall effort against three members of the school board, including its … Continue reading San Francisco Parents Work to Recall School Board Members Amid Reopening Controversy

Thousands of students reported ‘missing’ from school systems nationwide amid COVID-19 pandemic

Arielle Mitropoulos: States around the country are reporting a significant decline in the number of students enrolled in public school because of the coronavirus pandemic, leaving experts and educators concerned about the trend, and its potential long-term consequences. A notable number of students seem to have simply fallen off the grid, not showing up for online or … Continue reading Thousands of students reported ‘missing’ from school systems nationwide amid COVID-19 pandemic

5 Pandemic Mistakes We Keep Repeating We can learn from our failures.

Zeynep Tufekci: One of the most important problems undermining the pandemic response has been the mistrust and paternalism that some public-health agencies and experts have exhibited toward the public. A key reason for this stance seems to be that some experts fearedthat people would respond to something that increased their safety—such as masks, rapid tests, or vaccines—by behaving … Continue reading 5 Pandemic Mistakes We Keep Repeating We can learn from our failures.

Washington, DC School leaders warn that not every student will be able to get an in-person slot this academic year

Perry Stein: After a month of in-person learning for about 20 percent of D.C. public school students, demand is growing for expanded access to classroom instruction for the fourth term of the academic year, which begins in late April. City officials have said that they will leave such decisions up to individual schools, but principals … Continue reading Washington, DC School leaders warn that not every student will be able to get an in-person slot this academic year

Candidates for Wisconsin state school superintendent clash on leadership, vouchers

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

After Leading School Closures, Berkeley Teachers’ Union President Spotted Dropping Daughter Off at In-Person Preschool

KQED: ‘Why is that safe for him and those people who work there (at the preschool), but not for all of the kids in Berkeley Unified and the teachers? The answer is: It is safe.’Jonathan Zachreson, Founder of Reopen California Schools Looking to prove a double-standard by the Berkeley Federation of Teachers union president, they … Continue reading After Leading School Closures, Berkeley Teachers’ Union President Spotted Dropping Daughter Off at In-Person Preschool

Expanding certain Taxpayer funded Madison schools

Logan Wroge: As the Madison School District prepares for an overhaul of its high schools, some parents are questioning how fair it is — and whether it’s a violation of district policy — to let the two more-affluent high schools raise potentially tens of millions in donations to bolster referendum-funded renovations. Parents, alumni, staff and … Continue reading Expanding certain Taxpayer funded Madison schools

Madison teachers union faces lawsuit over planned illegal “sick out”

WILL: Attorneys at the Liberty Justice Center and Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) are warning Madison Teachers Inc. that they face legal repercussions if they move forward with an illegal sick out on Monday. “Madison Teachers, Inc. leaders are asking their members to falsely call-in sick in order to shut down in-person learning,” said Daniel Suhr, … Continue reading Madison teachers union faces lawsuit over planned illegal “sick out”

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

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

Dane County Madison Public Health drops complaint against dance studio, will incorporate allegations into counterclaim in related lawsuit

Ed Treleven: Attorneys representing Public Health Madison and Dane County have asked to withdraw the health agency’s 119-count complaint against an Oregon dance studio over alleged COVID-19 public health order violations, but only to allow consolidation of the alleged violations into a related lawsuit. In a court filing Tuesday, Madison Assistant City Attorney Marci Paulsen wrote … Continue reading Dane County Madison Public Health drops complaint against dance studio, will incorporate allegations into counterclaim in related lawsuit

Wisconsin’s Emergency Powers Laws in Urgent Need of Reform

Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty: New study examines Wisconsin’s emergency powers laws, provides recommendations for reform The News: A new study from the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) makes the case that Wisconsin’s antiquated emergency powers statutes are in urgent need of reform. The report, titled More Than “A Little Danger:” Reforming Wisconsin’s … Continue reading Wisconsin’s Emergency Powers Laws in Urgent Need of Reform

Reported COVID-19 Incidence in Wisconsin High School Athletes During Fall 2020

Phillip Sasser, MD, MS, Timothy McGuine, PhD, LAT, Kristin Haraldsdottir, PhD, Kevin Biese, MA, LAT, Leslie Goodavish, PA, Bethany Stevens, Andrew M. Watson, MD: The purpose of this study was to describe the reported incidence of COVID-19 in Wisconsin high school athletes in September 2020, and to investigate the relationship of COVID-19 incidence with sport … Continue reading Reported COVID-19 Incidence in Wisconsin High School Athletes During Fall 2020

Oakland teacher points finger at ‘rich white parents’ in reopening debate

Amy Graff: An Oakland special education teacher who also serves as the secretary of the Oakland Education Association added fire to the growing school reopening debate with a pointed Tweet criticizing parent concern that distance learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their children’s mental health. Bethany Meyer tweeted on Feb. 17, “All the rich … Continue reading Oakland teacher points finger at ‘rich white parents’ in reopening debate

Effort launched to recall three S.F. school board members

Lizzie Johnson: A San Francisco family has officially launched an effort to recall three school board members, filing the paperwork with county and state election officials, with more than 1,200 city residents already saying they are ready to sign the petitions. Organizers Autumn Looijen and Siva Raj, who are parents to five children, said they … Continue reading Effort launched to recall three S.F. school board members

West Coast States’ Failure to Reopen Schools Is a Disaster

Sasha Abramsky: Up and down the West Coast, millions of children in some of the country’s largest cities have had no in-person education since last March. In Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, Portland, Seattle, and myriad other cities, there is precious little evidence the public schools will be reopening for most kids before the summer … Continue reading West Coast States’ Failure to Reopen Schools Is a Disaster

Opinion: Affluent professionals and unions: Can this marriage last?

Megan McArdle: Rereading Teixeira and Abramowitz today, one is struck by their eerie prescience, but also by the fundamental difficulty of holding together a Democratic Party where highly educated and affluent adults are the ascending faction but are not numerous enough to carry an election by themselves. This past year, that difficulty has come into … Continue reading Opinion: Affluent professionals and unions: Can this marriage last?

San Francisco has the lowest coronavirus case rate of major U.S. cities. But its schools are among the last to reopen

Susie Nielsen: San Francisco’s public schools have been virtual-only for nearly a year, despite increasing pressure from parents and politicians to reopen for in-person instruction. Even the city attorney has called on the school district to “immediately” reopen elementary schools. The school district is set to vote on a plan Tuesday that would allow schools … Continue reading San Francisco has the lowest coronavirus case rate of major U.S. cities. But its schools are among the last to reopen

Teachers to get priority for COVID-19 vaccine, Dane County Madison public health department says

Chris Rickert: While many public schools in Dane County began reopening in recent months to some in-person learning, and many private schools have been in-person since September, Madison public school students won’t begin returning to the classroom until March 9, when kindergartners go back. First- and second-graders are set to return March 16 and 4-year-old … Continue reading Teachers to get priority for COVID-19 vaccine, Dane County Madison public health department says

These California politicians have taken the most money from the state’s biggest teacher’s union

Eric Ting: California’s various teachers unions are coming under increased scrutiny over their reluctance to return to in-person learning, especially in the wake of the state legislature’s apprehension towards Gov. Gavin Newsom’s school reopening plan. The state’s most powerful teachers union — the California Teachers Association, which has more than 300,000 members and is affiliated with … Continue reading These California politicians have taken the most money from the state’s biggest teacher’s union

Biden Says He’s Pro-Science. Why Is His Schools Plan Based on Fear?

Timothy Carney: Will Mr. Biden listen to the science when it says, “Reopen schools”? Last spring it was reasonable and responsible to close schools, because of what we knew and what we didn’t know. We knew that other viruses, such as the norovirus and influenza, thrived in schools. We didn’t know how similar the coronavirus … Continue reading Biden Says He’s Pro-Science. Why Is His Schools Plan Based on Fear?

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

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

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on What She Learned From Battling the Teachers’ Union

Dana Goldstein: After a bitter fight, the Chicago Public Schools reached a deal with its teachers’ union last week to reopen elementary and middle schools amid the pandemic. By early March, students who have been learning remotely for 10 months will be back in the classrooms. The agreement speeds up vaccinations for teachers, provides expanded … Continue reading Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on What She Learned From Battling the Teachers’ Union

Failing grades. Rising depression. Bay Area children are suffering from shuttered schools

Jill Tucker: Viola Buitoni tried to help her son as he grew increasingly detached, the high school junior’s anger flaring, tears flowing as she begged him to do his schoolwork. Before the pandemic, her son was thriving at San Francisco’s Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, where he was in the vocal music program and … Continue reading Failing grades. Rising depression. Bay Area children are suffering from shuttered schools

Mulligans for “Act 10”?

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

The effects of school closures on SARS-CoV-2 among parents and teachers

Jonas Vlachos, Edvin Hertegård, and Helena B. Svaleryd: To reduce the transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), most countries closed schools, despite uncertainty if school closures are an effective containment measure. At the onset of the pandemic, Swedish upper-secondary schools moved to online instruction, while lower-secondary schools remained open. This allows for … Continue reading The effects of school closures on SARS-CoV-2 among parents and teachers

L.A. Unified is officially out of excuses for keeping elementary schools closed

Los Angeles Times: Schools have been reopening across the country for months now, illustrating that students can return to classrooms with little risk if the proper precautions have been taken. This is especially true of elementary schools, as younger children have been far less likely to be sickened with COVID-19 or to infect others. Reopened … Continue reading L.A. Unified is officially out of excuses for keeping elementary schools closed

“Protestants came to believe that both boys and girls had to study the Bible for themselves to better know their God.”

Joseph Henrich: In the wake of the spread of Protestantism, the literacy rates in the newly reforming populations in Britain, Sweden, and the Netherlands surged past more cosmopolitan places like Italy and France. Motivated by eternal salvation, parents and leaders made sure the children learned to read. The sharpest test of this idea comes from … Continue reading “Protestants came to believe that both boys and girls had to study the Bible for themselves to better know their God.”

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

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

Where Schools are Open: The big education story of the week

Alexander Russo: While some districts remain shuttered, a notable number have been reopened for weeks or even months, though sometimes the kids are learning from teachers who aren’t in the building and other schools have experienced high numbers of quarantine days: 🏆 What Can We Learn From Where the Schools Stayed Open? (New York Times) 🏆 Low attendance, … Continue reading Where Schools are Open: The big education story of the week

Ann Arbor trustee comments rile physicians urging in-person learning

Beth LeBlanc: An Ann Arbor public schools trustee has suggested area physicians pushing for in-person learning options in the district were pushing teachers into risky environments that doctors wouldn’t subject themselves to.  Area doctors — more than 350 of whom had signed a letter urging the school board to reopen in-person learning — were “positioning themselves as experts … Continue reading Ann Arbor trustee comments rile physicians urging in-person learning

To What Extent Does In-Person Schooling Contribute to the Spread of COVID-19? Evidence from Michigan and Washington

Dan Goldhaber, Scott A. Imberman, Katharine O. Strunk, Bryant Hopkins, Nate Brown, Erica Harbartkin & Tara Kilbride: The decision about how and when to open schools to in-person instruction has been a key question for policymakers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The instructional modality of schools has implications not only for the health and safety of … Continue reading To What Extent Does In-Person Schooling Contribute to the Spread of COVID-19? Evidence from Michigan and Washington

COVID-19 Testing in K-12 Schools Insights from Early Adopters

by Laura J. Faherty, Benjamin K. Master, Elizabeth D. Steiner, Julia H. Kaufman, Zachary Predmore, Laura Stelitano, Jennifer T. Leschitz, Brian Phillips, Heather L. Schwartz, Rebecca Wolfe: In this report, we share insights from a national scan and more than 80 interviews with early adopters of COVID-19 testing in K-12 schools as of December 2020. … Continue reading COVID-19 Testing in K-12 Schools Insights from Early Adopters

Wisconsin school closures to cost children $7B over lifetime: Study

Benjamin Yount: The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty is releasing a new study that puts the cost for keeping schools closed last spring at over $7 billion.  Will Flanders, research director at WILL, said the number comes from study after study that shows less time in the classroom as well as a widening achievement … Continue reading Wisconsin school closures to cost children $7B over lifetime: Study

K-12 Governance, Politics and Government School Teacher Unions

Jonathan Easley and Amie Parnes: The mixed messaging underscores the tricky politics Biden faces as elected officials clash with teachers unions in Democratic strongholds over how quickly to reopen classrooms.                                                                                                  Some public health experts are chiding the White House for downplaying analysis from CDC leaders, warning that the apparent tension could undermine the agency’s authority … Continue reading K-12 Governance, Politics and Government School Teacher Unions

“Worse, societal ignorance has bred contempt and it’s seen as the worst kind of boomer conservatism to glorify the education of the past. I concede, I do.”

Riva Tez: The icky nature of the current moment comes from it falling under the disgracefully false pretense of democracy. Hysteria for more justice conveniently ignores what powers an oligarchy has amassed against any kind of accountability. As our ancestors paid off the Church to repent for their sins, we elect flagrant sinners who strike … Continue reading “Worse, societal ignorance has bred contempt and it’s seen as the worst kind of boomer conservatism to glorify the education of the past. I concede, I do.”

“Yet what we see at times is people with a Bernie Sanders sign and a ‘Black Lives Matter’ sign in their window, but they’re opposing an affordable housing project or an apartment complex down the street.”

Ezra Klein: San Francisco is about 48 percent white, but that falls to 15 percent for children enrolled in its public schools. For all the city’s vaunted progressivism, it has some of the highest private school enrollment numbers in the country — and many of those private schools have remained open. It looks, finally, like … Continue reading “Yet what we see at times is people with a Bernie Sanders sign and a ‘Black Lives Matter’ sign in their window, but they’re opposing an affordable housing project or an apartment complex down the street.”

The War on Disinformation Is a War on Dissent. “Disinformation” and “misinformation” are used to excuse incompetence and punish opposition.

Ash Staub: The terms “misinformation” and “disinformation” have dominated the political lexicon in recent years. Whereas misinformation merely refers to inaccurate or misleading information, the label of disinformation implies an intent to deceive. Both have served as the source of much consternation and hand-wringing from media figures and politicians alike, with countless articles, press segments, academic papers, and political … Continue reading The War on Disinformation Is a War on Dissent. “Disinformation” and “misinformation” are used to excuse incompetence and punish opposition.

Biden Airlifts the Goalposts on School Reopening: 1 Day a Week!

Matt Welch: “Biden vows to reopen most schools after 1st 100 days on the job,” ran the Associated Press headline on December 8. Advocates of reopening who follow the issue closely could see the potential wiggle room—it’s not the federal government’s call, the full statement was shot through with hedges and conditions, “most” just means 50 percent … Continue reading Biden Airlifts the Goalposts on School Reopening: 1 Day a Week!

$700M in additional federal taxpayer dollars sent to Wisconsin government K-12 schools

Patrick Marley: While the committee has a say in how about $69 million in federal assistance can be spent, far more — $617.5 million — will automatically flow to Wisconsin school districts regardless of whether they are holding in-person education, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau. Related: Catholic schools will sue Dane County Madison Public Health to open as … Continue reading $700M in additional federal taxpayer dollars sent to Wisconsin government K-12 schools

K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: “The worst-governed state — Illinois had triple the population loss of the state with the second-highest out-migration between 2010 and 2020 — is contemplating another incentive for flight”

George Will: On Feb. 16, a joint committee of the state legislature will decide whether to turn into a legal requirement the State Board of Education’s recommendation that — until a slight rewording — would mandate that all public-school teachers “embrace and encourage progressive viewpoints and perspectives.” If the board’s policy is ratified, Illinois will … Continue reading K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: “The worst-governed state — Illinois had triple the population loss of the state with the second-highest out-migration between 2010 and 2020 — is contemplating another incentive for flight”

Unspent Federal COVID Education Relief Funds Exceed $50 Billion

Dan Lips: President Biden has proposed $130 billion in new federal funding to help the nation’s schools reopen as part of a $1.9 trillion stimulus package. Congressional leaders have committed to quickly consider the administration’s proposal. But will billions of additional federal funds actually help public schools reopen? State departments of education currently already have between $53 and … Continue reading Unspent Federal COVID Education Relief Funds Exceed $50 Billion

The cruel reality of online ‘school’ in a 12th floor flat

Conservativewoman.co.uk: Simon has anxiety issues and finds it embarrassing to have to admit on the group chat, in full view of the rest of the class, that he doesn’t understand. After half an hour, the test finishes; Simon has managed to answer four of the 20 questions. The other 16 he’s left blank.  The teacher … Continue reading The cruel reality of online ‘school’ in a 12th floor flat

Why Is Biden Trying to Punish Charter Schools for Their Success?

Greg Ashman: As yet, it remains to be seen exactly what President Biden has in store for America’s network of charter schools. Following the Democratic Party primaries, the Biden-Sanders Unity Taskforce called for accountability for charter schools and a ban on federal funding of for-profit charters—approximately 12 percent of the total. Increasing accountability does not … Continue reading Why Is Biden Trying to Punish Charter Schools for Their Success?

How San Francisco Renamed Its Schools

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

K-12 Politics & Governance commentary

This week we have seen the Biden administration and the CDC back away from opening schools. Why? — nathan (@wyattsheepie) February 7, 2021 Related: Catholic schools will sue Dane County Madison Public Health to open as scheduled Notes and links on Dane County Madison Public Health. (> 140 employees). Molly Beck and Madeline Heim: which pushed Dane County this … Continue reading K-12 Politics & Governance commentary

“They said their kids are being sacrificed. Which is 100% true.”

John Hindraker: The thing I will tell you: However bad/sad/depressing I thought it would be, it was worse Let me start by saying, this is a wealthy district. Maybe one of the top 5 in the state. The parents are almost all white professionals. To be honest, I almost discounted it. I thought, They’re fine! … Continue reading “They said their kids are being sacrificed. Which is 100% true.”

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

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

K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Wisconsin Expected a Bad Year for Tax Revenue. It Was Wrong; challenging lockdown orders

Heather Gillers and Joe Barrett: Wisconsin businesses benefited from generally looser restrictions on business than in neighbors Illinois and Minnesota after a number of court reversals and legislative challenges to restrictions imposed by Gov. Evers, a Democrat. That has helped bars and restaurants outside the urban centers like Madison and Milwaukee, where restrictions are tighter, … Continue reading K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Wisconsin Expected a Bad Year for Tax Revenue. It Was Wrong; challenging lockdown orders

Good morning. Why aren’t progressive leaders doing a better job at mass vaccination?

David Leonhardt: But over the last few weeks, as vaccination has become a top priority, the pattern has changed. Progressive leaders in much of the world are now struggling to distribute coronavirus vaccines quickly and efficiently: • Europe’s vaccination rollout “has descended into chaos,” as Sylvie Kauffmann of Le Monde, the French newspaper, has written. … Continue reading Good morning. Why aren’t progressive leaders doing a better job at mass vaccination?

Who is running Madison’s schools? Chicken Little?

David Blaska: What are we missing here? Madison’s public schools refuse to reopen its 52 school buildings for in-classroom teaching. They’ve been largely shuttered since last March. What teaching remains is conducted on-line, via computer. Madison is expecting four inches of snow today 02-04-21, so classes have been cancelled.  Huh?! You heard right. MMSD is canceling … Continue reading Who is running Madison’s schools? Chicken Little?

What Does Freedom, Inc. Believe And Why Won’t The Mainstream Media Talk About Their Radical Beliefs?

Brett Healy: Freedom, Inc. wants to totally eliminate police departments and free almost everyone from prison Programming by Freedom, Inc. “politicizes” kids, teaches them to use intimidation tactics and to vandalize public property The radical non-profit received over $500,000 in grants in 2020 from the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families Freedom, Inc., a Madison-based … Continue reading What Does Freedom, Inc. Believe And Why Won’t The Mainstream Media Talk About Their Radical Beliefs?

Madison’s Taxpayer Supported K-12 Schools Cancel Virtual Learning on 4 February 2020

Virtual Learning is canceled for Thursday, February 4, and all MMSD facilities will be closed Thursday due to winter weather. — Madison Schools (WI) (@MMSDschools) February 4, 2021 Here’s a story on the explanation from @MMSDschools on why today was a snow day but last week was not. This quote more or less sums it … Continue reading Madison’s Taxpayer Supported K-12 Schools Cancel Virtual Learning on 4 February 2020

San Francisco sues its own school district, board over reopening: ‘They have earned an F’

Heather Knight: The fight over reopening San Francisco’s public schools will take a dramatic, heated turn on Wednesday as the city becomes the first in the state — and possibly the entire country — to sue its own school district to force classroom doors open. City Attorney Dennis Herrera, with the blessing of Mayor London … Continue reading San Francisco sues its own school district, board over reopening: ‘They have earned an F’

Civics: Advocating a “Ministry of Truth”

Kevin Roose: The experts agreed that before the Biden administration can tackle disinformation and extremism, it needs to understand the scope of the problem. “It’s really important that we have a holistic understanding of what the spectrum of violent extremism looks like in the United States, and then allocate resources accordingly,” said William Braniff, a … Continue reading Civics: Advocating a “Ministry of Truth”

Dance studio cited for its ‘Nutcracker’ performance joins lawsuit against 140+ employee Dane County Madison public health department

Ed Treleven: An Oregon dance studio that last week drew a 119-count complaint from the joint Madison and Dane County public health department for alleged COVID-19 health order violations is suing the department, joining a lawsuit that challenges Dane County’s indoor gathering limits. A Leap Above Dance, which faces nearly $24,000 in fines for alleged … Continue reading Dance studio cited for its ‘Nutcracker’ performance joins lawsuit against 140+ employee Dane County Madison public health department

How personal experiences shaped one journalist’s perceptions

Amber Walker: I sometimes wonder where I would be today if my kindergarten teacher hadn’t encouraged my mother to have me take the admissions exam for Chicago’s selective elementary schools. That one test result earned me a coveted spot at Edward W. Beasley Academic Center, one of the city’s gifted and talented elementary programs, where … Continue reading How personal experiences shaped one journalist’s perceptions

Removing barriers to school choice would help more low-income kids learn in person

Cori Petersen: This past fall, many public schools made the decision to go virtual as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this wasn’t the case for most private schools. In fact, according to the National Association of Independent Schools, only 5% of private schools went virtual as of October. This is driving demand for … Continue reading Removing barriers to school choice would help more low-income kids learn in person

“What happens when the most respected authorities get it wrong and ruin lives and economies?”

David Mamet: “We are all, in a sense, fools, since no one person can know everything. We all have to trust others for their expertise, and we all make mistakes,” says Mamet. “The horror of a command economy is not that officials will make mistakes, but that those mistakes will never be acknowledged or corrected.” … Continue reading “What happens when the most respected authorities get it wrong and ruin lives and economies?”

Fear and Loathing in the Classroom: Why Does Teacher Quality Matter?

Mike Insler, Alexander F. McQuoid, Ahmed Rahman and Katherine A. Smith This work disentangles aspects of teacher quality that impact student learning and performance. We exploit detailed data from post-secondary education that links students from randomly assigned instructors in introductory-level courses to the students’ performances in follow-on courses for a wide variety of subjects. For … Continue reading Fear and Loathing in the Classroom: Why Does Teacher Quality Matter?

65 percent of Denver parents say kids are learning less in online school, survey finds

Tiney Ricciardi: While online education has become a necessity of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new survey found most Denver parents feel their children are learning less when seated in front of a computer versus in the classroom. The survey of 647 Denver parents with school-age kids found 65% said their students were learning less online. … Continue reading 65 percent of Denver parents say kids are learning less in online school, survey finds

Removing barriers to school choice would help more low-income kids learn in person

Cori Petersen: This past fall, many public schools made the decision to go virtual as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this wasn’t the case for most private schools. In fact, according to the National Association of Independent Schools, only 5% of private schools went virtual as of October. This is driving demand for … Continue reading Removing barriers to school choice would help more low-income kids learn in person

Three staff members vying to become next Madison Teachers Inc. president

Scott Girard: Three Madison Metropolitan School District staff members are vying to be the next Madison Teachers Inc. president. One week after the most contentious presidential transition in generations, a much friendlier race is playing out with millions fewer voters. “It is actually a very healthy part of our union to have these sorts of … Continue reading Three staff members vying to become next Madison Teachers Inc. president

For schoolchildren struggling to read, COVID-19 has been a wrecking ball

Sarah Carr: Kia Leger’s 10-year-old daughter received one-on-one reading tutoring two or three days a week in the Athol Royalston Regional School District, until schools went remote in mid-March. The child’s hours of reading instruction diminished dramatically in the spring, with no more one-on-one time. “She was regressing from the very get-go,” Leger says. The … Continue reading For schoolchildren struggling to read, COVID-19 has been a wrecking ball

CDC publishes Wisconsin doctor’s study showing schools can be COVID-19 safe with masks, precautions

Keith Uhlig: The findings show that schools can teach kids without worsening the pandemic rates, Falk said, and “it’s just been so bolstering. We are carrying on, but it’s not causing significant problems at all.” The study, produced by Falk and a team of colleagues, “COVID-19 Cases and Transmission in 17 K-12 Schools — Wood County, Wisconsin, … Continue reading CDC publishes Wisconsin doctor’s study showing schools can be COVID-19 safe with masks, precautions

St. Paul, Minnesota begins teacher vaccinations…. Madison?

Roy Wlikins Auditorium is set up to vaccinate 15,000 teachers and child care workers over a 5-day period. Vaccinations begin tomorrow. #wcco pic.twitter.com/EYaEXTwVik — John Lauritsen (@JDLauritsen) January 27, 2021 Meanwhile, Fairfax County, VA: We are pleased to share that more than 22,000 Fairfax County Public Schools teachers and employees have already been able to … Continue reading St. Paul, Minnesota begins teacher vaccinations…. Madison?

Dane County Madison health department files 119-count complaint against studio over ‘Nutcracker’ performance

Chris Rickert: It does not include specific regulations for art or dance studios, and Nemeckay said her business was among about 20 studios that collectively tried to get answers from Public Health Madison and Dane County about what they were allowed to do, but that the agency either gave them conflicting information or refused to … Continue reading Dane County Madison health department files 119-count complaint against studio over ‘Nutcracker’ performance

Chicago Teachers Union votes to refuse in-person work, defy Chicago Public Schools’ reopening plan

Nader Issa: Chicago Teachers Union members have voted to defy Chicago Public Schools’ reopening plans and continue working from home Monday because of health and safety concerns. City officials had said in recent days they would view the collective refusal of in-person work as a strike, but in response to Sunday’s vote results said they … Continue reading Chicago Teachers Union votes to refuse in-person work, defy Chicago Public Schools’ reopening plan

Fewer Wisconsin high school seniors seek financial aid, raising concerns about college plans

Kelly Meyerhofer: Roughly three months into the financial aid application cycle, the number of Wisconsin high school seniors who have completed the FAFSA is down 13% from the same time last year, according to U.S. Education Department data analyzed by the National College Attainment Network (NCAN), a nonprofit trying to close equity gaps in higher education. The … Continue reading Fewer Wisconsin high school seniors seek financial aid, raising concerns about college plans

Surge of Student Suicides Pushes Las Vegas Schools to Reopen

Erica Green: The reminders of pandemic-driven suffering among students in Clark County, Nev., have come in droves. Since schools shut their doors in March, an early-warning system that monitors students’ mental health episodes has sent more than 3,100 alerts to district officials, raising alarms about suicidal thoughts, possible self-harm or cries for care. By December, … Continue reading Surge of Student Suicides Pushes Las Vegas Schools to Reopen

Civics: Democracy dies in emergencies

Joshua Sharf: The United States begins 2021 under a continuing state of emergency.  Rather, it begins the new year under fifty-one different states of emergency, one for each state plus the District of Columbia. In Colorado this has resulted in conflicting, inconsistent, and arbitrary rules.  Businesses are punished not for bad outcomes but for daring … Continue reading Civics: Democracy dies in emergencies

Racine Teachers Union Survey Reveals Plan to Keep Schools Closed

Dan O’Donnell: “The [Racine Unified School] District seems intent on returning students too soon, but has not publicly announced a date,” an introduction to the survey reads. “We ask that you join the voices of other teachers and say ‘we are prepared to do whatever it takes to to maximize the preservation of life, health … Continue reading Racine Teachers Union Survey Reveals Plan to Keep Schools Closed

Credit recovery isn’t enough: How to manage a surge of failing course grades

Betheny Gross: In a year of educational crisis, fall report cards brought more worrisome news. Failing grades are on the rise across the country, especially for students who are learning online. The results threaten to exacerbate existing educational inequities: students with failing grades tend to have less access to advanced courses in high school, and … Continue reading Credit recovery isn’t enough: How to manage a surge of failing course grades

For schoolchildren struggling to read, COVID-19 has been a wrecking ball

Sarah Carr: Kids in need of remedial support already were vulnerable before the pandemic. Now they’re facing educational ruin. By Sarah Carr Globe Staff,Updated January 19, 2021, 9:32 a.m. Over the past six months, I interviewed 15 families with struggling readers between the ages of 7 and 12 to better understand the impact of school … Continue reading For schoolchildren struggling to read, COVID-19 has been a wrecking ball

Chicago Teachers To Vote Whether To Reject In-Person School And Move Toward A Potential Strike

Sarah Karp: The Chicago Teachers Union on Wednesday evening decided to ask its 25,000 members to vote on a resolution that rejects in-person learning until they come to an agreement with the school district. The resolution opens the door to Chicago’s second teachers strike in two years. Members can vote Thursday until Saturday evening. This … Continue reading Chicago Teachers To Vote Whether To Reject In-Person School And Move Toward A Potential Strike

WILL Files Lawsuit Challenging Dane County Health Department’s Authority to Enact COVID Restrictions

WILL: The News: The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) filed a lawsuit in Dane County Circuit Court, on behalf of two Dane County residents, challenging the Dane County health department’s legal authority to issue sweeping restrictions on all aspects of life in Dane County. This lawsuit is substantially similar to an original action WILL filed with … Continue reading WILL Files Lawsuit Challenging Dane County Health Department’s Authority to Enact COVID Restrictions

For schoolchildren struggling to read, COVID-19 has been a wrecking ball

Sarah Carr: Yet Daniel’s progress came to an abrupt halt after Medford schools closed down in mid-March in response to the spread of COVID-19. The tutoring came to an end. The intensive, small group classes in reading disappeared, as did all meaningful instruction, from what Ronayne could tell. Daniel, who is being referred to by … Continue reading For schoolchildren struggling to read, COVID-19 has been a wrecking ball