Karol Markowicz The lives of our children were destroyed by lockdowns — and long lockouts — from school during the pandemic. This policy was largely forced through by Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. But we now know that President Biden and his wife-teacher, Jill Biden, were the ones who overruled their own medical … Continue reading “An emphasis on adult employment”; the implications
I think this is broadly correct, but there are strong teacher unions across Europe too. They were overruled by a political consensus in favor of kids. The US lacked this consensus. We don’t put kids first. https://t.co/OqW1XfnWa6 pic.twitter.com/H0jn2VFHUl — Anya Kamenetz (@anya1anya) May 12, 2023 Pre-pandemic test score results (blue bubbles) show enormous district-level inequality. … Continue reading “An emphasis on adult employment”
Given the academic and social challenges that students face, many local education agencies are planning to use #Covidrelief money to hire more staff members and beef up training, benefits and pay for those already on the payroll. https://t.co/UiT0INSU8N — FutureEd (@FutureEdGU) January 25, 2022 Mandates, closed schools and Dane County Madison Public Health. The data clearly indicate that … Continue reading An Emphasis on adult employment
NEW: The Chicago Teachers Union says its planned vote tonight would see members refuse in-person work until Jan. 18 or until the city’s COVID-19 wave falls below the threshold Chicago Public Schools set last year, whichever happens first. — Nader Issa (@NaderDIssa) January 4, 2022 Maureen Kelleher: If ever there was a moment to ensure … Continue reading “An emphasis on adult employment”; Chicago Teachers Union 2022 edition
There are no hidden complexities that could possibly explain this misalignment of social priorities. #openschools@GavinNewsom pic.twitter.com/GfPCXWEq8b — Jeanne Noble (@JeanneNoble18) April 3, 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 week not … Continue reading “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”
Luca Dellana: The fact that (almost) all degrees have the same duration regardless of the complexity of the underlying field is the best evidence that education has been built around the universities’ needs, not the students’.
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.
“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).
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.
Open Record: It’s a FOX6 investigation that sparked change before it even went to air. Thousands of tax dollars poured into a school program — but was it for the kids or a school leader’s relationship? In this episode of Open Record, FOX6 Investigator Amanda St. Hilaire explains how she came upon AVID and the … Continue reading “And emphasis on adult employment” – Wauwatosa edition
Scott Girard: While the walkout was focused on Assad, as Yang continually reminded the group when conversation drifted to other resources and solutions, it also highlighted a larger concern: many of the students there said they couldn’t trust any other adult in the school. “If you’re not a minority, you wouldn’t understand the impact of … Continue reading “No other Trusted Adults”
Emily Oster: Local governments are relaxing pandemic restrictions at a dizzying pace, removing mask requirements and vaccine entry rules for businesses. Politicians are generally pushing for a return to normalcy. But for one group, change is not forthcoming: children. The removal of mask mandates in schools is likely weeks, if not months, away in some … Continue reading “Adults first” policy commentary
Mike Antonucci: As is plain from the numbers, we spiked in both during the summer of 2020, and everything returned to normal soon after. Not one of the above stories, nor any news report on the issue I have seen, contains any mention that public education employment has the second lowest quit rate of any … Continue reading “public education employment has the second lowest quit rate of any sector of the U.S. economy”
Wisconsin Supreme Court: For the respondent, there was a brief filed by Remzy D. Bitar, Sadie R. Zurfluh, and Municipal and Litigation Group ̧ Waukesha. There was an oral argument by Remzy D. Bitar. For the petitioners Wisconsin Council of Religious and Independent Schools, et al., there was a reply brief filed by Richard M. … Continue reading Political Posturing, interests and “adult employment” on taxpayer supported Dane County Madison public health ordering schools closed
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….
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.
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
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
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
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”
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
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”
Corrinne Hess: But data shows that most teacher education programs at colleges and universities are still not fully teaching the science of reading. Instead of learning how to read through pictures, word cues and memorization, children will be taught using a phonics-based method that focuses on sounding out letters and phrases, with the hope of addressing … Continue reading Teacher prep programs not on the same page as Wisconsin’s new reading law
Marquette: Please join us for an “On the Issues” program at 12:15 p.m. on Oct. 20, 2023, at Marquette Law School. A new book by Pulitzer Prize-winning education journalist Cara Fitzpatrick takes up the rise of the school choice movement across the United States. The Death of Public School: How Conservatives Won the War over Education … Continue reading 20 October Event: Cara Fitzpatrick, author of “The Death of Public School”
David Blaska: Jill Underly is Wisconsin’s superintendent of public instruction. The position is elected for four years on the Spring non-partisan ballot along with city alders and circuit court judges. We are one of only 12 states to elect them. One of Jill Underly’s predecessors was Tony Evers, now governor of Wisconsin. A Democrat. If … Continue reading Notes on K-12 $pending and Governance: Wisconsin Edition
Robert Pondiscio I’ve come to bury Lucy Calkins, not to praise her. Columbia University’s Teachers College announced this month what once seemed unthinkable: It’s “dissolving” its relationship with Calkins, sending the controversial literacy guru and her cash-cow publishing and consulting empire packing. The divorce came a few months after the New York City Department of … Continue reading Repairing the damage Columbia’s Teachers College did to American kids will take years
Dave Cieslewicz: Despite being the fastest growing large community in Wisconsin the Madison public school system is losing students. Last year the district lost almost 900 students. Why? In a story in Isthmus last week long-time school board member Nicki Vander Meulen mused on the causes for the loss of market share to private schools … Continue reading $pending more for fewer students: Madison
Act 20: Beginning with the accountability report published for the 2024-25 school year, for a school district other than a union high school district and for each school that offers grade 3 in that school district, the percentage of pupils reading at grade level by the end of 3rd grade. Section 8 . 115.39 of … Continue reading Reading, Wisconsin Legislation and Rule Making
The “confident teacher” “Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.” The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic” My Question to … Continue reading Why Literacy Fails (Part 1)
Caitlin Moscatello At a meeting with parents in May, Elizabeth Phillips, a longtime principal at P.S. 321, a highly sought-after elementary school in Park Slope, didn’t mince words about the new reading curricula being implemented across the city this fall by Mayor Eric Adams’s administration. Not only did she refer to the trio of options selected … Continue reading Did New York City Forget How to Teach Children to Read?
Dang le Fort Worth resident Maria Gonzalez knew her daughter’s grades were off. Gonzalez’s 8-year-old daughter, Citlalic, got perfect scores at school. Her teacher said she was doing great. Get to know your community better with our free newsletters. Sign up today so you don’t miss a thing! But Gonzalez knew something else from observation … Continue reading Almost half the students in Fort Worth schools can’t read at grade level
Bezos WaPo: “[A]n analysis homing in on the inaugural group of Mississippians subject to the state’s rule concluded that repeating third grade resulted in significantly higher reading scores in sixth grade — with Black and Hispanic students showing particular improvement…. [But i]t is impossible to disentangle retention itself from all that comes with it… after-class … Continue reading Notes on Mississippi’s reading progress
Harry Waters Just over seven years ago the United Nations developed the 2030 agenda. The central theme of this agenda was the development of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But what are the SDGs? Why are they relevant to my English classroom? And how can I incorporate them into the curriculum? Let’s take a look … Continue reading “Sustainable development goals”
Patrick Mcilheran: The series of day-long webinars, four per school year, is an initiative of the DPI, the regulator of every Wisconsin school. The agency says it doesn’t necessarily endorse everything said by every one of the academics it invites, but since racial equity is the first quality it mentions in its mission statement, one can see why 2,500 … Continue reading DPI ‘equity’ speakers talk revolution; Wisconsin parents just want their kids to be able to read
Arthur Jones II, Tal Axelrod, and Jay O’Brien Learning to read isn’t fair. It comes naturally for some students. But for others it’s a frustrating, agonizing process that, if left unaddressed, can cause long-standing academic problems. Ask D’Mekeus Cook Jr., a fourth grader from Louisiana, who was reading at a kindergarten level when he started second grade … Continue reading “I will get teared up because I think I can’t read,” fourth grader Raven said.
Sarah Schwartz The Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, the instructional consultancy housed at Columbia University and founded by the popular and controversial literacy icon Lucy Calkins, will soon be shutting its doors, Teachers College announced Sept. 1. The college is dissolving TCRWP and Calkins will step down as director. Calkins, who remains a tenured faculty member … Continue reading Teachers College to ‘Dissolve’ Lucy Calkins’ Reading and Writing Project
Will Flanders: Total staff in schools has increased since 2017. The number of full-time equivalents (FTEs) in Wisconsin schools has grown by 2.67% over this time frame, even as statewide enrollment declined by 3.6%. Student-teacher ratios have declined across the state. Despite staffing shortages, the dramatic decline in student enrollment over the past ﬁve years … Continue reading Defunding K-12 classrooms and growing bureaucracy
Ruth Conniff: Still, the inequities among public schools in richer and poorer property tax districts are nothing compared to the existential threat to public education from a parallel system of publicly funded private schools that has been nurtured and promoted by a national network of right-wing think tanks, well funded lobbyists and anti-government ideologues. For … Continue reading Curious, context free school choice commentary
James Freeman: The best way to prevent politicians and bureaucrats from ever again inflicting on American kids the learning losses, social isolation and staggering financial burden of the Covid lockdowns is to ensure a just reckoning for the destruction they caused. Perhaps this is beginning to happen. John Fensterwald reports in the Bakersfield Californian: This … Continue reading ‘The Singular Cruelty of America Toward Children’
Abbey Machtig: The Madison School District bought the land for $6.4 million and construction was estimated to cost about $25 million, financed by a 2020 facilities referendum. Landscaping and playground construction at Southside Elementary are continuing, according to the district website. The school serves an especially diverse population. Of the students in the area, 81% are … Continue reading A new madison school amidst declining enrollment
Scott Girard: NEA President Becky Pringle and AFT President Randi Weingarten both spoke at the event as well, thanking the educators for their work and building excitement as the school year approaches. Baldwin thanked both of those leaders for their efforts on behalf of teachers. “In the face of repeated attacks on organized labor in … Continue reading Politics, teacher unions and taxpayer $pending
Nicholas Kelly: Education was a big winner of a bipartisan agreement in the recently enacted state budget. Public schools will receive an increase of more than $1 billion. Per pupil spending for Wisconsin’s private school choice programs will grow by $2,000 to $3,000 per student. Even after these historic funding increases, state payments to schools in the … Continue reading School choice triumph: Report card analysis shows voucher schools out-perform public schools
Johan Norberg: Sweden was different during the pandemic, stubbornly staying open as other countries shut down borders, schools, restaurants, and workplaces. This choice created a massive interest in Sweden, and never before have the foreign media reported so much about the country. Many outsiders saw it as a reckless experiment with people’s lives. In April 2020 President … Continue reading Sweden during the Pandemic: Pariah or Paragon?
Corrine Hess According to DPI, Holy Redeemer did not submit its September 2021 enrollment audit in a timely manner. The school also failed to timely submit its 2021-22 Fiscal & Internal Control Practices Report, which determines if the school has sound fiscal and internal control practices. These practices include paying vendors and employees on … Continue reading Accountability and the Wisconsin DPI
Rachel Hale: Since it started in January 2021 Moms for Liberty says it has expanded to 285 chapters in 46 states with over 125,000 members. In Wisconsin, chapters in Kenosha, Marathon, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Polk, Rock, St. Croix, Vilas, Washington, Winnebago and Wood County have popped up over the past two years. It’s hard to pinpoint … Continue reading “For some parents, it was a reminder that school policies didn’t reflect their values.”
Rory Linnane St. Augustine Preparatory Academy unveiled a new $49 million elementary school on Milwaukee’s south side Tuesday, showcasing a major expansion as school leaders also discussed plans for a new north-side branch on the former Cardinal Stritch campus. About 730 students in kindergarten through fourth grade are expected to start school this week in the new … Continue reading School Choice Expansion in Milwaukee
Danyela Souza Egorov: Tim Castanza admits that he was “triggered.” The year was 2016, and Castanza, then working for the New York City Department of Education, attended a Community Education Council meeting in Staten Island, where several mothers of kids with dyslexia spoke. The public schools didn’t have any programs for their children, they said, … Continue reading An educational entrepreneur creates a school for kids with reading difficulties.
The fight for #SchoolChoice in Wisconsin is not over. Today Minoqua Brewing Co announced an effort to take away educational options for tens of thousands of low-income families. pic.twitter.com/vSl4wT46BR — Will Flanders (@WillFlandersWI) August 20, 2023 notes and links on Minocqua Brewing. “Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at … Continue reading Lawfare and Wisconsin School Choice: Minocqua Brewing Edition
Sara Randazzo & Scott Calvert: In the race to fix a nationwide reading crisis that worsened during the pandemic, more states are threatening to make students repeat third grade to help them catch up. Tennessee, Michigan and North Carolina are among at least 16 states that have tried in recent years to use reading tests … Continue reading More States Threaten to Hold Back Third-Graders Who Can’t Read
Ameillia Wedward: Janet Protasiewicz’ recent confirmation as a member of the Wisconsin Supreme Court earlier this month has conservatives worried about the possible end of a decade of conservative reforms, from Act 10 to voter ID laws. But another concern receiving less attention is the prospect of challenges to Wisconsin’s school choice programs. School choice has stood … Continue reading Notes on funding school choice
Benjamin Yount: A new report on reading in Wisconsin shows many schools across the state continue to use reading lessons shown to leave students behind. The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty is out with a new report called Trust the Science? The Use of Outdated Reading Curricula in Wisconsin Schools. It looks at how … Continue reading Curriculum and Wisconsin’s long term, disastrous reading results
BIANCA VÁZQUEZ TONESS Across the country, students have been absentat record rates since schools reopened during the pandemic. More than a quarter of students missed at least 10% of the 2021-22 school year, making them chronically absent, according to the most recent data available. Before the pandemic, only 15% of students missed that much school. All … Continue reading Millions of kids are missing weeks of school as attendance tanks across the US
Scott Girard: The complaint was made public in May following a public records request by NBC15 reporter Elizabeth Wadas, whom LeMonds allegedly said was “quickly becoming the sleaziest journalist in Madison” and whom he called “a pig of a journalist.” LeMonds tried to fight the release of the complaint, which was responsive to Wadas’ records request, … Continue reading Ex-Madison schools spokesman retaliated against employees, report says
Scott Girard: Community members can now weigh in on the type of leader they’d like as the next Madison Metropolitan School District superintendent. The district’s website now includes a “leadership profile” survey that will help the Madison School Board and its consultant on the search, Alma Advisory Group, develop a job description for the position when it’s posted this … Continue reading Commentary on yet another Madison k-12 Superintendent Search
Mike Lofgren: This story of high prices and poor outcomes is true almost across the board for vital services, and there is none more vital than health care. The U.S. spends 17.8 percent of GDP on health care, nearly twice as much as the average OECD country. Health spending per person in America is almost twice as high … Continue reading $pending more for less
James Vaznis: The Massachusetts Teachers Association’s board of directors voted unanimously Sunday to support a ballot question that would drop the requirement that high school students pass MCAS exams in order to graduate — a move that will allow the union to spend money and other resources to win over voters. The vote came four … Continue reading Reducing Rigor: Massachusetts’ teacher union edition
Jeff Davidson With school about to commence around the country, in two to four weeks, a friend mentioned that her granddaughter has been home-schooled for her whole academic career. She is currently in her 9th year, yet, by all indications, she is academically on par with most high school seniors. Curiously, when the young lady … Continue reading The Great Home-Schooling Revolution
Douglas Belkin, Ben Chapman and Ben Kesling: Roman Devengenzo was consulting for a robotics company in Silicon Valley last fall when he asked a newly minted mechanical engineer to design a small aluminum part that could be fabricated on a lathe—a skill normally mastered in the first or second year of college. “How do I … Continue reading The New Hires of 2023 Are Unprepared for Work
James Vaznis: The ballot initiative would allow students to graduate “by satisfactorily completing coursework that has been certified by the student’s district as showing mastery of the skills, competencies, and knowledge contained in the state academic standards and curriculum frameworks in the areas measured by the MCAS high school tests.” A small group of union … Continue reading The tyrany of low expectations: Massachusetts’ Teachers Union Ballot initiative to eliminate high school graduation requirement
EXPLICIT: Osseo parent reads from an explicit book available in Osseo district libraries and is stopped by the school board chair, saying that last time something like that was read, the “language was offensive to some.” pic.twitter.com/W3Cr7E2kOZ — Alpha News (@AlphaNewsMN) July 26, 2023 Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004– “Well, it’s kind of too … Continue reading K-12 Governance: School Books
To say that teachers weren’t involved in discussions as we worked through the process is untrue. I also personally met with @WSRAliteracy. At that meeting, a light was shined on why we are in this reading crisis. https://t.co/w6tZfArOUx — John Jagler (@JohnJagler) July 19, 2023 I am pleased to announce the Right to Read Act … Continue reading Politics and Reading: the latest from Wisconsin
Tom Knighton When I was in middle school here in Georgia, they did something kind of smart. They broke us all into classes based on our grades. All the “A” students were in one group, “B” students in another, and so on. The result was that those who excelled could excel and those who needed … Continue reading Low Expectations for all
I review Rufo’s new book. The fact that the education system was taken over by bloodthirsty communists is known, but rarely stressed enough. No one else has been as effective in fighting back. His book is a call to action. https://t.co/SfqoQmMJuz — Richard Hanania (@RichardHanania) July 17, 2023 “Well, it’s kind of too bad that … Continue reading Notes on politics, education and outcomes
Wisconsin Employer Survey A new survey of Wisconsin businesses paints an unflattering picture of the education system in the state. According to the Wisconsin Employer Survey, nearly three-quarters of businesses think students graduating from the public K-12 system are not prepared for the workforce. Making matters worse, 56 percent of respondents said they have employees who … Continue reading 73% of Businesses Say Students Graduating from the Public K-12 System are Unprepared for the Workforce
Baby Vinick: Wisconsin schools that had a longer period of virtual or hybrid learning during the pandemic saw graduation rates rise among wealthier students and fall among those at an economic disadvantage, a new study found. The study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, published in the journal Educational Researcher, analyzed data from 429 public high schools in … Continue reading Wisconsin schools that went remote for longer saw expanded gaps in graduation rates
Jeff Eiden: But there’s a major problem undercutting our progress. We don’t have nearly enough skilled workers to get this job done at the speed required. It’s estimated that we’re going to need 1 million more electricians and 400 thousand new HVAC technicians in the next ten years. Tradespeople are the true lifeblood of the clean energy transition — they do … Continue reading Shop Class 2.0: Rethinking High School to Accelerate Electrification
Mitchell Schmidt: The parent, only identified in the ruling as Jane Doe 4, was the last of 14 parents who initially sued the district in 2020 over a policy that’s part of a guidance document on student gender identity. The policy covered topics that include communication with the families of transgender and nonbinary students about … Continue reading Last parent in lawsuit over Madison Schools gender identity guidance drops appeal
Carey Wright: Former State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carey Wright rebuts a recent column in the L.A. Times claiming Mississippi “gamed its national reading test scores.” Like educators in Mississippi and across the nation, I was shocked by the deeply cynical column in the Los Angeles Times about Mississippi’s well documented achievements in education over the past … Continue reading Correcting the record on Mississippi’s historic education gains
Dan Lennington and Will Flanders Encouraging high-school graduation is a policy that garners broad support, as it paves the way for higher wages and a better quality of life. In 2015, bipartisan majorities passed the Every Student Succeeds Act, a law aimed at reducing dropout rates. Since then, dropout rates have declined about 13%. But now a … Continue reading Wisconsin education officials wrongly label Black students as more ‘at-risk’ “We combed through the dropout prediction formulas for many states and fortunately Wisconsin was the only one where we found race was being considered”
Abbey Machtig This rural patch on Madison’s West Side is one of more than 35 school gardens around the Madison School District, including Lapham, Midvale and Crestwood Elementary schools, Badger Rock Middle School and East and West High Schools. Although school is out for the summer, the gardens are far from empty. A network of volunteers and … Continue reading Madison School District has more than 35 school gardens, chickens and all
Olivia Herken: Madison had some of the worst reading gaps in Dane County. Only 10% of Black students in grades 3 through 8 scored proficient or higher in ELA, and only 21% of Hispanic students, compared to 45% of their white counterparts. Other Dane County schools had similar disparities. In Middleton, 20% of Black children … Continue reading Notes on Madison’s Long Term, Disastrous Reading Results
Christina Gomez-Schmidt: An essential duty of any school board is to help plan and approve the annual district budget. Like most budgets, household or business, the goal of a school district budget is to match revenue with expenses to produce a balanced budget. This goal ensures that school districts are managing local, state and federal … Continue reading A realignment of the Madison School District’s vision, strategy and investment is needed to avoid even larger future deficits.
Education Policy Innovation Collaborative In this report, we combine data about students in Michigan’s K-12 public schools and public universities with educator certification testing, credentialing, and employment records to examine how the pool of prospective Michigan teachers changes as candidates progress through the pipeline and into the workforce. KEY FINDINGS: Commentary. “Well, it’s kind of … Continue reading “Of the students who take an initial education course [in Michigan]…. only about one-quarter reach the student teaching stage…”
George Will: Ian Rowe, a charter school advocate, notes thatsince the “nation’s report card” was first issued in 1992, in no year “has a majority of whitestudents been reading at grade level. The sad irony is that closing the black-white achievement gap would guarantee only educational mediocrity for all students.” Mysteriously (or perhaps not), California’s most recent … Continue reading K-12 education’s alarming decline and the 2024 election
Joanne Jacob’s: Mississippi students used to rank dead last in learning, writes Phil Bryant, the former governor of the state, on Real Clear Education. Not any more. “Mississippi fourth-graders, when adjusted for demographics, are ranked as the nation’s top performers in reading and second in math,” according to the 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress. Bryant … Continue reading Mississippi rules in reading
Scott Girard In total, the 2023-24 preliminary budget spends $581 million. The board will vote on a final budget in October after enrollment is finalized. The budget includes a deficit of $15 million for this year, but $11.5 million in ongoing costs are covered by one-time federal COVID-19 relief money that won’t be available next fall … Continue reading Notes on Madison’s $581M 2023-2024 K-12 Budget; property tax increases
Abby Machtig; How do you plan to address the achievement gaps between students in Madison schools, specifically around literacy? We put brand new, high-quality standards-aligned materials in every single teacher’s classroom. We also had to support teachers to actually use those because that is a lift. … Do we always get it right the first … Continue reading “We also had to support teachers to actually use those because that is a lift” – interim Madison Superintendent
Tyler Katzenberger: The new version of the bill, passed Wednesday afternoon by the Assembly in 67-27 vote, would prescribe an “intensive” personal literacy plan, including summer classes, for incoming fourth graders who failed to meet third-grade reading benchmarks. Students would exit the plan after they pass a grade-level reading test and their parents agree the … Continue reading Legislation and Early Reading: Wisconsin’s odyssey continues
Kiera Butlers Ten years ago, Marilyn Muller began to suspect that her kindergarten daughter, Lauryn, was struggling with reading. Lauryn, a bright child, seemed mystified by the process of sounding out simple words. Still, the teachers at the top-rated Massachusetts public school reassured Muller that nothing was wrong, and Lauryn would pick up the skill—eventually. Surely … Continue reading Politics and teaching children to read: Mother Jones Edition
Kevin Mahnken: COVID-19’s cataclysmic impact on K–12 education, coming on the heels of a decade of stagnation in schools, has yielded a lost generation of growth for adolescents, new federal data reveal. Wednesday’s publication of scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) — America’s most prominent benchmark of learning, typically referred to as … Continue reading ‘Nation’s Report Card’ (NAEP) shows math skills reset to the level of the 1990s, while struggling readers are scoring lower than they did in 1971
Corrinne Hess In the 2021-22 school year, Wisconsin’s public schools received a total of $16,859 per student, which came from a combination of local property taxes, federal sources and the state. Of that, about $7,728 came from the state, according to the Department of Public Instruction. “In fact, some of the federal funding factored into … Continue reading Notes on taxpayer supported K-12 spending
School Choice Under Attack: Minocqua Brewing Company’s $1 million Super PAC just announced plans to file a new lawsuit to eliminate school choice in Wisconsin – citing the new liberal Supreme Court majority. Permalink here: https://t.co/9BTEyAv7da pic.twitter.com/AC4pJVaT3s — Dan Lennington (@DanLennington) June 20, 2023 Related: WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators (2010) “Well, it’s … Continue reading Lawfare on Wisconsin School Choice Options
Elizabeth Wadas: The Madison Metropolitan School District’s head of communications, Tim LeMonds, is on leave amidst an ongoing investigation. NBC15 Investigates confirmed LeMonds’ employment status with the district’s human resources team Thursday afternoon. Earlier this month, MMSD broke its silence after a complaint alleging harassment and bullying against its head of communications was made public … Continue reading Non communication and the taxpayer supported Madison School District
Scott Girard But the board also took a big leap of faith, one that will likely require the help of the Madison community, once again, with another operating referendum in fall 2024. It could be the third straight presidential election in which the Madison Metropolitan School District asks voters for more spending authority above state … Continue reading $pending more amidst declining enrollment (no mention of spending growth over the years, now > $25k/student
There was a lot of good news for #SchoolChoice in WI yesterday, but it was disconcerting to see that some remain either grossly misinformed on the issue or are intentionally misleading. One of the worst offenders was @RepKristina, who made claimed the program is racist (1/x). pic.twitter.com/OrrC3sEHxx — Will Flanders (@WillFlandersWI) June 15, 2023 School … Continue reading K-12 Governance Climate: School Choice Rhetoric
NCTQ All children deserve to learn to read, and all teachers deserve the preparation and support that will allow them to help their students achieve this goal. Yet more than one-third of fourth graders—1.3 million children1 in the U.S.—cannot read at a basic level.2 Not learning how to read has lifelong consequences. Students who are not … Continue reading A look at education school literacy prep variation
Scott Girard: A report last month showed that students in Madison schools’ full-day and half-day 4-year-old kindergarten programs had similar academic gains over the 2021-22 school year. The results of the study, which covers the first year of the Madison Metropolitan School District’s full-day 4K program, weren’t a surprise to Director of Early Learning Culleen Witthuhn, … Continue reading Madison full-day 4k students had gains similar to half-day peers
Jeff Zymeri: School choice programs in Wisconsin have not significantly affected outcomes for public school students or led to a decline in their test scores, according to a study released on Monday. Will Flanders, research director at the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, which commissioned the study alongside School Choice Wisconsin, told National Review that this finding goes … Continue reading Study Finds School Choice Does Not Harm Student Outcomes in Wisconsin Public Schools
Center for Research on Education Outcomes: Our third installment: This study examines the academic progress of students enrolled in charter schools compared with the progress of students enrolled in traditional public schools (TPS). How charter school students learned over time Fifteen years of student performance can provide insights into how schools, school operators, K–12 academic … Continue reading National Charter School Study III
Tom Loveless: In February, 2023 Bari Weiss produced a podcast, “Why 65% of Fourth Graders Can’t Really Read” and Nicholas Kristof, New York Times columnist, wrote “Two-Thirds of Kids Struggle to Read, and We Know How to Fix It.” Both headlines are misleading. The 65% and two-thirds figures are referring to the percentage of 4th graders who scored … Continue reading Literacy and NAEP Proficient
Attack on “Balanced Literacy” Is Attack on Professional Teachers, Research https://t.co/O4h4E0ZIxo via @plthomasEdD — Paul Thomas (@plthomasEdD) June 11, 2023 Madison, long tolerating disastrous reading results, embraced “balanced literacy”. “Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to … Continue reading Defending “balanced literacy”
Corrinne Hess: A bipartisan bill is expected to be released this month that would change the way most public schools in Wisconsin teach reading. State Rep. Joel Kitchens, R-Sturgeon Bay, who chairs the Assembly Committee on Education, has been working with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction on the plan that would move more schools … Continue reading Legislation and K-12 reading: 2023 Wisconsin Edition
Scott Girard: School Board President Nichelle Nichols said in the release that “the state must increase its support for schools” in the upcoming biennial budget. “Without additional revenue, the district will have to make difficult decisions to realign the impact of this budget over the next several years, including the possibility of pursuing additional sources … Continue reading Madison: “Without additional revenue, the district faces an estimated more than $30 million budget shortfall in fiscal year 2025” amidst declining enrollment
Jason Bedrick and Corey DeAngelis That $900 million is barely 2% of total Arizona state spending of $80.5 billion in 2022. Arizona public schools spend about $14,000 per pupil, or $1.4 billion for 100,000 students. If the department’s enrollment projection is reached, school choice would serve roughly 8% of Arizona’s students for 6% of the … Continue reading The economics of school choice: political rhetoric on the tree, missing the forest
Wisconsin State Journal: It’s not just LeMonds’ staff that has struggled to work with him. LeMonds physically blocked a WMTV-TV (Ch. 15) news reporter from posing a question to Superintendent Carlton Jenkins at a public event — even grabbing and pushing down her hand and microphone, as video of the incident shows. He allegedly called … Continue reading Rare media advocacy for Madison K-12 Accountability
Troy Closson: As New York embarks on an ambitious plan to overhaul how children in the nation’s largest school system are taught to read, schools leaders face a significant obstacle: educators’ skepticism. Dozens of cities and states have sought to transform reading instruction in recent years, driven by decades of research known as the “science of reading.” But … Continue reading New York is the latest large city to join a national push to change how children are taught to read. But principals and teachers may resist uprooting old practices.
I’ve long found these posts rather curious in light of I Madison’s “more than most” k-12 tax & spending practices: now > $25k per student, amidst declining enrollment. In 2007, we Madisonians spent 333,101,865 for K-12. Inflation adjusted $486,328,722, today. Yet our current budget is $557,015,538 (it is higher every time I look). Readers interested … Continue reading Commentary on Wisconsin taxpayer funded k-12 spending growth over the years
Scott Girard: The Madison Metropolitan School District is “committed to doing the hard work and restoring the integrity” of its communications team following the release of an employee complaint against spokesperson Tim LeMonds last Friday. In an unsigned statement posted to its website Thursday and sent via email to reporters by Communications Manager Ian Folger, the district said it … Continue reading Taxpayer funded Madison School District‘s “communications” department review
Nicholas Kristof visits flyover country: Mississippi’s success has no single origin moment, but one turning point was arguably when Jim Barksdale decided to retire in the state. A former C.E.O. of Netscape, he had grown up in Mississippi but was humiliated by its history of racism and underperformance. “My home state was always held in … Continue reading “Mississippi has achieved its gains despite ranking 46th in spending per pupil in grades K-12”
Phoebe Petrovic: Wisconsin Watch reviewed public materials for about one-third of the state’s 373 voucher schools and found that four out of 10 had policies or statements that appeared to target LGBTQ+ students for disparate treatment. Some had explicitly discriminatory policies, such as expelling students for being gay or transgender. All 50 of the voucher … Continue reading More on Wisconsin School Choice Governance, freedom of speech, civil rights and freedom of religion
Alan Borsuk: Year after year, MPS reading scores are abysmal, strong signs of the problems with educational success that lie ahead for many students. There are bright spots; some MPS schools consistently have better results. But overall, in spring 2022 — the most recent results available — more than half (54.1%) of MPS third- through … Continue reading The state capital of reading problems, Milwaukee Public Schools looks at how to turn things around