Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction: The Every Student Succeeds Act – a major federal education law – requires DPI to identify the lowest performing public schools and schools with low performing student groups in each state. Each state outlined their plans for this new federal accountability system, in which the state detailed their accountability indicators, … Continue reading Wisconsin Taxpayer Supported K-12 School Report: Accountability under the “Every Student Succeeds Act”
American Institutes for Research (AIR): Wisconsin annually differentiates across all public schools based on scores for the individual federally-required accountability measures (not annual summative ratings for all schools/all students based on all indicators). Schools for comprehensive support and improvement, targeted support and improvement, and additional targeted support and improvement are identified using the following composite … Continue reading Wisconsin Accountability System Under the “Every Student Succeeds Act”
Wisconsin DPI: Section 8302 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA),1 requires the Secretary to establish procedures and criteria under which, after consultation with the Governor, a State educational agency (SEA) may submit a consolidated State plan designed to simplify the application requirements … Continue reading The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act
Negassi Tesfamichael: Almost half of the schools in the Madison School District need to provide additional support to certain groups of students, according to accountability reports compiled by the state earlier this year. At schools that were identified in the reports, black students and students with disabilities were most commonly found to have poor outcomes … Continue reading 49% of Madison schools had at least one group of students identified as low-performing and needing at least one level of targeted support (8.3% statewide)
Matthew C. Makel, Michael S. Matthews, Scott J. Peters, Karen Rambo-Hernandez, and Jonathan A. Plucker: America’s K-12 education systems place students in grade levels by age and set performance expectations accordingly, using historical, average grade-level performance rather than any specific content students are expected to master7. This should not surprise us. Nearly all aspects of … Continue reading How Can So Many Students Be Invisible? Large Percentages of American Students Perform Above Grade Level
Introduction by Karen Hawley Miles (PDF): School district leaders face an array of challenges that affect how they allocate scarce resources to schools—stubborn achievement gaps, changing and complex demographics, and shrinking federal and state support. As the range of need grows more complex, schools are growing as diverse as the students they serve. In this … Continue reading A Guide to Implementing Student-Based Budgeting (SBB)
All across Wisconsin, schools received boxes and boxes of stuff they didn’t want last week.
Unfortunately, they were about the most important deliveries they’ll get this year: Hundreds of thousands of test booklets for the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam, the state’s annual standardized test.
The testing window, one of the biggest events in every school year, is about to open. More than 400,000 students in third through eighth grade, as well as in 10th grade, will be tested in either two or five subjects in coming weeks, with a handful of schools starting this week and the large majority doing the testing in November.
It’s the test everyone loves to hate. It takes up large amounts of time and disrupts schedules for days on end. There are widespread complaints about what is actually tested. The test yields almost nothing that is useful to teachers in shaping the way they educate students. It’s often a public relations problem and sometimes a nightmare if a school’s scores are low or sometimes even just not better than the prior year.
Furthermore, the test is dying a slow death, and everyone knows it.
Just to be contrary, let’s say something good about the WKCE. For all its flaws, it’s the only broad scale accountability tool we’ve got in this state. It succeeds in putting a lot of heat on schools across the state, and many of them need it.
And the test scores are actually a pretty good reflection of student achievement in a school – which is to say, I’ve never heard of a school with low scores that could make a convincing case that the kids were actually doing well and the scores were off base.
But the state testing system is moving toward an overhaul, and for good reasons.
Will Flanders: Flying under the radar amidst the continuing pandemic is the news that the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) finally released school-level spending data for Wisconsin’s public schools. Required by the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), DPI appears to have dragged its feet as long as possible before providing this information to families … Continue reading Federal Data Reveals No Relationship Between Spending and Academic Outcomes in Wisconsin Schools
ESSA designations disembargoed. MMSD: “Needs assistance” under IDEA for 2d year; ESSA determinations: 15 schools ID’d for Targeted Support; 4 schools for Additional Targeted Support; 5 schools for Targeted and Additional Targeted Support. — Chan Stroman (@eduphilia) March 10, 2020 “The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation … Continue reading Madison School District “needs Assistance” for the Second Year
Nathan Konz: Last week, the Iowa Department of Education released the 2019 school ratings with nine of our area school buildings earning a “commendable” or better score. Each public school receives a score out of 100 based on standards laid out in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). South Central Calhoun High School was the … Continue reading Nine Area School Buildings Earn Commendable Or Better Rating On 2019 ESSA Report Card (a missing topic around Madison)
Caitlin Sievers: This fall, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction began joint monitoring of Racine Unified School District’s improvement efforts required under the Every Student Succeeds Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. According to DPI, joint monitoring is only used in districts that are identified as needing support in all aspects of the … Continue reading Accountability? Racine Unified one of two districts being reviewed by joint monitoring
Adam Rogan: A local education coalition is planning to file a complaint with the state alleging that the Racine Unified School District failed to include the community in its planning processes and didn’t follow federal requirements as a result. Representatives of the group planning to file the complaint, the Racine Community Coalition for Public Schools … Continue reading Coalition alleges Taxpayer supported Racine school district ‘completely left out’ community in planning
Andrew Ujifusa: Much of the federal education law deals with schools struggling to meet expectations. And we have new information concerning just how many of them are being tagged as needing improvement in the Every Student Succeeds Act era. But the answers vary significantly by state. A new report from the Center on Education Policy … Continue reading How Many Schools Are Low-Performing Under ESSA? Here Are Some Answers
Patrick Marley: In November, DPI provided some records but declined to fulfill parts of the request because it said WILL’s request wasn’t specific enough and was too burdensome, according to the lawsuit. WILL filed a narrower request in December but has not received additional records. The lawsuit could be just one stage in a protracted … Continue reading Wisconsin DPI loses an open records court round
Darrel Burnette II: Why do black students whose parents serve in the military so significantly outperform their peers from black civilian families? This question has for years stumped researchers, but a new data-reporting requirement for military-connected students under the Every Student Succeeds Act could provide some insights for practitioners and policymakers serving America’s increasingly mobile … Continue reading The Black Achievement Paradox Nobody’s Talking About
Michael Hansen, Elizabeth Mann Levesque, Diana Quintero, and Jon Valant : Last week, the National Assessment Governing Board and National Center for Education Statistics released results from the 2017 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP). Often referred to as “the Nation’s Report Card,” these results provide a bi-annual barometer on how states and the country … Continue reading Have we made progress on achievement gaps? Looking at evidence from the new NAEP results
Keith Dysarz: Nearly every state includes measures of college- and career-readiness in their accountability plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act, and the quality of classroom assignments can help gauge whether students are being prepared for success beyond high school. What is Equity In Motion? In this series, we look at how issues or equity … Continue reading Checking In: Are Math Assignments Measuring Up?
Sandra Stotsky, via Will Fitzhugh: Most books on public education in any country do not favor workforce preparation for all students in place of optional high school curricula or student-selected post-secondary goals. Nor have parents in the USA lauded Common Core’s effects on their children’s learning or the K-8 curriculum. Indeed, few observers see anything … Continue reading Is There Anything Common Core Gets Right?
Stephen Sawchuck: The speech highlighted the different approaches the two national teachers’ unions have taken to this administration. AFT President Randi Weingarten, for example, went and visited a school with DeVos in April. While not exactly a photo op, it at least showed the two national education leaders could be civil to one another. (Weingarten … Continue reading NEA President: There Will Be No Photo Ops With DeVos
Susan Goldberg: On paper it reads like a not-so-vague attempt to socially engineer your child’s behavior. In reality, teacher-led mental health assessments coming to a growing number of public schools are a bureaucratic nightmare. One that will no doubt further clog our nation’s public education system with increased paperwork and administrative costs while putting your … Continue reading Teachers Are Now Performing Monthly Mental Health Exams on Your Child
Molly Beck: The huge gap in average academic achievement among racial groups in Wisconsin is likely a result of state education officials not setting rigorous goals to address the problem years ago, the chairman of the Senate Education Committee said Wednesday. Sen. Luther Olsen, R-Ripon, said Wednesday that state lawmakers and education officials did not … Continue reading Wisconsin Lawmaker: Lack of rigorous goals contributed to state’s achievement gap (decades go by)
Susan Olivieri: This week, states begin submitting their implementation plans for the Every Student Succeeds Act and they find themselves in the driver’s seat to ensure that the public has access to clear and accurate information about schools in their community. The challenge for states will be to find the political will to do the … Continue reading Parents need more information to hold schools accountable
Paul Hill, Ashley Jochim: State chiefs have new responsibilities under the Every Student Succeeds Act, but their formal powers are still limited. Despite these constraints, CRPE analysis finds that chiefs can make a difference by wielding their powers strategically, to build coalitions and persuade others. While turnover in the field is high, with 70% of … Continue reading The Power of Persuasion: A Model for Effective Political Leadership by State Chiefs
The Hub: A new website launched by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Research and Reform in Education aims to help education leaders around the country evaluate K-12 reading and math programs, and to understand how those programs compare under a new federal education law. The CRRE’s new website, Evidence for ESSA, examines academic programs … Continue reading New Johns Hopkins School of Education website grades K-12 reading, math programs
“The existing K-12 school system (including most charters and private schools) has been transformed into a knowledge-free zone…Surveys conducted by NAEP and other testing agencies reveal an astonishing lack of historical and civic knowledge…Fifty-two percent chose Germany, Japan, or Italy as “U.S. Allies” in World War II.” Sol Stern, via Will Fitzhugh: President-elect Donald Trump’s … Continue reading Curriculum Is the Cure: The next phase of education reform must include restoring knowledge to the classroom.
The Economist IN 1983 the Reagan administration published “A Nation At Risk”, an apocalyptic report into the state of American schools. It ushered in 33 years of uneven yet enduring bipartisan support for presidents’ efforts to raise school standards. George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act and its successor, the Every Student Succeeds Act … Continue reading On School Reform
Ashley Jochim With enactment of the Every Student Succeeds Act, responsibility for improving student outcomes is back under states’ purview, empowering them to craft their own evidence-based turnaround strategies. Recent state-initiated turnarounds have taken many forms and all turnarounds aim to catalyze improvement in student outcomes. But the evidence base around these strategies is weak, … Continue reading Measures of Last Resort: Assessing Strategies for State-Initiated Turnarounds
Paul Hill: On the surface, the current dispute about Title I comparability (the requirement that schools within a district must receive comparable resources from state and local sources for education of disadvantaged children before federal funds are added on) is all about money. On one side, Secretary of Education John King is pressing for regulations … Continue reading What’s at Stake in the Ongoing Fight About School Spending Comparability?
Thomas Toch: The Obama administration has worked hard to strengthen public-school teaching—a $400 billion-plus workforce, and perhaps the single strongest lever in schools for raising student achievement. But just after Thanksgiving, the president signed a major new education law that largely abandoned the cornerstone of his teacher agenda: pressing states and school districts to take … Continue reading A New Era for the Battle Over Teacher Evaluations
John Fensterwald: Members of the State Board of Education who favor replacing the three-digit Academic Performance Index with a “dashboard” of measurements highlighting school performance can count on the backing of Gov. Jerry Brown. The K-12 summary (pages 22-23) of Brown’s proposed 2016-17 state budget, released last week, stated, “The state system should include a … Continue reading Moving achievement goalposts? Brown says it’s time to abandon API to judge schools’ performance
Aarian Marshall: provision tucked deep within a gargantuan education bill passed in December clarifies the murky legal standing of free-range parenting—sort of. Advocates for the practice—that is, encouraging kids to build self-reliance skills by traveling their neighborhoods solo—are hailing the 101-word section as a victory, though the law still leaves parents and journeying kiddos subject … Continue reading The Latest Battle Over When and Where Kids Can Walk to School
New York Times: Teachers unions and other critics of federally required standardized tests have behaved in recent years as though killing the testing mandate would magically remedy everything that ails education in the United States. In reality, getting rid of the testing requirement in the early grades would make it impossible for the country to … Continue reading The Counterfeit High School Diploma
Alan Borsuk: First, success in reaching proficiency in reading is shockingly low among students from low-income homes and those who are black or Hispanic. The Wisconsin gap between white kids and black kids has often been measured as the worst in the United States. Only 13% of black fourth through eighth graders in Wisconsin were rated as proficient or … Continue reading On the education front, one way to move from anger to action would be to make sure all youngsters are proficient in reading
Dana Goldstein: It is customary for federal agencies to issue detailed regulations on how new laws should be put into effect, and Mr. Obama’s Department of Education did so in November. But some lawmakers from both parties saw the regulations as unusually aggressive and far-reaching, and said they could subvert ESSA’s intent of re-establishing local … Continue reading Federalism And Education Governance
Wisconsin Reading Coalition via a kind email: With the beginning of a new school year, here is some timely information and inspiration. You can make a difference: At WRC, we are often focused on top-down systemic change that can improve reading outcomes for students across our state. However, bottom-up, individual efforts are equally important. A … Continue reading Reading and Curricular Suggestions & Links as the school year begins
Alan Borsuk Jean Maier says she now realizes two of the important qualities needed to make progress in dealing with Milwaukee’s reading crisis: Humility and tenacity. One piece of good news is that she has seen them in action in places such as Gwen T. Jackson School, 2121 W. Hadley St., a Milwaukee public school … Continue reading On Milwaukee (and Madison’s) Reading Crisis
Shortly after Madison schools superintendent Dan Nerad resigned last year, School Board member Ed Hughes told me that when it comes to the Madison School District, “People want improvement, but they don’t want change.”
I thought about Hughes’ words last weekend after the school district announced it had hired Chicago Public Schools chief of instruction Jennifer Cheatham as Nerad’s replacement.
Cheatham is seen as the best bet for improvement — specifically to the long history of low-income and minority student under-achievement.
The question now is: Will people tolerate her changes?
Hughes told me Sunday he was “optimistic” they would. “I think she will earn teachers’ trust and inspire them to do their best work,” he said. “If she succeeds at that, everything else will fall into place.”
I hope he’s right, but I don’t yet share his optimism.
Back in 2011, it was the district’s long-standing inability to do anything bold about the achievement gap that left it vulnerable to the Urban League of Greater Madison’s bid to open its own charter school for minority and low-income students.
Madison Preparatory Academy brought the issue of the achievement gap to the fore. But the school’s rejection — largely due to opposition from the teachers union — left notoriously progressive Madison doing some uncomfortable soul-searching.
Related: And so it continues…..
JEFFREY BROWN: Now we look to a California education experiment called the Rocketship Model that involves teachers, kids and parents and aims to expand one day to serve a million students.
NewsHour’s special correspondent for education, John Merrow, has our report.
JOHN MERROW: The Model T was the first, the first innovative and affordable car available to the masses. Others had built good cars, but Henry Ford figured out how to build a lot of them. He and his moving assembly line proved that quality can be mass-produced.
Mass production is a problem the auto industry solved over 100 years ago, but it’s an issue our education system has yet to figure out. America has lots of terrific schools. People open great schools every year, but typically open just one. Nobody has figured out how to mass-produce high-quality, cost-effective schools.
John Danner is the latest to give it a shot. He created an innovative charter school model with replication in mind. Charter schools receive public funding, but are privately managed and operate outside of the traditional public system.
JOHN MERROW: New Orleans, Nashville, Indianapolis, and Memphis have all approved charters for Rocketship schools to be built in their cities. Next year, two new schools will open in San Jose and one in Milwaukee. Danner plans to have 46 schools up and running in five years, with a vision of someday serving 50 cities and a million students. If he succeeds, Rocketship could become the Model T of education.
Notes and links on Rocketship’s arrival in Milwaukee.
Jay Matthews:I read Stanford University educational historian David F. Labaree’s new book, “The Trouble With Ed Schools,” shortly after last week’s column scorching those same education schools. You would think his wonderfully insightful book, which is even harder on ed schools than I was, would make me feel good. Here is a distinguished education school … Continue reading The Ed School Disease, Part Two
A reader forwarded this article: Jay Mathews, writing in the Washington Post: So when I found a new attack on the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), the nation’s leading association for math teachers, by a group of smart advocates, I saw a chance to bring some clarity to what we call the Math … Continue reading More on Math