School board candidates reflect on school climate ahead of primary

Jenny Peek: It’s been a difficult year for the Madison school district. A barrage of high-profile incidents has taken over the narrative of what it’s like in Madison’s schools, from the use of racist language, to a teacher being arrested for attempting to produce child pornography, to issues of safety at a district middle school. The district is … Continue reading School board candidates reflect on school climate ahead of primary

Hard Questions: Hear the Voices of Young Journalists

Simpson Street Free Press: Several of the most dynamic and accomplished young journalists working in the Madison media market answer questions from student reporters. Emily Hamer is a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal. She recently took on the criminal justice beat for the paper. Jenny Peek is a digital news editor for … Continue reading Hard Questions: Hear the Voices of Young Journalists

Mission vs. Organization: Madison’s long term, disastrous reading results

This meeting was held at Lakeview public library. Asking attendees to leave would have been a violation of the Madison Public Library’s rules of use, which require that “meetings be free and open to the general public at all times.” pic.twitter.com/BRgxOnbSmk — Chan Stroman (@eduphilia) December 13, 2019 It was nonetheless made quite apparent that … Continue reading Mission vs. Organization: Madison’s long term, disastrous reading results

How I Taught My Kid to Read: Children can learn quickly by sounding out words, letter by letter—but somehow, the method is still controversial.

John McWhorter: Now that it’s summer, I have a suggestion for how parents can grant their wee kiddies the magic of reading by Labor Day: Pick up Siegfried Engelmann’s Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. My wife and I used it a while ago with our then-4-year-old daughter, and after a mere … Continue reading How I Taught My Kid to Read: Children can learn quickly by sounding out words, letter by letter—but somehow, the method is still controversial.

Why are Madison’s Students Struggling to Read?

Jenny Peek: Mark Seidenberg, a UW-Madison professor and cognitive neuroscientist, has spent decades researching the way humans acquire language. He is blunt about Wisconsin’s schools’ ability to teach children to read: “If you want your kid to learn to read you can’t assume that the school’s going to take care of it. You have to … Continue reading Why are Madison’s Students Struggling to Read?

2019 Madison School Board Election Result Commentary

David Blaska: I met many people throughout the city (and reconnected with sister Jane). Gratified at the many educators, teaching support staff, and mainstream Democrats who said they voted for me. Another shout-out to liberal downtown Madison blogger Greg Humphrey. That took courage. We started a long overdue conversation in this community. That will continue. … Continue reading 2019 Madison School Board Election Result Commentary

Candidates wade through complex issues facing the Madison school board

Jenny Peek: As for charter schools, Blaska says the more the better. “Competition is what made America great,” he says. “My whole pitch is to bring Madison schools back to their former excellence status and we’ve gone the opposite way. We have parents voting with their feet.” Muldrow supports charter schools — like Nuestro Mundo … Continue reading Candidates wade through complex issues facing the Madison school board

Madison’s Sherman Middle School focuses on new energy after blog post leads to principal’s departure

Jenny Peek: Just three months ago, the school community was roiling over a blog post penned by teacher Karen Vieth about Sherman and its former principal, Kristin Foreman. “I am leaving this district, because I cannot serve the children I love in the current climate,” Vieth wrote. “I have never seen a building as deeply … Continue reading Madison’s Sherman Middle School focuses on new energy after blog post leads to principal’s departure

Wisconsin Superintendent candidates share goals, but differ on solutions

Jenny Peek: When it comes to selecting a leader of the public school system, Wisconsin is the only state in the country that calls on “qualified electors” to make the choice. The state superintendent of public instruction, a position established by the Wisconsin constitution, lasts four years and is housed within the executive branch of … Continue reading Wisconsin Superintendent candidates share goals, but differ on solutions

Civics: Can Unelected Officials Rewrite Federal Law? This Supreme Court Case Will Tell Us

Sarah Kramer: To that end, Tom does everything necessary to make sure the people that Harris Funeral Homes serves feel welcome. He sweeps the floors, plants flowers, shovels snow, and changes lightbulbs. Many times he will be the one to open the door and greet you with a smile as you walk into the funeral … Continue reading Civics: Can Unelected Officials Rewrite Federal Law? This Supreme Court Case Will Tell Us

Commentary on Freedom, Inc and Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district

Chris Rickert: Leaders of Freedom Inc. declined to speak with the Wisconsin State Journal or allow a reporter to observe the group’s social services work, making it difficult to describe the group’s current activities beyond protesting at public meetings. Among the programs listed on its website are an anti-violence Black Girls Matter program and the … Continue reading Commentary on Freedom, Inc and Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district