K-12 $pending Inequality (Madison recently expanded its least diverse schools)

Darrel Burnette II: Several Massachusetts superintendents are spending more money on schools that enroll mostly wealthy students than they are on schools that educate mostly poor students, even though the state designed its funding formula to do the exact opposite. And some schools are outperforming other schools even though they’re receiving significantly less money. That’s … Continue reading K-12 $pending Inequality (Madison recently expanded its least diverse schools)

School District Reform Prompts Parent Protests in Beijing (Madison recently expanded its least diverse schools)

Ding Jie, Li Rongde, Su Xin and Zhou Simin: A group of 30 parents staged a protest at the education department of Beijing’s Dongcheng district earlier in May to voice their opposition to a sweeping change to the “school district” policy now being tested by the local government. Under the change, a school district, usually … Continue reading School District Reform Prompts Parent Protests in Beijing (Madison recently expanded its least diverse schools)

On expanding Madison’s Least Diverse schools

It’s interesting to consider recent Madison School Board/Administration decisions in light of David Brooks’ 7/11/2017 column: Over the past generation, members of the college-educated class have become amazingly good at making sure their children retain their privileged status. They have also become devastatingly good at making sure the children of other classes have limited chances … Continue reading On expanding Madison’s Least Diverse schools

On School Segregation And Expanding Madison’s Least Diverse School

Kate Taylor: A look at the history of District 3, which stretches along the West Side of Manhattan from 59th to 122nd Street, shows how administrators’ decisions, combined with the choices of parents and the forces of gentrification, have shaped the current state of its schools, which, in one of the most politically liberal parts … Continue reading On School Segregation And Expanding Madison’s Least Diverse School

Compare Omaha K-12 Governance & Spending With Madison: Expand Least Diverse Schools Or?

Mareesia Nicosia: They’ve waited every morning since, Gunter told The 74 in a recent interview, until the doors open and staff welcomes them warmly inside, trading handshakes and high-fives as music courses through the halls. Not long ago, though, there was little enthusiasm from students, their families — and staff, for that matter. The pre-K–5 … Continue reading Compare Omaha K-12 Governance & Spending With Madison: Expand Least Diverse Schools Or?

Expanding Madison’s Least Diverse Schools: Exclusionary Zoning Robs Our Cities of Their Best Qualities

Sightline Institute: What drew far less attention—and what is ultimately far more important—is the rest of HALA’s assertion. Those other 43 words point directly at local restrictions on housing construction in Seattle, prominently including its vast allocation of land to single-family lots as “among the largest obstacles to equity and affordability.” Across North America, such … Continue reading Expanding Madison’s Least Diverse Schools: Exclusionary Zoning Robs Our Cities of Their Best Qualities

Minding the nurture gap, Madison plans to expand least diverse schools

Economist: THE most important divide in America today is class, not race, and the place where it matters most is in the home. Conservatives have been banging on about family breakdown for decades. Now one of the nation’s most prominent liberal scholars has joined the chorus. Robert Putnam is a former dean of Harvard’s Kennedy … Continue reading Minding the nurture gap, Madison plans to expand least diverse schools

Advocating status quo, non diverse K-12 Madison Schools Governance

Negassi Tesfamichael: MTI cited Carusi’s opposition to voucher and independent charter schools in its endorsement. “Carusi is opposed to vouchers and independent charter schools and strongly believes that we need to continuously work to improve our public schools, rather than support alternatives,” MTI’s endorsement said. Caire’s One City Schools, which expanded from One City Early … Continue reading Advocating status quo, non diverse K-12 Madison Schools Governance

Commentary on A Diverse K-12 Governance Model – in Madison (outside the $20k/student legacy system)

Neil Heinen: There is so much to like about One City’s structure and operation, starting with founder, President and CEO Kaleem Caire. Caire’s bedrock passion for education has always been part of what hasn’t always been a straight-line career path. But all of the elements of his business, civic, nonprofit and activist education ventures have … Continue reading Commentary on A Diverse K-12 Governance Model – in Madison (outside the $20k/student legacy system)

The Price Of Elites Creating Monopolies (Madison’s Non Diverse K-12 Governance)

DARON ACEMOGLU, JAMES ROBINSON For the record, however, before cheerleading Slim, Gates might want to read the OECD’s 2012 report on telecommunications policy and regulation in Mexico, which estimates the social costs of Slim’s monopoly at U.S. $129 billion and counting. (The latest Forbes list of the world’s richest people puts Slim’s net worth at … Continue reading The Price Of Elites Creating Monopolies (Madison’s Non Diverse K-12 Governance)

Madison’s No-Bid $30,000 Contract to Burns/Van Fleet (?)

No bid contracting by our taxpayer supported Madison School District: a $30,000 no-bid contract to “Burns/Van Fleet” for 25 days of services to help in the new superintendent transition. (The superintendent search contract to BWP Associates was $32,000 plus expenses.) The Mike Hertting memo on the item touts this outfit as having “over 50 years … Continue reading Madison’s No-Bid $30,000 Contract to Burns/Van Fleet (?)

Open Records Response: “Community Leader & Stakeholder” meeting with Madison Superintendent Candidates

On January 21, 2020, I sent this email to board@madison.k12.wi.us Hi: I hope that you are well. I write to make an open records request for a list of invitees and participants in last week’s “community leader and stakeholder” meetings with the (Superintendent) candidates. Thank you and best wishes, Jim Hearing nothing, I wrote on … Continue reading Open Records Response: “Community Leader & Stakeholder” meeting with Madison Superintendent Candidates

As long as Montgomery County fails to teach children to read, it will have gaps

Karin Chenoweth: In the words of the report, Montgomery County’s curriculum does “not include the necessary components to adequately address foundational skills.” If you’re not immersed in these issues, you might not recognize just how scathing this language is. Montgomery County fails to do what just about all cognitive scientists and most reading researchers agree … Continue reading As long as Montgomery County fails to teach children to read, it will have gaps

Madison K-12 incoming Superintendent Gutiérrez Commentary

Scott Girard: Tuesday afternoon, he spent 15 minutes taking questions from the press and another 15 minutes answering questions from seven students at Glendale Elementary School, where the press conference was held. “There is some division in the community, so we’ve got to bridge that gap,” Gutiérrez said. “There is some division between the Doyle … Continue reading Madison K-12 incoming Superintendent Gutiérrez Commentary

Madison School Board eyes $317M facilities referendum, $33M operating referendum

Logan Wroge: The Madison School Board signaled support Monday for a $317 million facilities referendum and a $33 million operating referendum, setting up the board to finalize the ballot questions later this month for the November election. With several options on the table, board members expressed broad support for a slightly larger facilities referendum that … Continue reading Madison School Board eyes $317M facilities referendum, $33M operating referendum

The Misguided Progressive Attack on Charters

Conor Williams: Charter schools used to be a bipartisan education reform, but Democrats have turned against it of late. Many of their complaints are bad-faith projections—criticism for problems that aren’t unique to charters but endemic throughout the public education system. Take the objection that charters are an insufficiently transparent use of public dollars. In rolling … Continue reading The Misguided Progressive Attack on Charters

Madison School Board candidate forums begin this weekend, continue throughout March

Scott Girard: Voters will have several opportunities this month to hear from candidates for Madison School Board beginning this weekend. The East Side Progressives will hold a forum Sunday, March 8, at Lake Edge Lutheran Church, 4032 Monona Drive. It’s the first of four forums currently planned for the month before the Tuesday, April 7, … Continue reading Madison School Board candidate forums begin this weekend, continue throughout March

Madison School District High School “Grade Flooring” continues….

NBC 15: Under a new pilot program the lowest grade students could get on assignments is 40 or 50 percent, not a zero. Studies show freshman year is the most important year in high school and Geoffrey D. Borman, UW-Madison Education Policy Professor, said it can make or break you. The modern A-F grading system … Continue reading Madison School District High School “Grade Flooring” continues….

A Conversation About the Science of Reading and Early Reading Instruction with Dr. Louisa Moats

Kelly Stuart & Gina Fugnitto: Dr. Louisa Moats: The body of work referred to as the “science of reading” is not an ideology, a philosophy, a political agenda, a one-size-fits-all approach, a program of instruction, nor a specific component of instruction. It is the emerging consensus from many related disciplines, based on literally thousands of … Continue reading A Conversation About the Science of Reading and Early Reading Instruction with Dr. Louisa Moats

“The achievement rate has gotten worse. The failure rate of kids has gotten worse. We would keep thinking that we were solving the problem, the United Way and all of these organizations jump on it, but it doesn’t change a thing.”

Steven Elbow: The problem, some say, is that disparities impact a population that has little political or economic clout. And white people, who control the levers of commerce and government, address only pieces of an interconnected web of issues that include child development, education, economics and criminal justice. Brandi Grayson co-founded Young, Gifted and Black … Continue reading “The achievement rate has gotten worse. The failure rate of kids has gotten worse. We would keep thinking that we were solving the problem, the United Way and all of these organizations jump on it, but it doesn’t change a thing.”

Madison West High’s microschool shows attendance, credit improvements for students

Scott Girard: A Madison Metropolitan School District microschool for West High School students at risk of not graduating has shown improved attendance and credit achievement for its participants, according to a presentation to the School Board Monday. The microschool opened in November at the Taft Street Boys and Girls Club of Dane County location with 22 girls … Continue reading Madison West High’s microschool shows attendance, credit improvements for students

The Cost-effectiveness of Public and Private Schools of Choice in Wisconsin

Corey DeAngelis: The United States invests over $660 billion for K-12 education, or over $13,000 per student, each year, on average.1 Real education expenditures in the U.S. have nearly quadrupled in the past half century without consistent improvements in student outcomes (Hanushek, 1997, 2015a, 2015b; Hanushek & Lindseth, 2009, 2010). Because education dollars are scarce resources, and because students’ academic success … Continue reading The Cost-effectiveness of Public and Private Schools of Choice in Wisconsin

‘No school is perfect’: Student suing Baraboo district reflects on her ‘safer’ Madison school

Kelly Meyerhofer: Baraboo School District officials said in court filings that police were contacted about the locker room note and that the district conducted a “thorough” investigation. They said students wearing inappropriate clothing are required to remove the items once staff is made aware. The district also said it now contracts with a company to … Continue reading ‘No school is perfect’: Student suing Baraboo district reflects on her ‘safer’ Madison school

Hidden Segregation Within Schools Is Tracked in New Study

Sarah Sparks: Eliminating racial segregation can be a little like playing whack-a-mole: Instead of going away, too often it just finds a new outlet. A massive new study of North Carolina classrooms over nearly 20 years finds that as racial segregation between schools went down, the racial isolation within the classrooms inside those schools went … Continue reading Hidden Segregation Within Schools Is Tracked in New Study

K-12 Governance, Spending and Student Learning: As audit looms, Boston schools brace for more bad news

James Vaznis: By many measures, the Boston schools are in crisis. Graduation rates dropped last year, while the gap between Black and white students earning diplomas more than doubled. The state last fall ordered the school district to ramp up improvement efforts at nearly three dozen low-performing schools. A Globe review revealed that fewer than … Continue reading K-12 Governance, Spending and Student Learning: As audit looms, Boston schools brace for more bad news

An interview with Madison School Board President Gloria Reyes

Henry Sanders: This week, Henry welcomes Madison School Board president Gloria Reyes to talk about growing up on the North Side, hiring a new superintendent, the changing role of police in schools and more. Meanwhile: Outsourcing Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 School District Governance (while spending more, for less). 2013: What will be different, this time? 2019: Jennifer … Continue reading An interview with Madison School Board President Gloria Reyes

K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: What the Green New Deal Could Cost a Typical Household

Kent Lassman, Daniel Turner: Regardless of the GND architects’ intentions, this paper examines the some of the major tradeoffs associated with taking significant portions of the GND seriously. What would it mean to actually implement significant portions of the proposal? Can we understand the effects at a household level in different regions of the country? … Continue reading K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: What the Green New Deal Could Cost a Typical Household

Commentary on the growth of redistributed Wisconsin K-12 tax & spending

David Blaska: Governor Evers vetoed another middle class tax cut this week. The bill that passed with bipartisan support in the Assembly last week would have: • Reduced nearly $250 million in income taxes for middle and lower income levels by increasing the sliding scale standard deduction by 13.2% for each filer. This would have resulted … Continue reading Commentary on the growth of redistributed Wisconsin K-12 tax & spending

Civics & K-12 Opportunity: AOC Admits She Got Her Goddaughter Into a Bronx Charter School

Billy Binion: This isn’t the first time that AOC has inadvertently made the case for school choice. At an October rally for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.), she shared that her family left the Bronx for a house in Westchester county, so that she could attend a higher-quality school. “My family made a really … Continue reading Civics & K-12 Opportunity: AOC Admits She Got Her Goddaughter Into a Bronx Charter School

Is this the best Madison’s (taxpayer supported) public schools can do?

David Blaska: Today’s blog excerpts Kaleem Caire’s social media thread in the wake of his letter, co-signed by other local black leaders, expressing disappointment that Matthew Gutierrez of Texas was chosen as new superintendent of Madison WI schools over their preferred candidate, Taylor Eric Thomas of Georgia. Caire expresses frustration over the virulent Progressive Dane/Madison Teachers … Continue reading Is this the best Madison’s (taxpayer supported) public schools can do?

The New “Causal” Research on School Spending is Not Causal

Jay Greene: Some researchers and journalists have become very excited about a new set of studies that claim to find a causal relationship between increasing school spending and improving student outcomes.  These folks acknowledge that the vast majority of earlier research found no relationship between additional resources and stronger results, but that research was purely observational.  Perhaps school systems … Continue reading The New “Causal” Research on School Spending is Not Causal

$35K contract for police at school events turns into heated debate, protests Monday

Scott Girard: A $35,000 contract not initially up for discussion at the Madison School Board meeting Monday night ended up the most hotly debated topic among board members. The contract with the city of Madison provides for up to $35,000 paid to the Madison Police Department in 2020 for officers to provide security, safety and crowd control … Continue reading $35K contract for police at school events turns into heated debate, protests Monday

“We know best”: Authoritarianism’s Fatal Flaw

Zeynep Tufekci: Authoritarian blindness is a perennial problem, especially in large countries like China with centralized, top-down administration. Indeed, Xi would not even be the first Chinese ruler to fall victim to the totality of his own power. On August 4, 1958, buoyed by reports pouring in from around the country of record grain, rice, … Continue reading “We know best”: Authoritarianism’s Fatal Flaw

Black community leaders share concerns about Madison School District’s superintendent hire, call process ‘flawed, incomplete’

Scott Girard: A letter signed by 13 black community leaders in Madison expresses concerns about the Madison Metropolitan School District’s hiring of Matthew Gutiérrez to be its next superintendent. The concerns include how much larger and more diverse MMSD is than Gutiérrez’s current Seguin Independent School District in Texas, student performance scores in Seguin and a “flawed, … Continue reading Black community leaders share concerns about Madison School District’s superintendent hire, call process ‘flawed, incomplete’

Ohio graduates won’t have to be “proficient” in math or English, under state superintendent’s plan

Patrick O’Donnell: High school students won’t have to be “proficient” in either math or English to graduate, under minimum required test scores proposed by State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria. They will just need to know enough to do the most basic of jobs. New high school graduation requirements passed this summer require most students to show … Continue reading Ohio graduates won’t have to be “proficient” in math or English, under state superintendent’s plan

The AOC Tapes: Rep says she got goddaughter into Bronx charter school

Jon Levine: Good for me, but not for thee. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez managed to get her goddaughter into a Bronx charter school, according to a Facebook Live video she recorded in 2017 — before she was a public figure. “This area’s like a lot of where my family is from,” AOC says as she strolls … Continue reading The AOC Tapes: Rep says she got goddaughter into Bronx charter school

Commentary on Open Enrollment, the rule of law and the taxpayer supported Madison School District

Scott Girard: The Madison Metropolitan and Monona Grove school districts are applying for a waiver from the state to continue an agreement that allows up to five MGSD students to attend Nuestro Mundo Charter School beginning with each kindergarten class. The state Department of Public Instruction informed the districts in December 2019 that the agreement, which … Continue reading Commentary on Open Enrollment, the rule of law and the taxpayer supported Madison School District

Groundbreaking Settlement in California Literacy Lawsuit to Provide Immediate Relief to 75 Low-Performing Schools, Advances Holistic Approach to Learning in Schools

Morrison Foerster: Superior court Judge Rupert Byrdsong today received notice of a wide-ranging settlement in a major education lawsuit brought by students, parents and advocacy groups against the State of California. The lawsuit was the first civil rights action brought under any state constitution to protect students’ right to access to literacy. The ability to … Continue reading Groundbreaking Settlement in California Literacy Lawsuit to Provide Immediate Relief to 75 Low-Performing Schools, Advances Holistic Approach to Learning in Schools

K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Taxpayer Income, purchasing power and 2020 Madison Referendum climate

Oren Cass: 2/ Punchline: Popular perception is correct. In 1985, the typical male worker could cover a family of four’s major expenditures (housing, health care, transportation, education) on 30 weeks of salary. By 2018 it took 53 weeks. Which is a problem, there being 52 weeks in a year. Notes, links and some data on Madison’s … Continue reading K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Taxpayer Income, purchasing power and 2020 Madison Referendum climate

The 1619 Project perpetuates the soft bigotry of low expectations

Ian Rowe: On March 18, 2008, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama began an oration that Andrew Sullivan at the Atlantic called a “searing, nuanced, gut-wrenching, loyal, and deeply, deeply Christian speech” and “the most honest speech on race in America in my adult lifetime.” “‘We the people, in order to form a more perfect union,’” Obama began, quoting the … Continue reading The 1619 Project perpetuates the soft bigotry of low expectations

Effects of Scaling Up Private School Choice Programs on Public School Students

David N. Figlio, Cassandra M.D. Hart, Krzysztof Karbownik: Using a rich dataset that merges student-level school records with birth records, and a student fixed effect design, we explore how the massive scale-up of a Florida private school choice program affected public school students’ outcomes. Expansion of the program produced modestly larger benefits for students attending … Continue reading Effects of Scaling Up Private School Choice Programs on Public School Students

Commentary on the Madison School District’s teacher climate

David Blaska: In a school district that is 18% black, 57% of students suspended from school the first semester of the current school year (2019-20) were African-American. White students, 43% of the student body, accounted for 11% of out-of-school suspensions. To school board member Ali Muldrow, the data showed more about school staff than about … Continue reading Commentary on the Madison School District’s teacher climate

“I don’t think that actually stating they’re supporting these policies actually means that anything will change” (DPI Teacher Mulligans continue)

Logan Wroge: “I don’t think that actually stating they’re supporting these policies actually means that anything will change,” said Mark Seidenberg, a UW-Madison psychology professor. “I don’t take their statement as anything more than an attempt to defuse some of the controversy and some of the criticism that’s being directed their way.” While there’s broad … Continue reading “I don’t think that actually stating they’re supporting these policies actually means that anything will change” (DPI Teacher Mulligans continue)

3 more Madison private schools to join statewide voucher program

Logan Wroge: Three more private Madison schools intend to join the statewide voucher program in the fall, bringing the number of Dane County schools that plan to accept vouchers in 2020-21 to seven. The state Department of Public Instruction released Thursday the lists of schools that have signed up for three programs that provide taxpayer-funded … Continue reading 3 more Madison private schools to join statewide voucher program

“We definitely see science-based reading instruction as urgent in our – Madison – schools” (!)

Scott Girard: The 2018-19 state Forward Exam, given to students in grades 3 through 8, showed 35% of students scored proficient or advanced on the English Language Arts portion. For black students, it was 10.1% and for Hispanic students, 16%. Those scores come amid a nationwide, and more recently statewide, push for using the Science of Reading to educate … Continue reading “We definitely see science-based reading instruction as urgent in our – Madison – schools” (!)

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

This Wisconsin student earned her high school diploma and an associate degree in the same year. How’d she do it?

Samantha West: Thanks to a Fox Valley Technical College program called Start College Now, Pingel was able to get a head start on her college education. The program is designed to give high school students a taste of higher education by simultaneously earning high school and college credit. But it’d be safe to say Pingel got … Continue reading This Wisconsin student earned her high school diploma and an associate degree in the same year. How’d she do it?

Commentary on Federalism, the Education Bureaucracy, Spending & Results

Robby Soave: The Obama administration in 2009 pumped $3 billion into a program that awarded an extra $2 million to underperforming public schools, so long as they made certain reforms. The money came from the School Improvement Grants initiative. And yet, according to a study by the education department published at the start of 2017, “Overall, across … Continue reading Commentary on Federalism, the Education Bureaucracy, Spending & Results

Commentary on Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 School District 2020 Referendum & Spending Plans

Logan Wroge: “I appreciate the cuts in central office because I want more people in the classroom,” said board member Nicki Vander Meulen. Ruppel said the proposed reduction of school staff, which would be about 35 positions across a district that employs 4,000 people, is in response to expected short-term drops in enrollment due to … Continue reading Commentary on Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 School District 2020 Referendum & Spending Plans

She is the product of an education system that cultivate and rewards stupidity.

Bookworm room: At the K-12 level, education is lousy for several reasons. First, the education model is the worst way to teach children. Few students learn by sitting down, being lectured to, and then going home and struggling with homework. I highly recommend the Montessori approach, for Maria Montessori looked at how children learn, rather … Continue reading She is the product of an education system that cultivate and rewards stupidity.

Digitization and Divergence: Online School Ratings and Segregation in America

Sharique Hasan and Anuj Kumar: We analyze whether widespread online access to school-performance information affected economic and social segregation in America. We leverage the staged rollout of GreatSchools.org school ratings from 2006–2015 to answer this question. Across a range of outcomes and specifications, we find that the mass availability of school ratings has accelerated divergence … Continue reading Digitization and Divergence: Online School Ratings and Segregation in America

‘This work is so crucial’: Madison School District staff lead conversations about Black Lives Matter At School Week

Scott Girard: Every Madison Metropolitan School District site had staff participating in the Black Lives Matter At School Week of Action this year. The national movement to hold a week of support for black students ran Feb. 3-7 this year, culminating Thursday night in Madison with a sold-out staff showing of the movie “Just Mercy” and a … Continue reading ‘This work is so crucial’: Madison School District staff lead conversations about Black Lives Matter At School Week

From the Cap Times (Madison) editorial board, a rant on education — just not about students

Jim Bender: More than 43,000 families in Wisconsin’s school choice programs likely will be surprised to learn that they constitute a “threat” to the state. The editorial board of the Capital Times offered up that opinion in a recent attack on programs that serve these low-income and working-class families. The impetus for the editorial — … Continue reading From the Cap Times (Madison) editorial board, a rant on education — just not about students

Will Wisconsin return to its ‘three-legged stool’ to pay for schools? Here are reasons to doubt it

Alan Borsuk: Let’s focus particularly on Evers’ call for using some of the money to return state support of general operating costs of public schools to two-thirds of the total bill (with the other third coming generally from property taxes).   A bit of history: In the early 1990s, there was strong opinion, particularly for then-Gov. Tommy Thompson … Continue reading Will Wisconsin return to its ‘three-legged stool’ to pay for schools? Here are reasons to doubt it

Principal Commentary from Madison’s Jefferson Middle School

Logan Wroge: After a rocky first semester for Madison’s Jefferson Middle School, its interim principal assured parents Thursday she’ll work to address their concerns about safety. “Here’s what I’m going to promise you, I am always going to be available to you,” said Mary Kelley. “I’m always going to be visible. I’m in the classrooms, … Continue reading Principal Commentary from Madison’s Jefferson Middle School

Wisconsin School Spending Transparency Bill Hearing on Thursday

James Wigderson: A new bill to make school spending more transparent will get its first public hearing at the legislature on Thursday. The bill, Assembly Bill 810, would create a computerized database of public school expenditures maintained by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI). The agency would then post the information on the internet for … Continue reading Wisconsin School Spending Transparency Bill Hearing on Thursday

Nine Area School Buildings Earn Commendable Or Better Rating On 2019 ESSA Report Card (a missing topic around Madison)

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)

Commentary on a 2020 Madison School Board Candidate appearance

Logan Wroge: Three candidates for an open Madison School Board seat aligned on several issues facing the school district while offering their own solutions to other topics during a forum Tuesday. The trio seeking the board’s Seat 6 — Karen Ball, Christina Gomez Schmidt and Maia Pearson — spoke of rebuilding trust between the community … Continue reading Commentary on a 2020 Madison School Board Candidate appearance

Phonics Gains Traction As State Education Authority Takes Stand On Reading Instruction

Elizabeth Dohms: Late last month, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction took a stand on a long-debated method of teaching reading to students, ruling that phonics has a place in literacy education after all. An approach that teaches students how written language represents spoken words, phonics got its endorsement from state schools Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor during the 2020 Wisconsin … Continue reading Phonics Gains Traction As State Education Authority Takes Stand On Reading Instruction

Notes and links on the Madison School District’s academic and safety climate

David Blaska: Board of education president Gloria Reyes demands “the conversation around school discipline needs to be centered on race,” according to the WI State Journal. Those who counter that school discipline needs to be centered on behavior will be asked to leave the conversation. Maybe the answer is pick out some white kids and toss them … Continue reading Notes and links on the Madison School District’s academic and safety climate

New Madison Schools superintendent’s $250K+ contract up for vote Monday

Scott Girard: The contract runs from June 1 to May 31 of the following year. The agreement would allow Gutiérrez 25 vacation days each year, 10 holidays off and up to 13 personal illness days. It will provide up to $8,500 for moving expenses as Gutiérrez and his family move from Seguin, Texas, and cover … Continue reading New Madison Schools superintendent’s $250K+ contract up for vote Monday

As suspensions rise, Madison School Board unhappy with racial disparities

Logan Wroge: In the first semester of this school year, 1,524 out-of-school suspensions were issued. That’s up from 910 in the fall of 2015 — a 67% increase — and the number of fall semester suspensions has steadily increased during the past five years. “If we say this is about how black kids behave, I … Continue reading As suspensions rise, Madison School Board unhappy with racial disparities

K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: State lawmakers will ask New Yorkers for input regarding state’s population decrease

Sarah Darmanjian: “When enough people who can afford to leave New York State are gone, who will be left to pay for the infrastructure, health care, schools and other necessities?” said Sen. Tedisco. “This is a bi-partisan effort to shine the light on this problem that’s causing people to leave our Upstate communities and to … Continue reading K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: State lawmakers will ask New Yorkers for input regarding state’s population decrease

Commentary on Taxpayer Low Income Programs and Outcomes

Jeff Madrick: Actually, we can find low income as the main cause of the hardships and damage of poverty by looking at the consequences of current welfare policies themselves. Government programs in which benefits have changed over time provide abundant data for isolating low incomes as a fundamental cause of problems. Variations in government programs, … Continue reading Commentary on Taxpayer Low Income Programs and Outcomes

Most Colorado teacher prep programs don’t teach reading well, report says. University leaders don’t buy it.

Ann Schimke: About two-thirds of Colorado’s teacher preparation programs, including the state’s two largest, earned low grades for how they cover early reading instruction, according to a new report from the National Council on Teacher Quality. The report, which is controversial for its reliance on documents such as course syllabi and textbooks, claims to assess … Continue reading Most Colorado teacher prep programs don’t teach reading well, report says. University leaders don’t buy it.

Old People Have All the Interesting Jobs in America

Tyler Cowen: Why so many of America’s best and brightest college graduates go into management consulting, finance or law school is a perennial question. There are some compelling theories, which I will get to, but first I would like to turn the question around: Why are so many people in top positions, whether in the public … Continue reading Old People Have All the Interesting Jobs in America

Commentary on School Choice and Madison’s K-12 climate

David Blaska: BULLETIN: Channel 3000 is reporting that “Several schools in Madison were on lockout status Wednesday morning because of a shooting, according to the Madison Metropolitan School District. Sennett Middle School, East High School, La Follette High School and Nuestro Mundo Community School were affected. When you don’t have facts or reason, you try to drown out … Continue reading Commentary on School Choice and Madison’s K-12 climate

The Science of Reading

Leila Fletcher (Madison West High School Senior): Simpson Street Free Press is invested in and applies the science of reading with our students. We have for decades. It is true, however, that debates about reading instruction continue. Teachers and reading specialists continually discuss—and dispute—what methods of reading instruction are truly most effective, and ultimately, what … Continue reading The Science of Reading

Madison schools’ happy talk Cheat(ham)s black kids

David Blaska: A crusader has stuck his out out of the foxhole to take on the political correctness that is destroying Madison’s public schools. We introduced him to you Blaska Policy Werkers two weeks ago. He is Peter Anderson, an environmental activist.  Peter has put up a website called “Durable Justice.” Bookmark it. (We’ll wait. Got it?) Anderson … Continue reading Madison schools’ happy talk Cheat(ham)s black kids

Research shows progressive places, like Minneapolis, have the worst achievement gaps

Nekima Levy Armstrong: It is an open secret in Minneapolis and the Twin Cities that black and brown children are being left behind within the public school system. The dominant narrative places the blame on poor children of color and their parents, as well as their communities. When racial stereotypes are used as the default … Continue reading Research shows progressive places, like Minneapolis, have the worst achievement gaps

Notes and Commentary on the Wisconsin School Choice Event

At the Pence rally. A lot of people here with yellow sashes in support of school vouchers. Many nonwhite. — Rocknrolli OneAndOnly (@RocknRocknrolli) January 28, 2020 .@vp mentions @GovEvers‘s absence and a bill to be reintroduced today by @RepBrostoff to phase out school vouchers in Wisconsin: “I know the governor can’t be here with us … Continue reading Notes and Commentary on the Wisconsin School Choice Event

Study: $3.2B in Economic Benefits with the growth of school choice

Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty: On the first day of National School Choice Week, a new study (here) estimates how further growth of Wisconsin’s parental choice programs could result in $3.2 billion in new economic benefits to Wisconsin over the next two decades. Ripple Effect, authored by Will Flanders, PhD, builds upon a recent study which documented … Continue reading Study: $3.2B in Economic Benefits with the growth of school choice

Seattle teacher and activist tells local educators to rebuild school systems to be equitable

Shanzeh Ahmad: The four demands are: end zero-tolerance policies, mandate black history and ethnic studies, hire more black teachers and increase funds for counselors in schools instead of police. There are several ways school communities can take part in the Week of Action, Hagopian said, such as wearing the Black Lives Matter T-shirt, having a … Continue reading Seattle teacher and activist tells local educators to rebuild school systems to be equitable

Madison 2020 Referendum Climate: Taxpayers decide some states aren’t worth it

Ben Eisen and Laura Kusisto: The average property tax bill in the U.S. in 2018 was about $3,500, according to Attom Data Solutions, a real-estate data firm. But many residents in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and California had been deducting well over $10,000 a year. In Westchester County, N.Y., the average property-tax bill was … Continue reading Madison 2020 Referendum Climate: Taxpayers decide some states aren’t worth it

Nowhere Is the Hypocrisy of Progressives More Apparent Than in Education

Nikima Levy Armstrong: In the years leading up to my run, progressives talked a good game about their desire for equity, diversity and inclusion. I watched as they marched in the streets with us during Black Lives Matter protests. They put #BlackLivesMatter signs up in their windows and on their lawns. Some of them helped to … Continue reading Nowhere Is the Hypocrisy of Progressives More Apparent Than in Education

Guilty white teacher defends Madison school chaos

David Blaska: This trenchant observation drew a response from one Stan Endiliver, who (contrary to his intention) betrays why virtue-signaling progressives like himself are piping at-risk kids to disaster by playing the victim fife. MMSD teacher here; relax 1. If you are a parent of a student in MMSD, you have nothing to fear.[Blaska: as … Continue reading Guilty white teacher defends Madison school chaos

School Board chooses Matthew Gutiérrez as next Madison superintendent

Scott Girard: Gutiérrez said in the release he was “honored and humbled to be selected,” touting community engagement and support to teachers, students and families as “top priorities.” “During my visit to Madison, I was extremely impressed with the high level of community involvement and how community members hold education as a top priority,” he … Continue reading School Board chooses Matthew Gutiérrez as next Madison superintendent

Cap Times’ Esenberg cartoon takes political left to new lows

Shannon M. Whitworth: As I black man, I have had my fill of the patronizing and condescending self-righteousness of these self-appointed white guardians who justify any gutter tactic in the name of their causes. I am appalled that the irony of publishing the cartoon as we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. … Continue reading Cap Times’ Esenberg cartoon takes political left to new lows

Why Black People in Madison Wisconsin are Impatient, and Should Be.

Kaleem Caire: With regard to K-12 education, Madison has known about the widespread underperformance of Black children in our city’s public schools for more than 50 years, and the situation has gotten worse. Instead of creating important and transformationl systemic changes, we act like “programs” alone will solve our problems, when we know full well … Continue reading Why Black People in Madison Wisconsin are Impatient, and Should Be.

Commentary on Madison’s K-12 Climate (lacks a substantive look at our long term, disastrous reading results)

Child opportunity index: But the data don’t paint an entirely rosy picture for Madison. In a pattern researchers have mapped across the country, local black and Hispanic children are disproportionately concentrated in “very low opportunity” neighborhoods, and white children have significant advantages. Michael Johnson, president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Dane … Continue reading Commentary on Madison’s K-12 Climate (lacks a substantive look at our long term, disastrous reading results)

Mission vs organization: leadership of the taxpayer supported ($500m+ annually) Madison School District

David Blaska: Only 8.9% of Madison’s African American high school students are proficient in English, according to 2019 ACT scores. One of every five African American students never graduate. In math, 65% of black students test below basic proficiency, according to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Not to worry, the district now prohibits teachers … Continue reading Mission vs organization: leadership of the taxpayer supported ($500m+ annually) Madison School District

Religious-schools case heads to a Supreme Court skeptical of stark lines between church and state

Robert Barnes: Parents who believe religious schools such as Stillwater absolutely are the places for their children are at the center of what could be a landmark Supreme Court case testing the constitutionality of state laws that exclude religious organizations from government funding available to others. In this case, the issue rests on whether a … Continue reading Religious-schools case heads to a Supreme Court skeptical of stark lines between church and state

“Progressive Cities have higher graduation gaps between students of color and white students than conservative cities”

Brightbeam: Leaders of progressive cities often frame their policy proposals in terms of what’s best for those with the least opportunity and the greatest obstacles. And yet, students in America’s most progressive cities face greater racial inequity in achievement and graduation rates than students living in the nation’s most conservative cities. As you read, keep … Continue reading “Progressive Cities have higher graduation gaps between students of color and white students than conservative cities”

Anti Parent and Student Choice Political Rhetoric

Will Flanders: Conservatives are often accused of being “science deniers” when it comes to issues like climate change. But recent events reveal that those on the left suffer from significant confirmation bias when it comes to a stance that is increasingly central to the liberal education agenda — opposition to charter schools. In December, the … Continue reading Anti Parent and Student Choice Political Rhetoric

Why are Madison middle school principals leaving?

David Blaska: Wanted: More Milton McPikes, fewer guilt mongers  Obsessed with identity politics, Madison school board member Ali Muldrow posts on social media an article headlined:  “The discomfort of white adults should never take priority over the success of our black and brown students.” “I didn’t come here to teach those kinds of kids.” As harmful … Continue reading Why are Madison middle school principals leaving?

Candidate Quotes from Madison’s 2020 Superintendent Pageant

Scott Girard: Behavior Education Plan Vanden Wyngaard: “Just like in previous districts I have been in, it appears we have a perception issue in the community.” Gutiérrez: “What I’ve seen is a rather comprehensive plan. I think it may be a little overwhelming for folks. How can we simplify that to be user-friendly, easy to … Continue reading Candidate Quotes from Madison’s 2020 Superintendent Pageant

Madison’s long term, disastrous reading results: middle school governance edition

Chris Rickert: In at least two cases, principals left under a cloud. In 2017, district officials decided not to pursue legal action against former Black Hawk Middle School Principal Kenya Walker, who abandoned her position and oversaw more than $10,000 in spending on the school’s credit card that could not be accounted for. In 2018, … Continue reading Madison’s long term, disastrous reading results: middle school governance edition

We can draw school zones to make classrooms less segregated. This is how well your district does.

Alvin Chang: Think about your elementary school.  If you attended an American public school, chances are you went to that school because your family lived in that school’s attendance zone. You probably didn’t think twice about it. We tend to assume these are neutrally drawn, immutable borders. But if you take a step back and … Continue reading We can draw school zones to make classrooms less segregated. This is how well your district does.

The lines that divide: School district boundaries often stymie integration

Laura Meckler and Kate Rabinowitz: The move by Memphis to merge with the suburbs, he says, was a power play gone bad. He supported the separation to preserve local control and property values, and to avoid being controlled by a district he considered bureaucratic and dysfunctional. “It wasn’t like the primary agenda was a racial … Continue reading The lines that divide: School district boundaries often stymie integration

Madison School District projects loss of 1,100 students over next five years expected, yet 2020 referendum planning continues

Scott Gerard: Between now and the 2024-25 school year, the district will lose another 1,347 students, according to district projections. Since the 2011-12 school year when MMSD added 4-year-old kindergarten, the district has always had at least 26,000 students. Projections show it will drop below that in 2024-25 for the first time since. Projections from Vandewalle … Continue reading Madison School District projects loss of 1,100 students over next five years expected, yet 2020 referendum planning continues

Commentary on Madison Schools’ Quietly spending taxpayer’s $4M

Logan Wroge: The plan didn’t become publicly available until Friday afternoon, when the meeting agenda was posted online. Does the analysis include space in other facilities? The District expanded some of its least diverse schools (Van Hise and Hamilton) several years ago, when space was available in other nearby schools. The Madison school district is … Continue reading Commentary on Madison Schools’ Quietly spending taxpayer’s $4M