Mitchell Schmidt: The former educator’s first year in office came with its share of partisan battles, including disagreements over his appointed cabinet heads and efforts by Republicans to limit the governor’s power. Divided government stalled attempts to appease constituents on both sides of the aisle: Republicans refused to take up gun control measures and marijuana … Continue reading Commentary on Wisconsin Governance, including K-12 (no mention of Mr. Evers teacher mulligans)
Alan Borsuk: Mississippi got a lot of attention when the NAEP scores were released. It was the only state where fourth grade reading scores improved. Mississippi is implementing a strong requirement that teachers be well-trained in reading instruction. Massachusetts did that in the 1990s and it paid off in the following decade. Wisconsin passed a … Continue reading Teacher Mulligans, continued: The latest report on reading was really bad. Here are some possible solutions
Will Flanders: While DPI is willing to acknowledge the gravity of the achievement gap, the agency remains stubbornly opposed to proven solutions. Year after year and study after study reveal that public charter schools, freed from the mandates of bureaucracy and unionization, do a better job educating exactly the type of students that need the … Continue reading The price of teacher Mulligans, continued: Wisconsin Proficiency Rates Flat Despite Spending Increases
It’s #NAEPday. Data dive done already. (Wisconsin has reclaimed its place at the top for lowest average scale scores in reading for its 4th and 8th grade black students.) Now to observe where the robust convos are vs. where crickets will be chirping. https://t.co/0qCSwtylFu — Chan Stroman (@eduphilia) October 30, 2019 . Despite continuous attacks … Continue reading The Price of Wisconsin’s Elementary Reading Teacher Mulligans
Wisconsin’s new Governor, Democrat Tony Evers, recently acknowledged his support for thousands of elementary reading teacher content knowledge exam mulligans. Now comes Politifact: As proof, Thiesfeldt’s staff pointed to the most recent Wisconsin Student Assessment System results. The annual tests include the Forward Exam for grades three to eight and ACT-related tests for grades nine … Continue reading Politifact joins the Wisconsin Reading mulligan party
Wiseye @ 24 September WisPolitics Lunch: Jim Zellmer: Thank you for your service Governor Evers. Under your leadership, the Wisconsin d.p.i. granted Mulligan’s to thousands of elementary teachers who couldn’t pass a reading exam (that’s the “Foundations of Reading” elementary teacher reading content knowledge exam), yet our students lag Alabama, a state that spends less … Continue reading My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results
Logan Wroge: For example, white students in fifth grade dropped 4.6 percentage points in English/language arts proficiency compared to a 1.6 percentage-point decrease for black students in fifth grade. In the eighth grade, the percentage of African American students scoring proficient or advanced in English/language arts rose 2 percentage points to 12.1%, while the percentage … Continue reading Wisconsin Academic Result commentary: writer fails to mention thousands of DPI eLementary Reading teacher mulligans
Scott Bellile: The state superintendent – first Evers, until he was elected governor in 2018, then his successor, Carolyn Stanford Taylor – and the DPI argued the governor’s approval on scopes is unnecessary because no state officer can act as the state superintendent’s superior with regard to the supervision of public instruction. In last week’s … Continue reading Commentary on Wisconsin DPI “Rule Making” and mulligans
Molly Beck: Tuesday’s decision overturns the court’s own ruling just three years ago when a split panel of justices said in Coyne v. Walker that Evers could write rules and regulations related to education policy on his own — without permission from then-Gov. Scott Walker and the Legislature — because the state constitution provides him with … Continue reading “Rule Making”, achievement, adult employment, mulligans and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Albuquerque Journal: Instead, teachers will be graded with classroom observations worth 50%; planning, preparation and professionalism worth 40%; and family and student surveys worth 10%. Student improvement on tests had accounted for 35 percent. So this year – and likely every year of this administration, don’t be fooled by the “transition” in the evaluation name … Continue reading New Mexico strips accountability from teacher evaluations; teacher mulligans redux
Michelle Obama: Without telling me, she went over to the school and began a weeks-long process of behind-the-scenes lobbying, which led to me and a couple of other high-performing kids getting quietly pulled out of class, given a battery of tests, and about a week later reinstalled permanently into a bright and orderly third-grade class … Continue reading The Price of Teacher Mulligans: “I didn’t stop to ask myself then what would happen to all the kids who’d been left in the basement with the teacher who couldn’t teach” – Michelle Obama
Wisconsin Reading Coalition: A bill is circulating in both houses of the Wisconsin legislature that would permanently exempt special education teachers from having to pass the Foundations of Reading Test (FORT). Prospective special educators would merely have to take one course in reading and reading comprehension, receive some unspecified coaching, and compile a portfolio. There … Continue reading Mulligans for Elementary Reading Teachers; permanent exemption proposal
Negassi Tesfamichael: Gov. Evers had been at DPI for a while until now. Has there been a foundation at DPI built by Gov. Evers that you feel like you can expand upon? Initially, I went to DPI in 2001 — that was when Libby Burmaster became superintendent. And Libby and I worked together in the … Continue reading Commentary on Wisconsin DPI Leadership; Elementary Teacher Mulligans
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction “DPI”, lead for many years by new Governor Tony Evers, has waived thousands of elementary reading teacher content knowledge requirements. This, despite our long term, disastrous reading results. Chan Stroman tracks the frequent Foundations of Reading (FoRT) mulligans: Yet the statutory FoRT requirement is now deemed satisfied by “attempts” … Continue reading Mulligans for Wisconsin Elementary Reading Teachers
Briana Reilly: Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is calling on lawmakers to use $250 million in newly projected surplus dollars to bolster K-12 funding through school-based mental health services and special education aid in districts across the state. The former state schools superintendent, who signed an executive order Thursday ordering a legislative special session to act on the sweeping … Continue reading Gov. Tony Evers calls on lawmakers to take up $250 million plan to bolster K-12 education
The Foundations of Reading, Wisconsin’s one elementary reading teacher content knowledge requirement is (was) an attempt to improve our K-12 students’ disastrous reading results. Readers may find the Foundations of Reading results of interest (2.4MB xlsx). (3 February 2020: link updated to remove partial ss identifiers, via a kind DPI message). The test is based … Continue reading Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Examination Results
WILL: Waukesha Circuit Court Judge Bohren issued a summary judgement order Tuesday in favor of School Choice Wisconsin Action (SCWA), a WILL client, that sued the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI), the state education agency, for their unfair, illegal treatment of private schools in Wisconsin’s choice programs. WILL filed the lawsuit on behalf of … Continue reading Our Tax Dollars at Work: Wisconsin DPI loses School Choice Case
Wisconsin Legislature: –State Representative John Nygren (R-Marinette), Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Finance and State Representative Jeremy (R-Fond du Lac), Chair of the Assembly Education Committee released the following statement calling for an audit of the Department of Public Instruction: “Representing nearly one-fifth of the entire state budget, the Department of Public Instruction budget … Continue reading Nygren and Thiesfeldt Call for Audit of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction: State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor announced her decision today not to run in the 2021 election for state superintendent of public instruction. Gov. Tony Evers appointed Stanford Taylor to the office in January 2019, and her term ends July 2021. “I am honored to have been appointed by Governor … Continue reading A competitive Wisconsin DPI superintendent election in 2021?
Mark Seidenberg: Lucy Calkins has written a manifesto entitled “No One Gets To Own The Term ‘Science Of Reading’”. I am a scientist who studies reading. Her document is not about the science that I know; it is about Lucy Calkins. Ms. Calkins is a prolific pedagogical entrepreneur who has published numerous curricula and supporting … Continue reading This is why we don’t have better readers: Response to Lucy Calkins
Emily Hanford: “Thank God for Mississippi.” That’s a phrase people would use when national education rankings came out because no matter how poorly your state performed, you could be sure things were worse in Mississippi. Not anymore. New results on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a standardized test given every two years to measure … Continue reading There Is a Right Way to Teach Reading, and Mississippi Knows It
Jenny Anderson: In the US, 13.5% of 15-year-olds can distinguish between fact and opinion when trying to interpret a complex reading task. In the UK, it’s just 11.5%. In the US, 13.5% of 15-year-olds can distinguish between fact and opinion when trying to interpret a complex reading task. In the UK, it’s just 11.5%. Those … Continue reading Only 9% of 15-year-olds can tell the difference between fact and opinion
Dana Goldstein: The performance of American teenagers in reading and math has been stagnant since 2000, according to the latest results of a rigorous international exam, despite a decades-long effort to raise standards and help students compete with peers across the globe. And the achievement gap in reading between high and low performers is widening. … Continue reading ‘It Just Isn’t Working’: Test Scores Cast Doubt on U.S. Education Efforts
Daniel Willingham: American students remain stumped by math. The 2019 scores for the National Assessment of Educational Progress test — known as NAEP — were published last month, showing that performance for fourth- and eighth-graders hasn’t budged since 2009. That’s a year after the National Mathematics Advisory Panel, convened by President George W. Bush, concluded that … Continue reading Math scares your child’s elementary school teacher — and that should frighten you
Matthew Ladner: While last week’s NAEP news was glum nationwide, Mississippi students performed relatively well. You have to dig into the details to see just how well. First, a bit of backstory. Mississippi is one of the nation’s poorest states and has the largest African-American student population in the country. The state has ranked at … Continue reading NAEP 2019: Mississippi improvement more impressive under closer examination
Wall Street Journal: The highest-achieving students are doing better and the lowest are doing worse than a decade ago. That’s one depressing revelation from the latest Nation’s Report Card that details how America’s union-run public schools are flunking. The results from the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress, which is administered to students around the … Continue reading America’s Schools Flunk Despite more spending, test scores fall and the achievement gap grows.
Alan Borsuk: The council on teacher quality is clearly correct that there’s been a national retreat from once-touted ways of improving teachers. Is that good or bad? The answer might lie in states such as Wisconsin and in finding out whether easing up on high-stakes judging of teachers brings more cooperation and success — or … Continue reading The push to improve teacher effectiveness has cooled off. That’s not necessarily bad.
Matthew Ladner: Americans thus seem to see their public education system as falling short in a variety of ways and aren’t especially optimistic about future improvement. Republicans exhibited the greatest amount of optimism, with 24 percent forecasting that the American public school system would be a “model of excellence around the world” in 20 years. … Continue reading Should we feel optimistic or pessimistic about American K-12 education’s future?
Associated Press: MADISON – Democratic Gov. Tony Evers will kill a contentious plan to punish students who disrupt free speech on University of Wisconsin System campuses, his spokeswoman said Friday as system regents took another step toward implementing the policy. The regents in 2017 adopted a Republican-backed policy declaring students who twice disrupt others’ free … Continue reading Civics, Politics and Campus Free Speech
Molly Beck: Less than half of Wisconsin students again this year are considered to be proficient in reading and math — a trend Assembly Speaker Robin Vos on Thursday called “disturbing.” The percentage of students in public and private voucher schools scoring well in reading and math on state tests dropped slightly during the 2018-19 … Continue reading Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos questions how K-12 funding was spent given test score decline
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
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?
Kevin Currie-Knight: Imagine a US state where locksmiths, pastoral counselors, home security companies, and acupuncturists do not have to be licensed by the government to do business. They could pursue certification with a private organization if they wanted to, but they could decide not to as well. Would chaos ensue? Recently, the state legislature in … Continue reading Why Should Anyone Need a License for Anything?
Corey DeAngelis: Using Evers’ own publicly available Accountability Report Card data from the 2017-18 school year, I find that private schools participating in choice programs and independent charter schools tend to offer the citizens of Wisconsin more “bang for the buck” than district-run public schools. Specifically, private schools deliver 2.27 more Accountability Report Card points … Continue reading More for your money: School choice
Christina Samuels Employing experienced and fully-credentialed teachers is one of the major factors contributing to California school districts that are producing higher-than-expected academic achievement among their Hispanic, black, and white students, says a new report from the Learning Policy Institute. In the report California’s Positive Outliers: Districts Beating the Odds, released Thursday, the Palo Alto-based … Continue reading Teacher Experience and Preparation Led to Stronger Black and Hispanic Achievement, Study Says
National Education Association: Points were tallied and converted into letter grades using a total of 100 potential points and a traditional A – F scale. Only six state statutes garnered enough points to avoid an “F,” and all of those were “D” grades except for Maryland (“B-“) and Tennessee (“C-“). To better distinguish among the … Continue reading US National Teacher Union Reviews State Charter Statutes
Vicki Alger and Martin Lueken: Secondly, Pope’s latest perennial request to the LFB asks for only the program’s costs and doesn’t ask for a single voucher program savings calculation. That omission, however, didn’t stop dozens of media outlets from repeating the ominous headline that vouchers, along with charter schools, “consume $193 million in state aid.” … Continue reading “that $119 million voucher cost represents just 1 percent of Wisconsin’s $11.5 billion in total local, state, and federal public-school funding”
David Blaska: Just catching up with events in the Mad Madison school district, this time at Leopold elementary school. Thanks to Dylan Brogan of Isthmus, one of the finest reporters in town, we learn only this week of an incident four weeks ago, well before the Spring school board election. Children lie about what happened … Continue reading Who will teach the parents?
Curiously, this document is NOT shared as part of the Madison School Board public documents. Chan Stroman obtained the April 4, 2019 70 page package via an open records request (!). The April 4, 2019 document contains a number of interesting links and shares, including a summary of Governor Ever’s (Former long time Wisconsin DPI … Continue reading Weekly Update Shared to Madison School Board Members
Nick Wilson: I am not interested in politics or controversy, and I derive no pleasure in creating difficulties for the UW out of personal resentment. But whenever family and friends ask me about graduate school, I have to explain that rather than an academic program centered around pedagogy and public policy, STEP is a 12-month … Continue reading What They Don’t Teach You at the University of Washington’s Ed School
Claire McInerny: Last year, only a third of the 557 students met grade level in all subjects, compared to 52 percent in the district overall. Nearly 65 percent of Overton students were English-language learners, and 93 percent came from low-income households. Only a handful of them were white. A year ago, she stood in the … Continue reading Why Austin’s Schools Aren’t Working For Students Of Color
Joe Nathan: I agree with Scott Croonquist, executive director of the Association of Metropolitan School Districts, which represents more than 40 suburban and urban districts. Croonquist told me on March 13 his organization agrees with many others: “The new system has only been in effect for half a year. We have no data to support … Continue reading Teacher Credentialism Commentary
Jessie Opoien: WILL’s most likely battle with Evers, Esenberg said, is over administrative rules — a “fight that only a wonk could love.” As Evers seeks to implement policies with a Republican Legislature opposed to most of his goals, he could direct state agencies to implement administrative rules — most of which WILL would be … Continue reading “Strategic Lawfare”, administrative rule making, the administrative state – and reading
E. Alex Jung: For all the conversation lately about portraits of masculinity in the Midwest (or lack thereof), one of the most quietly stirring comes from Bing Liu’s Oscar-nominated documentary, Minding the Gap. Centering around a love of skateboarding, the documentary initially follows three skaters living in Rockford, Illinois — Keire Johnson, Zack Mulligan, and … Continue reading Oscar-Nominated Minding the Gap Director Bing Liu on America’s Masculinity Crisis
Colin Mulligan: The main problem with a pass/fail system is its inability to distinguish one student from another. How would a graduate school differentiate the thousands of applicants if they all had the same grades? Well, perhaps these institutions should adapt more progressive acceptance policies as well. One education initiative created by the Harvard School … Continue reading Time to rethink traditional grading system
The ranks of America’s home-schooled children have continued a steady climb over the past five years, and new research suggests broader reasons for the appeal.
The number of home-schooled kids hit 1.5 million in 2007, up 74% from when the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics started keeping track in 1999, and up 36% since 2003. The percentage of the school-age population that was home-schooled increased from 2.2% in 2003 to 2.9% in 2007. “There’s no reason to believe it would not keep going up,” says Gail Mulligan, a statistician at the center.
Traditionally, the biggest motivations for parents to teach their children at home have been moral or religious reasons, and that remains a top pick when parents are asked to explain their choice.
The 2003 survey gave parents six reasons to pick as their motivation. (They could choose more than one.) The 2007 survey added a seventh: an interest in a “non-traditional approach,” a reference to parents dubbed “unschoolers,” who regard standard curriculum methods and standardized testing as counterproductive to a quality education.
“We wanted to identify the parents who are part of the ‘unschooling’ movement,” Mulligan says. The “unschooling” group is viewed by educators as a subset of home-schoolers, who generally follow standard curriculum and grading systems. “Unschoolers” create their own systems.