“Rule making” and the administrative state; teacher mulligans

Lucas Vebber and Daniel Suhr: We are not here to argue anything is wrong with the policy choices made in these documents; indeed many may provide the type of regulatory relief that is sorely needed, especially right now. Ours is a purely procedural, legal point — all of this regulation-by-guidance should have been done by … Continue reading “Rule making” and the administrative state; teacher mulligans

Endless Accountability Mulligans for Taxpayer Supported K-12 School Districts

Darrel Burnette II: Across the nation, hundreds of school districts are trapped in a death spiral of declining enrollment that forces dramatic budget cuts which then trigger more student departures. State officials, who have the power to merge or dissolve districts to create more financially stable systems, are often reluctant to interfere in a process … Continue reading Endless Accountability Mulligans for Taxpayer Supported K-12 School Districts

“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)

Commentary on Wisconsin Governance, including K-12 (no mention of Mr. Evers teacher mulligans)

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)

Teacher Mulligans, continued: The latest report on reading was really bad. Here are some possible solutions

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

The price of teacher Mulligans, continued: Wisconsin Proficiency Rates Flat Despite Spending Increases

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

The Price of Wisconsin’s Elementary Reading Teacher Mulligans

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

Politifact joins the Wisconsin Reading mulligan party

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

My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results

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

Wisconsin Academic Result commentary: writer fails to mention thousands of DPI eLementary Reading teacher mulligans

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

Commentary on Wisconsin DPI “Rule Making” and 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

“Rule Making”, achievement, adult employment, mulligans and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

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

New Mexico strips accountability from teacher evaluations; teacher mulligans redux

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

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

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

Mulligans for Elementary Reading Teachers; permanent exemption proposal

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

Mulligans for Wisconsin Elementary Reading Teachers

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

Teaching Reading Is Rocket Science

Louisa Moats: The most fundamental responsibility of schools is teaching students to read. Because reading affects all other academic achievement and is associated with social, emotional, economic, and physical health, it has been the most researched aspect of human cognition. By the year 2000, after decades of multidisciplinary research, the scientific community had achieved broad … Continue reading Teaching Reading Is Rocket Science

Howard Fuller: On education, race and racism, and how we move forward as a country

Annysa Johnson: Howard Fuller announced this month that he is retiring from Marquette University, where he is a distinguished professor of education and founder and director of its Institute for the Transformation of Learning. At 79, Fuller has served in many roles in his lifetime: civil rights activist, educator and civil servant. He is a former superintendent of Milwaukee … Continue reading Howard Fuller: On education, race and racism, and how we move forward as a country

The Pandemic Has Reawakened the School Choice Movement

Libby Sobic: “This pandemic has reawakened this movement of school choice,” said Calvin Lee of American Federation for Children at a roundtable discussion on school choice in Waukesha, Wisconsin this week. While COVID-19 has not been easy for many families as they have tried to balance work and educating their children at home, it has offered many … Continue reading The Pandemic Has Reawakened the School Choice Movement

Madison School Board to vote on Police Presence, layoffs and budget

Scott Girard: If the vote goes as expected, the 2020-21 school year will be the first in more than two decades without a police officer stationed in each of the district’s comprehensive high schools. Employee Handbook changes Madison Teachers Inc. is organizing opposition to a set of proposed Employee Handbook changes that would change the … Continue reading Madison School Board to vote on Police Presence, layoffs and budget

Ex-CPS principal who tamed tough Fenger High explains why cops don’t belong in schools

Mark Brown: A school principal will always need a good working relationship with the local district commander, but police are asked to intervene in too many situations, Dozier believes. “We put too much on them,” she says. “It doesn’t necessarily warrant a police response.” The problem with getting police involved is that it sucks students … Continue reading Ex-CPS principal who tamed tough Fenger High explains why cops don’t belong in schools

Commentary on Two 2020 taxpayer supported Madison School District Superintendent Candidates

Scott Girard: Madison School Board president Gloria Reyes said in the release the district is “very fortunate to have an impressive pool of highly qualified candidates participate in this process.” “With a focus on how candidates aligned with the Leadership Profile, the Board was able to select two phenomenal finalists, both with deep roots in … Continue reading Commentary on Two 2020 taxpayer supported Madison School District Superintendent Candidates

2018 committee report could help guide upcoming Madison school resource officer decisions

Scott Girard: Most members who spoke with the Cap Times said they favored removing officers, but didn’t think doing so immediately would solve the problem at the heart of the issue: feeling safe at school. And some of the committee members wonder what happened to their months of work and why Reyes is calling for another subcommittee … Continue reading 2018 committee report could help guide upcoming Madison school resource officer decisions

Madison School Board will vote on police contract Monday

Scott Girard: The Madison School Board will vote Monday on continuing or ending early its contract with the Madison Police Department to have officers stationed in its four comprehensive high schools. Based on public statements from board members this spring and previous votes, it’s likely the board will vote to end the contract early, though … Continue reading Madison School Board will vote on police contract Monday

Wisconsin DPI 87 page “reopening schools” plan

Wisconsin DPI: Responding to COVID-19 is a tremendous undertaking for schools. Schools are tasked with re-envisioning educational delivery models in a span of weeks and adjust practices accordingly. As we look toward the fall, the safety and health of our students, educators, and families remains of the highest importance. The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) … Continue reading Wisconsin DPI 87 page “reopening schools” plan

The Radical Self-Reliance of Black Homeschooling

Melinda Anderson: Racial inequality in Baltimore’s public schools is in part the byproduct of long-standing neglect. In a system in which eight out of 10 students are black, broken heaters forced students to learn in frigid temperatures this past winter. Black children in Baltimore’s education system face systemic disadvantages: They’re suspended at much higher rates … Continue reading The Radical Self-Reliance of Black Homeschooling

Charter Schools’ Enemies Block Black Success

Thomas Sowell: For decades, there has been widespread anxiety over how, when or whether the educational test score gap between white and non-white youngsters could be closed. But that gap has already been closed by the Success Academy charter school network in New York City. Their predominantly black and Hispanic students already pass tests in … Continue reading Charter Schools’ Enemies Block Black Success

K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Madison’s 2019-2020 property tax payment and installment data

Craig Franklin, via a kind email: 1.       The total 2019 tax levy for City of Madison property is $713,571,544.19.  This amount includes lottery, school levy and first dollar credits paid by the State of Wisconsin. The total tax outstanding, from City of Madison property owners, as of May 31, 2020 (the date of the last … Continue reading K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Madison’s 2019-2020 property tax payment and installment data

Wisconsin School Districts Have Administrative Bloat to Blame for Budget Failures

Will Flanders: Wisconsin public school teachers made, on average, $55,985 in salary during the 2017–18 school year with an average of 14.2 students per teacher. During that school year, spending was $13,670 per student in local, state and federal funding. This means that about $195,392 is spent on the average classroom in the state. Of that, only about … Continue reading Wisconsin School Districts Have Administrative Bloat to Blame for Budget Failures

No, we haven’t ‘defunded education for years’

Corey DeAngelis & Matthew Nielsen: On average, the United States currently spends over $15,000 per student each year, and inflation-adjusted K-12 education spending per student has increased by 280% since 1960. In California, where the previously mentioned football coach resides, inflation-adjusted spending on K-12 education has increased by 129% since 1970. Furthermore, data from the … Continue reading No, we haven’t ‘defunded education for years’

Commentary on the taxpayer supported Madison School District’s planned 2020-2021 budget

Scott Girard: Administrators are concerned about a potential state budget repair bill that could cut funding to K-12 schools, though Gov. Tony Evers told the Cap Times last week he’s hopeful such a measure can be avoided amid lower than anticipated revenue for the state. The budget Ruppel recommended Monday would save $8.4 million from … Continue reading Commentary on the taxpayer supported Madison School District’s planned 2020-2021 budget

Virtual schools see bump in interest as COVID-19 pandemic makes for uncertain fall

Logan Wroge: In a normal week, Parr fields about five or six phone calls. But in recent weeks, he said he’s been answering easily 70 calls a week from across the region, including many from Madison. Parr said he could see the online school’s enrollment, which was about 150 full-time students this year and a … Continue reading Virtual schools see bump in interest as COVID-19 pandemic makes for uncertain fall

Home-schooled children are very well socialized, despite what some experts say

Karen Lenington: Homeschooling- it’s all the rage right now! One year ago no one would have believed that every school-age child in America would be educated at home by the end of the 2019-2020 school year. Ironically, just weeks before this educational upheaval, Professor Elizabeth Bartholet of Harvard called for a summit to examine the … Continue reading Home-schooled children are very well socialized, despite what some experts say

As the Madison School district plans for more budget cuts, Evers hopeful no budget repair bill necessary

Briana Reilly: While MMSD is heavily reliant on property taxes instead of state aid compared to other districts, a decrease to the revenue authority or other measures that would lower the levy limit would serve as a funding cut. The district already cut $8 million from the 2019-20 budget in the preliminary 2020-21 budget. Contingencies could include … Continue reading As the Madison School district plans for more budget cuts, Evers hopeful no budget repair bill necessary

Amid COVID-19 pandemic, Dane County school districts waive requirements for graduation

Chris Rickert: All 16 of the school districts completely or partially within Dane County have waived or loosened at least two academic standards to help seniors graduate at a time when schools have been shut down since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Information from the districts and the state Department of Public Instruction also … Continue reading Amid COVID-19 pandemic, Dane County school districts waive requirements for graduation

“This idea of parental choice, that’s great if the parent is well-educated. There are some families that’s perfect for. But to make it available to everyone? No. I think you’re asking for a huge amount of trouble,” Dietsch said.

Michael Graham: “Is it your belief that only well-educated parents can make proper decisions for what’s in the best interest of their children?” asked a dumbfounded Rep. Glenn Cordelli (R-Tuftonboro). Rather than saying “no,” Dietsch instead repeated her view that parents without college degrees are less capable of overseeing their children’s education. “In a democracy, … Continue reading “This idea of parental choice, that’s great if the parent is well-educated. There are some families that’s perfect for. But to make it available to everyone? No. I think you’re asking for a huge amount of trouble,” Dietsch said.

Analysis: Police Unions Stonewall All Attempts at Reform. So Do Teachers Unions. Is That Why They’ve Been So Silent?

Mike Antonucci: The Center for Public Integrity reports that police contracts have “arbitration clauses that often force police departments to rehire fired misbehaving cops” and that cop unions “have successfully lobbied for state laws granting police officers far more job security than the average U.S. worker.” A former attorney for the Service Employees International Union … Continue reading Analysis: Police Unions Stonewall All Attempts at Reform. So Do Teachers Unions. Is That Why They’ve Been So Silent?

“our schools first started by killing their minds”

Jasmine Lane: Shallow successes allow us to pat ourselves on the back. But a high graduation rate is meaningless when our graduates enter the world without a fundamental grasp of the tools and knowledge necessary for full participation in life and citizenship. We can hope for a reimagining of schooling during this time, but nothing … Continue reading “our schools first started by killing their minds”

MTI files complaint with state employment relations commission over budget cuts survey

Scott Girard: Madison Teachers Inc. has filed a complaintagainst the Madison Metropolitan School District related to a survey sent out to staff last week. The Prohibited Practice Complaint was filed Monday with the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission and seeks an immediate cease and desist of the survey and asks that the district be made to destroy … Continue reading MTI files complaint with state employment relations commission over budget cuts survey

Madison teachers union backs removal of police from high schools

Logan Wroge: Madison’s teachers union is shifting its stance on school-based police officers and is now advocating they be taken out of the city’s main high schools — but only if 33 additional support staff are hired. In a statement Sunday, Madison Teachers Inc. said it backs the removal of school resource officers, or SROs, … Continue reading Madison teachers union backs removal of police from high schools

Governance: How Police Unions Became Such Powerful Opponents to Reform Efforts (Act 10)

Noam Scheiber, Farah Stockman and J. David Goodman: Over the past five years, as demands for reform have mounted in the aftermath of police violence in cities like Ferguson, Mo., Baltimore and now Minneapolis, police unions have emerged as one of the most significant roadblocks to change. The greater the political pressure for reform, the … Continue reading Governance: How Police Unions Became Such Powerful Opponents to Reform Efforts (Act 10)

Wisconsin private schools weigh whether to accept federal pandemic relief money

Kelly Meyerhofer: The “real help” will come from other federal funding, she said. For example, Wisconsin is slated to receive $175 million from Congress for K-12 schools through what’s known as the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund. The law allows governors to disperse the money as they see fit, so private schools could potentially be … Continue reading Wisconsin private schools weigh whether to accept federal pandemic relief money

How ‘Reading Instruction’ Oppresses Black And Brown Children

Natalie Wexler: On national tests last year, only 18 percent of black 4th-graders scored proficient or above in reading; the figure for white 4th-graders was 45 percent. For 8th graders, the percentages were 15 and 42 percent. It’s sobering that over half of white students fail to meet the proficiency bar. But the figures for black students should outrage anyone who cares … Continue reading How ‘Reading Instruction’ Oppresses Black And Brown Children

Law review article highlights MMSD’s racial disparities in literacy

Scott Girard: A recently published law review article has some strong words for the Madison Metropolitan School District’s literacy achievement gap and how that connects with Dane County’s disparate incarceration rates for black people. “Where Dane County’s largest public school district has largely failed to produce literate Black fourth graders for more than a decade, it follows … Continue reading Law review article highlights MMSD’s racial disparities in literacy

On the education front, one way to move from anger to action would be to make sure all youngsters are proficient in reading

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

Statement on recent incidents of racial injustice and SRO’s

Gloria Reyes, Madison School Board President: Dear MMSD Family and Community: I would like to acknowledge the hurt our community is feeling after recent events of racial injustice. I stand by the many voices who have so passionately rallied our community to speak out against racism, and reject it in all its forms. I honor … Continue reading Statement on recent incidents of racial injustice and SRO’s

Group places American flags scrawled with obscenities on Madison School Board leader’s lawn

Reyes is a former police officer. https://t.co/HB0xGCSNaQ — Patrick Marley (@patrickdmarley) June 5, 2020 Chris Rickert: A group protesting the presence of police officers in Madison’s four main high schools placed what appear to be dozens of American flags scrawled with obscenities targeting police overnight Thursday on the lawn of the Madison School Board president, … Continue reading Group places American flags scrawled with obscenities on Madison School Board leader’s lawn

“qualifications and not seniority will decide who gets let go”

Scott Girard: Among the changes is one that would allow the district to choose who is laid off and designated as surplus staff based on qualifications rather than seniority. That is among a slate of administrator-proposed “preliminary recommendations” the board discussed Monday night during an Instruction Work Group meeting, with a vote anticipated at the full June … Continue reading “qualifications and not seniority will decide who gets let go”

Is the Wisconsin DPI Leaving Private Schools Out in the Cold?

Libby Sobic: Wisconsin schools are about to receive a massive influx of federal funding to the tune of $221 million. This funding is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and is allocated to benefit K-12 schools and institutions of higher education in both the public and private sectors. But … Continue reading Is the Wisconsin DPI Leaving Private Schools Out in the Cold?

Madison’s 37% Property Tax Growth (2012 – 2021). Outcomes?

Briana Reilly: Estimates flagged in the report show property taxes would be nearly 38% higher next year under the proposed operating budget compared with 2012, a jump the brief notes is “more than twice the rate of inflation” and doesn’t include potential changes in state aid levels going forward.  Crafting Madison Metropolitan School District’s budget is … Continue reading Madison’s 37% Property Tax Growth (2012 – 2021). Outcomes?

Booked, but can’t read (Madison): functional literacy, National citizenship and the new face of Dred Scott in the age of mass incarceration

Mckenna Kohlenberg: For in cities like Madison, reputationally progressive jewel of the state that denied Dred Scott his citizenship and citizen rights nearly two centuries ago, so too does the racialized illiteracy crisis lawfully disparage young Black men to non-citizen subjects and deny their access to democratic society to- day. If this academic year mirrors … Continue reading Booked, but can’t read (Madison): functional literacy, National citizenship and the new face of Dred Scott in the age of mass incarceration

K-12 Governance Climate: Judge: Names of suing parents must be given to Madison school district lawyers

Ed Treleven: The names of a group of parents suing the Madison School District over the district’s administrative guidance on transgender and nonbinary students can remain out of the public eye, but a Dane County judge said they must be identified to lawyers representing the district and other groups defending the guidance in court. Circuit … Continue reading K-12 Governance Climate: Judge: Names of suing parents must be given to Madison school district lawyers

The public do not understand logarithmic graphs used to portray COVID-19

Alessandro Romano, Chiara Sotis, Goran Dominioni, and Sebastián Guidi: The fact that the framing of information can dramatically alter how we react to it will hardly surprise any reader of this blog. Incidentally, the canonical example of framing effects involves an epidemic: a disease that kills 200 out of 600 people is considered worse than … Continue reading The public do not understand logarithmic graphs used to portray COVID-19

How DPI Invented a Rule to Keep Families Out of the School Choice Program

Cori Petersen: Just $47: that’s the amount of money that is preventing Katrina Olguin from being able to enroll her kids in the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program (WPCP). “We were just $47 over and I did everything to adjust it legally. And then they were just like, no, sorry,” she said. Olguin has three sons … Continue reading How DPI Invented a Rule to Keep Families Out of the School Choice Program

WILL Sues DPI for Blocking Family from School Choice Program

WILL: The News: The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) sued the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) on behalf of a West Allis family, Heritage Christian Schools, and School Choice Wisconsin Action (SCWA), after the department adopted an illegal policy to block a family from enrolling in the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program (WPCP) – the statewide … Continue reading WILL Sues DPI for Blocking Family from School Choice Program

What is the place for African Americans in the ‘new’ Madison?

Blacks for Political and Social Action of Dane County, Inc.: In the midst of these challenges, the Madison Metropolitan School District heard its superintendent-designee, Matthew Gutiérrez, was rescinding his acceptance of the position to remain as superintendent of the Seguin, Texas school district. This lack of a permanent superintendent can have an incredibly negative impact … Continue reading What is the place for African Americans in the ‘new’ Madison?

Settlement in Detroit ‘right to read’ lawsuit could herald success for student’s case against Rhode Island Department of Education

Linda Borg: A settlement in a Detroit “right-to-read” lawsuit could have significant ramifications for a similar case filed by students in Rhode Island who are seeking to affirm their constitutional right to a civics education. In the Detroit case, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer agreed on Thursday to pay $2.7 million to the Detroit schools for … Continue reading Settlement in Detroit ‘right to read’ lawsuit could herald success for student’s case against Rhode Island Department of Education

The Unexamined Model Is Not Worth Trusting (We know best…)

Chris von Csefalvay: In early March, British leaders planned to take a laissez-faire approach to the spread of the coronavirus. Officials would pursue “herd immunity,” allowing as many people in non-vulnerable categories to catch the virus in the hope that eventually it would stop spreading. But on March 16, a report from the Imperial College … Continue reading The Unexamined Model Is Not Worth Trusting (We know best…)

Madison’s “illiteracy-to-incarceration pipeline”: Booked, but can’t read

Mckenna Kohlenberg: For Black men in the contemporary age of mass incarceration, the consequences of functional illiteracy are devastating. 70% of America’s adult incarcerated population and 85% of juveniles who interface with the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate, which extends beyond the ability to read and includes the development of problem-solving and critical-thinking skills … Continue reading Madison’s “illiteracy-to-incarceration pipeline”: Booked, but can’t read

Harvard Law School professor says there is little legal oversight of educational standards or safeguards against abuse

Liz Mineo: GAZETTE: Your article says that homeschooling in its current unregulated form represents a danger to both children and society. What evidence do you have to support that? BARTHOLET: One is the danger of child maltreatment, and we have evidence that there is a strong connection between homeschooling and maltreatment, which I describe in my article. … Continue reading Harvard Law School professor says there is little legal oversight of educational standards or safeguards against abuse

History is Made: Groundbreaking Settlement in Detroit Literacy Lawsuit

Public Counsel: A historic agreement was reached today between the plaintiffs and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in the Gary B. v. Whitmer literacy suit. The agreement will preserve a groundbreaking opinion by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals which held that a basic minimum education, including literacy, is a Constitutional right, and includes an immediate … Continue reading History is Made: Groundbreaking Settlement in Detroit Literacy Lawsuit

Milwaukee Teachers’ Union Governance Climate

Seth Saavedra: On a union blog, MTEA president Amy Mizialko writes that MTEA is using the COVID-19 crisis to “strip back what has been wrongly imposed on our students—relentless standardized testing, scripted curriculum, one-size-fits-all online interventions.” When asked if the “union’s insistence that its members not be required to work during the first three weeks of … Continue reading Milwaukee Teachers’ Union Governance Climate

Harvard vs. the Family: A scheduled academic conference confirms the suspicions of homeschooling parents.

Max Eden: This June, pandemic conditions permitting, Harvard University will host a conference—not open to the public—to discuss the purported dangers of homeschooling and strategies for legal reform. The co-organizer, Harvard law professor Elizabeth Bartholet, believes that homeschooling should be banned, as it is “a realm of near-absolute parental power. . . . inconsistent with a … Continue reading Harvard vs. the Family: A scheduled academic conference confirms the suspicions of homeschooling parents.

Gov. Evers Budget: EV charging stations > $10m For school Buses…

Riley Vetterkind: The first case argues Evers violated the state Constitution by fundamentally altering the Legislature’s policies in the state budget, usurping a power not given to the governor in the Constitution. WILL contends Evers, in approving the state budget passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature with several partial vetoes, stripped the appropriation bill of integral … Continue reading Gov. Evers Budget: EV charging stations > $10m For school Buses…

K-12 Governance Climate: Wisconsin Bureaucratic Rule Making

Luca Vebber: For example, bureaucrats published an entirely new licensing scheme for “real estate appraisal management companies.”[2] That rule has been in the works for almost two years, did we really need to wait until the middle of a healthcare emergency to publish it? I am willing to make the bold prediction that our state … Continue reading K-12 Governance Climate: Wisconsin Bureaucratic Rule Making

Gov. Tony Evers calls on lawmakers to take up $250 million plan to bolster K-12 education

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

Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Examination Results

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

Our Tax Dollars at Work: Wisconsin DPI loses School Choice Case

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

Nygren and Thiesfeldt Call for Audit of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

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

A competitive Wisconsin DPI superintendent election in 2021?

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?

This is why we don’t have better readers: Response to Lucy Calkins

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

There Is a Right Way to Teach Reading, and Mississippi Knows It

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

Only 9% of 15-year-olds can tell the difference between fact and opinion

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

‘It Just Isn’t Working’: Test Scores Cast Doubt on U.S. Education Efforts

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

Math scares your child’s elementary school teacher — and that should frighten you

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

NAEP 2019: Mississippi improvement more impressive under closer examination

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

America’s Schools Flunk Despite more spending, test scores fall and the achievement gap grows.

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.

The push to improve teacher effectiveness has cooled off. That’s not necessarily bad.

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.

Should we feel optimistic or pessimistic about American K-12 education’s future?

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?

Civics, Politics and Campus Free Speech

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

Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos questions how K-12 funding was spent given test score decline

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

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

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?

Why Should Anyone Need a License for Anything?

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?

More for your money: School choice

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

Teacher Experience and Preparation Led to Stronger Black and Hispanic Achievement, Study Says

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

US National Teacher Union Reviews State Charter Statutes

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

“that $119 million voucher cost represents just 1 percent of Wisconsin’s $11.5 billion in total local, state, and federal public-school funding”

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”

Weekly Update Shared to Madison School Board Members

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

What They Don’t Teach You at the University of Washington’s Ed School

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

Why Austin’s Schools Aren’t Working For Students Of Color

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

“Strategic Lawfare”, administrative rule making, the administrative state – and reading

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

Oscar-Nominated Minding the Gap Director Bing Liu on America’s Masculinity Crisis

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