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When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?



Marc Eisen:

Lake Wobegon has nothing on the UW-Madison School of Education. All of the children in Garrison Keillor’s fictional Minnesota town are “above average.” Well, in the School of Education they’re all A students.
The 1,400 or so kids in the teacher-training department soared to a dizzying 3.91 grade point average on a four-point scale in the spring 2009 semester.
This was par for the course, so to speak. The eight departments in Education (see below) had an aggregate 3.69 grade point average, next to Pharmacy the highest among the UW’s schools. Scrolling through the Registrar’s online grade records is a discombobulating experience, if you hold to an old-school belief that average kids get C’s and only the really high performers score A’s.
Much like a modern-day middle school honors assembly, everybody’s a winner at the UW School of Education. In its Department of Curriculum and Instruction (that’s the teacher-training program), 96% of the undergraduates who received letter grades collected A’s and a handful of A/B’s. No fluke, another survey taken 12 years ago found almost exactly the same percentage.
A host of questions are prompted by the appearance of such brilliance. Can all these apprentice teachers really be that smart? Is there no difference in their abilities? Why do the grades of education majors far outstrip the grades of students in the physical sciences and mathematics? (Take a look at the chart below.)

The UW-Madison School of Education has no small amount of influence on the Madison School District.




“If both measures pass, that means the average tax bill for Madison residents could increase by $2,030 by 2028”



Abbey Machtig:

The estimated tax impact for residents is as follows:

Operational referendum: 2024-25 — $316.72 increase; 2025-26 — $315.49 increase; 2026-27 — $209.1 increase; 2027-28 — $208.28 increase; total: $1,049.58 increase in property tax bill over the next four years.

Facilities referendum: 2025-26 — $327.47 increase; 2026-27 — $328.83 increase; 2027-28 — $326.20 increase; total — $980.50 increase in property tax bills by 2028.

Since 2000, the district has put 10 referendum questions on the ballot. Eight have passed, giving the district extra money to balance its operating budget and for renovations and construction. In 2020, voters passed a $33 million operating referendum, which pays the bills to keep the district running, and a $317 million capital referendum to fund renovations to five of the district’s high schools and to build the new Southside Elementary School.

——

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average K – 12 spending. Per student spending ranges from $22,633 to $29,827 depending on the spending number used (!)

Enrollment notes.

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The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Mississippi students and educators have closed the gap and reached the national average on the National Assessment of Educational Progress.



Julia James:

This growth can be attributed to several factors, but chief among them is a 2013 state law that created a more robust infrastructure around helping children learn to read and holding them back at the end of third grade if they didn’t hit a certain benchmark.

But this national test also measures students again in eighth grade. The gap between the national average and Mississippi’s eighth-grade reading score has gotten smaller over the last decade, but it hasn’t closed at the rate of fourth-grade reading. 

State leaders are paying attention. 

“Some of our challenge points are eighth-grade reading,” Interim State Superintendent Ray Morgigno said when presenting an annual report at the Jan. 18 State Board of Education meeting.

Morgigno then pointed to the pilot programs underway around the state to expand Mississippi’s fourth-grade reading strategies up to the middle school level. One is being operated by the Mississippi Department of Education in conjunction with a regional arm of the U.S. Department of Education. 

Literacy momentum stalls in Wisconsin (DPI): Why would Wisconsin’s state leaders promote the use of curriculum that meets “minimal level” criteria, instead of elevating the highest-quality

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The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




On average, 79% of U.S. adults nationwide are literate in 2024.



National Literacy Institute:

  • 21% of adults in the US are illiterate in 2024.
  • 54% of adults have a literacy below a 6th-grade level (20% are below 5th-grade level).
  • Low levels of literacy costs the US up to 2.2 trillion per year.
  • 34% of adults lacking literacy proficiency were born outside the US.
  • Massachusetts was the state with the highest rate of child literacy.
  • New Mexico was the state with the lowest child literacy rate.
  • New Hampshire was the state with the highest percentage of adults considered literate.
  • The state with the lowest adult literacy rate was California.

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Cost of Student Debt Cancelation Could Average $2,000 Per Taxpayer



Andrew Lautz:

Public reporting indicates President Biden may soon announce executive action canceling federal student loan debt for a large set of borrowers. Though parameters of the student debt cancellation have yet to be announced, the Biden administration may cancel $10,000 of debt per borrower for borrowers making $125,000 in income per year or less.

Based on projections from the Penn Wharton Budget Model for the total cost of such cancellation, we estimate President Biden’s plan would cost the average taxpayer over $2,000.

The Penn Wharton Budget Model (PWBM) released a policy report on Tuesday that estimated the total cost of $10,000 in debt cancellation for borrowers making less than $125,000 per year would be $329.1 billion over 10 years. There were just under 158 million taxpayers in 2019 according to the IRS, meaning that the average cost of debt cancellation is $2,085.59 per taxpayer.

This is not a perfect proxy for cost, however, given the U.S. tax code is progressive and tax burdens are not evenly distributed across households. Accounting for the share of taxes paid by low- and middle-income households, we estimate that:

Analysis of the policy’s taxpayer costs.

Dave Cieslewicz

Biden probably balked at this because he understands the bad politics for Democrats. Two out of three American adults didn’t complete a four year degree. They have every right to question why people who did, and who on average make about twice as much as they do, should get this big government handout. 

And then, of course, there are the millions of us who did go to college, did take out a loan and did, in fact, do what we promised to do: pay it back. 

This is bad politics for Democrats because it should be. Asking taxpayers to pay off the student loans of people who were irresponsible or careless in taking on debt they couldn’t afford is horrible public policy. And worse, Biden’s plan does nothing about the real problem: the skyrocketing cost of higher education. What’s going to happen next year when a new crop of college grads starts demanding that they get the same handout that last year’s grads got? 

This could well stop the progress Democrats have made in this election cycle. It was beginning to look like a combination of legislative wins, the abortion issue, public concern over gun violence and the easing of gas prices might result in a better November than had been predicted for Biden’s party. Now this policy will remind voters without a college degree just how much disdain the Democrats have for them.

Additional commentary:

Of the 43 million people with federal loans, 15 million owe less than $10,000. Another 9 million owe between $10,000 and $20,000. By eliminating a minority of outstanding debt, Biden would forgive most or all balances for the majority of student debtors, disproportionately those who are at the highest risk of default.

Is this even legal? Is there anything Biden’s political opponents can do to stop him?

Maybe? And, maybe? The Higher Education Act is almost 60 years old, and no president has ever done anything like this before. The Trump administration’s 2020 decision to suspend all federal student loan payments, which Biden has extended multiple times, came from a separate law granting the president powers during a national emergency like a pandemic. Biden is citing that authority for the new loan forgiveness plan. 

There are a host of constitutional provisions, federal laws, and legal precedents that obligate federal agencies to collect on outstanding debts. Skeptics also point out that Congress has enacted a number of specific student loan forgiveness programs, including plans that eliminate remaining debt after 20 years of payments or 10 years of public service. The administration’s recent decision to wipe out debt for students who attended the notorious for-profit Corinthian Colleges was based on a discrete legal provision meant to protect students who were defrauded by their college.

Related: the moral cost of student loan policies.




Analysis finds average eighth graders may have skills indicative of fifth grade



John Fensterwald:

The analysis, which looks at performance over time, shows that students fell behind each year incrementally even before the pandemic, starting in third grade when tests were first given.

Progress completely stalled last year, when most students were in remote learning. Eighth graders overall scored at the same level that they did when they took the sixth grade test two years earlier.

The state canceled Smarter Balanced tests in the spring of 2020 because of the Covid pandemic, so there are no results from seventh grade for these students.

Progress in math builds on knowledge accumulated in previous years. Missing instruction and skills compound the challenges that elementary and middle school math teachers face moving forward after another disruptive year dealing with Covid variants.

“The results highlight massive gaps in math learning that existed long before pandemic,” said Rick Miller, CEO of the CORE Districts, a multidistrict data and improvement collaborative. “Responding with a one-time fix misunderstands what is happening.” 

The analysis, published in an EdSource commentary, was produced by David Wakelyn, founder of Union Square Learning, a nonprofit with offices in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., that works with education organizations on improvement strategies. Wakelyn formerly was executive director for policy development for The College Board, an education policy adviser to former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and program director for the National Governors Association.

Mandates, closed schools and Dane County Madison Public Health.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

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

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Children in masked districts experienced, on average, 4-times the number of disrupted learning days as those in mask-optional districts



Emily Burns, with Josh Stevenson, and Phil Kerpen

(Figure 1).The same districts also had 2.5 times higher case rates during the same period as we demonstrated in analysis published on March 9th, 2022.

This result is as important as it was expected. The CDC promised that whatever potential (and willfully ignored) harms might come to children from two full years of forced masking, they must be risked, due to the added safety and schooling that masking would ensure. Neither claim ended up being true. As we demonstrated in our analysis of March 9th, during the January peak of the omicron wave, masked districts had 2.5-fold higher case rates than un-masked districts. Yet, during the same period, as we saw in Figure 1 above, those same schools experienced more than 4-fold higher rates of school disruptions—significantly higher rates of disruption even than their increases in case rates. 

Mandates, closed schools and Dane County Madison Public Health.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

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

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Madison’s education academics get involved in the argument over education reform; What is the Track Record of ties between the Ed School and the MMSD?



Pat Schneider:

“I’m an academic,” says Slekar, a Pittsburgh-area native whose mother and grandmother were elementary school teachers and who was a classroom teacher himself before earning a Ph.D. in curriculum from University of Maryland.
“I understand scholarship, I understand evidence, I understand the role of higher education in society,” he says. “When initiatives come through, if we have solid evidence that something is not a good idea, it’s really my job to come out and say that.”
Michael Apple, an internationally recognized education theorist and professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison agrees. In the face of conservative state legislators’ push to privatize public education, “it is part of my civic responsibility to say what is happening,” says Apple.
“In a society that sees corporations as having all the rights of people, by and large education is a private good, not a public good,” he says. “I need to defend the very idea of public schools.”
Both Apple and Julie Underwood, dean of the School of Education at UW-Madison, share Slekar’s concern over the systematic privatization of education and recognize a role for scholars in the public debate about it.

A wide-ranging, animated, sometimes loud conversation with Slekar includes familiar controversies hotly debated around the country and in the Wisconsin Capitol, like high-stakes testing, vouchers and Common Core standards. The evidence, Slekar says flatly, shows that none of it will work to improve student learning.
The reform initiatives are instead part of a corporate takeover of public education masquerading as reform that will harm low-income and minority students before spreading to the suburbs, says Slekar, in what he calls the civil rights issue of our time.
A 30-year attack has worked to erode the legitimacy of the public education system. And teachers are taking much of the blame for the stark findings of the data now pulled from classrooms, he says.
“We’re absolutely horrible at educating poor minority kids,” says Slekar. “We absolutely know that.”
But neither the so-called reformers, nor many more casual observers, want to talk about the real reason for the disparities in achievement, Slekar says, which is poverty.
“That’s not an excuse, it’s a diagnosis,” he says, quoting John Kuhn, a firebrand Texas superintendent and activist who, at a 2011 rally, suggested that instead of performance-based salaries for teachers, the nation institute merit pay for members of Congress.

Local Education school academics have long had interactions with the Madison School District. Former Superintendent Art Rainwater works in the UW-Madison School of Education.

Further, this 122 page pdf (3.9mb) includes contracts (not sure if it is complete) between the UW-Madison School of Education and the Madison School District between 2004 and 2008. Has this relationship improved achievement?
Related: Deja Vu? Education Experts to Review the Madison School District and When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Thin data analysis of Wisconsin Teachers in Training



Molly Beck:

The 2.8 percent decrease between 2010 and 2012 at University of Wisconsin System campuses comes after a 6.8 percent increase between 2008 and 2010, according to System data reported to the federal Education Department provided to the State Journal by the UW System in response to a request for enrollment data for the System’s teacher-training programs. 
The numbers do not include students seeking teaching licenses with majors not classified by the UW System as education majors.
It’s unclear why the number of students enrolled in teacher-education programs has dropped, but Cheryl Hanley-Maxwell, associate dean of the UW-Madison School of Education, said some graduates there are now reporting feeling ill prepared for what they call the political atmosphere surrounding teaching.
“Until our most recent surveys, we’ve never had a complaint that ‘you didn’t prepare us for the political atmosphere'” of teaching, said Hanley-Maxwell about surveys the school sends to graduates who have been teaching for about three years.
She said about 60 percent of the school’s graduates respond to the after-graduation surveys that question how well the school prepared them for the teaching profession.

Related: When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?.




Tougher on teachers: One in four aspiring (Michigan) teachers pass new teacher test



Ron French:

Becoming a teacher in Michigan just became a lot more difficult.
Only one in four aspiring teachers passed a beefed-up version of Michigan’s teacher certification test – an exam that teachers must pass to be hired to lead a classroom – when the new test was administered for the first time last month.
The initial pass rate for the old version of the test was 82 percent; In October, with more difficult questions and higher scores needed to pass, the pass rate was 26 percent.
That means that three out of four students who completed what is typically a four- or five-year college program will have to retake the test or find another career.
The toughened certification tests are an effort to assure that only the most highly-qualified teachers are leading Michigan classrooms.
“Just like we’d want the best and most effective doctor,” said State Superintendent Mike Flanagan said in a news release about the new, low pass rates. “The same applies to teaching Michigan’s students.”
Bridge Magazine raised concerns about the ease of teacher certification tests in October. At the time, aspiring Michigan teachers had a similar pass rate on certification tests as cosmetologists.
That story was part of a series examining the crucial role of teacher preparation in increasing learning in Michigan classrooms, where test scores show students are falling behind students in other states.

Related NCTQ study on teacher preparation and When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?.
UW-Madison School of Education Dean Julie Underwood continues her “status quo” advocacy via this latest op-ed.
Madison Literary Club Talk: Examinations for Teachers Past and Present




California teacher preparation reform



Jackie Mader:

For years, California has attempted to reform its teacher preparation programs to better prepare new teachers for the classroom. Alternative routes have popped up to offer aspiring teachers, in many cases, a less expensive and faster route to teaching. The state’s extensive performance exams for teacher candidates have served as a model for the rest of the nation.
Now, a teacher preparation program in California is pledging career-long support to its graduates. On Thursday, the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education launched a free helpline for its 25,000 alumni that will connect struggling graduates with a “rapid response team” of nine full-time faculty members. That team will diagnose problems, build individual plans for alumni, and offer solutions that range from site visits, to coaching, to professional development resources.

Related NCTQ study on teacher preparation and When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?.




UW-Madison professor says ALEC assault on public schools threatens American tradition of ‘educated citizen’



Pat Schneider:

The attack by the American Legislative Council (ALEC) threatens public education on five critical fronts, University of Wisconsin-Madison professor Julie Mead explains in an article published Wednesday by theInstitute for Wisconsin’s Future.
Interviewed by The Real News Network as protesters were arrested trying to crash ALEC’s 40th annual convention in Chicago last week, Mead said that education model bills flowing out of the conservative organization introduce market forces into and privatize education, increase student testing and decrease the influence of local school districts and school boards.
“One of the things that I like to talk about is what’s public about public education, because I really do believe that that is precisely what is at stake: what is public about public education,” Mead, a professor in the department of educational leadership and policy analysis, said in the article.
Trends fueled ALEC jeopardize five essential dimensions of public education, she said: Public purpose, public funding, public access, public accountability to communities and public curriculum.

Taking care of the basic such as reading and teacher preparation, will address some of the present public education system’s governance issues.
Related When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Stronger teacher preparation needed to improve schools



Gloria Romero:

We Californians like to think our state is the national leader in policy change and innovation, that new ideas are born here and other states follow our lead.
In one area, I am sad to say, that is not the case.
California is short-selling too many of its public school students because of education programs that inadequately prepare the next generation of teachers. A new review from the National Council on Teacher Quality that evaluates educational institutions, state by state, produced some sobering results for anyone who cares about what’s going on inside California schools of education.
Among the more disturbing findings from the institutions that provided data:

  • Half of 72 programs for elementary school preparation failed the evaluation, a higher failure rate than programs in any other state.
  • California’s secondary certification structure combined with inadequate coursework requirements, particularly in the sciences and social sciences, showed that only 17 percent of programs adequately prepared secondary teaching candidates in core subjects. That compared with 34 percent nationally.
  • Coursework in a majority (63 percent) of California elementary programs did not mention a single strategy for teaching reading to English language learners.
  • Of the 139 elementary and secondary programs that were evaluated on a four-star rating system, 33 programs earned no stars and only three earned as many as three. Not a single program earned four stars.

Related: Richard Askey: Examinations for Teachers Past and Present:

I have written about the problem in mathematics and hope that some others will use the resouces which exist to write about similar problems in other areas.
In his American Educational Research Association Presidential Address, which was published in Educational Researcher in 1986, Lee Shulman introduced the phrase “pedagogical content knowledge”. This is a mixture of content and knowing how to teach this content and is the one thing from his speech which has been picked up by the education community. However, there are a number of other points which he made which are important. Here is an early paragraph from this speech:

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Fascinating: UW education dean warns school boards that ALEC seeks to wipe them out



Pat Schneider:

ALEC is still at it, Julie Underwood, dean of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, cautions in “School Boards Beware,” (PDF) a commentary in the May issue of Wisconsin School News.
The model legislation disseminated by the pro-free market American Legislative Exchange Council’s national network of corporate members and conservative legislators seeks to privatize education and erode the local control, Underwood says.
“The ALEC goal to eliminate school districts and school boards is a bit shocking — but the idea is to make every school, public and private, independent through vouchers for all students. By providing all funding to parents rather than school districts, there is no need for local coordination, control or oversight,” she writes in the magazine of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards.
Underwood, who says that Wisconsin public schools already face unprecedented change, last year co-authored a piece about ALEC’s grander plans, a “legislative contagion (that) seemed to sweep across the Midwest during the early months of 2011.”
In her recent piece, Underwood argues that a push to privatize education for the “free market” threatens the purpose of public education: to educate every child to “become an active citizen, capable of participating in our democratic process.”

Related:

  • The state this year will start rating each school on a scale of 0 to 100 based on student test scores and other measurables. The idea, in part, is to give parents a way to evaluate how a school is performing while motivating those within it to improve.
  • Several schools across the state — including Madison’s Shorewood Elementary, Black Hawk Middle and Memorial High schools — are part of Wisconsin’s new teacher and principal evaluation system, which for the first time will grade a teacher’s success, in part, on student test scores. This system is to be implemented across Wisconsin in 2014-15.li>And instead of Wisconsin setting its own student benchmarks, the state is moving toward using Common Core State Standards, which have been adopted in 45 other states. State schools are starting new curricula this year in language arts and math so students will be prepared by the 2014-15 school year to take a new state exam tied to this common core and replacing the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination.

Although Underwood says she generally backs most of these changes, she’s no fan of the decision announced last month that makes it easier for a person to become a public school teacher — even as those who are studying to become teachers must now meet stiffer credentialing requirements. Instead of having to complete education training at a place like UW-Madison en route to being licensed, those with experience in private schools or with other teaching backgrounds now can take steps to become eligible for a public teaching license.

“I think that’s really unfortunate,” says Underwood, who first worked at UW-Madison from 1986-95 before coming back to town as education dean in 2005.

Related:




So why haven’t we ensured that all children get a rigorous, supportive education? Fear Factor: Teaching Without Training



Lisa Hansel, via a kind reader’s email:

So why haven’t we ensured that all children get a rigorous, supportive education?
This is a question I ask myself and others all the time. I think it’s more productive than merely asking “How can we?” Those who ask how without also asking why haven’t tend to waste significant amounts of time and resources “discovering” things that some already knew.
Okay, so I’ve partly answer the why question right there. Much better answers can be found in Diane Ravitch’s Left Back: A Century of Failed School Reforms, E. D. Hirsch’s The Schools We Need and Why We Don’t Have Them, and Richard Hofstadter’s Anti-Intellectualism in American Life.
But still, those answers are not complete.
Right now, Kate Walsh and her team with the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) are adding to our collective wisdom–and potentially to our collective ability to act.
NCTQ is just a couple months away from releasing its review of teacher preparation programs. The results may not be shocking, but they are terrifying. Walsh provides a preview in the current issue of Education Next. In that preview, she reminds us of a study from several years ago that offers an insiders’ look at teacher preparation:

The most revealing insight into what teacher educators believe to be wrong or right about the field is a lengthy 2006 volume published by the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Studying Teacher Education. It contains contributions from 15 prominent deans and education professors and was intended to provide “balanced, thorough, and unapologetically honest descriptions of the state of research on particular topics in teacher education.” It lives up to that billing. First, the volume demonstrates the paucity of credible research that would support the current practices of traditional teacher education, across all of its many functions, including foundations courses, arts and sciences courses, field experiences, and pedagogical approaches, as well as how current practice prepares candidates to teach diverse populations and special education students. More intriguing, however, is the contributors’ examination of the dramatic evolution of the mission of teacher education over the last 50 years, in ways that have certainly been poorly understood by anyone outside the profession.
Studying Teacher Education explains the disconnect between what teacher educators believe is the right way to prepare a new teacher and the unhappy K-12 schools on the receiving end of that effort. It happens that the job of teacher educators is not to train the next generation of teachers but to prepare them.

Huh? Really? How exactly does one prepare without training? Walsh goes on to explain that. But the only way to prepare yourself to comprehend the teacher educators’ reasoning is to pretend like “prepare them” actually means “brainwash them into believing that in order to be a good teacher, you have to make everything up yourself.” Back to Walsh:

Harking back perhaps to teacher education’s 19th-century ecclesiastical origins, its mission has shifted away from the medical model of training doctors to professional formation. The function of teacher education is to launch the candidate on a lifelong path of learning, distinct from knowing, as actual knowledge is perceived as too fluid to be achievable. In the course of a teacher’s preparation, prejudices and errant assumptions must be confronted and expunged, with particular emphasis on those related to race, class, language, and culture. This improbable feat, not unlike the transformation of Pinocchio from puppet to real boy, is accomplished as candidates reveal their feelings and attitudes through abundant in-class dialogue and by keeping a journal. From these activities is born each teacher’s unique philosophy of teaching and learning.
There is also a strong social-justice component to teacher education, with teachers cast as “activists committed to diminishing the inequities of American society.” That vision of a teacher is seen by a considerable fraction of teacher educators (although not all) as more important than preparing a teacher to be an effective instructor.

Kate Walsh:

Nowhere is the chasm between the two visions of teacher education–training versus formation–clearer than in the demise of the traditional methods course. The public, and policymakers who require such courses in regulations governing teacher education, may assume that when a teacher takes a methods course, it is to learn the best methods for teaching certain subject matter. That view, we are told in the AERA volume, is for the most part an anachronism. The current view, state professors Renee T. Clift and Patricia Brady, is that “A methods course is seldom defined as a class that transmits information about methods of instruction and ends with a final exam. [They] are seen as complex sites in which instructors work simultaneously with prospective teachers on beliefs, teaching practices and creation of identities–their students’ and their own.”
The statement reveals just how far afield teacher education has traveled from its training purposes. It is hard not to suspect that the ambiguity in such language as the “creation of identities” is purposeful, because if a class fails to meet such objectives, no one would be the wiser.
The shift away from training to formation has had one immediate and indisputable outcome: the onus of a teacher’s training has shifted from the teacher educators to the teacher candidates. What remains of the teacher educator’s purpose is only to build the “capacity” of the candidate to be able to make seasoned professional judgments. Figuring out what actually to do falls entirely on the candidate.
Here is the guidance provided to student teachers at a large public university in New York:
In addition to establishing the norm for your level, you must, after determining your year-end goals, break down all that you will teach into manageable lessons. While so much of this is something you learn on the job, a great measure of it must be inside you, or you must be able to find it in a resource. This means that if you do not know the content of a grade level, or if you do not know how to prepare a lesson plan, or if you do not know how to do whatever is expected of you, it is your responsibility to find out how to do these things. Your university preparation is not intended to address every conceivable aspect of teaching.
Do not be surprised if your Cooperating Teacher is helpful but suggests you find out the “how to” on your own. Your Cooperating Teacher knows the value of owning your way into your teaching style.

Related: When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?.
Wisconsin has recently taken a first baby step toward teacher content knowledge requirements (something Massachusetts and Minnesota have done for years) via the adoption of MTEL-90. Much more on teacher content knowledge requirements, here.
Content knowledge requirements for teachers past & present.




The U.S.’s Low Standards for Teacher Training



Heather Brady:

The U.S. public education system is trying any number of techniques–from charter schools to presidential initiatives to oil-company-run teacher academies–to catch up to countries like Finland and South Korea in math and science education. But policymakers seem to be overlooking one simple solution: requiring math and science teachers to progress further up the educational ladder before they teach those subjects to kids.
The map above shows the minimum level of education each country requires teachers to obtain before working at the upper-secondary level. The map, based on data collected by Jody Heymann and the World Policy Analysis Center and subsequently published in Children’s Chances: How Countries Can Move from Surviving to Thriving, illustrates that the United States lags behind most other countries in its requirements.
Many U.S. school systems defer to teachers with higher degrees when they hire faculty, and teachers are required to have some kind of state certification along with a bachelor’s degree. However, the precise certification requirements vary, depending on how a teacher enters the profession and what state they teach in. The traditional route to becoming a teacher in the United States usually involves a bachelor’s or master’s degree in education along with a standardized test and other state-specific requirements. But most states have some form of an alternative route, usually involving a bachelor’s degree and completion of an alternate certification program while a person simultaneously teaches full-time. There is no federal mandate for teacher education requirements, according to the World Policy Analysis Center. The federal Improving Teacher Quality State Grants program rewards states with funds when they meet the “highly qualified teacher” requirement set forth in the No Child Left Behind Act.

Related: When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?
and,
Examinations for Teachers Past and Present by Dr. Richard Askey.




McCullough on Teaching Training: Don’t Major in Education!



Laura Waters:

David McCullough, author of Truman and John Adams and two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, was interviewed by Morley Safer on Sixty Minutes recently. During a discussion regarding Americans’ “historical illiteracy,” McCullough opined on teacher training:

Well we need to revamp, seriously revamp, the teaching of the teachers. I don’t feel that any professional teacher should major in education. They should major in a subject, know something. The best teachers are those who have a gift and the energy and enthusiasm to convey their love for science or history or Shakespeare or whatever it is. “Show them what you love” is the old adage. And we’ve all had them, where they can change your life. They can electrify the morning when you come into the classroom.

Related: When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That? and the National Council for Teacher Quality has been looking into school of education curriculum.




NCTQ Wins Minnesota Court Battle over Open Records Access to Ed School Curriculum



National Council on Teacher Quality, via a kind email:

Yesterday, a court in Minnesota delivered a summary judgment ordering the Minnesota State Colleges and University system to deliver the documents for which we asked in our open records (“sunshine”) request for our Teacher Prep Review.
At the heart of our Teacher Prep Review is a simple idea: the more information that aspiring teachers, district and school leaders, teacher educators and the public at large have about the programs producing classroom-ready teachers, the better all teacher training programs will be.
In our effort to produce the first comprehensive review of U.S. teacher prep, we’ve faced a number of challenges — perhaps the most serious of which has been the argument made by some universities that federal copyright law makes it illegal for public institutions publicly approved to prepare public school teachers to make public documents that describe the training they provide.
We want to make sure that everyone understands what this ruling does and does not mean. The Minnesota State colleges and universities system agreed with us that the syllabi we seek are indeed public record documents. Their case came down to the claim that because the course syllabi are also the intellectual property of professors, they should not have to deliver copies of their syllabi to us.
Minnesota’s open records law, the court ruled, is clear: public institutions must make documents accessible to individuals seeking them — which includes delivering copies to them. Delivering copies of these documents to us in no way, shape or form deprives the professors who created them of their intellectual property rights. NCTQ is conducting a research study, which means that our use of these syllabi falls under the fair use provision of the copyright law. This is the exactly the same provision that enables all researchers, including teacher educators, to make copies of key documents they need to analyze to make advances in our collective knowledge.

Related:




How to Fix the Schools



Joe Nocera:

“We have to find a way to work with teachers and unions while at the same time working to greatly raise the quality of teachers,” he told me recently. He has some clear ideas about how to go about that. His starting point is not the public schools themselves but the universities that educate teachers. Teacher education in America is vastly inferior to many other countries; we neither emphasize pedagogy — i.e., how to teach — nor demand mastery of the subject matter. Both are a given in the top-performing countries. (Indeed, it is striking how many nonprofit education programs in the U.S. are aimed at helping working teachers do a better job — because they’ve never learned the right techniques.)
What is also a given in other countries is that teaching has a status equal to other white-collar professionals. That was once true in America, but Tucker believes that a quarter-century of income inequality saw teachers lose out at the expense of lawyers and other well-paid professionals. That is a large part of the reason that teachers’ unions have become so obstreperous: It is not just that they feel underpaid, but they feel undervalued. Tucker believes that teachers should be paid more — though not exorbitantly. But making teacher education more rigorous — and imbuing the profession with more status — is just as important. “Other countries have raised their standards for getting into teachers’ colleges,” he told me. “We need to do the same.”

Related: When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That? and Wisconsin begins to adopt teacher content standards.




Outlook not set in stone for Wisconsin school of education enrollment



Arthur Thomas:

For all the changes implemented in 2011, one thing hurt enrollment at schools of education more than others, said John Gaffney, recruitment and retention coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s School of Education.
“The message of teachers being the problem hurt us the most,” Gaffney said.
The Act 10 legislation affected teachers’ pocketbooks – with union bargaining largely eliminated, higher deductions for benefits were imposed – and the political firestorm that resulted put teachers at the center of attention.
Maggie Beeber, undergraduate advising coordinator at the UW-Stevens Point education school, recounted a story where she was meeting with incoming freshmen. She asked the students if anyone had tried to discourage them from becoming teachers. Nearly every hand went up. Then she asked if more than five people had discouraged them. Most of the hands stayed up.
“It’s easy to follow the public discourse about teaching right now and conclude that everything is doomed,” said Desiree Pointer Mace, associate dean for graduate education at Alverno College.

Related:




An Interview with UW-Madison School of Education Dean Julie Underwood



Todd Finkelmeyer:

It’s an unprecedented amount of change, honestly,” says Julie Underwood, the dean of UW-Madison’s highly ranked School of Education.
Consider:

  • The state this year will start rating each school on a scale of 0 to 100 based on student test scores and other measurables. The idea, in part, is to give parents a way to evaluate how a school is performing while motivating those within it to improve.
  • Several schools across the state — including Madison’s Shorewood Elementary, Black Hawk Middle and Memorial High schools — are part of Wisconsin’s new teacher and principal evaluation system, which for the first time will grade a teacher’s success, in part, on student test scores. This system is to be implemented across Wisconsin in 2014-15.li>And instead of Wisconsin setting its own student benchmarks, the state is moving toward using Common Core State Standards, which have been adopted in 45 other states. State schools are starting new curricula this year in language arts and math so students will be prepared by the 2014-15 school year to take a new state exam tied to this common core and replacing the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination.

Although Underwood says she generally backs most of these changes, she’s no fan of the decision announced last month that makes it easier for a person to become a public school teacher — even as those who are studying to become teachers must now meet stiffer credentialing requirements. Instead of having to complete education training at a place like UW-Madison en route to being licensed, those with experience in private schools or with other teaching backgrounds now can take steps to become eligible for a public teaching license.
“I think that’s really unfortunate,” says Underwood, who first worked at UW-Madison from 1986-95 before coming back to town as education dean in 2005.

Related:




Loss of master’s degree pay bump has impact on teachers, grad schools



Erin Richards, via a kind reader’s email:

The dropping of the master’s bump in many districts is also raising new questions about what kind of outside training is relevant to help teachers improve outcomes with their students, and what those teachers – who are already taking home less pay by contributing more to their benefits – will consider to be worth the investment.
Wauwatosa East High School government teacher Ann Herrera Ward is one educator puzzled by the turning tide on advanced degrees.
Ward earned her bachelor’s degree in political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before working in the U.S. House of Representatives for seven years, then got on the road to a teaching license through Marquette University, where she got a master’s in instructional leadership.
Entering her 20th year as a teacher, she’s finishing her dissertation for her doctorate degree: a study of how kids learn about elections and politics by discussing the matters in school and at home.

Related:




Singapore vs. Madison/US Schools: Do We (Americans) Put Money into Our Children?





I read with interest Nathan Comps’ article on the forthcoming 2012-2013 Madison School District budget. Board Vice President Marj Passman lamented:

“If Singapore can put a classroom of students on its money, and we can’t even put our money into children, what kind of country are we?” asks Passman, Madison school board vice president. “It’s going to be a horrible budget this year.”

Yet, according to the World Bank, Singapore spends 63% less per student than we do in America on primary education and 47% less on secondary education. The US spent $10,441/student in 2007-2008 while Madison spent $13,997.27/student during that budget cycle. Madison’s 2011-2012 budget spends $14,858.40/student.
The Economist on per student spending:

Those findings raise what ought to be a fruitful question: what do the successful lot have in common? Yet the answer to that has proved surprisingly elusive. Not more money. Singapore spends less per student than most. Nor more study time. Finnish students begin school later, and study fewer hours, than in other rich countries.
In Finland all new teachers must have a master’s degree. South Korea recruits primary-school teachers from the top 5% of graduates, Singapore and Hong Kong from the top 30%.

Rather than simply throwing more money (Madison taxpayers have long supported above average K-12 spending) at the current processes, perhaps it is time to rethink curriculum and just maybe, give Singapore Math a try in the Madison schools.
Related:


Via the Global Report Card. The average Madison student performs better than 23% of Singapore students in Math and 35% in reading.




MTEL Arrives in Wisconsin: Teacher Licensing Content Requirement, from 1.1.2014



2011 WISCONSIN ACT 166, via a kind reader:

Section 21. 118.19 (14) of the statutes is created to read:
118.19 (14) (a) The department may not issue an initial teaching license that authorizes the holder to teach in grades kindergarten to 5 or in special education, an initial license as a reading teacher, or an initial license as a reading specialist, unless the applicant has passed an examination identical to the Foundations of Reading test administered in 2012 as part of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure [blekko]. The department shall set the passing cut score on the examination at a level no lower than the level recommended by the developer of the test, based on this state’s standards.
(c) Any teacher who passes the examination under par. (a) shall notify the department, which shall add a notation to the teacher’s license indicating that he or she passed the examination.
and….
115.28 (7g) Evaluation of teacher preparatory programs.
(a) The department shall, in consultation with the governor’s office, the chairpersons of the committees in the assembly and senate whose subject matter is elementary and secondary education and ranking members of those committees, the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, and the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, do all of the following:
1. Determine how the performance of individuals who have recently completed a teacher preparatory program described in s. 115.28 (7) (a) and located in this state or a teacher education program described in s. 115.28 (7) (e) 2. and located in this state will be used to evaluate the teacher preparatory and education programs. The determination under this subdivision shall, at minimum, define “recently completed” and identify measures to assess an individual’s performance, including the performance assessment made prior to making a recommendation for licensure.
2. Determine how the measures of performance of individuals who have recently completed a teacher preparatory or education program identified as required under subd. 1. will be made accessible to the public.
3. Develop a system to publicly report the measures of performance identified as required under subd. 1. for each teacher preparatory and education program identified in subd. 1.
(b) Beginning in the 2013-14 school year, the department shall use the system developed under par. (a) 3. to annually report for each program identified in par. (a) 1. the passage rate on first attempt of students and graduates of the program on examinations administered for licensure under s. 115.28 (7) and any other information required to be reported under par. (a) 1.
(c) Beginning in the 2013-14 school year, each teacher preparatory and education program shall prominently display and annually update the passage rate on first attempt of recent graduates of the program on examinations administered for licensure under s. 115.28 (7) and any other information required to be reported under par. (a) 1. on the program’s Web site and provide this information to persons receiving admissions materials to the program.
Section 18. 115.28 (12) (ag) of the statutes is created to read:
115.28 (12) (ag) Beginning in the 2012-13 school year, each school district using the system under par. (a) shall include in the system the following information for each teacher teaching in the school district who completed a teacher preparatory program described in sub. (7) (a) and located in this state or a teacher education program described in sub. (7) (e) 2. and located in this state on or after January 1, 2012:
1. The name of the teacher preparatory program or teacher education program the teacher attended and completed.
2. The term or semester and year in which the teacher completed the program described in subd. 1.

Related:

This is a sea change for Wisconsin students, the most substantive in decades. Of course, what is entered into the statutes can be changed or eliminated. The MTEL requirement begins with licenses after 1.1.2014.




More Election Tea Leaves: UW-Madison Ed School Dean on K-12 Tax & Spending: Defunding and privatization threaten public schools



UW-Madison Ed School Dean Julie Underwood:

Public education currently stands under twin towers of threat — de-funding and privatization. This is consistent with a conservative agenda to eliminate many public programs — including public education.
In Wisconsin, school districts have been under strict limits on their revenues and spending since 1993. These limits have not kept pace with the natural increases in the costs of everyday things like supplies, energy and fuel. So every year, local school board members and administrators have had to cut their budgets to comply with spending limits. Throughout these years, school boards and administrators have done an admirable job of managing these annual cuts, but taken together, reductions in programs and staff have had a significant and very negative impact on our schools and the education they can provide to children.
Unfortunately this year, these same districts have received the largest single budget cut in Wisconsin history. For example, high poverty aid was cut by 10 percent during a time when poverty in children has increased in Wisconsin. As a result, schools are cutting programs and staff. According to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction data, the cuts in 2012 are greater than the two previous years combined. These cuts will be compounded when next year’s cuts come due.

Related:




UW profs shed light on ALEC’s threat to public education



Todd Finkelmeyer:

University of Wisconsin-Madison professors Julie Underwood and Julie Mead are expressing concern over the growing corporate influence on public education in an article published Monday.
In particular, they are highly critical of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which connects conservative state legislators with like-minded think tanks, corporations and foundations to develop “model legislation” that can be enacted at the state level.
Underwood is the dean of UW-Madison’s School of Education, while Mead chairs the ed school’s department of educational leadership and policy analysis. The two make their opinions known in an article they co-authored for the March issue of Phi Delta Kappan magazine, which serves members of the PDK professional organization for educators.
Underwood says much of the information in the article is an outgrowth of research she conducted while helping get the ALECexposed.org website up and running last summer.

Related:




NCTQ Sues UW Ed Schools over Access to Course Syllabi



Kate Walsh, via a kind reader’s email:

As reported by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and the Associated Press, NCTQ filed a lawsuit yesterday — a first for us — against the University of Wisconsin system.
UW campuses issued identically worded denials of our requests for course syllabi, which is one of the many sources of information we use to rate programs for the National Review of teacher preparation programs. They argue that “syllabi are not public records because they are subject to copyright” and therefore do not have to be produced in response to an open records request.
We believe that the University’s reading of the law is flawed. We are engaged in research on the quality of teacher preparation programs, and so our request falls squarely within the fair use provision of copyright law. What’s more, these documents were created at public institutions for the training of public school teachers, and so should be subject to scrutiny by the public.
You can read our complaint here.

Related Georgia, Wisconsin Education Schools Back Out of NCTQ Review

Public higher education institutions in Wisconsin and Georgia–and possibly as many as five other states–will not participate voluntarily in a review of education schools now being conducted by the National Council for Teacher Quality and U.S. News and World Report, according to recent correspondence between state consortia and the two groups.
In response, NCTQ and U.S. News are moving forward with plans to obtain the information from these institutions through open-records requests.
In letters to the two organizations, the president of the University of Wisconsin system and the chancellor of Georgia’s board of regents said their public institutions would opt out of the review, citing a lack of transparency and questionable methodology, among other concerns.
Formally announced in January, the review will rate education schools on up to 18 standards, basing the decisions primarily on examinations of course syllabuses and student-teaching manuals.

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?

Lake Wobegon has nothing on the UW-Madison School of Education. All of the children in Garrison Keillor’s fictional Minnesota town are “above average.” Well, in the School of Education they’re all A students.
The 1,400 or so kids in the teacher-training department soared to a dizzying 3.91 grade point average on a four-point scale in the spring 2009 semester.
This was par for the course, so to speak. The eight departments in Education (see below) had an aggregate 3.69 grade point average, next to Pharmacy the highest among the UW’s schools. Scrolling through the Registrar’s online grade records is a discombobulating experience, if you hold to an old-school belief that average kids get C’s and only the really high performers score A’s.
Much like a modern-day middle school honors assembly, everybody’s a winner at the UW School of Education. In its Department of Curriculum and Instruction (that’s the teacher-training program), 96% of the undergraduates who received letter grades collected A’s and a handful of A/B’s. No fluke, another survey taken 12 years ago found almost exactly the same percentage.




Grade Inflation for Education Majors and Low Standards for Teachers When Everyone Makes the Grade



Cory Koedel

Students who take education classes at universities receive significantly higher grades than students who take classes in every other academic discipline. The higher grades cannot be explained by observable differences in student quality between education majors and other students, nor can they be explained by the fact that education classes are typically smaller than classes in other academic departments. The remaining reasonable explanation is that the higher grades in education classes are the result of low grading standards. These low grading standards likely will negatively affect the accumulation of skills for prospective teachers during university training. More generally, they contribute to a larger culture of low standards for educators.
Key points in this Outlook:
Grades awarded in university education departments are consistently higher than grades in other disciplines.
Similarly, teachers in K-12 schools receive overwhelmingly positive evaluations.
Grade inflation in education departments should be addressed through administrative directives or external accountability in K-12 schools.

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Statement by State Education Chiefs Supporting the National Council on Teacher Quality’s Review of Colleges of Education



Foundation for Excellence in Education, via a Kate Walsh email:

Today, the following members of Chiefs for Change, Janet Barresi, Oklahoma State Superintendent of Public Information; Tony Bennett, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction; Steve Bowen, Maine Commissioner of Education; Chris Cerf, New Jersey Commissioner of Education; Deborah A. Gist, Rhode Island Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education; Kevin Huffman, Tennessee Commissioner of Education; Eric Smith, Florida Commissioner of Education; and Hanna Skandera, New Mexico Public Education Department Secretary-Designate, released a statement supporting the National Council on Teacher Quality’s colleges of education review.
“Great teachers make great students. Preparing teachers with the knowledge and skills to be effective educators is paramount to improving student achievement. Ultimately, colleges of education should be reviewed the same way we propose evaluating teachers – based on student learning.”
“Until that data becomes available in every state, Chiefs for Change supports the efforts of the National Council on Teacher Quality to gather research-based data and information about the nation’s colleges of education. This research can provide a valuable tool for improving the quality of education for educators.”

Related: Georgia, Wisconsin Education Schools Back Out of NCTQ Review

Public higher education institutions in Wisconsin and Georgia–and possibly as many as five other states–will not participate voluntarily in a review of education schools now being conducted by the National Council for Teacher Quality and U.S. News and World Report, according to recent correspondence between state consortia and the two groups.
In response, NCTQ and U.S. News are moving forward with plans to obtain the information from these institutions through open-records requests.
In letters to the two organizations, the president of the University of Wisconsin system and the chancellor of Georgia’s board of regents said their public institutions would opt out of the review, citing a lack of transparency and questionable methodology, among other concerns.
Formally announced in January, the review will rate education schools on up to 18 standards, basing the decisions primarily on examinations of course syllabuses and student-teaching manuals.

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?:
Teacher colleges balk at being rated Wisconsin schools say quality survey from national nonprofit and magazine won’t be fair.




“Transparency Central” National Review of Education Schools



The National Council on Teacher Qualty:

Higher education institutions, whether they are private or public, have an obligation to be transparent about the design and operations of their teacher preparation programs. After all, these institutions have all been publicly approved to prepare public school teachers.
Here at Transparency Central, you can keep track of whether colleges and universities are living up to their obligation to be open. Just click on a state to learn more about the transparency of individual institutions there.
NCTQ is asking institutions to provide documents that describe the fundamental aspects of their teacher preparation programs: the subject matter teachers are supposed to know, the real-world classroom practice they are supposed to get, the outcomes that they achieve once they enter the classroom. Taken together, the evidence we gathering will answer a key question: Are individual programs setting high expectations for what new teachers should know and be able to do for their students?
A number of institutions have let us know that they do not intend to cooperate with our review, some even before we formally asked them for documents. As a result, we have begun to make open records requests using state “sunshine” (or “freedom of information act”) laws.
We’ll be regularly updating our progress, so come back soon to learn more about our efforts to bring transparency to teacher prep.

Related:




Important voice missing in blue ribbon reading discussion



Susan Troller

While working on another story this morning, I kept checking Wisconsin Eye’s live coverage of the first meeting of Gov. Scott Walker’s blue ribbon task force on reading.
Sitting next to the Governor at the head of the table was State Superintendent Tony Evers, flanked by Sen. Luther Olsen, chair of the Education Committee and Rep. Steve Kestell. Also on hand were representatives from organizations like the Wisconsin State Reading Association (Kathy Champeau), teachers and various other reading experts, including a former Milwaukee area principal, Anthony Pedriana, who has written an influential book on reading and student achievement called “Leaving Johnny Behind.” Also on hand was Steven Dykstra of the Wisconsin Reading Coalition.
Dykstra, in particular, had a lot to say, but the discussion of how well Wisconsin kids are learning to read — a subject that gets heated among education experts as well as parents and teachers — struck me as quite engaging and generally cordial.
There seemed to be consensus surrounding the notion that it’s vitally important for students to become successful readers in the early grades, and that goal should be an urgent priority in Wisconsin.
But how the state is currently measuring up to its own past performance, and to other states, is subject to some debate. Furthermore, there isn’t a single answer or widespread agreement on precisely how to make kids into better readers.

Related:




Georgia, Wisconsin Education Schools Back Out of NCTQ Review



Stephen Sawchuk, via a kind reader’s email:

Public higher education institutions in Wisconsin and Georgia–and possibly as many as five other states–will not participate voluntarily in a review of education schools now being conducted by the National Council for Teacher Quality and U.S. News and World Report, according to recent correspondence between state consortia and the two groups.
In response, NCTQ and U.S. News are moving forward with plans to obtain the information from these institutions through open-records requests.
In letters to the two organizations, the president of the University of Wisconsin system and the chancellor of Georgia’s board of regents said their public institutions would opt out of the review, citing a lack of transparency and questionable methodology, among other concerns.
Formally announced in January, the review will rate education schools on up to 18 standards, basing the decisions primarily on examinations of course syllabuses and student-teaching manuals.
The situation is murkier in New York, Maryland, Colorado, and California, where public university officials have sent letters to NCTQ and U.S. News requesting changes to the review process, but haven’t yet declined to take part willingly.
In Kentucky, the presidents, provosts, and ed. school deans of public universities wrote in a letter to the research and advocacy group and the newsmagazine that they won’t “endorse” the review. It’s not yet clear what that means for their participation.

Related: When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?:

Lake Wobegon has nothing on the UW-Madison School of Education. All of the children in Garrison Keillor’s fictional Minnesota town are “above average.” Well, in the School of Education they’re all A students.
The 1,400 or so kids in the teacher-training department soared to a dizzying 3.91 grade point average on a four-point scale in the spring 2009 semester.
This was par for the course, so to speak. The eight departments in Education (see below) had an aggregate 3.69 grade point average, next to Pharmacy the highest among the UW’s schools. Scrolling through the Registrar’s online grade records is a discombobulating experience, if you hold to an old-school belief that average kids get C’s and only the really high performers score A’s.
Much like a modern-day middle school honors assembly, everybody’s a winner at the UW School of Education. In its Department of Curriculum and Instruction (that’s the teacher-training program), 96% of the undergraduates who received letter grades collected A’s and a handful of A/B’s. No fluke, another survey taken 12 years ago found almost exactly the same percentage.




Grade Inflation: Who Really Failed?



Scott Jaschik:

Dominique G. Homberger won’t apologize for setting high expectations for her students.
The biology professor at Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge gives brief quizzes at the beginning of every class, to assure attendance and to make sure students are doing the reading. On her tests, she doesn’t use a curve, as she believes that students must achieve mastery of the subject matter, not just achieve more mastery than the worst students in the course. For multiple choice questions, she gives 10 possible answers, not the expected 4, as she doesn’t want students to get very far with guessing.
Students in introductory biology don’t need to worry about meeting her standards anymore. LSU removed her from teaching, mid-semester, and raised the grades of students in the class. In so doing, the university’s administration has set off a debate about grade inflation, due process and a professor’s right to set standards in her own course.
To Homberger and her supporters, the university’s action has violated principles of academic freedom and weakened the faculty.

Related: Marc Eisen: When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?.




Civics: “Our two-party system isn’t always great, but it’s far preferable to one in which a single party gains total control”



Paul Buchheit:

The Biden situation is a good example of why single-party states are dangerous — the incentives always favor party loyalty over truth. If it weren’t for the disastrous debate and upcoming elections, experts and insiders would still be insisting that Biden is “sharp as a tack”, and that all evidence to the contrary are “cheapfakes” and dangerous misinformation.

Our two-party system isn’t always great, but it’s far preferable to one in which a single party gains total control. I believe this is also a significant factor in the California/SF dysfunction. Without a viable opposition party, party leaders can get away with just about anything, and corruption and incompetence grows unchecked.

—-

Madison has had many uncontested elections in recent years….

Yet:

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Wisconsin Watch Commentary on School library choices



Rachel Hale:

An increasing part of library specialists’ and district administrators’ jobs has become dealing with requests. Records showed hundreds of internal emails related to scheduling reconsideration meetings and addressing parent concerns. Administrators oversee books across numerous buildings and are struggling with the balancing act of appeasing parent concerns while maintaining appropriate grade interest levels for thousands of other students. 

Districts’ criteria took into account a book’s alignment with curriculum and state standards, the readability and appeal of texts to diverse students, the grade-level appropriateness, the significance and reputation of a book’s author, popular appeal and reviews from sites such as Scholastic and Common Sense Media.

——

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Notes on redistributed state taxpayer funds and the madison School District’s budget



Abbey Machtig:

State aid payments are influenced by factors like enrollment, district spending and local property values. Assistant Superintendent of Financial Services Bob Soldern told the Wisconsin State Journal via email the district had been planning to receive about $50 million in state support.

Nichols said she doesn’t think the additional money from the state dramatically changes the district’s financial situation.

“I don’t think for the long haul in terms of the future forecasting of our budget … there will be a huge shift,” she said.

Statewide, the general aid paid to school districts for 2024-25 totals $5.6 billion, according to DPI. Nearly 70% of districts are estimated to receive more general aid from the state, while about 30% are estimated to receive less. Eight districts are estimated to have no change in aid.

DPI is anticipating “greater than usual volatility” in the estimates due to inaccuracies and delays in financial reporting from Milwaukee Public Schools.

The state aid amounts will be finalized in October.

——-

John Jagler:

Dear Milwaukee media. Stop saying MPS is going to “lose” $81 million this year. Or that aid will be cut. It makes it seem like the district is a victim. Instead try: MPS received $81 million more than it should have because of incompetence and is now being held accountable.

Corrinne Hess:

Quinton Klabon, research director with the conservative Institute for Reforming Government, said solving the budget gap will be painful. 

“No cut will be invisible, so every curriculum purchase, every contract, and every staffing decision must justify itself going forward,” Klabon said. “How MPS handles these summer months will determine whether students get the education and services they deserve. Rebuilding trust with parents begins now.”

State aid is the largest form of state support for Wisconsin public schools

DPI calculates general school aids through a formula that uses property values in the district, enrollment and district spending.

The current estimates are based on the 2023-25 biennial budget and pupil count and budget data reported by school districts to the DPI. 

Due to previously reported delays in financial data reporting by Milwaukee Public Schools, the DPI anticipates greater than usual volatility in these estimates.

“Figures used in this estimate may change by a greater than usual amount for the certification of general school aids,” according to a DPI press release. “The department therefore encourages caution when utilizing this estimate.”

Statewide, estimated general school aids for 2024-25 total $5.58 billion, a 4.2 percent increase from 2023-24. 

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average K – 12 spending. Per student spending ranges from $22,633 to $29,827 depending on the spending number used (!)

Enrollment notes.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Notes on Madison’s planned $607M tax & spending increase, outcomes?



Abbey Machtig:

At $607 million, the Madison School District’s pair of referendums set for November will be the second-largest ask of voters by a school district in Wisconsin history.

It comes in behind Racine’s $1 billion referendum, which passed in 2020 by only five votes. The dollar amount Madison is requesting has been described as “unprecedented” in district history by the Wisconsin Policy Forum — not to mention the tax impacts homeowners would see if both questions were approved.

Madison property owners are being asked to fork over a lot of money.

The Madison School District, however, is not alone in its increasing reliance on referendums to fill operating budget holes and to pay for new construction. Other Wisconsin school districts, including Madison suburbs, also have put a number of big referendums on ballots in recent years.

While the dollar amounts are significantly less than what Madison schools are requesting this fall, Madison’s population — estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau at about 280,000 — is significantly greater as well.

It’s hard to make direct comparisons of the tax implications of various referendums, including those Madison is proposing, over the years. Inflation, property values, population changes, and the fact that operating referendums frequently ramp up over a period of time all have an impact.

But for context, here’s a look at the large school referendums Madison and other Dane County voters have approved in recent years.

——-

Madison, meanwhile excels in unopposed school board elections.

Yet:

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average K – 12 spending. Per student spending ranges from $22,633 to $29,827 depending on the spending number used (!)

Enrollment notes.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




47 candidates (!) file for Chicago school board elections



Nader Issa

The window for hopefuls to submit their minimum 1,000 signatures to get on the ballot closed Monday afternoon with more than two dozen final-day submissions wrapping up the week-long process that kicked off the elections.

Chicago’s first-ever school board elections will feature 47 candidates vying for 10 seats, a number surpassing most expectations and including parents, former teachers and principals, nonprofit workers and a rapper.

The window for hopefuls to submit their minimum 1,000 signatures to get on the ballot closed Monday afternoon with more than two dozen final-day submissions wrapping up the week-long process that kicked off the elections.

Carmen Gioiosa beat the clock to file her paperwork in District 4 along the north lakefront, where six people are battling it out. The former high school Italian teacher and Chicago Public Schools central office administrator said she was still collecting signatures Monday morning.

——-

Madison, meanwhile excels in unopposed school board elections.

Yet:

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average K – 12 spending. Per student spending ranges from $22,633 to $29,827 depending on the spending number used (!)

Enrollment notes.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Delong Middle School student makes history winning the first Wisconsin Civics Bee: “focused on the flaws of the education system”



Jeremy Wall 

When Rya Mousavi saw a poster for Wisconsin’s first civics bee, she had an idea.

“My teacher just had a poster on the board and I talked to her about it. She kind of introduced me to the civics bee and I thought it was a good opportunity,” said Mousavi

An opportunity to improve her community. The civics bee is a competition hosted by the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce Foundation in which middle schoolers from across the state share ideas to improve their communities and answer civics questions. 

Contestants are asked to pick a topic to write about. Mousavi focused on the flaws of the education system. She says school systems nationwide, including the Eau Claire Area School District, don’t meet the diverse needs of all students

“We’re really not able to make the most out of all the time, we have to learn and a lot of that is because of issues to the system. There’s a lot we can do to improve the system. I believe we have the resources,” Mousavi said.

——

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average K – 12 spending. Per student spending ranges from $22,633 to $29,827 depending on the spending number used (!)

Enrollment notes.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Notes on Madison’s planned K-12 tax & $pending increase referendum (enrollment data?)



Abbey Machtig

Administrators are recommending Sennett Middle School and Cherokee Heights Middle School be replaced with new buildings. The same goes for several combined schools that share the same location: Shabazz City High and Sherman Middle; Black Hawk Middle and Gompers Elementary; Toki Middle and Orchard Ridge Elementary.

The district would also renovate Anana and Crestwood elementary schools, bringing the total cost of construction to $507 million.

It’s not clear exactly where the new schools would be located. New schools could be built on empty fields next door to some of the existing buildings, according to board materials.

Meanwhile, money from the operating referendum could be spent on things like staff salaries and educational programming. The district has not provided details on exactly what the $100 million will buy.

….

In the preliminary budget, spending would total $581 million, about $10 million less than last school year. With COVID-19 pandemic relief aid winding down, the district is getting significantly less money from federal sources.

The district plans to add more than 100 full-time equivalent positions in 2025. Most of the additions will be at the classroom level, with more teachers and education assistant positions added back to schools.

——

Kayla Huynh:

If voters approve of the school district’s two measures, MMSD officials estimate an owner of an average-value home in Madison would see a $1,376 increase on their property tax bills by 2028. That could be on top of hundreds of dollars annually for a city property tax increase.

If the operating budget referendum fails, the district’s starting budget would still include 107 new full-time positions. It would also retain 111 positions previously funded by federal pandemic relief aid, the Policy Forum said.

The number of administrators would stay nearly the same, but the district would add more teachers, educational assistants and mental health support staff. Many of the teacher resources would go toward the 4-year-old kindergarten and kindergarten through first grade programs.

Total staff for the school district would be the equivalent of 4,192 full-time employees — the largest number of district staff since at least 2013, the Policy Forum said.

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average K – 12 spending. Per student spending ranges from $22,633 to $29,827 depending on the spending number used (!)

Enrollment notes.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




“The best news reporter in town is up with a story today that ought to get heads rolling in our public school district”



David Blaska:

but probably won’t because — Forget it, Jake, it’s Madison WI!

School employees harassed police as they arrested an 18-year-old student criminal for carrying a loaded weapon inside La Follette high school, according to the most excellent report from Chris Rickert of the WI State Journal, made after an open records request. 

One Kyshawn M. Bankston had a Glock 9 mm handgun, two magazines with rounds in them, a scale and an empty plastic bag that had contained marijuana, police say. The young scholar lunged for that gun as police moved to arrest him. (Their police report)

——-

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average K – 12 spending. Per student spending ranges from $22,633 to $29,827 depending on the spending number used (!)

Enrollment notes.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Madison’s K-12 Governance: recent calendar activity



With the arrival of our latest K-12 Superintendent, I thought readers might have interest in recent calendar activity. On 4 June, 2024, I made a public records request of the taxpayer funded Madison School District:

“digital copy of Superintendent Joe Gothard’s calendar from his first meetings (April?) through 4 June, 2024.

In addition, I write to request the same for Nichelle Nichols, Board President from 1 January 2024 to 4 June, 2024.

Digital screenshots of these requests in png or jpg format are fine.”

I received the response today. Nichelle Nichols and Joe Gothard.

Superintendent Gothard’s May to June weekly calendar screens:

——

2013: What will be different, this time? 2019: Jennifer Cheatham and the Madison Experience

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average K – 12 spending. Per student spending ranges from $22,633 to $29,827 depending on the spending number used (!)

Enrollment notes.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




What a fight over $1.9 million in pay says about training for veteran teachers



Liz Bowie and Kristen Griffith

City school administrators began seeing teachers submitting 60 course credits — the equivalent of two master’s degrees — from Idaho State University this year to get an increase in pay. To the human resources department, this looked fishy.

How could a full-time teacher have enough time in one year to do the course work to earn 60 graduate credits? So they looked at Idaho State’s online professional development classes and realized that they cost just $55 a course and didn’t take long to complete.

“These are self-paced videos that you click through,” said Emily Nielson, the city school system’s chief human capital officer. She said there’s no requirement to write papers or do assignments, just multiple-choice assessments.

Translating those credits into the city teachers’ current contract meant that teachers who amassed 60 course credits could up their pay by $15,000 to $20,000 a year, depending on where they are on the teaching ladder. The salary bumps were estimated to cost the school system about $1.9 million this year, but Nielson said she expects the amount to go up because teachers have until June 30 to submit their credits.

——-

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




“Security staff are in the wrong job if they object to arresting armed students.”



David Blaska

The so-called “security staff” at La Follette high school put up a hissy fit when police carted off an 18-year-old student found with weapons of mass destruction in his backpack. (“We’re supposed to protect kids here” — from police!) The newspaper quotes the school principal, who caught hell from the “security staff,” to say: 

“We have amazing employees of color who were watching a student of color going into the system. They were, and are, heartbroken” and “raw emotions and feelings surfaced. …. Their hearts were in the right place.” — Principal Mat (one T) Thompson, quoted here.

That kind of Woke blibber blabber surfaces raw emotions and feelings in this correspondent but he does not want to go all Proud Boy on the schools. Instead, we offer defeated school board candidate David Blaska’s response to rightly concerned Madison parents and taxpayers: 

—-

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average K – 12 spending. Per student spending ranges from $22,633 to $29,827 depending on the spending number used (!)

Enrollment notes.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Commentary on Madison’s Latest K-12 Superintendent



“Mildred & Hands”:

He certainly has his work cut out for him. Gothard is being thrust into a likely $600 million referendum campaign this fall that won’t be easy to pass. Inflation and soaring housing costs have soured many voters on tax hikes. Advocates will need to show taxpayers in a clear and specific way what they are getting for their money. How will outcomes for children improve?

The district must retrain elementary teachers in reading instruction that emphasizes phonics. State officials have mandated the strategy, based on research showing better results. But they aren’t giving Gothard’s district additional resources for the considerable effort (?).

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average K – 12 spending. Per student spending ranges from $22,633 to $29,827 depending on the spending number used (!)

Enrollment notes.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Tiny and terrifying: Why some feel threatened by Wisconsin’s parental choice programs



Patrick Mcilheran:

In Madison, where the possibility of school choice arrived 23 years after Milwaukee, there are six private schools in the choice program that Smith calls “vouchers,” and those six schools enrolled 655 choice students in the school year just ended. The Madison Metropolitan School District, in comparison, has about 25,000 students.

Big ask

Perhaps Madison families will see some of the growth common elsewhere. Independent private schools in the city of Milwaukee educated about 29,000 children using choice grants last year, and those in Racine educated about 4,000. Nearly 19,000 kids throughout the rest of Wisconsin used choice grants.

Several more Madison schools have been cleared by state regulators to join the choice program in fall, including a second one to offer high school grades. This likely will be a blessing to Madison families looking for an alternative to a school district where, by the state’s most recent figures, only 41% of the students had been taught to read at grade level or better. By contrast, Madison’s largest private school in the choice program, Abundant Life Christian School, got 73% of its students to grade level or better in reading. 

Why Senator Smith regards this as “failing” is baffling.

When families take their children to Abundant Life or other independent options, $10,237 of state aid will follow each one, or $12,731 if they’re high schoolers — the entirety of taxpayers’ outlay. 

By contrast, in the most recent state figures, Madison Metropolitan School District spent a total of $17,944 per child in taxpayer money.

What’s more, the district may ask voters in November for another $600 million in spending, overriding the taxpayer-protecting limits set in law. The proposal would add $1,378 to the property taxes of a typical Madison home. The district says its budget is in dire straits because it used temporary pandemic aid for permanent expenses. It could have to cut its $589 million budget by about $2 million, or 0.4%.

——-

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average K – 12 spending. Per student spending ranges from $22,633 to $29,827 depending on the spending number used (!)

Enrollment notes.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Notes on Madison K-12 Governance and outcomes



David Blaska

Contrast that with a public school system here in Madison in which so-called safety monitors try to prevent police from removing pistol-packing pupils from the hallways of La Follette high school in the name of diversity, equity, and inclusion. (Read & Weep!) 

In the spirit of transparency, our new superintendent of schools gave an interview to our favorite local morning newspaper in which he manages to talk much and say little. Asked about Jennifer Cheatham’s Behavior Education Plan, however, Joe Gothard acknowledges:

“People would like to support a complete upheaval and change… but I haven’t been directed by the board and I certainly haven’t heard it as a priority.”

Blaska’s Bottom Line #1And you won’t hear it as a priority if you’re a new hire who reports to the likes of school board members Ali Muldrow, Savion Castro, and their allies at Progressive Dane and Freedom Inc.! 

Blaska’s Bonus Bottom Line: As we told Dave Zweifel of The Capital Times in the last thrilling episode, not exposing students to Woke ideology is a feature, not a bug.

——

More:

My old boss at The Capital TimesDave Zweifel kvetches that “the school choice program is no longer limited to that altruistic approach championed by Thompson in 1990,” that being limiting participation to the poorest of the poor. Dave, you were opposed to Tommy’s altruistic approach even in 1990! BTW: The program is still income-limited.

Another supposed fly in the ointment, Dave sez, is that voucher schools can prevent students from being exposed (Dave’s word) or subjected (Blaska’s word) to Woke ideology. That’s a feature, not a bug, Dave. He writes:

Since the days of Thomas Jefferson, America provided public education to its citizens. 

Still does, thanks to the voucher program! No mention of Milwaukee’s scandalous public schools, which do NOT provide public education to its citizens.

——

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average K – 12 spending. Per student spending ranges from $22,633 to $29,827 depending on the spending number used (!)

Enrollment notes.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Substantial Madison K-12 tax and $pending increase plans



Kayla Huynh

One question on the ballot would ask voters for $100 million over the next four school years to increase spending on staff salaries and education programs. The second would ask for $507 million to renovate or replace seven aging elementary and middle schools.

The two referendums would be “unprecedented in size and scope in district history,” according to an analysis from the nonpartisan Wisconsin Policy Forum released today.

As school district leaders consider the referendums, Madison city leaders also are weighing a property tax referendum of their own on the same ballot.

That would mark the first time Madison voters are asked to consider property tax referendums from both the school district and the city.

If voters approve of the school district’s two measures, MMSD officials estimate an owner of an average-value home in Madison would see a $1,376 increase on their property tax bills by 2028. That could be on top of hundreds of dollars annually for a city property tax increase.

——

Wisconsin Policy Forum (achievement?)

Another set of points for referendum voters to consider is how MMSD funding compares to other districts in Dane County and around Wisconsin. In short, the district’s revenue limit and related aid of $15,435 per student is already relatively high compared to other districts, and the referendum would accentuate that.

….

However, the middle schools in particular have low rates of utilization because of declining enrollment, with Sennett, Sherman, Toki, and Black Hawk middle schools all operating at or between 45% and 56% of their capacity. With enrollment currently projected to fall further in the next several years, MMSD officials and voters may wish to consider whether all of these schools will be used for many years to come or whether it makes sense to explore consolidating two middle school buildings to avoid at least one of the construction projects.

They may wish to engage in a similar discussion about elementary schools as well, though those facilities generally have at least somewhat higher utilization rates.

That would be the largest number of MMSD staff since at least 2013 despite the fact that enrollment is essentially at its lowest point over that period.

Sarah Lehr:

But Stein said the latest proposals are historic in size.

“This would be both from the capital and the operating side, the largest referendum questions that have ever been put to (MMSD) voters,” he said. “So certainly, this is a bigger ask than voters have ever had from the district in the past.”

Stein says Madison is contending with financial headwinds, including state-imposed limits on fundraising and waning pandemic aid. 

He also noted that money from a tax referendum approved by MMSD voters in 2020 is drying up.

Last year, Madison’s school board approved employee raises between 5.5 and 10 percent, which cost an extra $12 million in the current fiscal year. MMSD’s proposed budget for 2025 would add more than 100 full-time equivalent staff positions, and could also include additional raises.

It remains to be seen how many of those positions will be filled in a hot labor market, and Stein noted that vacancies could help patch up the budget shortfall.

“All school districts have been facing challenges from employee turnover (and) from rising inflation costs that have put pressure on their labor costs,” he said.

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average K – 12 spending. Per student spending ranges from $22,633 to $29,827 depending on the spending number used (!)

Enrollment notes.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Notes on “voucher” schools; accountability?



Dave Zweifel

Many educators complained at the time that the entire voucher program would serve as a foot in the door to eventually undermine the public school system — a system that had served the country since colonial days and was credited with representing the true melting pot among children from different cultures, races and incomes. Besides, experiments comparing public and private schools in other places hadn’t resulted in any significant improvements in student outcomes.

The ACLU filed suit against the religious school expansion and in 1998, the State Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional. But, three years later the U.S. Supreme Court okayed the concept, agreeing with voucher proponents that taxpayer money actually went to parents who then could use the money as they saw fit for their children’s education. Therefore, states weren’t directly sending funds to religious schools, the court found.

From those beginnings here in Wisconsin, that seemingly modest little program has blossomed into a colossus that is rapidly creating a complete second school system funded by the American taxpayer.

“Billions in taxpayer dollars are being used to pay tuition at religious schools throughout the country, as state voucher programs expand dramatically and the line separating public education and religion fades,” a report in the Washington Post read earlier this month.

——-

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average K – 12 spending. Per student spending ranges from $22,633 to $29,827 depending on the spending number used (!)

Enrollment notes.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




“Second, the latest revelation underscores the incompetence of the board”



John Schlifske:

The recent news that Milwaukee Public Schools failed to file a required financial report to the state Department of Public Instruction, that its past reports were missing data or inaccurate, and that it might have to payback millions in funds to the state is just another proof point underscoring the need for substantial governance reform. This lays open two serious deficiencies with the MPS board

First, is the lack of transparency and outright deceit on the part of the board. Do we really believe all this was “discovered” after the district led a push for $252 million in new property taxes? Do we really believe that no one on the board was aware of what was going on? For an elected body to misrepresent and hide the true situation at MPS immediately preceding the spring ballot initiative is outrageous and unacceptable. The board operates in star-chamber proceedings with absolutely no oversight. It no longer holds the public’s trust.

Second, the latest revelation underscores the incompetence of the board. Why weren’t they asking the tough questions? Why weren’t they seeking information as to the delay? Were they so oblivious to good governance that they didn’t even think to ask for this kind of data? No well-governed organization should ever find itself in the situation the MPS board is in right now. Moreover, this incompetence extends to the performance of the school system itself.

Milwaukee schools near bottom in national academic performance

As a city, our K-12 educational performance is near dead last, well below the national averages (based on the National Assessment of Educational Progress) in both reading and math. Think about it, we are below virtually every other major city in America. Worse, only 15.9%, and 9.9% of MPS students are on grade level on the state assessment in reading and math, respectively.

——-

Commentary.

Meanwhile, Madison!

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average K – 12 spending. Per student spending ranges from $22,633 to $29,827 depending on the spending number used (!)

Enrollment notes.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




“You shouldn’t expect to know how to read, do math, or make a life for yourself”



Luther Ray Abel:

once you’re auto-graduated from one of the area’s failed schools. But if you’re a Marquette-educated city planner who grew up in Whitefish Bay and now has a place, a goldendoodle, and a job in the Third Ward, Milwaukee is everything a man could ever want. Ride the white-collar novelty streetcar that cost tens of millions to build and bask in how good it is to be anywhere that isn’t steeped in crime-and-grift-maintained poverty.

It just so happens that those moaning about Trump’s assessment of Milwaukee are the latter. Everyone else is fighting for their lives.

——-

If @MilwaukeeMPS accounting is this bad, can the initial figures it presented when it first pushed for the $252M referendum even be trusted? @WISN12News

——-

Commentary

——

Meanwhile:

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average K – 12 spending. Per student spending ranges from $22,633 to $29,827 depending on the spending number used (!)

Enrollment notes.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Notes on planned Madison tax & $pending increase 2024 Referendum(s)



Abbey Machtig:

Past spending decisions combined with current revenue estimates leave the district with an estimated $40 million shortfall, Assistant Superintendent of Financial Services Bob Soldner told the Wisconsin State Journal.

District could renovate, build new schools

The district appears to be leaning toward building several new schools with potential referendum dollars rather than renovating existing buildings.

Leadership says many aging school buildings require substantial aesthetic, electrical and mechanical changes the district can’t afford without a referendum. The money would also go toward making schools more energy efficient and accessible.

“Under revenue limits, you just don’t have any other options on the facilities,” Soldner said Monday. “If you have a need, you have to seek voter approval.”

District administration is recommending that Sennett Middle School and Cherokee Heights Middle School be replaced with new buildings. The same goes for several combined schools that share the same location: Shabazz City High and Sherman Middle; Black Hawk Middle and Gompers Elementary; Toki Middle and Orchard Ridge Elementary.

That new construction would cost an estimated $443 million.

——

“city would spend about $431.4 million but raise only about $409.4 million in revenue”:

Of the $26 million in new spending expected for next year, most of it — $14.5 million — will go toward staff salaries and benefits. Last year, the city raised pay by 3% for unionized employees like police and fire department staff. General city employees got a 6% raise.

Of the $14.5 million for staff, $2.97 million will cover rising health insurance costs alone.

On the revenue side, the $4 million in new cash the city will bring in next year comes from increasing the property tax levy to the extent allowed without a referendum, which would generate about $12.6 million. Another $6 million will come from interest earnings and $1 million from increased ambulance fees.

Those increases are offset by one-time funding the city used to balance its 2024 budget, which came from the city’s rainy day fund, federal stimulus support and tax incremental financing money.

As the city’s budget options come into sharper focus, it remains unclear how, if at all, the city will use $16 million added to the rainy day fund thanks to higher-than-expected income from the city’s investments.

—-

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average K – 12 spending. Per student spending ranges from $22,633 to $29,827 depending on the spending number used (!)

Enrollment notes.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




“to audit the effectiveness of teaching and instruction of our kids in classrooms across the district.” (!)



Molly Beck, Rory Linnane And Kelly Meyerhofer

The review proposed by Evers would be funded through federal dollars allocated for MPS but yet used or funding leftover from previously awarded contracts, according to the governor.

The audits would produce “a comprehensive review and evaluation of the district’s systems, processes, and procedures to identify areas for improvement,” and “a comprehensive review and analysis of instructional practices, methodologies, and policies, which may include, for example, reviews of school and classroom learning environments, professional development policies and practices, curriculum implementation, and leadership, among other areas.”

“Parents and families, taxpayers, and the greater community rightfully have questions, and each and everyone of those questions deserves honest and transparent answers,” Evers said. “For any meaningful conversation about possible solutions to happen, the first step is to fully identify the extent of the problems. The audits I’m proposing today must be done to drive those future conversations.”

——

DPI Superintendent Underly: “I support Eliminating the Foundations of Reading (FORT)” Teacher Test

Wisconsin’s low bar WKCE expedition. (DPI)

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

The New England Primer.

——

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




“teachers at Burruss used to use a method called balanced literacy”



Juma Sei:

The easiest way to describe it is you kind of just let a kid figure things out by giving them context clues for the words they see, like pictures. But…

JOHNSON: Our reading data was terrible. We didn’t have the data to back up what we were doing.

SEI: So today, the teachers at Burruss use a method called structured literacy or the science of reading.

JOHNSON: Structured literacy is explicit instruction. Like, no, let’s teach them the code, teach them what the letters mean and how the letters represent sounds. And how the sounds come together to make words and, like, explicit instruction.

SEI: With national K-12 reading scores lower than they’ve been in decades, schools across the country are making the same transition to structured literacy. And those changes are being enshrined in legislation. Last year, 17 states passed new laws or implemented new policies encouraging schools to adopt the science of reading. That’s according to an analysis by Education Week. Georgia was one of those states.

RAMONA BROWN: Words are stored in memory through blank and blank.

—-

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Wisconsin DPI and learning to read….



Will Flanders:

The person put in charge of implementing the Science of Reading in Wisconsin apparently wrote positively about Lucy Calkins.

More.

Quinton Klabon:

GENUINE QUESTION: She was the 2017 president of the Wisconsin State Reading Association, which lobbied against Act 20 in 2023!

Many know her, so can someone explain?

DPI Superintendent Underly: “I support Eliminating the Foundations of Reading (FORT)” Teacher Test

Wisconsin’s low bar WKCE expedition. (DPI)

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

———

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Madison police: School staff objected to arrests of students for gun possession in school



Chris Rickert:

Staff at Madison’s La Follette High School have on at least two occasions objected to police arresting at least one La Follette student who brought a gun to school, including one case in which two staffers lied about being two students’ legal guardians, according to police reports.

Kyshawn M. Bankston, 18, was charged May 9 with possession of a firearm on school grounds and carrying a concealed weapon after being arrested at the school two days earlier. Police had been called to the school about an unrelated robbery, but while there they were informed by staff that Bankston might have a gun and were asked for help searching his backpack.

Police found a handgun, two magazines with rounds in them, a scale and an empty plastic bag that had contained marijuana, and as they moved to arrest Bankston, he lunged for the gun and had to be restrained, according to police.

Madison police denied a State Journal request under the state’s public records law for the full report of the May 7 incident, saying the investigation into the incident was still open, but did release two other reports regarding Bankston in response to the records request.

More in this PDF

——

Commentary:

——

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Madison parents file complaint to remove taxpayer funded Southside Elementary principal and assistant principal



Abbey Machtig:

Both groups have similar demands and say the school’s principal, Candace Terrell, and assistant principal, Annabel Torres, are “unfit” to lead Southside or any school.

“With Candace Terrell and Annabel Torres at the helm, Southside will continue to run afoul and eventually sink into the abyss,” the complaint from parents reads. “For this reason, we will no longer allow or tolerate our opinions and voices to be suppressed.”

The parent complaint also alleges there are high levels of unsafe and disruptive behaviors at the school, both physical and psychological. They say physical fights and bullying among students are common, with no adult intervention.

“Ms. Terrell and Ms. Torres are not following up with parents after bullying or physical violence happens. There is concern that the administration is not following up with families, and is not officially reporting serious incidents,” the complaint says.

The Complaint (PDF).

—-

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




K-12 Tax & $pending climate: City of Madison plans to increase residential density and the tax base….



Lucas Robinson:

West Side residents who have been most opposed to the plan worry about elements that call for up to 16-story apartment buildings along Mineral Point Road and near the Hilldale Shopping Center. They also complain that the plan now doesn’t have enough medium-density housing, some of which was removed in response to previous resident feedback. That medium-density housing still exists in other parts of the plan, such as on Gammon Road.

West Side resident Janet Hirsch said she thinks the West Side already has taken on its fair share of housing density, evidenced by Hilldale and the ongoing Madison Yards redevelopment, but doesn’t get in return the cultural amenities and entertainment seen Downtown or on the East Side.

“If you want to have more housing over here then fine, give us some of the other services,” Hirsch said. “But with some of the big apartment buildings we’re going to lose that sense of community.”

——

Letter to the editor:

Forced-rezoning fans keep their self-righteousness greased up with crass stereotypes. They sneer at us decadent West Siders in Madison, lounging around in our opulent mansions.

I walk through the rooms of my very small home, unimproved for 35 years, because we have to watch our money carefully — and I wonder who they’re scolding. Many seniors are in our situation.

The main pants-on-fire lie is that Madison will, inevitably, have 40,000 new citizens in a few years, and we have to greet them with open arms and a ton of new housing units. No, we don’t.

The more arrogant people in favor of rezoning command us whiny chumps to shut up and let them get on with their holy task of stacking 40,000 people up really high. They say this is our moral duty. False. Many of these new units would not be affordable. And Madison doesn’t have to be boomtown.

Commentary.

——

Looming substantial Madison tax and $pending increases.

—-

Yet:

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average k-12 $pending. Dive in, here.

Yet:

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Looming substantial Madison tax and $pending increases



Allison Garfield:

 If the property tax increase covered the projected $27 million deficit, it would cost the average household an additional $284 annually, or roughly $24 a month.

If approved by voters, the increase would add to a revenue stream Madison already relies heavily upon to fund its services, with over 70% of the city’s money coming from property taxes. The city’s rapidly growing population has added to the demand for services, and while a property tax hike is one of only a few options available for the 2025 budget, the City Council is also considering what steps can be taken to address future deficits down the line.

——

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average k-12 $pending. Dive in, here.

Yet:

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Advocates of discredited way to teach reading the most dangerous cult of all



Chris Reed:

Given how many kids struggle with reading proficiency, it’s stunning that the ‘whole language’ approach is still used in so many elementary schools

Who are the most dangerous cultists — adherents of a belief system regarded as unorthodox or spurious, to use a common definition — in the United States? Some will point to religions perceived as out of the mainstream, others will cite extreme political movements and still others might take a potshot at devotees of Red Sox Nation.

But in a country built on the idea that free, competent public education is the bedrock to the success of individuals and society in general, the most dangerous cult is the one that promotes unscientific methods of teaching reading. Despite massive evidence that the “phonics” approach is far more effective, the “whole language” approach is still a part of the reading instruction curricula used by 72 percent of elementary school teachers, according to a 2019 Education Week Research Center survey. Education researchers routinely note that lesson plans with no history of working well are ubiquitous in U.S. schools.

Language education experts say this is a big reason why nearly two-thirds of fourth- and eighth-graders in the U.S. in 2019 — before the pandemic disruption hurt scores even more — were not proficient readers. The stats were similar but slightly worse in California. The implications are grim. Poor reading skills correlate with dropping out of school, a lack of career success and even a much shorter life expectancy.

—-

Reed is deputy editor of the editorial and opinion section….

Meanwhile, Madison’s legacy newspaper opinion folks supported a successful candidate – Jill Underly – for the Wisconsin department of public instruction who sought (and continues) to get rid of our only early literacy teacher knowledge exam. More.

—-

More, here.

—-

Literacy momentum stalls in Wisconsin (DPI): Why would Wisconsin’s state leaders promote the use of curriculum that meets “minimal level” criteria, instead of elevating the highest-quality

——-

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




“The conflict between the bureaucratic, managerial priorities of school administrators and the moral ideals of teachers has characterized my seventeen-year teaching career”



Jeremy Noonan:

It is also a major reason why teachers are fleeing public schools. The public school accountability system, by relying solely on quantitative metrics like graduation rates to gauge educational quality and to evaluate administrators, frustrates teachers’ ability to truly teach and care for their students and look out for their long-term well-being. 

The first shock to me was the “make-up work” policy. My school let students skip assignments and miss deadlines until the end of the semester, then let them do the work at the last minute to avoid a failing grade. When I objected, stressing the importance of personal responsibility, the assistant principal replied, “Is it your job to teach chemistry or to teach responsibility?” She didn’t care to hear my answer: “Both.”

Next came the “curving” practice, which dictated that I convert a raw score on a test by multiplying the square root of it by ten. Hence, a score of forty-nine, an F, would be “curved” to seventy, a C minus. When I refused to curve grades, the principal had my department chair make the changes covertly. When I found out, I objected once again, and the principal rebuked me for “denying these children the opportunities all of us had.”

These were both cases of what Michael Polanyi calls “moral inversion”: a presumed moral duty to do immoral actions. This tacit duty to the immoral means that teachers who exercise integrity by refusing to go along with these policies are perceived as the bad guys. Never would an administrator acknowledge the bureaucratic purpose of these policies, which was to keep the wheels turning and money flowing. A failing student is a wrench in the system. He lowers the graduation rate, and the school looks bad. The bureaucracy rationalizes that the students will be better off with a diploma. But if they aren’t learning, their futures are being compromised.  

My next moral conflict with administrators put me in a position to blow the whistle on a practice called “online credit recovery” (OCR). I was teaching the two-year Theory of Knowledge course in the International Baccalaureate program, a kind of honors school-within-a-school. Top students in the school could enroll, and so could students from nearby schools who wanted vigorous college prep. 

——

Literacy momentum stalls in Wisconsin (DPI): Why would Wisconsin’s state leaders promote the use of curriculum that meets “minimal level” criteria, instead of elevating the highest-quality

——-

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?

——-




being sued for defamation for criticizing her school district on social media for employing a “social justice coordinator.”



WILL

WILL filed this appeal because Ms. Johnson’s posts are protected by the First Amendment. She should not have to endure a costly, pointless, and incoherent jury trial. 

The Quotes: WILL Deputy Counsel, Luke Berg, stated, “The case against Ms. Johnson should have been promptly dismissed. She was expressing her opinion, and the First Amendment gives her the right to do so. We hope the Court of Appeals allows her to appeal to avoid a misguided trial.”   

Scarlet Johnson, stated, “We have a right to free speech in this country and no one should be treated differently under the law because of their political beliefs. I am hopeful that we can establish what is a clear protection of the 1stAmendment.”  

Additional Background: The lawsuit involves a defamation claim for run-of-the-mill social media posts on X and Facebook. The posts in question criticized a school district for having a “social justice coordinator,” and described people who hold such positions as “woke,” “white savior[s]” with a “god complex,” “woke lunatics,” and “bullies.” Statements like these are pervasive on social media; indeed, they were more restrained than a lot of online speech. Nevertheless, the Plaintiff, who previously held the position, chose to respond with a defamation lawsuit.  

——

Legislation and Reading: the Wisconsin Experience 2004-

——

Literacy momentum stalls in Wisconsin (DPI): Why would Wisconsin’s state leaders promote the use of curriculum that meets “minimal level” criteria, instead of elevating the highest-quality

——-

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




“where we were and why nothing ever changes. Both are worth reading.”



Quinton Klabon:

Alan Borsuk:

Wisconsin’s kids need help learning to read, so let’s see more cooperation and an end to power maneuvers and partisanship.

Enough. Enough.  

I’m fed up with partisanship, polarization and power maneuvers in the state Capitol that put adults and politics first and kids last. 

There have been many episodes of this unfortunate soap opera over the years. And now we have one of the most aggravating because it involves something that has both urgency and broad agreement, yet is at a standstill.   

Wisconsin has a reading crisis. Milwaukee and some other areas where poverty is high especially have a reading crisis, but the problem goes beyond income, race and where a child lives. There are just too few children who are becoming capable readers by the end of third grade, which a wide range of educators would tell you is an important point in determining whether a kid is on the road to doing well in school and, in many cases, in life beyond school.  

In state standardized tests a year ago (the most recent results available), 37% of all third-graders in Wisconsin were rated as proficient or better in English language arts, which generally means they’re reading well. Another 36% were rated as “basic,” which I interpret as “kind of OK.” And 25% were rated as “below basic,” which I rephrase as “not really on the playing field.” Overall, that means about 60% of the kids are rated below proficient — or, to put it more gently, a quarter are not doing well at all. That is a lot of kids.  

Education and the Administrative State

CJ Safir:

The “why can’t we all get along?” narrative doesn’t apply here.

➡️DPI worked WITH legislators to craft literacy legislation copying the best states.

➡️Now, as my team has shown, DPI has tried to override the law every step of the way.

J-S

In 1964, 10 years after Brown v. Board of Education, a coalition set up a one-day boycott of Milwaukee Public Schools to protest school segregation.

——

Legislation and Reading: the Wisconsin Experience 2004-

——

Literacy momentum stalls in Wisconsin (DPI): Why would Wisconsin’s state leaders promote the use of curriculum that meets “minimal level” criteria, instead of elevating the highest-quality

——-

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Mind the Governance Mulligans + low expectations on Wisconsin Reading Curricula



A.J. Bayatpour

While the DPI supports a broader list of programs, joint finance Republicans want to limit the money to a shorter list of four programs recommended by the state’s early literacy council.

——

Literacy momentum stalls in Wisconsin (DPI): Why would Wisconsin’s state leaders promote the use of curriculum that meets “minimal level” criteria, instead of elevating the highest-quality

——-

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




“newest “community school”” literacy?



Abbey Machtig:

Madison developed the community schools program in 2015 and Kennedy will be the eighth school with that designation. 

Starting next school year, Kennedy will be granted a community school resource coordinator and a family liaison who will work full-time from the school.

Kennedy also is adding several other new staff members, including another school social worker, a behavior specialist and a handful of new classroom teachers to help decrease class sizes.

“The idea is that all children and families benefit from the community school model by being able to access resources, opportunities and support to advance their learning and healthy development,” Community School Manager Sarita Foster said. “So, community schools address barriers that limit opportunities for students and families.”

But parents and teachers who have been advocating for more help and have witnessed Kennedy’s struggles for years, say the district’s support hasn’t come fast enough. 

——

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Students are coming to college less able and less willing to read. Professors are stymied.



Beth McMurtrie:

Theresa MacPhail is a pragmatist. In her 15 years of teaching, as the number of students who complete their reading assignments has steadily declined, she has adapted. She began assigning fewer readings, then fewer still. Less is more, she reasoned. She would focus on the readings that mattered most and were interesting to them.

For a while, that seemed to work. But then things started to take a turn for the worse. Most students still weren’t doing the reading. And when they were, more and more struggled to understand it. Some simply gave up. Their distraction levels went “through the roof,” MacPhail said. They had trouble following her instructions. And sometimes, students said her expectations — such as writing a final research paper with at least 25 sources — were unreasonable.

——

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Commentary on proposed Madison k-12 tax & $pending increase referendums



Abbey Machtig

So far, feedback on the referendums has been mixed, with some residents supporting funding operational costs and smaller building renovations. But district administrators said others were unsure about the feasibility and cost of a 20-year referendum.

About 60% of survey respondents said supporting the district to invest in a 20-year facilities referendum was either a high or moderate priority. Almost one-third of respondents said they were undecided.

A similar percentage of respondents said supporting a facilities referendum that prioritized updating middle schools over a shorter time was a high or moderate priority. Again, about one-third of respondents said they were undecided.

Poll results shared at Monday’s meetingindicated a lack of public support for a 20-year facilities referendum, too. The Madison Public Schools Foundation commissioned the poll.

The sample size was about 400 people, according to Luke Martin, vice president of Impact Research.

“Especially with the challenges of complexity that are potentially in store for the November ballot, I do think the 20-year would be a much more difficult measure to pass,” Martin said Monday.

——

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




“the same teacher could earn up to $68,000 in Appleton, and only between $39,000 and $43,000 in Oshkosh”



Alex Tabarrok:

In my 2011 book, Launching the Innovation Renaissance, I wrote:

At times, teacher pay in the United States seems more like something from Soviet-era Russia than 21st-century America. Wages for teachers are
low, egalitarian and not based on performance. We pay physical education teachers about the same as math teachers despite the fact that math teachers
have greater opportunities elsewhere in the economy. As a result, we have lots of excellent physical education teachers but not nearly enough excellent
math teachers. The teachers unions oppose even the most modest proposals to add measures of teacher quality to selection and pay decisions.

As I wrote, however, Wisconsin passed Act 10, a bill that discontinued collective bargaining over teachers’ salary schedules. Act 10 took power away from the labor unions and gave districts full autonomy to negotiate salaries with individual teachers. In a paper that just won the Best Paper published in AEJ: Policy in the last three years, Barbara Biasi studies the effect of Act 10 on salaries, effort and student achievement.

Compensation of most US public school teachers is rigid and solely based on seniority. This paper studies the effects of a reform that gave school districts in Wisconsin full autonomy to redesign teacher pay schemes. Following the reform some districts switched to flexible compensation. Using the expiration of preexisting collective bargaining agreements as a source of exogenous variation in the timing of changes in pay, I show that the introduction of flexible pay raised salaries of high-quality teachers, increased teacher quality (due to the arrival of high-quality teachers from other districts and increased effort), and improved student achievement.

We still have a long way to go but COVID, homeschooling and open-access voucher programs have put a huge dent in the power of the teacher’s unions. There is now a chance to bring teacher pay into the American model. Moreover, such a model is pro-teacher! Not every district in Wisconsin grasped the opportunity to reform teacher pay but those districts that did raised pay considerably. Appleton district, for example, instituted pay for performance, Oshkosh did not. Prior to the Act salaries were about the same in the two districts:

After the expiration of the CBAs, the same teacher could earn up to $68,000 in Appleton, and only between $39,000 and $43,000 in Oshkosh.

——-

Wisconsin’s Act 10, Flexible Pay, and the Impact on Teacher Labor Markets: Student test scores rise in flexible-pay districts. So does a gender gap for teacher compensation.

If not to teacher salaries, where is this money going?

More on Act 10 and the related Milwaukee pension scandal.

——-

More. “Important insights into the impact of flexibility in teacher pay schemes on student outcomes.”

——

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




“The educational publisher raked in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue during the 2010s selling reading programs based on a disproven theory”



Christopher Peak:

The educational publisher raked in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue during the 2010s selling reading programs based on a disproven theory. The company now faces financial fallout, as schools ditch its products.

A publisher that once held a commanding shareof the market for materials to teach and test reading has seen its sales drop significantly in recent years — a decline its attorney attributes to the 2022 APM Reports podcast Sold a Story.

Heinemann published some of the most widely used programs for teaching reading in U.S. elementary schools. Its roster of authors — including Lucy Calkins, Gay Su Pinnell, Irene Fountas, Jennifer Serravallo and the late Marie Clay — helped to define how literacy was taught to two generations of students. Their work also helped Heinemann rack up higher and higher sales on an unbroken growth streak from 2006 through 2019.

But recent data suggests school districts are turning away from Heinemann. The company’s 2023 sales were down about 75% compared to what they were in 2019, according to current numbers from GovSpend, a database of government spending.

——

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Notes on uncontested school board elections



David Blaska:

Those days dwindled in Dane County a good 30 years ago. In tandem with the teachers union and unionized labor, the Dane County Democrat(ic) Party has been muscling into office progressive candidates who, among other achievements, defunded school resource police officers and dumbed down honors classes.

In the last contested Madison school board election, the Democrat(ic) Party endorsed one Blair Mosner Feltham, who proclaimed “Our schools are products of white supremacy.” The Wisconsin State Journal also endorsed the Woke candidate, even after one of its education beat reporters proclaimed that critical race theory “isn’t taught in any of Wisconsin’s K-12 schools.” Yet, District officials acknowledgethat the NY Times’ 1619 Project is taught in Madison classrooms.

Endorsing Ms. MF over a working immigrant father, The State Journalquoted a UW-Oshkosh professorwho maintained that Issues like Covid lockdowns, critical race theory, and classroom chaos are “pretty disconnected from the reality of being a school board member.” Maybe that was the problem. 

 Inconvenient headline: “Democrats spend [$230,000] on Wisconsin school board races, overtaking Republicans” (Read & Weep!)

——

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




“the future gets reinvented daily, in terms of the way the world is working right now.” – Madison’s incoming Superintendent



Cris Cruz and Leila Fletcher

He shared his concerns about trying to create a one-size-fits-all solution for access to advanced learning and literacy instruction across schools and districts.

“We know that if we do the same in all school districts, that we’re going to continue to have students who aren’t accessing it and being successful the way that others are,” said Dr. Gothard. “I’m very concerned that if not done well and done with an equity mindset, that we could just be perpetuating gaps, opportunity gaps, [and] access to learning.”

He also said there will be a focus on the structure for reading instruction. He wants to make sure every student has “time every day for a dose of a very individualized science-of-reading-based learning experience, where they can be monitored, day in, day out.”

Rather than prioritizing a district-wide routine, Gothard stressed the importance of flexibility to “truly meet the needs of students.” He explained the role of community engagement in raising awareness about reading and the traits that make a reader successful.

“I believe we can activate our community just by sharing with them, this is what it means to decode words. This is what phonemic awareness is. This is why fluency is important,” he said. This will allow the community to support the district’s efforts in improving reading instruction and will also help the community keep him accountable. “If I want to be accountable for something as a superintendent, reading, I’m in. Hold me accountable for reading. But we must do it together.”

When more Madison students are proficient in reading, access to advanced learning opportunities will be an even more pressing matter. In past years, MMSD has grappled with whether to abolish traditional honors classes in favor of embedded honors options. When, however, the district got pushback from parents and the community, the plan was temporarily scrapped.

—-

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Why Can’t MPS Improve Student Reading Scores?



Bruce Thompson:

Beginning sometime after 2000, there was growing concern that many students had difficulty with reading. When comparing reading scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) among states, Massachusetts stood out. Suddenly, that state’s reading and math scores jumped.

Massachusetts’ scores (shown in yellow in the graph below) started the late 1990s looking similar to Wisconsin’s, but then enjoyed a substantial jump. By contrast, Wisconsin scores (shown in gray) were largely flat or decreasing and were eventually joined by the average national scores.

What accounted for the jump in Massachusetts’ scores? That state decided to replace whole language (currently called “balanced literacy”) with a program that was based on research into the science of learning to read. Children learning to read were taught to sound out the parts of unknown words (called phonemes) and then combine these parts to sound out the whole word.

To enforce this change, the state designed a test for aspiring teachers to assess their knowledge of the research on the process of learning to read.

As the next graph shows, Milwaukee Public Schools made little or no progress during the last two decades. Scores were also flat during this period, indicating that many of its students were struggling with reading. They also trailed the average scores for big cities in the nation.

——

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




“They viewed reading more as rules and memorization”



Kayla Huynh:

After years of stagnant reading scores, educators see renewed promise in Act 20. The law, signed in July with broad support from legislators and school districts, is set to make sweeping changes across the state in how schools teach kindergarten through third grade students how to read.

Under the act, districts next school year will need to shift to a teaching model based on the science of reading, a collection of research on how children best learn to read. It emphasizes the use of phonics and phonemic awareness, or an understanding of the individual sounds of letters and how those sounds together can form words.

Among many of its provisions, the law requires schools to assess students through reading tests. Teachers will need to complete additional instructional training, and some schools will need to change their curriculum to comply.

Third-graders who fail to reach their reading milestones are more likely to struggle in later grades because they cannot comprehend the written material that is key to the educational process. And those who cannot read at grade level by third grade are more likely to not finish high school, according to research from the nonprofit Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The study revealed that one in six children who are not proficient at reading in third grade do not graduate from high school on time — a rate four times greater than that of their proficient peers. The rate is even higher for third graders who score “below basic proficiency,” with around one in four dropping out or graduating late from high school, compared with 9% of those with basic reading skills and 4% of proficient readers.

—-

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




“Every student group performs better in Mississippi than in Virginia”



Chad Aldeman:

The only reason Virginia might look better overall is because of the composition of our schools –>

Andrew Rotherham:

The next time someone tells you not to worry, Virginia is not some state like Mississippi, this is all a made up crisis…we don’t need an accountability system…well…

——

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




“the student/teacher ratio in Wisconsin is lower than in 2000 due to declining enrollment”



Will Flanders:

If there are fewer teaching candidates, it’s not showing up here.

Abbey Machtig:

(Madison) Teachers also delivered a petition with 2,000 signatures to the board that calls for increased staff allocations and smaller class sizes. They presented the signatures on pieces of paper representing each school, receiving applause and cheers from the teachers filling the seats and aisles of the building’s auditorium.

In June, the School Board also will decide whether to add referendum questions to the November ballot to help remedy its budget hole. If the district moves forward with referendums and voters approve the measures, local property taxes will increase beyond the levy limits set by the state.

In 2023, MTI and employees agreed to an 8% wage increase. The district initially offered 3.5%. The district gave employees a 3% base wage increase in 2022. Actual raises vary depending on level of education and years of experience.

—-

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average k-12 $pending.

—-

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Taxpayer Funded Wisconsin DPI Report on Teacher Shortage Misses the Mark



Wisconsin Institute for law of liberty:

Recently, Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction released a report on the teacher shortage in the state.  The report claims that nearly 40% of teachers leave the profession within the first five years, and blames declines in teacher compensation over the past decade for the shift.  While the problems identified in the report are legitimate, the causes and solutions offered are more representative of traditional liberal talking points than an honest effort to make improvements for the teaching workforce in the state.  In this explainer, we identify a number of issues with DPI’s report. 

Consistent with National Patterns 

Despite attempts to blame Act 10 for the decline in teacher retention, in reality this is a problem around the county. Indeed, based on the numbers reported by DPI, Wisconsin may actually be better than average. A 2018 study estimated that 44% of teachers nationwide leave the profession within five years  And this data was pre-COVID–there is extensive evidence that turnover has increased since then.  To illustrate this, consider a recent Chalkbeat analysis looked at teachers leaving the profession across four states.  Each of these states saw an annual turnover rate of more than 10% during the 2022 school year.   A figure from that report is reproduced below. 

Figure 1. Annual Teacher Turnover in Four States (Chalkbeat) 
——

Rep. Barbara Dittrich:

I have supported getting more teachers in the classroom, but several of our efforts (including my bill with Sen. Knodl, SB 608) have been vetoed. Let’s hope we can work together in more constructive ways next session.

———

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Commentary on Madison’s latest K-12 Superintendent



Abbey Machtig

In his first news conference in Madison since being named the public schools’ new superintendent, Joe Gothard vowed to be an engaged leader and said he wasn’t afraid to make changes.

“I think that we’ve got to be very deliberate. I think we’ve got to be very open with our community around where our challenges are, report frequently about progress that we’re making and not be afraid at all to say, ‘You know what, we’re not making a mark here; we need to make a change here,'” he said.

Gothard shared his top priorities for the district with administrators and Madison School Board members during a news conference Thursday at Thoreau Elementary School on Madison’s Near West Side. Gothard, who is the outgoing superintendent of Saint Paul Public Schools in Minnesota, has been in Madison since Monday visiting schools and meeting staff.

——

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Wisconsin’s Act 10, Flexible Pay, and the Impact on Teacher Labor Markets: Student test scores rise in flexible-pay districts. So does a gender gap for teacher compensation.



Barbara Biasi

Using employment records on all public-school teachers in Wisconsin linked to individual student information on achievement and demographics from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, I first document how teacher salaries changed in flexible-pay and seniority-pay districts in the aftermath of the reform. After the expiration of districts’ collective bargaining agreements, salary differences among teachers with similar seniority and credentials emerged in flexible-pay districts, but not in seniority-pay districts. Before the passage of Act 10, such teachers would have been paid the same. These newly emerging differences are related to teachers’ effectiveness: Teachers with higher value-added (individual contributions to the growth in student achievement, as measured by standardized test scores) started earning more in flexible-pay districts. This finding is striking considering that school districts in Wisconsin neither calculate value-added nor use it to make any human-resources decisions. School and district administrators appear to be able to identify an effective teacher when they see one.

Does Flexible Pay Attract Better Teachers?

Changes in teachers’ pay arrangements after the expiration of the collective bargaining agreements changed teachers’ incentives to stay in their district or to move, depending on the teachers’ effectiveness and the pay plan in place in their district of origin. Because flexible-pay districts compensate teachers for their effectiveness and seniority-pay districts only reward them for seniority and academic credentials, teachers with higher effectiveness should want to move to flexible-pay districts, whereas teachers with lower effectiveness and higher seniority should want to move to seniority-pay districts.

The data confirm these hypotheses. The rate of cross-district movement more than doubled after Act 10, with most moves occurring across districts of different type (flexible-pay vs. seniority-pay). Teachers who moved to a flexible-pay district after a collective bargaining agreement expired were more than a standard deviation more effective, on average, than teachers who moved to the same districts before the expiration; these teachers also had lower seniority and academic credentials and enjoyed a significant pay increase upon moving. The effectiveness of teachers moving to seniority-pay districts, on the other hand, did not change. and these teachers did not experience any change in pay.

——-

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

——

The late 1990’s Milwaukee pension scandal is worth a deep dive as well.

——-

More.

——-

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Sold a Story: The Aftermath



APM Reports:

Banks: We have not taught the kids the basic fundamental structures of how to read. 

David Banks is the chancellor of the New York City public schools.  

Banks: We have gotten this wrong in New York and all across the nation. And many of us follow the same prescript of balanced literacy. And… 

Balanced literacy is the approach to teaching reading we focused on in Sold a Story

—-

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




“two universities stick with a discredited idea”



Christopher Peak and Emily Haavik

Pressure is mounting on two universities to change the way they train on-the-job educators to teach reading. 

The Ohio State University in Columbus and Lesley University near Boston both run prominent literacy training programs that include a theorycontradicted by decades of cognitive science research. Amid a $660 million effort to retrain teachers that’s underway in 36 states, other academic institutions are updating their professional development. Yet Ohio State and Lesley are resisting criticism and standing by their training. 

For decades, their Literacy Collaborative programs deemphasized teaching beginning readers how to sound out words. These programs do cover some phonics, but they also teach that students can use context clues to decipher unfamiliar words. Studies have repeatedly shown that guessing words from context is inefficientunreliable and counterproductive. Twelve states have effectively banned school districts from using that flawed approach. 

The approach, sometimes called “cueing,” originated in the 1960s in the United States and New Zealand, and was popularized in American reading instruction by Gay Su Pinnell and Irene Fountas, professors at the two universities. Pinnell, who is now retired, founded OSU’s Literacy Collaborative, and Fountas founded and still directs Lesley’s Center for Reading Recovery & Literacy Collaborative.  

—-

Jenny Warner shares:

As if they took a cue from @FountasPinnell, @OhioState won’t speak publicly, lucky for us @lesley_u took their cue from Calkins and shared their adoration for @rrcna_org and how they haven’t altered how they teach future teachers how to read, but rather how teach them to be “politically savvy.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




“Over the last decade, just 10 of 24 races for Madison School Board have been contested”



WiSJ:

But the odd way Madison elects its School Board is a significant factor that needs fixing. State law requires candidates in cities with populations between 150,000 and 500,000 — meaning only Madison — to run citywide in seven numbered seats for three-year terms.

So every spring, candidates must choose which of two or three seats they will seek. For competitive reasons, new candidates tend to run for seats that incumbents don’t already hold. That lets incumbents avoid scrutiny.

It also can deny voters choices. For example, an incumbent ran unopposed for Seat 7 last spring, while two new candidates ran for Seat 6. But what if a voter preferred the two newbies over the incumbent? Voters can’t select those two on their ballots. 

In theory, a candidate with fewer votes could even win election. 

A better system would pit all candidates for Madison School Board in the same pool, with the top vote-getters earning however many seats are available. That’s how most school boards across Wisconsin conduct their elections. Or they assign seats to geographic areas.

——

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Madison School Board Candidate Forum (both unopposed)



Simpson Street Free Press:

Local Journalists Interview School Board Candidates

Simpson Street Free Press hosts Q&A session for Madison school board candidates. Questions are posed by local education reporters. You can watch the video here:

Our panel of journalists — Abbey Machtig (Wisconsin State Journal), Kayla Huynh (Cap Times), Abigail Leavins (Isthmus), Sandy Flores Ruiz (Simpson Street Free Press), and Scott Girard (former Cap Times ed-beat reporter).

The candidates are Savion Castro (seat 2 incumbent, unopposed), and Maia Pearson (seat 1 incumbent, unopposed).

The moderators are Taylor Kilgore and Leila Fletcher from Simpson Street Free Press.

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




“It’s just that people sometimes give privilege to some things and not others.”



Abbey Machtig:
Still, at least once major American leader of the balanced literacy movement, Lucy Calkins, has rolled out changes to her reading curriculum under pressure from the science of reading movement. And initial test scores from around the country show this science of reading model seems to be working. Mississippi was one of the first states to pass a law related to “evidence-based” reading instruction. More than 30 states, including Wisconsin, have followed suit, especially after 2019, when Mississippi became the only state in the nation to meaningfully improve its fourth-grade reading scores. —– The Madison School District adopted EL Education in 2022, one of the four curricula that ended up on the state’s final list, which the school district estimated at the time to cost about $3.5 million for materials, including shipping. The Oregon School District also has been using EL Education since the beginning of the school year. The McFarland School District started using a curriculum called Wonders last fall. McFarland schools said it meets the standards outlined in Wisconsin’s reading law even though it’s not one of the four approved by the state. The Waunakee School District has been using an early literacy curriculum called Meaning Making since fall 2022. This curriculum also does not appear on the state’s short list but still meets ACT 20’s requirements, according to Amy Johnson, the district’s director of elementary curriculum and instruction. Waunakee already is looking for a new elementary math curriculum. Johnson said the district will be focusing on that work, rather than pursuing another reading curriculum change.
Abbey Machtig interviewed Mariana Castro from the Multilingual Learning Resource Center for this article.

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Caulkins Commentary



Lucy Caulkins:

Your Feb. 29 cover story, “When Kids Can’t Read,” references Springfield public schools and my curriculum, Units of Study.

I applaud Springfield for attending to the individual differences among children as readers. It is fundamentally important to recognize that children are all different. Assessments from reading specialists and individualized support for those who need it are foundational parts of a successful education strategy. Some children will need help segmenting and blending sounds as they read, while others need more opportunities to read nonfiction texts and to develop world knowledge and vocabulary.

Springfield’s programs such as Real Men Read and Compass for Kids similarly show that the district is making sound, research-based decisions that will move readers forward. The Real Men Read program provides valuable mentorship, allowing children to grow up seeing themselves as readers and thinking, “Reading is something cool people do.” And Springfield’s decision to supplement classroom learning with after-school and summer programs to support readers is wise. Kids need time to practice reading. These efforts make a real difference. These programs matter.

——

Much more on Lucy Caulkins.

——

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




“At least 79% of school districts surveyed by @WisconsinDPI in 2021 said they use a curriculum that is either not rated or is negatively rated by EdReports”



Danielle Duclos

With low reading proficiency scores across the state, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin is exploring the causes and consequences of low literacy. This article is part of the By the Book series, which examines reading curriculum, instructional methods and solutions in K-12 education to answer the questions: Why do so many Wisconsin kids struggle to read, and what can be done about it? 

To read other stories in the series, click here.

Wisconsin’s Joint Committee on Finance approved Monday a list of four reading curricula schools can adopt to be in compliance with the state’s new reading law, Act 20. The curricula approved are those recommended by the state’s Early Literacy Curriculum Council, a nine-member council created to specifically evaluate K-3 reading curriculums for their compliance with Act 20.

The four curricula approved are:

  • Core Knowledge Language Arts K-3
  • Our EL Education Language Arts
  • Wit and Wisdom with Pk-3 Reading Curriculum
  • Bookworms Reading and Writing K-3

Act 20, signed into law last summer, requires curriculum to be backed by the “science of reading”: a decades-old body of research that explains how the brain learns to read. It includes an emphasis on phonics, which teaches students the sounds letters make and how those sounds combine in predictable patterns to form words.

The law’s changes are aimed at improving reading proficiency in the state, which has been low for years. Fewer than half of students at the state’s five largest school districts are considered proficient in reading, according to state exam scores since 2018.

Part of the law’s revamping of reading instruction requires schools to use specific instructional methods that are systemic and explicit by next school year. This instruction must include fluency, phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, phonics, oral language development, vocabulary, writing, comprehension and building background knowledge.

Earlier: Legislation and Literacy: Wisconsin Early Reading Curriculum Selection

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Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Legislation and Literacy: Wisconsin Early Reading Curriculum Selection



mp3 audio | transcript.

Corri Hess:

Most school districts in the state now use a balanced literacy approach called “three-cueing,” that will now be illegal in all public and private schools.

The change comes at a time when fewer than 40 percent of third graders were proficient in reading on the most recent Wisconsin Forward Exam. Wisconsin’s achievement gap between Black and white fourth grade students in reading has often been the worst in the nation.

Quinton Klabon:

Joint Finance Committee FINALIZES reading curriculum list with the highest-quality options! 🎆🎇🎇🎆

Amplify: Core Knowledge
Great Minds: Wit And Wisdom and Geodes and Really Great Reading
Open Up: Bookworms
Open Up: EL

More.

Karen Vaites:

Wisconsin’s 2024 curriculum list is final:

The ELCC recommendations carry the day, giving Wisconsin the strongest ELA curriculum list in the country! 👏

Also, the lobbyist box is empty. 👏

Curious local media coverage.

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




What was Project Follow Through?



Linda Carnine, Susie Andrist, and Jerry Silbert

Project Follow Through was probably the largest study of educational interventions that was ever conducted, either in the United States or elsewhere. While it is now largely forgotten, at the time it embodied many of the hopes and ideals of those who wanted a more just and equitable society and believed that education had an important role to play in those endeavors. Follow Through emerged from President Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty,” announced in his 1964 State of the Union address in Congress.

Project Follow Through was originally conceived as a service project that would extend the types of support provided in Head Start to students in the primary grades. When it became clear that the cost of such an endeavor would be very large, the purpose was changed to determining the most effective educational interventions for students from low-income households. The Office of Education developed a research design, called “planned variation.” In contrast to a carefully controlled laboratory setting, this design would involve the implementation of educational innovations in real-life settings, but in the very best way possible. Sponsors of these innovations were required to “provide the community with a well-defined, theoretically consistent and coherent approach that could be adapted to local conditions,” and implement a “total program, rather than a small fragment, with a resulting possibility for a major impact on the child’s life.” Participating districts received supplemental funding of $750 for each Follow Through student to support additional costs for aides, materials, and staff travel. In addition, all children were provided health and dental care as well as nutritious food through meal programs. In total, Follow Through served over 10,000 students from low-income households in 180 communities at a cost, at that time, of 500 million dollars, a research expenditure that will likely never again be matched.

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More.

—-

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Literacy experts started Wisconsin’s curriculum list. Will lobbyists finish it?



Karen Vaites:

In recent weeks, we’ve wondered which curriculum list would prevail in Wisconsin.

Would it be the list proposed by the expert Early Literacy Curriculum Council (four programs, widely acclaimed in the literacy community) or the list proposed by Wisconsin DPI (eleven curricula, the top-rated programs on the increasingly-under-fireEdReports review site), which DPI’s own staff characterized as meeting “minimal level” quality standards?

Today brought good news: wisdom prevailed in Wisconsin’s Joint Finance Committee, which rejected DPI’s proposal. The four high-quality curricula proposed by ELCC seem to remain on the table. Local literacy advocates are cheering.

But the story doesn’t end there. Lobbyists have been hard at work, and the quality of the list may yet be watered-down with programs from large publishers.

And when districts go to select curriculum, we have no reason to believe that the cream will rise to the top in America’s Dairyland. Usually, the opposite happens. 

Here’s what Wisconsinites need to know.

——-

More. And. DDWI.

——-

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Wisconsin Act 20 Literacy Curriculum Update



Quinton Klabon:

Joint Finance Committee REJECTS the curriculum lists presented to them.

——-

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Taxpayer Funded Madison Schools Underperform



Dave Cieslewicz:

A few weeks ago I wrote about a study that showed that Madison public schools are underperforming both state and national averages for math scores. And while everyone is bouncing back a bit after COVID, Madison students’ improvement has severely lagged.

Now comes a Wisconsin State Journal report on absenteeism. It’s bad everywhere but again worse in Madison. The three charts below, from the State Journal story written by reporter Chris Rickert, compare Madison to Middleton and Sun Prairie.

——

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Competitive school board races in Monona (Madison are uniparty – uncontested of course)



David Wahlberg:

The Monona Grove School Board candidate forum will be from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Four candidates are running for three three-year terms. They are incumbents Eric Hartz and Philip Haven, and challengers Katie Moureau and Janice Stone.

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Notes on taxpayer supported by Madison’s K-12 budget plans



Abbey Machtig:

Board members and administration, however, have begun talking more seriously about adding referendum questions to the November ballot to help remedy the financial uncertainty. If the district moves forward with referendums and voters approve the measures, local property taxes will increase beyond the levy limits set by the state.

This proposal from the district comes after the 8% wage increase MTI and the district ultimately agreed to in 2023. MTI teachers and staff rallied in support of the 8% increase after the district initially offered 3.5%.

—-

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




The (big) void in Madison’s k-12 Governance



Years ago, a former Madison Superintendent lamented the lack of business community substantive engagement in our well funded k-12 system.

Has anything changed?

2024 brings another year of uncontested Madison School board elections.

Madison has another new SuperintendentJoe Gothard– due to start soon.

Meanwhile:

A scorecard.

More on Madison’s well funded K-12 system.

Accountability? A Milwaukee business leader says that it is time to vote no on their tax and $pending increase referendum. Madison business leaders: radio silence.

——

Politics and the taxpayer funded DPI.

Wisconsin DPI Reading Curriculum Evaluation list

——-

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Notes on Madison K-12 $pending and tax increases amidst declining enrollment; achievement?



Abbey Machtig and Dean Mosiman:

the district had to pull $28 million from its general education fund to cover the extra expenses.

The city, which has a growing population and a $405.4 million general fund operating budget for 2024, and the school district, which has a $591 million budget for the 2023-24 school year, both point to the state as a source of their financial struggles.

Closing the budget gap exclusively from the property tax through a referendum would add $284 to the city tax bill on the average home, now valued at $424,400, with a city bill of $3,017 for the current year. That would be an additional 3.7% rise for the average home and roughly 9% increase in the total city levy, according to Schmiedicke’s report.

To do so from revenue sources outside the property tax would require a 50% increase in each individual tax, fee and charge in these categories, it says. 

The school district is considering referendums in part to fund commitments it has made to students and staff. Last year, the School Board approved an 8% wage increase for district employees, along with hourly pay bumps for custodial and trade staff. Additionally, when inflation and supply costs meant 2020 referendum construction projects went over budget, the district had to pull $28 million from its general education fund to cover the extra expenses.

——

More on Madison’s well funded K-12 system.

Accountability? A Milwaukee business leader says that it is time to vote no on their tax and $pending increase referendum. Madison business leaders: radio silence.

——

Politics and the taxpayer funded DPI.

Wisconsin DPI Reading Curriculum Evaluation list

——-

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




An update on Wisconsin’s attempts to improve our long term, disastrous reading results



Alan Borsuk:

The approach is best known for emphasizing phonics-based instruction, which teaches children the sounds of letters and how to put the sounds together into words. But when done right, it involves more than that — incorporating things such as developing vocabulary, comprehension skills and general knowledge.

More:What is phonics? Here’s a guide to reading terms parents should know

The approach differs from the “balanced literacy” approach widely used in recent decades, which generally downplayed sounding out letters. One well-known balanced literacy approach, called “three-cueing,” will be illegal in Wisconsin in all public schools, charter schools and private schools taking part in the state’s voucher program as of this fall.  

What curriculums will be recommended? 

Good question. The law created an Early Literacy Curriculum Council with nine members, generally educators from around the state, to make recommendations. The council had a big job and got behind schedule. But it recently recommended four curriculums, generally ones regarded favorably by prominent “science of reading” advocates.

The state Department of Public Instruction has been critical of aspects of the council’s work, including saying that council members didn’t stick strictly to the requirements of the new law. DPI took the council’s recommendations, deleted one, and added eight to come up with 11 curriculum choices that it said meet the law’s requirements.

Some literacy council members and other advocates have criticized the DPI list for including programs that are not as good as the ones the council recommended.  

Can you give examples?  

Sure. “Into Reading,” by HMH (also known as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), is a popular program. It is one of three programs now being used by schools in New York City, the largest district in the country. And Milwaukee Public Schools has been using “Into Reading” for a couple years. It is considered to meet “science of reading” standards, but some experts regard other curriculums as better.

The literacy council did not include “Into Reading” on its list. The DPI included it. For one thing, including it could lead to saving districts, including MPS, large sums of money by not putting them under pressure to get new textbooks and other materials.    

And then there is “Bookworms.” This curriculum has some distinctive aspects, and some advocates, such as well-known curriculum analyst Karen Vaites of New York, regard it highly and say schools using it have had good results. The literacy council included “Bookworms” on its list. DPI did not and said the program did not meet all the standards of the new law.  

——-

Politics and the taxpayer funded DPI.

Wisconsin DPI Reading Curriculum Evaluation list

——-

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Wisconsin DPI Reading Curriculum Evaluation list



The taxpayer funded Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s early literacy review, as a result of Act 20. (Letter to Leaders). Letter to JFC

Early Literacy Curriculum Comparison “At a Glance”

ELCC Center for Collaborative Classroom Ratings

American Reading Company (ARC)

ELCC Ready 4 Reading Ratings

Voyager Passport Intervention

ELCC Into Reading

Wilson Language Training

CKLA Amplify Education

Raz Plus Learning A-Z, LLC

ELCC CKLA

Ready 4 Reading (Scholastic)

Into Reading (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

UFLI Ventris (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Writing A-Z (Learning A-Z LLC)

EL Education K-3 Imagine Learning

ELCC Wonders

Exact Path Edmentum

Connections OG in 3D The Apple Group

Just the Reader Decodeables Just Right Rider

Wonders Mcgraw Hill

ELCC EL by Open Up

Open Court Reading McGraw Hill

Bridge to Reading Foundational Skills Hagerty

Superkids

Early Literacy Curriculum Council Rating Form

Magnetic Reading Curriculum Associates

Vendor Self Assessment Rubric

EL Education K-3 Open Up Resources

My view Savvas Learning

ELCC Benchmark

Benchmark Education Advance Benchmark Education Company

Open Court

Phonics to Reading Sadlier

IMSE

My View

Bookworms Reading & Writing K-3Open Up Resources

Kindercorner & Reading Roots Reading Wings – Success for All Foundation, Inc.

Center for Collaborative Classrooms

Great Minds Wit and Wisdom with Really Great Reading

Being a Reader Center for Collaborative Classroom

ELCC ARC

OG Plus IMSE (Institute for Multi-Sensory Education)

ELCC Successfor all

## Curious “terms of use” .

via Jenny Warner.

—–

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




“Which gives us pause. We need educators who aren’t cookie cutter. Because what they’re doing ain’t workin”



David Blaska:

Public school bureaucrats talk in a code all their own. According to Abbey Machtig’s excellent account in the Wisconsin State Journal, Gothard promises courses in “critical ethnic studies.” Sounds like emulating higher education’s various grievance studies, which is what got us into this mess in the first place. Teaching victimhood excuses and perpetuates failure.

Gothard is quoted to say instruction must be “culturally relevant… and adaptive in an equitable way … through their lived experiences … to unpack trauma that student have experienced.” Buzz buzz.

A previous State Journal education reporter assured her readers that Madison public schools do not teach critical race theory. Ms. Machtig, perhaps breaking with the received progressive canon, chooses to quote a parent whom, The Werkes believes, is representative:

—-

Kayla Huynh

The Madison Metropolitan School District’s newly hired superintendent will be paid nearly $300,000 a year plus moving expenses, travel allowances and 87 sick days including unused time off from a decade ago.

The School Board unanimously approved the two-year agreement with Joe Gothard in a Monday evening meeting with no discussion. 

——

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Another new Madison k-12 Superintendent



Kayla Huynh

In his new role, Gothard will oversee the second largest school district in Wisconsin, which serves over 26,000 students in 52 schools and has a nearly $600 million annual budget. He’ll take over at a challenging time, with COVID-19 federal funding set to expire and the board determining the 2024-25 budget.

Gothard will also be responsible for carrying out Wisconsin’s Act 20, a law that is set to make sweeping changes across the state in how schools teach 4-year-old kindergarten through third grade students how to read. The act requires districts to shift to a “science of reading” approach that emphasizes the use of phonics. 

Using pandemic funds, Gothard created a similar program in 2021 at St. Paul Public Schools in an effort to improve the district’s lagging reading scores. The program pairs struggling students with educators who specialize in science-based reading instruction. 

——

Abbey Machtig:

He spent two years as an assistant superintendent of secondary schools in Madison and was a semifinalist in the Madison School District’s search for a new superintendent in 2013, with the board ultimately hiring Jennifer Cheatham.

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Literacy momentum stalls in Wisconsin (DPI): Why would Wisconsin’s state leaders promote the use of curriculum that meets “minimal level” criteria, instead of elevating the highest-quality



Karen Vaites:

All eyes have been on Wisconsin, where politics threaten to stall promising curriculum improvement efforts. 

The Badger State’s Act 20 literacy bill was one of the bright spots in a flourishing national legislative phase. The bill had a refreshing focus on all aspects of literacy, and recognized the importance of curriculum in fostering change. Act 20 called for the convening of an expert Early Literacy Curriculum Council (ELCC) to identify a set of recommended ELA curricula; only these programs would be eligible for state subsidy.

The ELCC – which includes a high-performing superintendent, practitioners immersed in reading research, and dyslexia advocates whose children suffered under previous DPI choices – has real stakes in Act 20’s success. And the stakes are high: Wisconsin has the largest gap in reading outcomes for Black vs white students of any state. 

Last week, the nine-member ELCC submitted its recommendations: four curricula widely praised for their quality (Bookworms, Core Knowledge, EL Education, and Wit & Wisdom). Literacy leaders cheered the selections. Personally, I consider it the best state list we’ve seen.

Just two days later, Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction (DPI) issued a statement asking the Joint Finance Committee to approve a rather different list of 11 options… the list of curricula that earn “all-green” ratings on EdReports. Conspicuously omitted from DPI’s list: Bookworms, a curriculum with the most persuasive studies showing that it improves reading outcomes – but which earned a widely-questioned yellow review on EdReports.

The average quality of the DPI list was markedly lower than the ELCC list, something that even DPI acknowledged. Laura Adams of the DPI told CESAs,“The two different lists represent two different perspectives. The Council’s list represents a judgment of quality, while DPI’s list represents a floor of those materials that meet the requirements, even at a minimal level.”

——-

Jill Underly didn’t attend the meetings, so she missed these conversations. Frankly, her absence from ELCC meetings speaks volumes. If DPI felt urgency about children’s reading success, or even about the review timelines, one would have expected Underly to make time for ELCC meetings. Underly’s late-breaking objections have not sat well with close watchers of the process.

—-

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




Wisconsin DPI vs learning to read



Jenny Warner:

Last week, Wisconsin’s expert Early Literacy Curriculum Council recommended the highest-quality list we have seen from any state.

Then @WisconsinDPI tried to overrule them, for no sound reason.

More.

The nine-member Early Literacy Curriculum Council reviewed and recommended four curriculums. The council includes six members chosen by the Republican majority leaders of the state legislature, and three chosen by state Superintendent Jill Underly. 

In addition to the Early Literacy Council’s review, the DPI conducted its own review, which diverged in part from the council. It rejected one of the council’s recommendations (Bookworms Reading & Writing for K-3), and added others that the council hadn’t rated. 

DPI is recommending the following programs:

American Reading Company K-3 (ARC
Core, 2017)

Being a Reader (K-2nd, 2021; 3rd, 2023) & Being a Writer (K-3rd., 2014) with Systematic Instruction in Phonological Awareness, Phonics & Sight Words (SIPPS,

2020) (Center for the Collaborative Classroom)

Benchmark Education Advance (Benchmark Education Company, 2022)

Core Knowledge Language Arts K-3 (CKLA,
Amplify Education, 2022)

EL Education K-3 Language Arts (Open up
Resources, 2017)

EL Education K-3 (Imagine Learning LLC,
2019)

Into Reading, National V2 (Houghton
Mifflin Harcourt, 2020)

myView Literacy Elem. Reading Curriculum (Savvas Learning Company, 2025)

Open Court (McGraw Hill, 2023)

Wit and Wisdom (Great Minds, 2020) with PK-3 Reading Curriculum (Really Great Reading)

Wonders (McGraw Hill, 2023)

The Joint Committee on Finance has 14 working days to schedule a meeting to review the proposed curriculum recommendations. The committee will then make any changes and approve the list. If it does not notify the DPI that it’s scheduled a meeting, the department can adopt the recommendations as is.

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Unsurprising, unfortunately. “an emphasis on adult employment”.

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Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




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