Much more on Madison and nearby taxpayer supported K-12 school districts, here. Related: Outbound Open Enrollment “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” 2013: “What will be different, this time?”
Madison School District PDF: Executive Summary: As part of its long-range facility planning efforts, MMSD requires a refined approach for predicting enrollment arising from new development and changes in enrollment within existing developed areas. As urban development approaches the outer edges of the District’s boundary, and as redevelopment becomes an increasingly important source of new … Continue reading Madison Student Enrollment Projections and where have all the students gone?
An update to Barb Schrank’s November, 2005 post:
Comments from a reader:
At $6,000 per child that’s about $16 million per year. At $9,000 per child, that’s about $23 million per year. If we kept 332, that would be $2-3 million more per year.
Also, MMSD not only lost students, which has a negative effect on what the district gets under revenue caps, we’ve increased our low-income population, which means that for every dollar the district gets, more of those dollars need to be spent on non-instructional services.
If the district does not consider the economic development implications of its decisions, we’re likely to
- see more go to school outside MMSD, or
- for the non-low income students who go to school here increased family dollars will be spent on private aspects of education- lessons, tutoring, etc.
Madison’s population in 2000 was 208,054 and is estimated to be 223,389, according to the census bureau. Madison’s poverty rate is estimated to be 13%, according to the Small Area Estimates Branch [Website].
|Per Student Spending (06/07 Budget)||Administrators||Total Staff||ACT % Tested (05-06)||ACT Comp Score|
- Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
- Wisconsin School District Poverty Estimates (2005)
- WISTAX SchoolFacts07
Thanks to a number of readers for the updated information.
Additional Charts: Enrollment Changes, Number of Minority Students | Enrollment Changes, Low IncomeMMSD Lost 174 Students While the Surrounding School Districts Increased by 1,462 Students Over Four School Years. Revenue Value of 1,462 Students – $13.16 Million Per Year* MMSD reports that student population is declining. From the 2000-2001 school year through the 2003-2004 school … Continue reading Where Have All the Students Gone?
Mine Bloomberg: The message to educators and elected officials could hardly be clearer: Too many public schools are failing, parents are voting with their feet, and urgent and bold action is needed. Until now, however, the only governmental response has been to spend more money — too much of which has gone to everyone but … Continue reading Falling enrollment in America’s schools is a sign of a system in crisis.
Kristen Waggoner: As the students filled the room holding signs and loudly protesting, someone passed a folded piece of paper up to me. I didn’t even see who it was. I could feel myself tensing up, and my legs were a bit shaky. It was hard to concentrate in the chaos of what was quickly … Continue reading ‘Keep the Faith’: How A Hostile Encounter With Yale Law Students Emboldened Me To Speak The Truth With Kindness
Selena Zito: Some days, people would pull an ornament from their jacket pocket and add it while on their daily stride. On other days, one might see a parent pushing a stroller or with a child on their little bicycle stop and look at the delightful little ornaments. Without fail, each child would look at … Continue reading COVID-19 allowed too many to pervert their power
Sunnie R. Clahchischiligi It is easy to get lost in the vast lands of the Navajo Nation, with its mountains, rough terrain, endless desert and long stretches of highway. A quick turn can take a visitor into Utah, New Mexico, Arizona or Colorado. But in this stretch of land, known as the Four Corners, it … Continue reading Where have all the children gone?
Jonathan Turley: We have previously discussed the worrisome signs of a rising generation of censors in the country as leaders and writers embrace censorship and blacklisting. The latest chilling poll was released by 2021 College Free Speech Rankings after questioning a huge body of 37,000 students at 159 top-ranked U.S. colleges and universities. It found that sixty-six percent of … Continue reading University of Pittsburgh Students Disrupt Pro-Life Conference
Jacey Fortin: If everything had gone according to plan, California would have approved new guidelines this month for math education in public schools. But ever since a draft was opened for public comment in February, the recommendations have set off a fierce debate over not only how to teach math, but also how to solve … Continue reading Proposed guidelines in California would de-emphasize calculus, reject the idea that some children are naturally gifted and build a connection to social justice. Critics say math shouldn’t be political.
Dave Cieslewicz: We owe it to those students — and the taxpayers who will now be paying about 9% more as a result of the new budget — to provide the kind of calm and orderly environment where learning can happen. As for the disruptive kids, they need to be removed from class. Then they … Continue reading “What we need is a board and an administration that is primarily focussed on providing a high quality education for students who are well-behaved and want to learn”
Ann Bauer: Since Bettelheim took his life, the Orthogenic School has undergone major changes. Their own Family Handbook makes glancing reference to Bettelheim’s “highly controversial” theories and credits him (briefly) for drawing attention to the problem of autism. In 2014, the school moved from the somber brick buildings where it had been housed for almost 100 years … Continue reading I have been through this before
Institute for Reforming Government, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, Wisconsin, Federation for Children School Choice, Wisconsin Action ExcelinEd in Action, Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy Badger Institute, FreedomWorks and Building Education for Students Together: Dear Governor Evers, Speaker Vos, Majority Leader LeMahieu, and State Superintendent Stanford Taylor, … Continue reading Wisconsin lawmakers should allow parents to direct redistributed K-12 billion$ from American Rescue Plan
Samantha West: In one Wisconsin school district, two in five high school students failed a class during first semester. In another, the fall failure rate was four times what it had been in recent years. Almost all of the 60 school districts responding to a USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin survey reported that more high school students failed … Continue reading We asked Wisconsin high schools how many students failed a class during first semester. It’s not pretty. Madison?
Administration PDF: Proposed Question 1: Shall the Madison Metropolitan School District, Dane County, Wisconsin be authorized to exceed the revenue limit specified in Section 121.91, Wisconsin Statutes, by $6,000,000 for 2020-2021 school year; by an additional $8,000,000 (for a total $14,000,000) for 2021-2022 school year; by an additional $9,000,000 (for a total of $23,000,000) for … Continue reading 7.13.2020 Madison School District Fall Referendum Presentation Deck
Alan Borsuk: First, success in reaching proficiency in reading is shockingly low among students from low-income homes and those who are black or Hispanic. The Wisconsin gap between white kids and black kids has often been measured as the worst in the United States. Only 13% of black fourth through eighth graders in Wisconsin were rated as proficient or … Continue reading On the education front, one way to move from anger to action would be to make sure all youngsters are proficient in reading
Kelly Meyerhofer: Students in the Madison School District may not return to their schoolroom desks in the fall. That’s one of several scenarios district officials are preparing for in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which led Gov. Tony Evers to shutter schools through the end of the current school year. Among the possibilities for fall … Continue reading Madison School District prepping for multiple fall scenarios, including online-only learning
Logan Wroge: Madison high school students will receive “pass” or “no pass” grades for the second semester as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts traditional schooling, while more than 10% of Madison students lack internet access needed to take part in virtual learning, district officials said Wednesday. With the aim of not penalizing students for circumstances out … Continue reading Madison high school students to be graded on pass/no pass; 3,000 students without internet (expensive K-12 system built for a long gone era)
Robert Wright: Many colleges and universities will evidently have to tighten their belts for some time. Counterintuitively, it would be the lack of resources rather than a surfeit of them that could spur positive change among our very costly but not very effective schools. Business, education, and policy leaders tend to think in terms of … Continue reading Higher Education Will Never Be the Same—And That’s Not All Bad
Adam Harris: The motto of Sidwell Friends School, the hyperselective “Harvard of Washington’s private schools,” is simple and lofty. “Eluceat omnibus lux”—Latin for “Let the light shine out from all.” But bright lights sometimes illuminate the worst in people. Last month, shocking behavior by parents may have led two of the school’s three college counselors … Continue reading Parents Gone Wild: High Drama Inside D.C.’s Most Elite Private School
Katherine Long: The promise of free college makes a snappy campaign pledge, as many candidates have discovered. But you might be surprised to learn that thousands of Washington students already have the opportunity to go to college for free — and don’t bother to take it. In 2017, about 11,000 students who graduated from Washington … Continue reading About 11,000 Washington high-school graduates didn’t fill out the paperwork that would have unlocked financial aid to go to college tuition-free in 2017, a new study shows.
Mitch Smith: The locations of college campuses can be a reflection of a bygone America. Most universities were founded generations ago, when rural communities were thriving and when traveling across a state to a larger urban campus was more complicated. As people moved toward cities and the Sun Belt, and as cars and planes connected … Continue reading Students in Rural America Ask, ‘What Is a University Without a History Major?’ Image The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, facing declining enrollment and revenue, is weighing major changes to its degree programs.
Eugene Volokh: Say that you apply to many schools, including some where other students have much better predictors (chiefly test scores and grades from earlier institutions) than you. And you get in! Maybe it was affirmative action (whether based on race, socioeconomic status, or something else), maybe it was a preference because your relatives had … Continue reading The Mismatch Effect: A Danger for Students of All Races
Chester E. Finn, Jr. President, Fordham Foundation Academic Questions, Spring 1998e: What’s going on in the college curriculum cannot be laid entirely at the doorstep of the K-12 system. Indeed, as Allan Bloom figured out a decade or more ago, it has as much to do with our educational culture, indeed with our culture per … Continue reading 20 years ago…. Mutually Destructive Tendencies in K-12 and College Education
Alan Borsuk: The Brown Deer district deserves praise for its commitment, going back years, on these fronts. The two schools in the district, the middle/high and the elementary, each with about 800 students, have long been involved in character education programs, which led to making a campaign around “The Brown Deer Way” of treating others … Continue reading How one school district is working to meet the emotional needs of its students
Isabella VI Gomes:: When 14-year-old Kim Mitchell got in trouble for being a bystander in a fight at Miami Edison Senior High School two years ago, she was worried about getting suspended. But she says her punishment ended up being much worse: She was forced to spend three school days in a dingy office building … Continue reading Miami-Dade Schools Hide Suspension Numbers by Shipping Students Off-Campus
A world-class history quarterly, The Concord Review, holds a writing workshop for high school students. Sudbury, Massachusetts—December 13, 2016 ——— College bound high school students can now learn from one of the best sources in the country. The Concord Review [tcr.org] is offering several two-week intensive expository writing workshops. The workshops will be held on … Continue reading World Class Publication offers Expanded Summer Program for High School Students
JD Vance: Gowing up in Middletown, Ohio, we had no sense that failing to achieve higher education would bring shame or any other consequences. The message wasn’t explicit; teachers didn’t tell us that we were too stupid or poor to make it. Nevertheless, it was all around us, like the air we breathed: No one … Continue reading K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Why the White Working Class Is Falling Behind
Catherine Sevcenko At least some Dartmouth College students have had enough. In a scathing petition on change.org, five leaders in Dartmouth’s student government, joined by more than 1,200 signatories, have called on the administration to return the college to its mission of educating, rather than policing, students. Although the growth of bureaucracy in academia is … Continue reading ‘Paternalistic Babysitters’ Begone! Dartmouth Students Call for Intellectual Independence
Will Fitzhugh, via a kind email: College bound high school students can now learn from one of the best sources in the country. The Concord Review is offering a two-week intensive expository writing workshops, led by a Harvard Ph.D. historian. The workshop will be held on the campus of Regis College, just west of Boston … Continue reading World Class Publication offers Summer Program for High School students
Alan Borsuk: Every school day, more than 8,000 children who live in the city of Milwaukee head off to school in Milwaukee suburbs. I think of that as the equivalent of, say, six high schools or 16 elementary schools that are serving Milwaukee kids outside the city lines. That has a lot of impact, even … Continue reading March of Milwaukee students to suburban schools hits 8,000
Molly Beck There’s been little movement since mid-March when Madison School District Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham proposed asking voters in November for $39.5 million in borrowing to upgrade facilities and address crowding. The proposed referendum’s annual impact on property taxes on a $200,000 Madison home could range from $32 to $44, according to the district. After … Continue reading Trial Balloon on Raising Madison’s Property Taxes via another School Referendum? Homeowners compare communities…..
By the time this post appears, the first peer-graded assignment in Cathy Davidson’s Coursera MOOC, “History and Future of (Mostly) Higher Education,” will have come and gone, and students will be well into the second. Unlike programming projects, algebra exercises, and multiple-choice questions that can all be reliably graded by a computer, Coursera offloads the task of evaluating essays to students. After the deadline for an assignment has passed, students have a week to evaluate five of their classmates’ essays using a rubric developed by the teaching staff. A student who fails to evaluate his or her classmates does not get a grade for the assignment, and in our course will not be able to achieve the statement of accomplishment “with distinction.” Whether students see that as a chore, duty, or opportunity, the necessary assessment is eventually done–for better or for worse.
Peer grading can be a controversial proposition. When students’ scholarships and internships are riding on their grades, it isn’t surprising that they hesitate to allow their classmates–who know as much as they do about the course material–to have any effect on their final assessment. Instructors scoff at the idea that students can be left to evaluate one another, certain that they will collude so that everyone will receive an A without doing any of the work. In its worst incarnation, peer grading can be a scheme for lazy professors to offload on students the boring work of assessment.
Pity the American parent! Already beleaguered by depleted 401(k)s and gutted real-estate values, Ponzi schemes and toxic paper, burst bubbles and bear markets, he is now being asked to contend with a new specter: that college, the perennial hope for the next generation, may not be worth the price of the sheepskin on which it prints its degrees.
As long as there have been colleges, there’s been an individualist, anti-college strain in American culture–an affinity for the bootstrap. But it is hard to think of a time when skepticism of the value of higher education has been more prominent than it is right now. Over the past several months, the same sharp and distressing arguments have been popping up in the Times, cable news, the blogosphere, even The Chronicle of Higher Education. The cost of college, as these arguments typically go, has grown far too high, the return far too uncertain, the education far too lax. The specter, it seems, has materialized.
It’s no surprise, given how the Great Recession has corroded public faith in other once-unassailable American institutions, that college should come in for a drubbing. But inevitability is just another word for opportunity, and the two most vocal critics are easy to identify and strikingly similar in entrepreneurial self-image. In the past year or so, James Altucher, a New York-based venture capitalist and finance writer, has emerged through frequent media appearances as something of a poster boy, and his column “8 Alternatives to College” something of an essential text, for the anti-college crusade. The father of two young girls, Altucher has a very personal perspective on college: He doesn’t think he should pay for it. “What am I going to do?” he asked last March on Tech Ticker, a popular investment show on Yahoo. “When [my daughters are] 18 years old, just hand them $200,000 to go off and have a fun time for four years? Why would I want to do that?” To Altucher, higher education is nothing less than an institutionalized scam–college graduates hire only college graduates, creating a closed system that permits schools to charge exorbitant prices and forces students to take on crippling debt. “The cost of college in the past 30 years has gone up tenfold. Health care has only gone up sixfold, and inflation has only gone up threefold. Not only is it a scam, but the college presidents know it. That’s why they keep raising tuition.”
AUNBT: If you’re reading this alongside the latest bargaining updates from UNB management, you could be forgiven for wondering if you’d strayed into a parallel universe. UNB management continues to assure the world that they are committed to a negotiated agreement. “Faculty are the lifeblood of any university”, we are told. “We are committed to … Continue reading Association of New Brunswick Teachers: what’s really happening with bargaining?
ACLU: Kyle Thompson likes playing football, playing video games, and hanging out with his friends. He’s also been under house arrest since last March and barred from school for six months. Why? His teacher wanted to see a note he had written, and she tried to take it from him. He thought she was teasing … Continue reading Gone Too Far
It’s now even easier and cheaper for local high school students to get a college education.
At a joint meeting between City Council, The Roanoke City School Board and Virginia Western the community college talked about it’s newest program.
Back in March, Virginia Western announced it’s waiving tuition for students taking dual enrollment classes.
Those are classes students can take in high school and earn college credit, but many students weren’t.
They can now.
Related: Obtaining credit for non Madison School District Courses has been an ongoing challenge. Perhaps this issue has faded away as past practices die? Madison’s non-diverse or homogeneous governance model inflicts numerous costs, from one size fits all curricula to growth in the ‘burbs accompanied by ever increasing property taxes on top of stagnant or declining income.
It started as a transitional program, a way to teach special education students with developmental disabilities how to handle personal finances, find a job and live independently once they left school.
But in the last several years, the Trenton school district’s Life Skills program has gone tragically off the rails, one teacher’s aide is alleging.
Students mindlessly copy answers teachers have written in textbooks. No curriculum exists. The students, all high school age, sometimes color sheets of Disney characters in lieu of classwork. There’s no rhyme or reason as to who graduates or who stays on for another year.
Laura Waters has more.
I’m going to be bold here and ask a question: “Does anyone pay attention in lectures?”
Of course some students do, but the majority are busy with other things: Facebook, emails, applying to internships (I hope you see the irony of this), reading, texting and now – what is most trendy – viewing images. Obviously not just any images but powerful images. Witty images. Funny images. Cute images. Images that really spark an emotion. In a couple of my classes if I sit in the back and look around, I can see a handful of people that are using laptops looking at images on Imgur.
Warning: If you haven’t been on sites like Imgur, 9gag, or Imgfav yet, you will get sucked in once you visit. You’ve been warned.
The days in which students could only spend boring classes napping are gone. The same goes with the age of merely texting. College students are notorious for multitasking. To think that we only text in class or only go on Facebook is outlandish.
An interview with Dylan Wiliam, Emeritus Professor of Educational Assessment at the Institute of Education, University of London, on his paper entitled Optimizing Talent: Closing Educational and Social Mobility Gap Worldwide, published last year at the Salzburg Global Seminar in Austria.
Marc Tucker: In your paper, you start out making an argument that today’s children are more intelligent than their parents and their grandparents and you combine that with an argument that the quality of teaching in government-funded schools appears to be higher than that in private schools in most wealthy countries. Can you tell us more about the research on both points?
Dylan Wiliam: The first argument draws on the work of psychologist James Flynn (the Flynn effect), an American living and working in New Zealand. He found that IQ tests need to be re-benchmarked every decade, because IQs are rising, about 3 to 4 points every ten years. So IQ norms are rising, and people are getting smarter in ways we may not entirely realize. The average would be around 110 or 115 if we didn’t adjust it. It has risen 15 points since World War II. This is occurring on some tests more than others; arithmetic scores have gone up very little while spatial scores and problem-solving scores are increasing substantially. Maybe young people aren’t using their intelligence today as well as they could be but there is evidence that they are smarter.
Tucker: Most American teachers think about intelligence in the way they were taught to – it is a function of the genes. Is the gene pool changing, or do we have a different idea now about what these tests are measuring?
THREE million children in this country take drugs for problems in focusing. Toward the end of last year, many of their parents were deeply alarmed because there was a shortage of drugs like Ritalin and Adderall that they considered absolutely essential to their children’s functioning.
But are these drugs really helping children? Should we really keep expanding the number of prescriptions filled?
In 30 years there has been a twentyfold increase in the consumption of drugs for attention-deficit disorder.
As a psychologist who has been studying the development of troubled children for more than 40 years, I believe we should be asking why we rely so heavily on these drugs.
Attention-deficit drugs increase concentration in the short term, which is why they work so well for college students cramming for exams. But when given to children over long periods of time, they neither improve school achievement nor reduce behavior problems. The drugs can also have serious side effects, including stunting growth.
Uri Simonsohn, a research psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, did not set out to be a vigilante. His first step down that path came two years ago, at a dinner with some fellow social psychologists in St. Louis. The pisco sours were flowing, Simonsohn recently told me, as the scholars began to indiscreetly name and shame various “crazy findings we didn’t believe.” Social psychology–the subfield of psychology devoted to how social interaction affects human thought and action–routinely produces all sorts of findings that are, if not crazy, strongly counterintuitive. For example, one body of research focuses on how small, subtle changes–say, in a person’s environment or positioning–can have surprisingly large effects on their behavior. Idiosyncratic social-psychology findings like these are often picked up by the press and on Freakonomics-style blogs. But the crowd at the restaurant wasn’t buying some of the field’s more recent studies. Their skepticism helped convince Simonsohn that something in social psychology had gone horribly awry. “When you have scientific evidence,” he told me, “and you put that against your intuition, and you have so little trust in the scientific evidence that you side with your gut–something is broken.”
Simonsohn does not look like a vigilante–or, for that matter, like a business-school professor: at 37, in his jeans, T-shirt, and Keen-style water sandals, he might be mistaken for a grad student. And yet he is anything but laid-back. He is, on the contrary, seized by the conviction that science is beset by sloppy statistical maneuvering and, in some cases, outright fraud. He has therefore been moonlighting as a fraud-buster, developing techniques to help detect doctored data in other people’s research. Already, in the space of less than a year, he has blown up two colleagues’ careers. (In a third instance, he feels sure fraud occurred, but he hasn’t yet nailed down the case.) In so doing, he hopes to keep social psychology from falling into disrepute.
Simonsohn initially targeted not flagrant dishonesty, but loose methodology. In a paper called “False-Positive Psychology,” published in the prestigious journal Psychological Science, he and two colleagues–Leif Nelson, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley, and Wharton’s Joseph Simmons–showed that psychologists could all but guarantee an interesting research finding if they were creative enough with their statistics and procedures.
- Where Have All the Students Gone (November, 2005)?
- Where Have all the Students Gone? An Update (January, 2008)
- Madison School District Outbound Open Enrollment.
- Open Enrollment Leavers Survey
Paul Vallas will be speaking at Madison LaFollette high school on Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 1:00p.m. More information, here.
Much more on Paul Vallas, here.
Per Student Spending:
I don’t believe spending is the issue. Madison spends $14,858.40/student (2011-2012 budget)
Middleton’s 2011-2012 budget: $87,676,611 for 6,421 students = $13,654.67/student, about 8% less than Madison.
Waunakee spends $12,953.81/student about 13% less than Madison.
A few useful links over the past decade:
- Notes and links on Madison Superintendent hires since 1992 (2007).
- English 10
- Small Learning Communities
- Connected Math
- Reading Recovery
- When all third graders read at grade level or beyond by the end of the year, the achievement gap will be closed…and not before
- Madison School Board member may seek audit of how 2005 maintenance referendum dollars were spent
- Madison Preparatory Academy
To date, no study has found any long-term benefit of attention-deficit medication on academic performance, peer relationships or behavior problems, the very things we would most want to improve.
[ Ed. Note: In the immediate aftermath of the CSU Board of Trustees approving a salary of $400,000 — 25% more than his predecessor was paid — for the new President of San Diego State University on July 12, 2011, this piece is particularly appropriate.]
Higher education is very important to California — to the students, to their parents, to the employers who hire the graduates, and to the people and organizations that fund the portion of the costs that is not covered by tuition. Therefore it is extremely important that educational funding be spent as efficiently as possible, and even more so in this time of financial distress.
I have taught at two campuses in the California State University system since 1998. My personal experiences at those schools raised concerns about administrative practices. Further research revealed statistics that all the stakeholders should be aware of, because of their effects on both the cost and quality of the education we provide.
For example, based on data in the California State University Statistical Abstract, the number of full-time faculty in the whole CSU system rose from 11,614 to 12,019 between 1975 and 2008, an increase of only 3.5 percent. In the same time period the total number of administrators rose 221 percent, from 3,800 to 12,183. In 1975, there were three full time faculty members per administrator, but now there are actually slightly more administrators than full-time faculty. If this trend continues, there could be two administrators per full-time faculty in another generation.
I currently teach at Cal Poly in Pomona, where the trends for the whole system also are visible. In 1984 we had 90 “Management Personnel Plan” employees, but in 2010 there were 132. Based on data provided by the chief financial officer, the total compensation of those employees, including fringe benefits, was $20.6 million in 2010.
To put this total into perspective, if the administrators were reduced by 42 to return to the same level as in 1984, the university could hire over 50 full-time faculty (who are typically paid less than administrators). These additional faculty could teach over 300 additional classes per year, which would make it easier for students to graduate in a more timely fashion. The additional instructors would also make it unnecessary to eliminate academic programs as is currently being proposed.
In days gone by, before Milwaukee Public Schools undertook the busing of its students to promote racial integration, just about everybody in Bay View went to Bay View High School.
Today, the school has students from all over town, and so for area old-timers, it’s lost its identity with their neighborhood.
“People who fondly remember Bay View High School have been in mourning that their school no longer exists,” says Kathy Mulvey, president of the Bay View Historical Society.
That’s why she is so enthusiastic about a special course at the high school, created by staff from Discovery World science museum – a program that has four students this weekend collecting stories and artifacts from old Bay View at the Beulah Brinton House, the historical society’s headquarters.
You ask whether things have changed — since math wasn’t being taught well 40+ years ago either. You’re absolutely right on that, but I believe it’s only gotten worse over the years, as more and more math phobic people have gone into the field of education. These people never understood math well, so their teaching had to be based on rote following of procedures, etc. Then came “new math”, which was an effort to reinvent math and make it more accessible. That bombed, and the efforts to reinvent continued.
What happened is that eventually those bright, math-phobic folks took over the education establishment. They reinvented math to be gentler, kinder, and more fun. Some of the hallmarks are: Small group problem solving, with students figuring our their own solutions to challenging problems. Visiting many topics for only a few weeks each year and moving on, regardless of whether any real mastery was attained. The thinking was/is that students will revisit the topics again in successive years, and will painlessly absorb the concepts. This turns out to be an extremely inefficient way to teach math, so, in order to have enough time to do all these hands-on projects in groups, the explanation of the underlying structure of math and and practice with standard algorithms have all been chucked.
I’ve got an assignment for you.
As you’re out and about over the next couple of days, I want you to notice all the jobs that don’t require a college degree.
I’ll get you started with a few – bus driver, cashier, plumber, cop, construction worker, waiter, sales clerk, janitor, child care worker, mechanic, appliance technician, cable installer, postal carrier, carpenter, barber, truck driver …
OK, you get the idea.
Now, let’s think about a pervasive philosophy in public education. It’s summed up in a bumper sticker I saw last week: “Our Students Are COLLEGE BOUND.”
That particular sticker was from the Garland Independent School District, but it’s the same mantra expressed in every district these days.
Our schools have turned into Lake Woebegone ISD, where every student is above average and on the way to a Ph.D.
Jim Carlton Wall Street Journal Last year, when Amherst College welcomed 473 new students to its idyllic campus, 10% of them came from QuestBridge. But QuestBridge is no elite private school. It’s a nonprofit start-up in Palo Alto, Calif., that matches gifted, low-income students with 20 of the nation’s top colleges. In return, the schools … Continue reading Matching Top Colleges, Low Income Students
In response to my open records request to Lucy Mathiak for her records about small learning communities, I received a copy of the following e-mail which she sent to Jim Zellmer on July 6, 2007. I asked Lucy whether she wanted to post it or whether she’d prefer that I post it. Since she didn’t … Continue reading Mathiak’s “concerns” about small learning communities
Paul Soglin on Why the Prospects for Madison are so Bleak, Part II: “Struck by the number of residents who said if things don’t improve soon, they’ll consider moving elsewhere.” Good grief. Its been going on for over a decade and really picked up around 2000. The school enrollment figures clearly show that. And go … Continue reading “Politically Correct Trumps Substance Every Time”
First, I want to say BRAVO, RUTH, for putting it all together and bringing it on home to us. Thanks, too, to the BOE members who overrode BOE President Johnny Winston Jr’s decision to table this important discussion. Finally, deepest thanks to all of the East parents, students and teachers who are speaking out … … Continue reading More Than English 10: Let’s REALLY Talk About Our High Schools
Sandy Cullen: Twenty-five years ago, less than 10 percent of the district’s students were minorities and relatively few lived in poverty. Today, there are almost as many minority students as white, and nearly 40 percent of all students are considered poor – many of them minority students. And the number of students who aren’t native … Continue reading Madison Schools, New Population, New Challenges
The inside, unsigned cover page of MMSD’s non-budget cut list that tells the public that the administration is protecting math and reading for young children. For $12,000+ per student, the administration will teach our kids to read and to do math – what happened to science and social studies? What happened to educating the whole … Continue reading Our School Board Needs a Budget: No Budget Yet We Have a Cut List that Harms Underprivileged Children’s Education and Divides Parent Groups
Madison’s preschool leaders are advocating for an innovative K-4 program that involves a public/private partnership with the Madison Metropolitan School District, City of Madison and Madison preschools. There are proposed options that will build upon current preschool programs and entry into public school. As the article below states, innovative pre-school programs can have decades long … Continue reading Life Way After Head Start – Innovative PreSchool Programs Have Decades Long Effects for Low Income and Minority Children
In light of Alan Borsuk’s positive article, I thought it timely understand the mountain to be climbed by our traditional $15k/student public school district. The charts above are a brief update of the always useful “Where have all the Students Gone” articles.
Further, early tenure cheerleading is not a new subject. Those interested might dive into the Capital Times & Wisconsin State Journal Superintendent (recently easily searched, now rather difficult) archive:
Cheryl Wilhoyte (1,569) SIS
Art Rainwater (2,124) SIS
Dan Nerad (275) SIS
That being said, Superintendent Cheatham’s comments are worth following:
Cheatham’s ideas for change don’t involve redoing structure. “I’d rather stick with an imperfect structure,” she said, and stay focused on the heart of her vision: building up the quality and effectiveness of teaching.
Improving teaching is the approach that will have the biggest impact on the gaps, she said.
“The heart of the endeavor is good teaching for all kids,” Cheatham said in an interview. Madison, she said, has not defined what good teaching is and it needs to focus on that. It’s not just compliance with directives, she said.
Perhaps the State Journal’s new K-12 reporter might dive into what is actually happening in the schools.
Related: Madison’s long term disastrous reading results and “When all third graders read at grade level or beyond by the end of the year, the achievement gap will be closed…and not before“.
Esenberg sets out to identify the fundamental differences between voucher advocates and opponents. His thesis is that views on vouchers derive from deeper beliefs than objective assessments of how well voucher schools perform or concerns about vouchers draining funds from public schools. To him, your take on vouchers depends on how you view the world.
Esenberg asserts that voucher advocates are united by their embrace of three fundamental principles: that a centralized authority is unlikely to be able to decide what is best for all; that families should be trusted to select their children’s schools since ordinary people are capable of making choices for themselves without paternalistic direction; and that “government does not do diversity, experimentation and choice very well.”
By implication, he asserts that voucher opponents think that a centralized authority will be able to decide what’s best for all, that families shouldn’t be trusted to make choices for their children, and that government control is the best way to foster innovation.
And there you have it. Your views on school voucher expansion are entirely explained by whether you prefer individual freedom, like the voucher advocates, or stultifying government control, like the voucher opponents. In cinematic terms, voucher opponents are the legions of lifeless, gray drones in Apple’s famous 1984 commercial and voucher supporters are the colorful rebel, bravely challenging the control of Big Brother and hurling her sledgehammer to smash mindless conformity. You couldn’t ask for a more sophisticated analysis than that, could you?
While his thesis invites mockery, Esenberg’s short article does present a bit of a challenge to voucher opponents like myself. Can we set out a coherent justification for our opposition that doesn’t depend on the facts that voucher schools drain needed resources from public schools and don’t perform any better? Sweeping those fairly compelling points aside, Esenberg asks, in effect, what else you got?
Mr Hughes anti-voucher rhetoric is fascinating on several levels:
1. The Madison School District’s long term, disastrous reading results. How much time and money has been wasted on anti-voucher rhetoric? Reading has long been job one.
2. Local private schools do not have much, if any availability.
3. Madison spends double the national average per student (some of which has been spent on program explosion). Compare Milwaukee Public and Voucher Schools’ Per Student Spending.
4. Madison’s inability to address its long-term disastrous reading results will bring changes from State or Federal legislation or via litigation.
5. Superintendent Cheatham cited Long Beach and Boston as urban districts that have “narrowed the achievement gap”. Both districts offer a variety of school governance models, which is quite different than Madison’s long-time “one size fits all approach”.
I recall being astonished that previous Madison School District administrators planned to spend time lobbying at the State level for this or that change – while “Rome is burning“. Ironically, Superintendent Cheatham recently said:
“Rather than do a lot of work on opposing the voucher movement, we are going to focus on making sure our schools are the best schools possible and the schools of choice in Madison,” Cheatham said.
This points up one of the frustrating aspects of trying to follow school issues in Madison: the recurring feeling that a quoted speaker – and it can be someone from the administration, or MTI, or the occasional school board member – believes that the audience for an assertion is composed entirely of idiots.
A great, salient quote. I would hope that the District would focus completely on the matter at hand, disastrous reading scores. Taking care of that problem – and we have the resources to do so – will solve lots of other atmospheric and perception issues.
In closing, I sense politics in the voucher (and anti-open enrollment) rhetoric. Two Madison School Board seats will be on the Spring, 2014 ballot. One is currently occupied by Mr. Hughes, the other by Marj Passman. In addition, local politics play a role in becoming school board President.
Stop the latest ploy by the WIGOP to destroy our public schools!The time to act is now: bit.ly/18zyVJW
— Madison Teachers Inc (@MtiMadison) May 30, 2013
Long term disastrous reading scores are the existential threat to our local public school “status quo” structure.
Related: Where Have all the Students Gone? Madison Area School District Enrollment Changes: 1995-2013.
Larry Winkler kindly emailed the chart pictured above.
We are not interested in the development of new charter schools. Recent presentations of charter school programs indicate that most of them do not perform to the level of Madison public schools. I have come to three conclusions about charter schools. First, the national evidence is clear overall, charter schools do not perform as well as traditional public schools. Second where charter schools have shown improvement, generally they have not reached the level of success of Madison schools. Third, if our objective is to improve overall educational performance, we should try proven methods that elevate the entire district not just the students in charter schools. The performance of non-charter students in cities like Milwaukee and Chicago is dismal.
In addition, it seems inappropriate to use resources to develop charter schools when we have not explored system-wide programming that focuses on improving attendance, the longer school day, greater parental involvement and combating hunger and trauma.
We must get a better understanding of the meaning of ‘achievement gap.’ A school in another system may have made gains in ‘closing’ the achievement gap, but that does not mean its students are performing better than Madison students. In addition, there is mounting evidence that a significant portion of the ‘achievement gap’ is the result of students transferring to Madison from poorly performing districts. If that is the case, we should be developing immersion programs designed for their needs rather than mimicking charter school programs that are more expensive, produce inadequate results, and fail to recognize the needs of all students.
It should be noted that not only do the charter schools have questionable results but they leave the rest of the district in shambles. Chicago and Milwaukee are two systems that invested heavily in charter schools and are systems where overall performance is unacceptable.
- Notes and links on the rejected Madison Preparatory Academy IB Charter School. [Kaleem Caire video interview]
- Comparing Milwaukee Public and Voucher Schools’ Per Student Spending
- When all third graders read at grade level or beyond by the end of the year, the achievement gap will be closed…and not before (2005)
- “They’re all rich, white kids and they’ll do just fine” — NOT!
- Paul Soglin notes and links.
- Madison School District Open Enrollment Leavers Report, 2012-13 (2009 Open Enrollment Leaver Survey)
- Paul Vallas visits Madison; Enrollment Growth: Suburban Districts vs. Madison 1995-2012
- Where does MMSD get its numbers from?
- 60% to 42%: Madison School District’s Reading Recovery Effectiveness Lags “National Average”: Administration seeks to continue its use
- Minneapolis teacher’s union approved to authorize charter schools
I am unaware of Madison School District achievement data comparing transfer student performance. I will email the Madison School Board and see what might be discovered.
Madison Mayor Paul Soglin has some pretty strong ideas about how to improve academic achievement by Madison school children. Charter schools are not among them.
In fact, Madison’s ongoing debate over whether a charter school is the key to boosting academic achievement among students of color in the Madison Metropolitan School District is distracting the community from making progress, Soglin told me.
He attended part of a conference last week sponsored by the Urban League of Greater Madison that he says overstated the successes elsewhere of charter schools, like the Urban League’s controversial proposed Madison Preparatory Academy that was rejected by the Madison School Board a year ago.
“A number of people I talked with about it over the weekend said the same thing: This debate over charter schools is taking us away from any real improvement,” Soglin said.
Can a new committee that Soglin created — bringing together representatives from the school district, city and county — be one way to make real progress?
The City of Madison’s Education Committee, via a kind reader’s email. Members include: Arlene Silveira, Astra Iheukemere, Carousel Andrea S. Bayrd, Erik Kass, Jenni Dye, Matthew Phair, Maya Cole and Shiva Bidar-Sielaff.
The first attachment is a one-page overview summary of the past five years of enrollment history, the current year enrollment, and five years of projected enrollment by grade level. Overall, enrollment is generally flat for the district as a whole. However, enrollment has increased slightly for the past two (2) years. We project that this increase will continue for the next two years through 2012-13. After 2012-13 District overall enrollment K-12 will begin to decline slightly. Overall District enrollment has been remarkably stable since 1992 (minimum= 23,556 in 1992, maximum= 24,962 in 1998, average of 24,426 over the past 20 years.
By level, we project that only middle schools will continue to see increases in enrollment during the next five years whereas high and elementary schools will decline in enrollment. Elementary enrollments five years out are based largely on births 5 years prior. Births were at historical highs from 2004 to 2007 (over 3100 births in the City of Madison in each of those years, the highest since the mid 1960’s). Births declined in 2008 (-8%) and 2009 (-13%) respectively from the 2007 high.
The second attachment shows the detailed K-12 enrollment history and projections for each school. Actual enrollment is displayed for 2006 to 2011. Projections are through 2015-16. Projection years are boldfaced. The precision of projections at a school level and for specific grade levels within a school are less accurate when compared to the district as a whole. Furthermore, projections are much less reliable for later years in the projection timeline. Also, the worksheet reflects various program and boundary changes that were implemented and this accounts for some large shifts within schools and programs from one year to the next.
via a Madison School District email:
Student enrollment in the Madison Metropolitan School District for the 2009-10 school year is up 82 students to 24,622 according to the official enrollment count conducted on the third Friday in September, as required by state law.
The 82 student rise over last year’s official enrollment count of 24,540 represents an increase of one third of one percent (0.33%).
Enrollment in Madison Schools has been remarkably consistent. This is the ninth straight year that MMSD enrollment has been between 24 and 25-thousand students.
Of note is the increase in the number of kindergarten students enrolled in Madison Schools. The count of 2,146 kindergarten students is:
- 140 students above last year’s number (2,006);
- the highest enrollment for that grade level in the last 15 years;
- nearly four percent greater than the most recent projection (80 students above 2,066 projection).
For more information on kindergarten-12th grade enrollment, go to http://infosvcweb.madison.k12.wi.us/stats
Related: “Where have all the students gone?” The student population drives a school district’s tax & spending authority.
Madison continued its remarkable population surge with a 10.7% increase from 2000 to 2008, top among Wisconsin cities with a population of 50,000 or more. The capital also led Wisconsin in numerical growth, adding 22,491 people, for a total population of 231,916.
“Madison remains a very desirable place to live, and positive growth rates like this reflect that high quality of life,” Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz said in a statement.
The new estimates are intriguing, both locally and nationally, because they detail America’s population at the cusp of the financial meltdown and in the midst of a housing bust. They’re also the last estimates to be released before the 2010 census is taken.
“Big cities are resilient,” said William H. Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. “They’ve been able to survive in a very difficult economy. These cities have diverse economies that can hold their own in these troubled times.”
- Where have all the students gone?
- increased outbound open enrollment applications from the Madison School District
- A bit of historic enrollment and staffing data.
- Credit for Non-MMSD Classes
Madison’s enrollment was 24,758 during the 1999-2000 school year and 24,189 during the 2008-2009 academic year. More here and here.
Given Madison’s academic orientation (UW-Madison, MATC, Edgewood College, not to mention a number of nearby institutions), our students (every one of them) should have access to world class academics.
Madison Superintendent Art Rainwater and Rafael Gomez held an interesting discussion on school models recently [Announcement].
Via a reader’s email: David Savageau (Contributing Editor of Expansion Management Management):
Three out of 10 of us either work in an educational institution or learn in one. Education eats up 8% of the Gross National Product. Keeping it all going is the biggest line item on city budgets. Whether the results are worth it sometimes makes teachers and parents–and administrators and politicians–raise their voices and point fingers.
In the 1930s, the United States was fragmented into 130,000 school districts. After decades of consolidation, there are now fewer than 15,000. They range in size from hundreds that don’t actually operate schools–but bus children to other districts–to giants like the Los Angeles Unified District, with three-quarters of a million students.
Greater Chicago has 332 public school districts and 589 private schools within its eight counties. Metropolitan Los Angeles takes in 35 public library systems. Greater Denver counts 15 public and private colleges and universities. Moving into any of America’s metro areas means stepping into a thicket of school districts, library systems, private school options and public and private college and universities.
Here are some of their top locations:
- Washington, DC – Arlington, VA
- Madison, WI
- Baltimore -Towson
- Akron, OH
- Columbus, OH
- Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY
- Syracuse, NY
- St. Louis, MO
- Ann Arbor, MI
The Madison area has incredible resources for our children. The key of course, is leveraging that and being open to working effectively with many organizations, something Marc Eisen mentioned in his recent article. Madison’s new Superintendent has a tremendous opportunity to leverage the community from curricular, arts, sports, health/wellness, financial and volunteer perspectives.
- Where have all the students gone?
- Madison School District small learning community Grant application(s) and history.
- My Life and Times with the Madison Public Schools.
- Update on Credit for Non-MMSD Courses.
The Madison area, which includes all of Dane County as well as immediately adjoining areas, was awarded A+ for class size and spending per pupil in public schools, and for the popularity of the city’s public library.
The greater Madison area scored an A for being close to a college town and for offering college options.
Private school options in the greater Madison area were graded at B+.
There has been some confusion in the response to the rankings because they lump together numerous school districts — urban, suburban and rural.
The engineering-based program is just one example of the district’s willingness to bring college-level learning to his high school students. That effort appears to be paying off nationally, WISC-TV reported.
“It reinforces that what we’re trying to do as a district and as an area is working,” said Granberg. “And it’s getting recognized on a national level, not just a local or state level.”
“This is not a community that accepts anything but the best and so that bar is always high,” said Madison Metropolitan School District Superintendent Art Rainwater.
Rainwater also credits the ranking to teacher development programs.
“We spend an awful amount of time and an awful amount of effort working with our teachers in terms of how they deliver instruction to individual children,” said Rainwater.
He said the school district will continue to improve techniques, focusing on the needs of every student.
Inside Wingra School, the day is just beginning, and already Lisa Kass is commandeering a discussion about violence sparked by storyboards written by her fourth- and fifth-grade students.
“Why do you play violent videogames?” she asks. “Do you think the violence affects you?” This leads to a 45-minute discussion that temporarily pushes back a math lesson.
“It’s cartoon violence, it’s not real violence,” says one boy. “Well, really the goal is to kill people,” admits another. That, says a third student, is why he plays mostly strategy videogames.
The students at Wingra are articulate, reflective and eager to share their opinions. They refine their thoughts as Kass prods them to be more specific or clearer.
Kass, a 19-year veteran Wingra teacher, says later: “I don’t want to censor them, but I want them to think about what’s appropriate and what effects violence might have on them and others.”
The magic of charter schools isn’t so much the innovation they strive to achieve. The magic is the effect these schools have on parents.
At the Nuestro Mundo charter school on Madison’s East Side, you have to win a lottery to get your child into the program. This is true even for parents like me who live just a few blocks from Allis Elementary School, where Nuestro Mundo (which means “Our World ” in Spanish) is housed.
Imagine that — parents flooding a city school with enrollment applications for their kids. This is the opposite trend that Madison fears and must avoid.
Though rarely discussed in a frank way, Madison is increasingly nervous about middle- to upper-income parents losing faith in city schools and moving to the suburbs. As so many Madison leaders love to say: “As the schools go, so goes the city. ” Madison doesn ‘t want to become Milwaukee.
Related: Where have all the students gone?
The Madison School Board’s Performance and Achievement Committee recently discussed alternative education models. Watch the video here (or download the mp4 file via a CTRL Click. mp4 files can be played back on many portable media players such as iPods). Listen via this mp3 audio file.
When a high school friend told me several years ago that he and his wife were leaving Washington’s Mount Pleasant neighborhood for Montgomery County, I snickered and murmured something about white flight. Progressives who traveled regularly to Cuba and Brazil, they wanted better schools for their children. I saw their decision as one more example of liberal hypocrisy.
I was childless then, but I have a 6-year-old now. And I know better. So to all the friends — most but not all of them white — whom I’ve chastised over the years for abandoning the District once their children reached school age:
I’m sorry. You were right. I was wrong.
After nearly 20 years in the city’s Takoma neighborhood, the last six in a century-old house that my wife and I thought we’d grow old in, we have forsaken the city for the suburbs.
- Where Have All the Students Gone?
- This is Not Your Grandchild’s Madison School District
- Promises Betrayed
Megan McArdle has more.
Richard Florida: The rise of the city and the decline of the suburbs has emerged as a common meme in recent years. The young, the educated, and the affluent have come streaming back to the urban core, driving up rents, driving out the poor, and giving rise to patterns of gentrification. The story goes that … Continue reading The Persistent Economic Advantage of America’s Suburbs
Joel Kotkin: Some suggest that the trends of the first decade of this century already are passé, and that more Americans are becoming born-again urbanistas. Yet after a brief period of slightly more rapid urban growth immediately following the recession, U.S. suburban growth rates began to again surpass those of urban cores. An analysis by … Continue reading K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Suburbs vs. Urban Markets
Erika Sanzi: Parents prefer relationships to data. Most of us enjoy people more than numbers and like parent teacher conferences better than bar graphs. We take comfort in knowing that our kids are being educated in a safe space and worry very little about the high school profile or SAT participation rate in our town. … Continue reading Are our suburban heads in the sand?
A variety of notes and links on the planned 2015 Madison School District Property Tax Increase referendum: Madison Schools’ PDF Slides on the proposed projects. Ironically, Madison has long supported a wide variation in low income distribution across its schools. This further expenditure sustains the substantial variation, from Hamilton’s 18% low income population to Black … Continue reading Property Tax Increase Climate: Madison’s Proposed 2015 Spending Referendum
Superintendent Michael Bennet and the Denver School Board: The Rocky Mountain News series, “Leaving to Learn [Denver Public Schools Enrollment Gap],” tells a painful and accurate story about the state of our school district. It is hard to admit, but it is abundantly clear that we will fail the vast majority of children in Denver … Continue reading Denver’s Attempt to Address Their “Enrollment Gap”
Jenna Robinson: It’s no secret that university students, once known for their brash defense of unfettered free speech, have gone rather quiet on the issue. Campus surveys reveal that most college students self-censor to some degree and that certain ideas are now taboo on campus. A new report from Speech First, a membership association of … Continue reading Commentary on “bias response teams”
Mike Antonucci: I provided in-person gavel-to-gavel coverage of every National Education Association Representative Assembly from 1998 — the year of the failed merger attempt with AFT — through 2016. NEA denied me a press credential thereafter due to my partnership with The 74, which they said “does not meet journalistic standards as a credible news outlet.” … Continue reading Notes on the 2022 NEA convention; “enemies list”
Scott Girard: Board president Ali Muldrow, who has a conflict of interest in discussing teacher salaries as her husband is a teacher, commented only on the hourly workers’ pay rate Monday, but indicated she strongly supports an increase. “I’m really deeply vested in our ability to substantially shift how we’re compensating hourly wage workers,” Muldrow … Continue reading Ongoing spending increase discussions in the taxpayer supported Madison Schools (bricks & mortar vs people?), amidst declining enrollment
Joel Kotkin: Overall, these cities tend to have some of the worst inequality of any location, an urban model very different to the Jane Jacobs conception of a city that does not “lure the middle class” but creates one. Indeed, as the transactional city reached its apogee, the opportunity horizon for working- and middle-class families … Continue reading The price of “transactional cities”
Ginevra Davis: It is hard to imagine someone at Stanford building an island anymore. In fact, it is hard to imagine them building anything. The campus culture has changed. Today, most of the organizations JP remembers from Stanford are gone. The Kappa Alpha boys have been kicked out of their old house. Lake Lagunita was … Continue reading Stanford’s War on Social Life
Liah Greenfield Since the 1990s, there has been talk of a mental-health epidemic in the U.S., particularly among young people. The mass shootings last month in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, N.Y., carried out by 18-year-old gunmen, have heightened fears that something’s gone horribly wrong. But the problem isn’t new. American psychiatrists have been studying rates … Continue reading Rates of functional mental illness are high in open societies and low in authoritarian ones.
Mike Antonucci: We have heard a lot about educator shortages recently, but over the past few weeks the media have sounded the alarm over a different shortage: students. The Associated Press, Washington Post, Chalkbeat, Politico and The 74 are national outlets that highlighted steep declines in K-12 public school student enrollment and the dangers of layoffs and deep budget cuts when federal … Continue reading Declining student count vs Growing $pending
Scott Girard According to an email sent to board members Tuesday morning, there are currently 286 students enrolled in online programming, with 150 in third through fifth grades and 136 in grades six to 12. When the school year began, there were about 750 requests for virtual instruction in elementary grades and 452 applications for grades … Continue reading Madison’s taxpayer supported schools spend more one time funds on “virtual school” expansion
DPI Superintendent Jill Underly: Dear Wisconsin Families and Educators, I am writing this letter to you as a fellow parent and a former teacher. Like you, I know what it means to be involved with my children’s education, and I love it. But I look at the way politicians talk about parental involvement, and I … Continue reading Commentary on Parents and Taxpayer supported k-12 Wisconsin schools
Margery Smelkinson, Leslie Bienen, and Jeanne Noble But in America about half of the country’s 53 million children remain compulsorily masked in school for the indefinite future. Sixteen U.S. states and the District of Columbia follow the CDC guidance closely and require masks for students of all ages, regardless of vaccination status; other states rely on a patchwork of policies, usually … Continue reading The Case Against Masks at School: Districts should rethink imposing on millions of children an intervention that provides little discernible benefit.
Jesse Kauffman: The greatest casualty of the pandemic era is, without question, America’s public education system. Shuttering public schools in the first panicked days of March 2020 was perhaps understandable. However, many schools—such as those my children attend in Ann Arbor, Michigan—failed to open the following year. Schools closed in defiance of any reasonable accounting … Continue reading ‘The greatest casualty of the pandemic era is, without question, America’s public education system’
Dear Parents, Effective upon our return to school after Christmas break, CCCA will be reverting to our pre-COVID health policy (below in bold). Cases of COVID will be treated as equivalent to all other illnesses for thepurposes of school attendance. I recognize that this change may come as a surprise to some after almost two … Continue reading A school thinks different
Andrew Alexander: The phrase “scattered, smothered, and covered” has a certain poetic ring, so it’s fitting that Waffle House has its own poet laureate. Georgia Tech poetry professor Karen Head is the first to lay claim to that title. We caught up with the recently anointed scribe in advance of her appearance at this weekend’s Decatur … Continue reading Waffle House has an official poet laureate. For real.
Andy Kessler: Public-school education has gone from bad to worse. In the Chicago Public Schools, only 26% of 11th-graders were at grade level in reading and math in 2019. Remarkably, the school system had a record-high graduation rate of nearly 84% in 2021. Those students must have had strong senior years! This is why over … Continue reading A California Attempt to Repair the Crumbling Pillar of U.S. Education
Chris Rickert: “As a community, we should be extremely concerned over a 13-year-old driving a stolen car, during rush hour, while high on (marijuana),” Hanson wrote. “Everybody’s kind of numb, and we can’t be,” he added during the interview with the State Journal. The vehicle was reported stolen on Monday, police spokesperson Stephanie Fryer said, … Continue reading Intoxicated 13-year-old arrested after crashing stolen car at a Madsion Beltline off-ramp, police say
Louis Bonham: As Minding the Campus readers are all too aware, these are dark times in higher education. Political correctness and an enforced far-left ideology (complete with loyalty oaths, departmental diversity commissars, Red Guard-style cancel culture mobs, and cowardly administrators and regents) have created an environment where intellectual rigor and academic freedom are dismissed as the products of … Continue reading Bucking the Trend and Starting from Scratch: The University of Austin
Tim Odegard As a result, a push to transform reading instruction is underway in classrooms across the nation. A transformation motivated by an honest acknowledgment of reality – most children in the United States struggle to read. These struggles are not the exception reserved for the minority of kids with a disability – such as … Continue reading Finding Children with Dyslexia in a Sea of Struggling Readers: The Struggles are Real
Alec Macgillis: In many parts of the country, particularly cities and towns dominated by Democrats, concerns about virus spread by children has resulted in all sorts of measures: closures of playgrounds, requirements that kids older than 2 wear masks outdoors, rigid restrictions on campus life at colleges that reopened. “We should be more careful with kids,” wrote … Continue reading The Lost Year: What the Pandemic Cost Teenagers
Shannon Whitworth: Let us not forget that prior to the pandemic panic, Wisconsin already had the largest achievement gapbetween white and Black children in the nation. This gap will only get worse as schools across the state continue with in-person instruction while MPS students struggle to connect virtually, and in many ways educate themselves. Inner-city students … Continue reading Milwaukee’s taxpayer supported schools Should Offer In-Person Classes Or else the Legislature should expand school choice.
Althea Nagai: For the sake of campus diversity, many colleges and universities pass over white and Asian American applicants with better academic preparation, favoring blacks and (to a lesser extent) Hispanics. CEO statistical research (logistic regression analyses) showed that underrepresented minorities (URMs) received significant preference over white and Asian American applicants with the same or … Continue reading Campus Diversity and Student Discontent: The Costs of Race and Ethnic Preferences in College Admissions
Rod Dreher: McNeil conceded in his parting statement that he used the N-word, and explained the context. I think he’s wrong: I think that context is forgivable, if still poor judgment. If he doesn’t believe in the concept of white privilege, so what? One is not allowed to dissent from an ideological idea? As to … Continue reading Civics: Times Pushes Don McN-Word Out
Scott Girard: “The problem was we could not get the teachers to commit to the coaching.” Since their small success, not much has changed in the district’s overall results for teaching young students how to read. Ladson-Billings called the ongoing struggles “frustrating,” citing an inability to distinguish between what’s important and what’s a priority in … Continue reading Commentary on Madison’s long term, disastrous reading results: “Madison’s status quo tends to be very entrenched.”
Gloria Reyes: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 1, 2020 Madison School Board President Gloria Reyes Will Not Seek Re-election Statement by Gloria Reyes I am announcing today that I will not seek re-election to the Madison School Board. This has been a difficult decision. I’ve made it after much consideration, consultation with my family, and as … Continue reading Madison School Board President Gloria Reyes Will Not Seek Re-election
Alexis Rivas: Students will no longer be graded based on a yearly average, or on how late they turn in assignments. Those are just some of the major grading changes approved this week by California’s second-largest school district. The San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) is overhauling the way it grades students. Board members say … Continue reading San Diego Unified School District Changes Grading System to ‘Combat Racism
Hi, I’m cap tines K-12 education reporter Scott Gerard. Today. Our cap times IDFs panel will discuss how will COVID-19 change K-12 education. I’m lucky to have three wonderful panelists with me to help answer that question. Marilee McKenzie is a teacher at Middleton’s Clark street community school, where she has worked since the school was in its planning stages.
She’s in her [00:03:00] 11th year of teaching. Dr. Gloria Ladson billings is a nationally recognized education expert who was a U w Madison faculty member for more than 26 years, including as a professor in the departments of curriculum and instruction, educational policy studies and educational leadership and policy analysis.
She is also the current president of the national Academy of education. Finally dr. Carlton Jenkins is the new superintendent of the Madison metropolitan school district. He started the districts top job in August, coming from the Robbinsdale school district in Minnesota, where he worked for the past five years, Jenkins began his career in the Madison area.
Having worked in Beloit and at Memorial high school in early 1990s before moving to various districts around the country. Thank you all so much for being here. Mary Lee, I’m going to start with you. You’ve been working with students directly throughout this pandemic. How has it gone? Both in the spring when changes were very sudden, and then this fall with a summer to reflect and [00:04:00] plan, it’s been interesting for sure.
Um, overall, I would say the it’s been hard. There has been nothing about this have been like, ah, It’s really, it makes my life easy. It’s been really challenging. And at the same time, the amount of growth and learning that we’ve been able to do as staff has been incredible. And I think about how teachers have moved from face-to-face to online to then planning for.
Jonathan Chait: Years from now, when we look back at the coronavirus pandemic, it is very possible that the most damaging element we will identify is its catastrophic effect upon public education. The devastation will be social and economic, permanently degrading the skill base of the workforce and robbing a generation of children, especially low-income … Continue reading Remote Learning Is a Catastrophe. Teachers Unions Share the Blame.