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February 21, 2012

Madison School District begins public hearings for achievement gap plan

Matthew DeFour:

About 50 people attended the first public input session for the Madison School District's plan to close the achievement gap.

Superintendent Dan Nerad said during a brief overview of the issue that he couldn't promise every idea would be included in the final plan. But he did promise that every idea would be looked at.

"Whether it is this plan or another plan, if we are to make things right for our children and eliminate achievement gaps, we must invest,"

Nerad's plan for closing the School District's persistent racial and socioeconomic achievement gaps calls for spending an estimated $105.6 million over the next five years on a mix of new and existing strategies.

I have to agree with Steve Prestegard's concern regarding the use of the term "investment" and education:
Nearly every politician or candidate speaks of education spending as an "investment." Some claim any kind of government spending is an "investment," but education is always so termed, particularly by teacher unions, as if the more spending on schools, the better schools will be, and the better our country will be.

Anecdotally, this doesn't make sense, at least in Wisconsin. The state has spent more than nearly every other state for decades for our alleged 'great schools." Based on education "investment," Wisconsin should have the number one state economy in the U.S. And yet, in such measures of economic health as per capita personal income growth, business start-ups and incorporations, Wisconsin has trailed the nation since the late 1970s.

Ideally, the local District would critically evaluate current programs and initiatives prior to significantly increasing spending.


Posted by Jim Zellmer at February 21, 2012 8:38 PM
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