Johnny Winston Jr.:
he 6th Annual Johnny Winston, Jr. Streetball and Block Party will be held on Saturday August 12th from 12 noon to 7:00 p.m. at Penn Park (South Madison – Corner of Fisher and Buick Street). Streetball is a full court, 5 on 5 adult mens Basketball tournament featuring some of the best basketball players in the City of Madison, Milwaukee, Beloit, Rockford and other cities.
The block party activities for youth and families include: Music by D.J. Fabulous & friends; A drill and dance team competition at 2 pm; Free Bingo sponsored by DeJope Gaming at 1 pm, 3 pm and 5 pm; Face painting and youth activities sponsored by M.S.C.R., YMCA, Neighborhood Intervention Program and the Boys & Girls Club. At 3 pm, a talent showcase featuring singers and Hip Hop performances will take place on the MCCCA Culture Coach stage. In addition, this event includes information booths and vendors selling a variety of foods and other items.
Continue reading 6th Annual Streetball & Block Party on Saturday Aguust 12th
Neal Gleason in a letter to the Isthmus Editor:
I have long admired Marc Eisen’s thoughtful prose. But his recent struggle to come to grips with a mutli-ethnic world vvers from xenophobia to hysteria (“Brave New World”, 6/23/06). His “unsettling” contact with “stylish” Chinese and “turbaned Sikhs” at a summer program for gifted children precipitated first worry (are my kids prepared to compete?), And then a villain (incompetent public schools).
Although he proclaims himself “a fan” of Madison public schools, he launches a fusillade of complaints: doubting that academic excellence is high on the list of school district pirorities and lamentin tis “dubious maht and reading pedagogy.” The accuracy of these concerns is hard to assess, because he offers no evidence.
His main target is heterogeneous (mixed-ability) classes. He speculates that Madison schools, having failed to improve the skills of black and Hispanic kids, are now jeopardizing the education of academically promising kids (read: his kids) for the sake of politically correct equality. The edict from school district headquarters: “Embrace heterogeneous classrooms. Reject tracking of brighter kids. Suppress dissent in the ranks.” Whew, that is one serious rant for a fan of public schools.
Continue reading Not to Worry: Neal Gleason Responds to Marc Eisen’s “Brave New World”
adison seventh-grader Isabel Jacobson proved that her bite was louder than her bark on Wednesday at the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee, correctly spelling affenpinscher – a breed of small dogs of European origin – on her way to advancing to the fourth round.
The bee stopped for the day in the middle of the fourth round, with Jacobson yet to spell and 46 spellers still standing.
Competition resumes this morning at 11 CDT and will be aired live on ESPN. The final rounds will be aired tonight live on ABC from 7 to 9 CDT.
National Spelling Bee website
With the MMSD considering an addition to Leopold Elementary and a new west side high school, the fabulous Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Fair in Custer, Wisconsin (just 7 miles east of Stevens Point) offers a relevant presentation titled Lighting and Daylighting in School Buildings. The Fair program describes the presentation:
Learn to evaluate the light needed for the activity at hand. Plus, gain some tips on daylighting — using a bit of the most abundant, accessible and predictable renewable resource available to us.
The presentation will be offered on Friday, June 23, at 12:00 noon. The presenter Bob Drevlow works with the Focus on Energy Schools Program.
Daylighting saves electricity without adding cost to a school, as demonstrated by Clackamas High School in Clackamas, Oregon.
Rafael Gomez’s next Forum is on Immigration and Education. The event will be held Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 7:00p.m. in the McDaniels’ Auditorium (Doyle Administration Building – 545 West Dayton St. 53703) [Map]
Participants include: Victor Arellano (Attorney), Alfonso (DPI), Alam Diaz (U W Student) and Joe Nigh (Counselor at East).
Reader Kathy Andrusz emails:
1st Annual Midwest Summit on Boys at Risk will be held in Madison at the Pyle Center on Monday, June 12, 2006. The keynote speakers are Leonard Sax and Kevin Davern (see brochure for details).
The Gender Studies Project is delighted to announce their 1st Annual Midwest Summit on Boys at Risk. This pioneering conference will be held on June 12 at the Pyle Center in Madison, WI. The Summit boasts two prestigious keynote speakers: Leonard Sax, M.D., Ph.D., creator of the National Association on Single Sex Education; and Kevin Davern, founding headmaster of The Avalon School, Bethesda, MD, and classroom instructor for 17 years in the independent school education of young men. See the brochure for details. Download the brochure for details. (416kb pdf)
Via a Johnny Winston, Jr. email:
On Saturday May 6th, 2006 the 100 Black Men of Madison presents its Annual African American History Challenge Bowl at 8:30 a.m. This event will be located at 545 W. Dayton St. in Madison at the MMSD Doyle Administration Building, McDaniels Auditorium.
The African American History Challenge Bowl is a competition where teams of middle and high school students from the Madison School District and Edgewood answer questions based on African American history. Winners of the local contest are awarded savings bonds and an all expense paid trip to the national competition where they will compete against other chapters of the 100 Black Men of America in Atlanta, Georgia.
This event is free to the public. We are encouraging our community to attend. This event will televised live on MMSD Cable Channel 10.
Continue reading 100 Black Men of Madison Presents its Annual African American History Challenge Bowl
Wisconsin Academic Decathlon:
Last month, members of the non-profit Wisconsin Academic Decathlon announced that “donor fatigue” had severely weakened program donations and that the organization would deplete its reserves to make it through this year’s State Finals. Program Director Molly Ritchie revealed that the 23-year-old extra curricular scholastic program for Wisconsin high school students might very well have to shut down. Ritchie invited a major corporate sponsor, or sponsors, to come to the rescue with a $150,000 donation.
Dependent on private funding for the last eleven years-since the elimination of their Department of Public Instruction state grant in 1995, Wisconsin has maintained a solid and competitive statewide program, third largest among 40 in the nation, faring well in national competition. For the past two decades, the state champions have placed in the top 10 nationwide, in all but two appearances, and landed the national overall title with Waukesha West’s big win in 2002. However, the program’s success alone no longer generates enough donations to cover the $220,000+ annual budget (67% of funds are secured through donations, team entrance fees bring in the rest).
Peter Gascoyne kindly covered this years event, held a few weeks ago.
Rafael Gomez held a “Parent and Taxpayer Perspective on School Budgets” last evening. Participants included: Carol Carstensen, Peter Gascoyne, Don Severson, Jeff Henriques, Shari Entenmann, Jerry Eykholt and Larry Winkler. This 70 minute event is well worth watching (or listening via the audio file).
- Carol discussed the “three legs” of school finance and passed around an article she wrote recently “State Finance of Public Education and the MMSD Budget” [112K pdf version];
- Peter Gascoyne suggested that we embrace long term financial forecasts as a means to guide our planning. Peter also expressed doubts about any material change to state school financing of public education over the next five years (I agree with this assessment).
- Don Severson mentioned Madison’s historic strong financial support for public education and the need to be as efficient as possible with the District’s $321M+ budget.
Audio [mp3] and video
Check out the photos and video from this great event.
[Download a video ipod compatible file here.]
New Glarus parent and Madison attorney Todd Palmer has filed a lawsuit against the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and DPI Superintendent Elizabeth Burmaster for their failure to promulgate rules for the identification and appropriate education of Wisconsin’s 51,000 academically gifted students, as is required by Wisconsin state law. Here is the press release; a link to the lawsuit itself may be found at the end.
Todd will be joining us for the beginning portion of our Madison United for Academic Excellence meeting on Thursday, March 23, at 7:00 p.m. in Room 209 of the Doyle Administration Building. We will also be discussing the INSTEP process and the District’s new TAG education plan, currently under development. Come share your experiences and offer your input. All who care about rigorous curriculum and high educational standards are welcome.
Continue reading New Glarus Parent Files Gifted Ed Lawsuit Against DPI, DPI Superintendent Burmaster
A circuit court judge ruled on Friday (3/17/06) that a virtual charter school in Wisconsin did NOT violate state law by allowing parents to assume some duties of state-certificated teachers. See the Wis. Coalition of Virtual School Families’ Press Release. Andrew Rotherham has more.
Charter Schools Strive to Expand
DPI Charter School Grant Info Meetings on March 22 & 23
Explore Websites of 30 “Green” Charter Schools
Sign up for NAPCS’ E-Newsletter (National Alliance for Public Charter Schools)
You’re invited to the WISCONSIN CHARTER SCHOOLS FAIR. The FAIR is a FREE public event in Appleton on April 2, Sunday afternoon (1:00 to 4:30 pm). HURRY APRIL !
DISCOVER NEW CHOICES IN PUBLIC EDUCATION
Learn about the Performance of Public Charter Schools in Wisconsin from UW-Madison Professor John Witte. View 20 charter school displays and visit with students and teachers from several charter schools. The FREE FAIR will be held at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in downtown Appleton —
The FAIR precedes the 2006 Wisconsin Charter Schools Conference, co-sponsored by the WCSA & DPI, on April 3 & 4 in Appleton.
Conference Overview (program, registration, hotel, etc.)
Schedule & 40+ Concurrent Sessions (i.e. seminars):
You can TOUR charter schools in Appleton
20 Minute Video | MP3 Audio
|Tom Beebe of the Institute for Wisconsin’s Future (IWF) gave a talk Friday afternoon at Edgewood College as part of their school finance class. In this talk he reviews how Wisconsin’s basic school finance structure works, and how the revenue gaps has affected school funding throughout the state. He also provides some suggestions on how and where the funds can be found to correct the situation.
There will be a longer clip posted later this week.
Technology Leadership Institute:
Join leading edge school districts as we explore what it means to teach and learn in a 21st century instructional environment. Today, the pressure to improve achievement levels is greater than ever before. Recent research has shown that when students have greater access to technology-based learning, the greater their engagement and achievement. That is the reward of the digital school. Achievement improves faster when digital natives and digital immigrants – students and teachers – are mutually comfortable with technology and mutually engaged. This event is designed to help you rethink the digital school. Rethink what an innovative educational environment can be. And rethink how it can benefit your students.
This Brookfield event is sponsored by Apple Computer.
University of Wisconsin News:
How can middle- and high-school students get a leg up on preparing for college? In many cases, summer recreation, academic and athletic programs play a valuable role.
The Youth Opportunity Fair, designed to promote summer youth activities, will be held from 10 a.m.-noon on Saturday, March 4, at the Villager Mall, 2300 S. Park St.
Parents and students will find exhibitors from many of the skill-building programs – academic, recreational and athletic – offered by post-secondary educational institutions in Dane County for this summer.
Milton Rosenberg is a retired social psychologist from the Univ. of Chicago. He has a radio show on WGN, 720 on AM. Next Tuesday, March 7, the topic is “School Reform”. The two guests, Joseph L. Bast and Herbert Walberg, have written a new book: “Let’s Put Parents Back in Charge: A Guide for School Reformers“. The show starts at 9 PM and ends at 11.
Leopold teacher Troy Dassler emails:
Once again we had an incredible turnout at Leopold event. We had a Black History night of celebration. The gym was packed with children, parents, friends and staff members of the Leopold Community. Academic achievement awards were presented to students for their hard work and dedication. Johnny Winston Jr. was the special guest of honor. He also received an award. The Outstanding School Board Member Award (see picture)
I am starting to think that the overcrowding, the years of out-posting, the Ridgewood Apartment fires, a failed referendum, music and art on-a-cart, the classrooms carved out of the lunchroom, the corner of our library turned into a computer classroom, the various classrooms separated by bookcase walls in the hallways, the budget cuts, the various redistricting of our students, and the endless board meetings have made us a stronger community. During the last referendum our mantra was that our diversity makes us stronger. I think it may need to change for the next referendum, Adversity made us stronger.
In prosperity our friends know us; in adversity we know our friends.
John Churton Collins
On SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 3PM TO 5 PM Alpha Kappa Alpha’s Annual Scholarship Fundraiser “Men Who Cook” is at the Fitchburg Community Center located on 5520 Lacy Road. Tickets are $15 in advance or can be purchased at the door the day of the event for $20.
Continue reading AKA Fundraiser: Men Who Cook
On Saturday, February 25, 2006 at the Edgewater Hotel at 666 Wisconsin Avenue in Downtown Madison, The Sable Flames, Inc. will present its Thirteenth Annual “Second Alarm Scholarship Benefit” at 8:00 p.m. until 1 a.m.
Continue reading Sable Flames 13th Annual “Second Alarm Scholarship Benefit”
There’s been no shortage of discusion regarding math curriculum. Rafael Gomez’s latest event, this Wednesday’s Math Forum should prove quite interesting. The event will be at the Doyle Administration Building (McDaniels Auditorium) [Map] from 7:00 to 8:00p.m. Participants include:
The general format follows:
- Each Speaker presents their passion and views about math as subject matter in the school setting
- views will be decoded into a scope and sequence of curr. in the middle school
- views about the math program at MMSD
- Discussion: Questions relative to a scope and sequence as well as developmental stages of a middle school student
- Audience Questions
The Forum’s goal is to provide an informative event for parents and other interested parties.
The Simpson Street Free Press will be holding a city-wide “Beat the Achievement Gap” conference on Saturday, February 25, at 2:00 p.m. at LaFollette High School, 702 Pflaum Road. At the conference, students will take the following pledge: “I will be an active role model for younger students. I will work to spread a positive message of engagement at my school and in my community. I will encourage academic success among my peers.”
For more information, see “The Gap According to Black: A Feature Column by Cydny Black” and the inspiring two-page spread entitled “Education: Bridging the Achievement Gap” in the January, 2006, issue of The Simpson Street Free Press.
Additional information at www.simpsonstreetfreepress.org
WisPolitics.com is hosting a lunch for Republican Gubernatorial candidates Mark Green and Scott Walker who are facing off to run against incumbent Democrat Jim Doyle this fall.
Cost is $15 for Madison Club members and $19 for non-members. Call Loretta to RSVP at the Madison Club, 608-255-4861.
This is perhaps one of the best local opportunities to question the candidates regarding their views of K-12 public financing, the achievement gap, the QEO and our state’s economy which supports our education system. Governor Doyle created a school finance task force several years ago, but did not implement any changes to the current regime.
Reader Troy Dassler emailed this photo, taken a few hours ago, at Leopold’s Math Night event.
Wednesday, 1.25.2006; 7:30 – 9:00a.m. @ US Bank Plaza [map / directions] Lower Level Conference Room:
A discussion of issues facing our school district and community such as: high costs and low achievement; the budget; revenue caps; referenda; reading and math curricula; health care costs; dministrative costs; contract negotiations; boundary changes and school closings/new buildings; violence in schools; Fund 80; and more. Primary election for seat one is Feb. 21. Final elections in April. Who will earn your support?
||Madison United for Academic Excellence [www site] held a Madison School Board candidate forum Tuesday evening, January 17, 2006. Maya Cole, Michael Kelly, Lucy Mathiak and Arlene Silveira participated (election website). Candidate statements and questions appear below:
Continue reading MAUE School Board Candidate Forum
The Madison Times (now owned by former school board member, Ray Allen) recently asked various members of the Madison community to comment on the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I was honored to do so. These comments can be seen in this weeks issue. I’m also including dates and times of Dr. King events in the City. I hope you and your family are able to attend some of these events.
Continue reading Speaking up about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. & King Events in Madison
Join West Madison and Middleton Neighbors: Make a Difference in Our Community
Sunday, January 22, 2006, 1:30–3:30 p.m.
Middleton Public Library, 7426 Hubbard Avenue [map]
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Are you concerned about:
- Reductions in public support for education, health care, housing and food assistance?
- The growing disparity between the rich and the poor?
- The long term impact of these trends on children and the future of our society?
- The need for positive new approaches to address our community’s needs?
- Do you feel that you don’t have the power to change things?
Continue reading Via Email: What’s at Stake – Investing in Our Children and Our Future
CHINESE NEW YEAR’S DINNER
Sunday, January 22, 5:00 PM, Peking Palace
Dinner provided by Peking Palace & other local restaurants – $10 !
Continue reading Eat and Help Memorial Language Students Experience China
This version includes the address/location of the joint insurance committee meeting on Wednesday.
Also, note that the agenda for the Board-Common Council Liaison meeting on Wed. night is of interest to the two attendance area task forces that are due to report in this month.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2006
1:00 p.m. Madison Metropolitan School District/Madison Teachers Inc.
Joint Insurance Committee
1. Call to Order
2. Options regarding Health Insurance Benefits for Certain Madison School District Employees
Madison Teachers Inc.
Large Conference Room
821 Williamson Street
Madison, WI 53703
6:30 p.m. Special Meeting of the Madison School Board and the Memorial
and West Attendance Areas Demographics and Long Range Facility Needs Task
Doyle Administration Bldg
545 W. Dayton St.
Madison, WI 53703
7:00 p.m. Common Council/Board of Education Liaison Committee
1. Approval of Minutes dated November 16, 2005
2. Public Appearances
There are no announcements.
4. New Developments/Growth in the City of Madison and Implications for
5. Housing Patterns Impact on Student Enrollments in Madison Schools
6. Madison Schools with Declining Enrollments
7. Other Business
There is no other business.
Doyle Administration Bldg
545 W. Dayton St.
Madison, WI 53703
The 2006 State Superintendent’s PK-16 Institute on Service-Learning and Citizenship, in conjunction with the Dialogues with Democracy Conference, will be held February 2, 2006 at the Marriott West in Madison. Julie Rodriguez Chavez, granddaughter of late civil rights and farm labor leader, Cesar Chavez, will deliver the keynote presentation.
Continue reading State Superintendent’s PK-16 Institute on Service-Learning and Citizenship
For a couple of years now, with the support of Madison Community Foundation, Sustain Dane, a local non-profit organization, has been organizing and facilitating community discussion groups. “Healthy Children, Healthy Planet” is the newest program and is just being launched.
The “Healthy Children, Healthy Planet” is a seven session program designed to create awareness, heighten motivation and support parents, families or anyone who is concerned about the lives of children, and help them understand the pressures and offer antidotes to creating healthy environments for children.
Continue reading Healthy Children, Healthy Planet
Students, mark your calendars!
The Simpson Street Free Press will be holding a city-wide “Beat the Achievement Gap” conference on February 25 at 2:00 p.m. At this conference, students will take the following pledge: “I will be an active role model for younger students. I will work to spread a positive message of engagement at my school and in my community. I will encourage academic success among my peers.”
For more information, see “The Gap According to Black: A Feature Column by Cydny Black” and the inspiring two-page spread entitled “Education: Bridging the Achievement Gap” in the January, 2006, issue of The Simpson Street Free Press. Additional information will soon be posted at www.simpsonstreetfreepress.org
Over the last year, several informal surveys taken throughout the district indicated a desire on the part of parents for information on drugs and alcohol. As a result, a three part series entitled STRAIGHT TALK has been designed for all district parents who want to learn more about these topics.
These forums will be of great benefit to the parents of ALL Madison school children, no matter their ages. The following statistics from the Partnership for a Drug Free America and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration are quite alarming and demonstrate the need for these events in the Madison area.
Continue reading Straight Talk: What Every Parent Needs to Know about Alcohol, Drugs, and Teens
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Coalition is inviting all local citizens to share in a brief ceremony commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the historic Montgomery Bus Boycott. The ceremony will be held on Monday, December 5, 2005 at 12 noon in the lobby of the Madison Municipal Building (215 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.). It will begin at noon with a brief program featuring comments by current civil rights leadership as well as Madison’s Mayor. Their words of reflection will be followed by a reenactment of Ms. Parks’ courageous stand on the bus some 50 years ago.
Continue reading Get Off the Bus: Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the life of Ms. Rosa Parks
While viewing the MMSD web site I came across some data called District data profile that suprised me, and answered some of my questions concerning low income disparity. While sitting on the task force, I have been bothered by the districts solution for dealing with high numbers of low income students by rearranging school boundaries and/or paring schools, and wondered if you really solved the disparity issue or if you shifted the issue to another school or something that would have to be solved at another time.
Madison school district low income percentages per www.mmsd.org 1991 – 2005.
|East High 2005 – 2010 Elementary Projections (click to view a larger version)
||Memorial/West 2005 – 2010 Elementary Projections (click to view a larger version)
In 13 years, 1992 to 2005, MMSD low income percentage has gone from 24.6% to 42%.
- Has the definition of low income changed during this time period?
- Has the community as a whole really changed this much in 13 years?
As a community member that hears and believes there is no low income housing, where do these people live if 42% of our community is now low income?
- We have lost 1000 elementary students in the same time period and doubled our minority students. Is this a wave of low births or are we losing students?
Middle School totals
- In 1991 there were 4776 students with a 20.3% low income.
- In 2005 there are 5297 students with a 38.6% low income.
High School totals
- In 1991 there were 6435 students with a 12% low income.
- In 2005 there are 8429 students with a 28% low income.
The question about pairing two schools and whether it improves low income percentage numbers over time was also in the data.
- Lincoln in 1991 was at 51% low income, 1997 59%, and 2005 69%.
- Midvale in 1991 was 42% low income, and 2005 it is at 64%.
It does not seem to have improved the high percentage of low income numbers.
Erin Weiss and Gina Hodgson (Thoreau PTO) engage in some impressive grassroots work:
November 28, 2005
Dear Thoreau Families, Staff, Teachers and Friends,
Now is the time for you to get involved in the MMSD redistricting process! This Thursday, December 1 at 6:30pm, a Public Forum will be held at Cherokee Middle School. This forum is being sponsored by the Board of Education in conjunction with the District’s Long Range Planning Committee and Redistricting Task Force. Please come to this forum to hear about the progress of the Redistricting Task Force, but more importantly, to share your opinions and ideas.
On the following pages is a brief description of the current Task Force ideas (as of November 28). Please bear with us if all the information presented below is not completely accurate. These ideas are changing rapidly and we are doing our best to summarize them for you with the information that is currently available. Please know that Al Parker, our Thoreau Task Force Representative, has been working hard for Thoreau school at Task Force meetings. He is a strong supporter of our school as it exists today.
Continue reading Thoreau Boundary Change Grassroots Work
University of Wisconsin School of Education:
Sessions each Saturday are 9:30 am – 12:00 pm; 12:30 pm – 3:00 pm, or 9:30 am – 3:00 pm. Students may participate in either a half day or full day experience. Students who choose to participate in a full day session should bring a sack lunch.
Rafael Gomez and volunteers from this site are hosting a Forum on Nutrition Wednesday evening, November 30, 2005 from 7 to 8p.m. at the McDaniels Auditorium [Map]. The event will discuss the following questions:
- Should schools serve lunch?
- What kind of food would be best to serve?
- How do students feel about their lunch at school?
- If the public feels strongly about improving what is being served in their school, how could they raise the profile of this issue?
I believe a relevant and challenging curriculum is the #1 priority for any educational organization. There have been a number of questions raised over the years regarding the Madison School District’s curriculum, including Math, English and Fine Arts and the recent controversial changes at Sherman Middle School (more details in Kathy Esposito’s recent Isthmus article).
The District is currently conducting a Middle School Curriculum Review, lead by Assistant Superintendent Pam Nash (Formerly Principal of Memorial High School). Pam lead a Parent Forum Thursday evening, which I attended (one of about 28 participants). (7MB video clip of Pam kicking off the Forum). The goal of this event was to collect feedback from parents regarding these five questions (pdf version):
- The school district is continually working to build more rigor into the learning experiences that students have. Rigor is defined as commitment to a core subject matter knowledge, a high demand for thinking, and an active use of knowledge. When you think of a rigorous academic curriculum in the middle school, what would it look like?
- What experiences do you want your child to have in middle school to enhance his or her social and emotional growth?
- What are your hopes and dreams for your child in middle school?
- What are your greatest concerns for your child in middle school?
- If you could design Madison middle schools in any way you wanted, what would they be like?
Pam mentioned that the parent comments would be posted on the district’s website, hopefully next week. She also said that the district would post these questions online, in an interactive way so that parents who were unable to attend Thursday’s event might add their comments.
My notes follow:
- Superintendent Art Rainwater wants the middle school curriculum task force to report back to him by mid December (2005).
- The task force “design teams” recently broke up into “work teams”.
- Recommendations will affect middle school allocations.
- I asked Pam when this process began. She said it started one month ago.
- Pam mentioned that they hope to pull the parent group together one more time, in December.
I was initially displeased that the group of 28 participants was broken up (I was interested in hearing all of the conversations). However, I thought that the format was rather effective in obtaining comments from all participants (at least those in my group). Kudos to Pam for collecting a good deal of information.
I spoke briefly with Pam when the event concluded. I mentioned that it appears to me, a layman, that it would be challenging to implement major changes via a two month task force. However, incremental changes occuring via the allocations are certainly possible (for better or worse).
I heard many useful suggestions on these questions and will point to them when available on the District’s website.
Learn more about the “Middle Grades Design Team” via this Board presentation (800K PDF file) Email your comments on this initiative to the Madison School Board: email@example.com
David Weinberger on the Irving School District’s 1 to 1 Laptop Implementation:
Darrell Lynn of Apple, a sponsor of the event, introduces Angus King, former two-term, independent governor of Maine. King appears via his $129 iSite. He talks about the insights that guided him to the laptop policy.
First, he has no idea what the economy of the US and of Maine will be in ten years. But, he says he does know that whatever happens will require more education and a higher level of comfort with technology.
Second, every governor chases quality jobs for their state. “You don’t get ahead by keeping up.”
Third, everything governments do is incremental. Baby steps, not real change. In 1999, Maine had a surplus. So, King thought about how it could be used to bring change.
In 1996, he had lunch with Seymour Papert who told him that reducing the ratio of students to computers wouldn’t matter until the ratio is 1:1.
So, Maine started by giving laptops to every kid in grades 7-8. King thought this would be well received, but it wasn’t. He blurted out, in response to a question, that the computers would belong to the students, not the school. He says, “I got the living xxxx kicked out of me.” [xxxx Barrier transgressed at 9:15am…and by a former governor!] The emails to his officce were 10:1 against. He persevered. (PS: The schools own the laptops.)
At some point, textbooks will be gone. I do generally like this sort of thing and perhaps it’s fundamental to addressing some of the challenges Kathy Esposito noted in her excellent article on Madison’s middle school curriculum. There’s no doubt that for someone who knows how to use a computer effectively, the amount of information one can learn and use is simply extraordinary. My youngest found a very well done learning spanish podcast on itunes just the other day – free and simply delightful!!!
A PUBLIC FORUM will be held to update the community on plans to address overcrowding in the West-Memorial attendance area. Come to learn about options being considered AND to share your input!!
When: 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Where: Leopold Elementary school [Map]
Sponsors: Thoreau, Leopold, and Cherokee
In his September 8, 2005, op-ed piece in the New York Times, Katrina’s Silver Lining, conservative columnist David Brooks writes that rebuilding New Orleans presents a clean slate, an opportunity to culturally integrate the city rather than have large pockets of poverty – like the Gautreaux program:
“The most famous example of cultural integration is the Gautreaux program, in which poor families from Chicago were given the chance to move into suburban middle-class areas. The adults in these families did only slightly better than the adults left behind, but the children in the relocated families did much better.
These kids suddenly found themselves surrounded by peers who expected to graduate from high school and go to college. After the shock of adapting to the more demanding suburban schools, they were more likely to go to college, too.”
Do Madison’s schools present an environment of high expectations for all our children? Will this continue over time? Or, will suburban schools become a magnet for parents in this area? I’d be interested in people’s thoughts via the blog.
The 100 Black Men of Madison Annual Back To School Picnic will be held on Saturday August 27th from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Demetral Park on Commercial and Packers Ave. This event will be held rain or shine. Now in its ninth year, this event will distribute 1,800 backpacks filled with much needed school supplies for “at-risk” elementary and middle school students.
Continue reading 100 Black Men of Madison Back to School Picnic on Saturday 8/27
Kristian Knutsen covers Johnny Winston, Jr.’s Streetball & Block Party over at the Daily Page. More about the Streetball & Block Party. Kristian steps it up by including some mp3 audio clips of his chat with Johnny.
After Governor Doyle signs the $54 billion State Budget for the next two years, First Lady Jessica Doyle will talk with kids about the education investments Governor Doyle made at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, July 25, 2005 at the Janesville Boys and Girls Club. Later in the day, at 3:00 p.m., the First Lady will visit the Merrill Community Center in Beloit and discuss the State Budget with kids there.
1:30 p.m. Janesville Boys and Girls Club, [map]
200 West Court Street, Janesville.
3:00 p.m. Merrill Community Center, [map]
1428 Wisconsin Avenue, Beloit.
Contact: Megan Perkins, Office of the First Lady, 608-266-7116
100 Black Men of Madison seeks individual golfers/foursomes for it’s 5th Annual Golf Outing on Monday July 25th at Cherokee Country Club.
Continue reading 100 Black Men of Madison Golf Outing
The Johnny Winston, Jr. 2005 Streetball and Block Party will be held on Saturday August 13th from 12 noon to 7:00 p.m. at Penn Park (South Madison – Corner of Fisher and Buick Street). Last year this event raised the funds necessary to keep the MMSD varsity reserve football and boys and girls basketball program operational.
Continue reading Johnny Winston, Jr. Annual Streetball & Block Party
Then and now…
The case of the changing summers
A comparison of father’s, son’s vacations
By PETE KENNEDY
May 26, 2005
We all know times have changed. But a look at my son’s summer versus the
same period when I was a kid shows how much.
Here are a few examples of how James, 14, will spend the next few months,
compared with how I spent the summers when I was his age (and maybe a few
Son: Be at basketball at 7:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday.
Me: Get up when I wake up, or a neighbor comes over and rouses me out of
bed, or my mother starts vacuuming.
Son: Play in soccer and basketball leagues in the evenings.
Continue reading Summer vacation
Jon Carroll on “Our Mothers, Ourselves“:
She learned to scuba dive. She was active in the League of Women Voters. When I was 28, she and my stepfather moved to Ethiopia. She worked for the World Health Organization, preparing educational materials that said, in essence, “Please do not defecate in the river.”
Cherokee Middle School Celebrated it’s 50th Anniversary Party Friday Night at CUNA. Check out the photos here.
Cherokee is having an open house this morning from 9:30 to noon. [map]
Mary Marcus forwarded this event notification: Tuesday, April 12, 2005 / 6:30 to 7:30p.m. @ Thoreau School PTO Meeting (Map & Driving Directions)
Guest Speakers Bill Keys and Arlene Silveria from Madison C.A.R.E.S. (Citizens Acting Responsibly for Every Student).
Madison CARES (Citizens Acting Responsibly for Every Student) is an organization of citizens who are concerned about the future of the public schools and have come together in support on the 3 referenda that will be on the ballot in the Madison Metropolitan School District on 5/24. At the meeting, we will provide you with information on the 3 referenda questions and how they may affect your school. We will also introduce you to our organization. There will be time for questions and answers.
Madison C.A.R.E.S. background information
is mobilizing neighbor-to-neighbor education, grassroots visibility, and volunteer energy. We’re working from community to community, and neighborhood to neighborhood. We also will communicate through Madison-area media, the World Wide Web, and printed literature.
The link above includes an introduction along with several documents. I’ll post additional links as they become available.
MAFAAC and MPE sponsored a Madison School Board Candidate Diversity Forum Saturday, March 12, 2005 at Edgewood College. Statements, Questions and Video Clips Follow:
Continue reading Madison School Board Candidate Diversity Forum
New Yorker writer and author (Blink & Tipping Point) Malcolm Gladwell spoke recently at the UW. He had two comments on education:
- Students should wear uniforms
- Math should be taught to each gender separately.
Video/audio clip and links here The clip is great as he provides a very useful example of inadvertent (or maybe not) gender bias.
Our calendar is a useful place to checkout local education related events. There are several worthwhile events over the next few weeks (send yours in by clicking on the “Ideas” link at the top of our home page. We’ll post it).
- School Board Candidate Diversity Forum (MAFAAC) 3/12/2005 @ Edgewood. 5:00p.m. Maps, links and information here.
- Gregg Underheim, candidate for Wisconsin State DPI Superintendent is holding a Public Forum at the Lakeview Branch of the Madison Public Library Wednesday March 9th at 6:00p.m. [Maps & Driving Directions] note: we’ll of course post events for Underheim’s opponent, incumbent Libby Burmaster as well
- Arlene Silveira emails that several westside PTO’s are sponsoring a Madison Schools Candidate Forum on Wednesday, March 16, 2005 at Cherokee Middle School [Map & Driving Directions] from 7 to 8:30p.m. [pdf flyer]
Jeff Mayers forwarded this event information (calendar) [Candidate information]:
Top two DPI candidates from the 2/15/2005 primary election.
February 17, 11:45 a.m., the Madison Club, Wilson Street, Madison
Join us to hear Jeff Mayers and the candidates discuss the state of
education and the race.
Cost is $15 for Madison Club members and $19 for non-members. Call Loretta to RSVP at the Madison Club, 608-255-4861.
The event is co-sponsored by WHD Government Affairs and Sonic Foundry.
www.schoolinfosystem.org is hosting a Wisconsin DPI Candidate Forum tomorrow morning at 10:00a.m. at the Madison Senior Center. Three of the four candidates: Todd Stelzel, Gregg Underheim and Paul Yvarra have confirmed.
This is the ONLY Madison opportunity you’ll apparently have to meet the candidates before the February primary.
When: January 29, 2005 10:00a.m. (9:30 if you want to chat with the media folks)
Madison Senior Center, 2nd Floor
330 W Mifflin St
Madison, WI 53703
(608) 266 6581
[Map/Directions]. There’s quite a bit of parking around this facility, just behind the new Overture Center.
Please note that the Winter Farmer’s market is on the first floor of the Madison Senior Center, so bring your shopping bag.
Notes, photos audio and video files will be posted here after the event. I’ll post additional media links as they are available.
The Madison School Board’s Long Range Planning Committee is holding a public hearing on the proposed maintenance referendum (one of potentially 3 referendums this spring) Wednesday night, January 19, 2005 @ 6:00p.m. at the Doyle Administration Building, McDaniels Auditorium.
I’ve emailed the MMSD TV folks to see if they are broadcasting this event, but have not heard back from them. I will post broadcast information here upon receipt.
Madison Metropolitan School District
545 West Dayton Street
Madison WI 53703-1995 [Map]
MP3 audio file (22 minutes, 3.8MB) of Ruth Robarts & Don Severson’s recent appearance on local AM radio station wiba.
Johnny Winston, Jr. forwarded this event announcement:
Please mark your calendar! On Saturday, February 26, 2005 at the Edgewater Hotel at 666 Wisconsin Avenue in Downtown Madison, The Sable Flames, Inc. will present its Twelfth Annual �Second Alarm Scholarship Benefit� at 8:00 p.m. until 1 a.m.
Continue reading The Sable Flames: Second Alarm Scholarship Benefit
Johnny Winston, Jr. forwarded this announcement from Ken Syke:
School Makes A Difference is a career exploration and planning activity for Madison 8th grade students. It is an opportunity for students to hear adults tell about their career journey and to ask questions and have a brief dialogue with the presenters.
Sign up with this excel file and email it to Ken Syke (ksyke at madison.k12.wi.us)
Continue reading Speakers Needed for Schools Make a Difference
According to Valencia Douglas’ secretary “two meetings will be held
regarding selection of East Principal. They are:
1/12/05 at Kennedy Heights Neighborhood Center
1/19/05 at Vera Court Center
both start at 6:30 p.m.
Also, Art Rainwater is conducting a meeting on 1/18 at 7:00 p.m. at the Warner Park Community Center.”
Jeffrey Spitzer-Resnick sent notice of a Dane County School Funding forum, to be held January 12th, 2005 from 7-9p.m. at the Monona Grove High School [Map]. 92K 1 Page PDF Flyer. Link to the excellent schools site
Madison Area Family Advisory/Advocacy Coalition presents:
Saturday December 11, 2004
The Bahai Center
324 W. Lakeside Street, across from Franklin School
Join us as we explore
What needs improving
Who is welcome in our public schools
Who feels unwelcome
What rights do parents and district citizens have in our schools
How can parents of students of color influence the CLIMATE and LEARNING environment
What can you do if you are treated poorly at a school
When should parents seek outside help
How can parents and ordinary citizens of color share in decision making
How to organize parents at your school
Parents and district residents are invited to attend this meeting. The emphasis is on making schools a more welcoming place for adults and students of color.
Co-sponsored by MEP (Money, Education, Prisons Taskforce)
And UW-MAFAAC chapter
For more information call 836-0616 or visit the MAFAAC Web site.
The Madison School Board Performance & Achievement Committee met monday night, to discuss “Research-Base Underlying MMSD Mathematics Curriculum & Instruction” Here are some video clips from the meeting:
David Bernhardt sent along information on Clyde Hertzman: Professor of Health Care and Epidemiology Director, Human Early Learning Partnership Co-Editor, Developmental Health and the Wealth of Nations University of British Columbia presentation November 18, 2004 @ The Waisman Conference Center (North Tower, 2nd Floor): 3:30 to 4:30p.m. Directions
Questions: contact Jane Lambert 608 265 4592 or jflamber at wisc dot edu
PDF announcement document (8.5 x 11)
Norm and Dolores Mishelow gave an informative presentation Sunday on their successful Milwaukee Barton School and 27th Street school reading programs. Background
3.7MB MP3 – ideal for your MP3 Player/iPod | Quicktime Video
Transcripts to Follow. DVD copy is also available – email me if you’d like one: zellmer at mailbag dot com
In a related matter, Madison School Board Member Carol Carstensen writes in the Wisconsin State Journal in support of the District’s recent rejection of $2m in Federal Reading First money (click below).
Continue reading Norm and Dolores Mishelow Presentation on Milwaukee’s Successful Reading Program
Click on these links to view video clips from Wednesday’s event:
Finally, here’s a 4MB MP3 audio file of the event.
Meg Kissinger & Mark Johnson:
He pilloried the media.
Cosby, who was criticized for comments last spring by some who thought he was too harsh on young African-Americans, saved much of his venom for the media. Looking at the scores of reporters in the crowd, he said:
“They won’t show up again until you kill somebody. They don’t show up and write about you until your test scores are so damn low and they can prove that you’re not smart. They don’t care about you.
“We are letting TV sets raise our children,” he said. “A transformation has to take place.
Eugene Kane summarizes the visit here. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Editorial
MP3 Audio File
Barbara Hummel [bhummel at chorus.net]:
Courage to Teach, an important local effort to renew and support educators in Madison and Dane County, is holding a fall dinner fund-raiser Wednesday, October 27 at CUNA Mutual.
Courage to Teach (CTT) is an innovative program that has brought remarkable renewal to public educators in nearly 50 communities across the United States and Canada. Over the past two years, Bonnie Trudell and I have had the privilege of facilitating a local CTT group for 20 educators, thanks to the generous support of CUNA Mutual Group Foundation, the Foundation for Madison Public Schools, and many other businesses and individuals. The teachers who participate make a commitment of $500 themselves, in addition to giving 5 week-ends of their time over the year and a half program.
The impact of CTT on local educators was significant, as documented in the attached excerpt from the final report to CUNA Mutual Group Foundation. Participants reported steady and impressive improvements in all of the following areas:
- Amount of time spent in focused reflection of their teaching practice;
- Quality of connections with students and classroom practices;
- Strength of collegial relationships at their school sites; and
- Commitment to their educational practice.
Needless to say, we’re excited about the promise this holds for sustaining teachers in the essential task of preparing our children to become vibrant, informed future citizens and leaders of our community.
Via Bill Steinberg. Additional information: CTT 99K PDF Brochure Teacher Retention 83K PDF 02/04 Results Report to CUNA 110K PDF
Georgia Pabst on Bill Cosby’s visit to Milwaukee North on October 20, 2004 (6 to 9p.m.); 1101 W. Center St.
The gathering was announced Friday by Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who worked with the Metropolitan Milwaukee Alliance of Black School Educators and the Wisconsin Black Media Association to bring about the Cosby appearance.
Barrett said he hoped the discussion would deal with the importance of education and how the community can tackle and develop solutions to educational disparities and other challenges.
Cosby first raised a national storm in May during a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court decision declaring an end to school segregation. He decried the lack of emphasis on education in the black community and challenged parents to greater accountability. Though he earned rebukes from some commentators, others praised him for speaking out.
Debra Dickerson covers Cosby…
Rafael Gomez sent me an email regarding Dr. Paul Yvarra’s dinner presentation at La Hacienda [map] next Thursday evening [9.23.2004 @ 6:00p.m.]. Yvarra is evidently planning to run for State Superintendant of DPI:
He is currently a professor in the deparment of school administration at Whitewater Univ. He is an ex-school board member at Whitewater school dist. And, he has been active on teacher training. He is running for school choice.
With this said, a dinner presentation is scheduled at La Hacienda from 6p.m to 7:30p.m. Sept. 23. There is a $10.00 donation. Please contact me at 277 83 42 if you have an interest to attend. Thank you for your attention to my note. Rafael Gomez
On July 12, the Madison Board of Education will review proposals from Superintendent Rainwater that may mean the end of a long and successful collaboration between the district, the City of Madison and private child care providers to ensure quality after-school child care for elementary students. Apparently the superintendent plans to argue that MMSD can do a better job and can afford to expand into the after-school care business.
Continue reading After School Child Care in Madison: Why the Madison Schools Should Continue Community Partnerships
A strongly substantiated rumor has it the Ed Holmes, the current principal of Wright Middle School, is all but certain to be selected as the next principal of West High School. People who are more informed and more involved at West than I am believe that Mr. Holmes would be a very bad match for West High.
Continue reading West High Principal Search
7:00p.m. Commodore Room @ the Radisson Hotel (Odana & Grand Canyon)
Active Citizens for Education (ACE) is seeking grass roots input from interested parents, teachers and others regarding the current effectiveness and future direction of MMSD curriculum, instruction, programs, services, leadership and operations. ACE believes theinformation, experiences and suggestions from those people who are living and working on a day-to-day basis with the school system are in the best position to assist indeveloping direction and strategies for future change and development. Ace is sensitive to the concerns people have for exposure of their concerns and ideas to others andpledges to honor the confidentiality of those sensitivities. ACE needs help in formulating processes that can have an impact on the school system for improved effectiveness and performance.
More Information 82K PDF
Attention: Parents and Teachers of Adolescents
Join the Cherokee PTO and Dr. Hugh Johnston, Clinical Associate Professor of Child Psychiatry, UW Medical School & Department of Educational Psychology for a Question and Answer session on Adolescence and Depression Tuesday, May 18th (formerly May 12th) 7-8:30 pm Cherokee Heights Middle School LMC 4301 Cherokee Drive
Dr. Johnston will give a brief overview of Teen depression and the antidepressant medication controversy. The remainder of the evening will be devoted to an informal question/answer discussion.
Dr. Johnston is a child psychiatrist, on the clinical faculty of the UW Psychiatry Department and co-director of the Child Psychopharmacology Information Service. In addition to his educational and research endeavors, he volunteers as the medical consultant and board president for the Rainbow Project, Inc., a non-profit mental health clinic that serves young children and families challenged by a variety of mental health issues including abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, and domestic violence.
In lieu of a speaker�s fee, Dr. Johnston asks attendees to consider a donation to the Rainbow Project.
Barb Schrank published a Strings Call to Action last week. This evening, many parents and children attended, demonstrated and performed at a School Board Meeting.
2004 DIRECT INSTRUCTION TRAINING AND CONFERENCE
August 9-10, 2004
Edgewood College Campus
- Direct Instruction Training for both Beginning and Advanced
- Sessions Specially Designed for Deaf/Hard of Hearing Teachers
- College Credit Available
- Great New Location
Sara Tarver, Ph.D., Professor, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Issues and Debates about Direct Instruction
Terry Dodds, Author of the new High-Performance Writing Program
Tonja Gallagher, M.S., Doctoral Student and Teaching Assistant, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Jane Jung , Ph.D., Second Grade Teacher, Lapham School, Madison,WI
Dolores Mishelow, former principal in Milwaukee, WI
Norm Mishelow, principal of Barton School in Milwaukee, U.S. Dept. of Ed. Blue Ribbon Award Winner
Beverly Trezek, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison
Chris Uelmen, M.S., Curriculum Coordinator, Core Knowledge Charter School, Verona, WI
Continue reading Reading Instruction Workshop