Wisconsin DPI: Cracking Down on SAGE Class Size Waivers

Amy Hetzner: The state Department of Public Instruction gave wide leeway last year to a school district seeking to avoid the strictures of Wisconsin’s class-size reduction program, even as the DPI rolled out its plan to clamp down on such exceptions. The Chippewa Falls School District was allowed to hold classes with one-third more students … Continue reading Wisconsin DPI: Cracking Down on SAGE Class Size Waivers

Madison School Board Should “Learn from Fiasco”

Wisconsin State Journal Editorial: After the Greek King Pyrrhus defeated the Romans in 279 B.C., he cut his celebration short. Pyrrhus realized that the battle had been more costly to his army than it had been to the Romans. His response went something like this: “One more such victory, and we are undone.” Those words … Continue reading Madison School Board Should “Learn from Fiasco”

In Low-Income Schools, Parents Want Teachers Who Teach: In affluent schools, other things matter

Brian Jacob & Lars Lefgren: Recent government education policies seem to assume that academic achievement as measured by test scores is the primary objective of public education. A prime example is the federal No Child Left Behind law, which requires schools to bring all of their students to “proficient” levels on math and reading tests … Continue reading In Low-Income Schools, Parents Want Teachers Who Teach: In affluent schools, other things matter

Madison School Board “Kowtows to Complainers”

Susan Lampert Smith: So kids, what did we learn from the Madison School Board’s decision Monday to reverse itself and not consolidate the half-empty Marquette and Lapham elementary schools? We learned that no doesn’t really mean no. We learned that, oops, maybe there is money after all. And most importantly, we learned that whoever yells … Continue reading Madison School Board “Kowtows to Complainers”

Madison School Board to Reconsider Marquette / Lapham Consolidation

Deborah Ziff: The Madison School Board may reverse its decision to consolidate Lapham and Marquette elementary schools after a neighborhood group mobilized in opposition to the budget cut. The board is nearing the five votes needed to overturn its decision. Four of the seven board members — Carol Carstensen, Beth Moss, Johnny Winston Jr. and … Continue reading Madison School Board to Reconsider Marquette / Lapham Consolidation

Critics pack meeting on unpopular school decisions

Susan Troller: Although the Madison School Board so far has held its ground on a host of unpopular decisions, it may be approaching a tipping point, at least on the issue of school consolidation. The School Board’s meeting was a multi-ring circus Monday night as a capacity crowd presented a collective howl of anguish about … Continue reading Critics pack meeting on unpopular school decisions

Letter to School Board Members & a Meeting with Enis Ragland

Sue Arneson, Jason Delborne, Katie Griffiths, Anita Krasno, Dea Larsen Converse, Diane Milligan, Sich Slone, Grant Sovern, Lara Sutherlin: Dear School Board Members: A group of neighbors from the Marquette and Tenney-Lapham communities met this morning with Enis Ragland, Assistant to the Mayor. While we didn’t claim to represent any organizations, many of us have … Continue reading Letter to School Board Members & a Meeting with Enis Ragland

Board members explain votes to close schools

Susan Troller: When newly elected Madison School Board members Maya Cole and Beth Moss went into Monday night’s crucial budget meeting, both intended to vote against closing schools, consistent with their campaign promises. But by the time the seven-member board patched together the various cuts, additions and compromises necessary to restore some programs and services … Continue reading Board members explain votes to close schools

Gates Foundation Hires Portland Superintendent Vicki Phillips

Gates Foundation: Today, more than one million students fail to finish high school, including half of African American and Hispanic students. Of those who do graduate, only half have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed. Over the last seven years, the foundation has made significant investments to reverse these startling statistics. In her … Continue reading Gates Foundation Hires Portland Superintendent Vicki Phillips

Some interesting insight into another district’s budgeting process, knowledge, and challenges.

Shane Samuels: There are those who like to work with numbers, and then there are those who figure school budgets. They’re not necessarily the same person. School finance consists of a labyrinth of property values, student enrollment totals, federal aid, and state aid. Only two people in Chetek claim to understand the funding formula from … Continue reading Some interesting insight into another district’s budgeting process, knowledge, and challenges.

A K-12 View from 35,000 Feet

I happened to sit next to the Curriculum Coordinator (20+ years in that District) for a large, growing US School District recently ( north of 100,000 students). I found some of the comments interesting: They cycle through superintendents every 2 to 3 years. The Supers are paid $300K+ with “lots of benefits”. The new super … Continue reading A K-12 View from 35,000 Feet

Taking Middle Schoolers Out of the Middle

Elissa Gootman: The two schools, in disparate corners of the nation’s largest school system, are part of a national effort to rethink middle school, driven by increasingly well-documented slumps in learning among early adolescents as well as middle school crime rates and stubborn high school dropout rates. The schools share the premise that the way … Continue reading Taking Middle Schoolers Out of the Middle

NYC Mayor Moves to Give Principals More Autonomy

Diane Cardwell: Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg laid out ambitious new plans yesterday to overhaul the school system by giving principals more power and autonomy, requiring teachers to undergo rigorous review in order to gain tenure and revising the school financing system that has allowed more-experienced teachers to cluster in affluent areas. The plan, which would … Continue reading NYC Mayor Moves to Give Principals More Autonomy

2007 – 2008 Madison School District Budget Discussions Underway

Watch Monday evening’s school board discussion [Video | Download] of the upcoming larger than usual reductions in revenue cap limited increases in the District’s 2007 – 2008 budget (they are larger than normal due to the recently disclosed 7 year structural budget deficit). The 2006 / 2007 budget is $333M+ (it was $245M in 98/99 … Continue reading 2007 – 2008 Madison School District Budget Discussions Underway

On Wisconsin’s Learning Gap

Alan Borsuk: The education achievement gaps between African-American and white children in Wisconsin remain among the worst in the United States, according to an analysis released Wednesday by an influential education group. To a degree that’s good news. That’s better than in 2004, when a similar analysis by the Journal Sentinel showed the proficiency gaps … Continue reading On Wisconsin’s Learning Gap

Free tuition for vow to stay?

Scott Williams: Considering recommending free tuition for all students who agree to remain in the Dairy State after getting their degrees, reversing an exodus of college graduates and potentially transforming the state’s economy. The commission will gather in Madison on Tuesday to discuss including the idea in a package of recommended reforms geared primarily toward … Continue reading Free tuition for vow to stay?

Wisconsin Math, reading proficiency are much higher on state exams than on federal

Amy Hetzner: Wisconsin students continue to fare far better on the state’s standardized tests than they do on those given by the federal government, according to a new analysis that raises questions about what it means to be “proficient.” About 70% to 85% of Wisconsin students were considered proficient or better on the state’s reading … Continue reading Wisconsin Math, reading proficiency are much higher on state exams than on federal

More on the Kalamazoo Promise: College for Free

The Kalamazoo Promise program has drawn 985 students to their K-12 system. Jamaal Abdul-Alim recently visited the city to learn more: The program is as much a social experiment aimed at leveling the playing field of access to higher learning as it is an economic development initiative meant to generate school revenue, boost the economy … Continue reading More on the Kalamazoo Promise: College for Free

A Few More 11/7/2006 Referendum Links

Support Smart Management: Wisconsin State Journal Editorial Board: Taxpayers in the Madison School District should demand that the School Board be smarter about managing the district’s money and resources. On Tuesday’s ballot is a school referendum containing three smart proposals. That’s why the referendum deserves voters’ support. More important than the referendum, however, is what … Continue reading A Few More 11/7/2006 Referendum Links

Poor Management Compels “No” Vote

After being decisively defeated in two spending referendums last year, the administration and a majority of the Madison School Board haven’t learned that the voters are sick and tired of runaway spending and poor management. In a demonstration of true arrogance, after being told in May 2005 that flat enrollment did not justify a new … Continue reading Poor Management Compels “No” Vote

If Chartering is the Answer, What was the Question?

Ted Kolderie and Joe Graba, charter school leaders at Education/Evolving urge legislators to expand Wisconsin’s charter school law: “The Importance of Innovation in Chartering” Remarks to the Legislative Study Committee on Charter Schools By Ted Kolderie and Joe Graba, Education/Evolving October 17, 2006 TED KOLDERIE Let me try to set the context for the Legislature’s … Continue reading If Chartering is the Answer, What was the Question?

A New School on Madison’s Far West Side: A Long Term Perspective

On November 7, Madison area residents will be asked to vote on a referendum concerning our local schools. While the referendum has three parts, this paper will focus on the first part – the construction of a new school on the far west side, representing over 75% of the total cost of the referendum. This … Continue reading A New School on Madison’s Far West Side: A Long Term Perspective

The Education Issue

Michael Grunwald: To some extent, the controversy over Reading First reflects an older controversy over reading, pitting “phonics” advocates such as Doherty against “whole language” practitioners such as Johnson. The administration believes in phonics, which emphasizes repetitive drills that teach children to sound out words. Johnson and other phonics skeptics try to teach the meaning … Continue reading The Education Issue

Dissecting the Dollars: MMSD Referendum Nears

WKOW-TV: The five-minute video, available on MMSD’s Web site, explains why there is a referendum, and how a yes-vote impacts taxpayers’ wallets. Board member Carol Carstensen said it’s intended to be shown at various meetings. “In parent groups, neighborhood groups, service organizations, anyone who wants to find out the facts about the referendum question,” she … Continue reading Dissecting the Dollars: MMSD Referendum Nears

Research: School diversity may ease racial prejudice

A small study and I confess I haven’t looked at the study itself, but a reminder that some important aspects of education aren’t measured by standardized tests. TJM Research: School diversity may ease racial prejudice More bias seen in kids in mostly white setting By Shankar Vedantam The Washington Post Published September 19, 2006 White … Continue reading Research: School diversity may ease racial prejudice

Fordham Foundation: Wisconsin DPI Academic Standards = D-

Alan Borsuk: It’s the fourth time in three months that a national study has accused state officials of shirking their responsibilities, particularly to minority students and those from low-income homes. Two national education reformers said Monday that Department of Public Instruction officials have misled citizens about their work to improve the quality of education in … Continue reading Fordham Foundation: Wisconsin DPI Academic Standards = D-

Improving School Food

Lisa Belkin: By any health measure, today’s children are in crisis. Seventeen percent of American children are overweight, and increasing numbers of children are developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol and Type 2 diabetes, which, until a few years ago, was a condition seen almost only in adults. The obesity rate of adolescents has tripled … Continue reading Improving School Food

High School Rigor: Iowa AP Index and a Michigan School Board Member

The University of Iowa: Every May a large number of high school students across America take AP exams. In May 2005 over 1.2 million high school students took over 2.1 million AP exams. AP allows students to pursue college-level studies while still in high school. Over 3000 colleges accept AP exam scores for either college … Continue reading High School Rigor: Iowa AP Index and a Michigan School Board Member

Education Spending and Changing Revenue Sources

Sonya Hoo, Sheila Murray, Kim Rueben: Real per capita school spending increased by about 50 percent between 1972 and 2002. Spending levels fell in the late 1970s and early 1980s, reflecting declines in student populations and funding that grew more slowly than inflation. However, those real declines were reversed by the mid-1980s. Although school districts … Continue reading Education Spending and Changing Revenue Sources

Milwaukee Schools Increase Low Performing School Curriculum Oversight

Alan Borsuk: Andrekopoulos said in his speech that from about 1988 through 2000, the leadership of MPS made it a priority to decentralize control of the district, allowing many schools to operate more independently and choose approaches to education. Some schools flourished as a result, but many did not, he said, and the focus was … Continue reading Milwaukee Schools Increase Low Performing School Curriculum Oversight

Making the Grade: Madison High Schools & No Child Left Behind Requirements

Susan Troller: Don’t assume that a school is bad just because it’s not making adequate yearly progress under the federal No Child Left Behind law. That comment came today from Madison School Board member Lucy Mathiak, whose children attend or have attended East High School. East and three other Madison public high schools were cited … Continue reading Making the Grade: Madison High Schools & No Child Left Behind Requirements

More on “How States (WI is #1) Inflate Their Progress Under No Child Left Behind”

Alan Borsuk takes a look at and speaks with DPI’s Tony Evers on Kevin Carey’s report, emailed to this site on 5/20/2006 by a reader involved in these issues: In an interview, Carey said he agrees that Wisconsin generally is a high-performing state in educating students, “but I do not believe its performance is as … Continue reading More on “How States (WI is #1) Inflate Their Progress Under No Child Left Behind”

State Tightening SAGE class size compliance

State tightening class-size initiative Schools receiving funding must get formal waiver to exceed 15-1 ratio By AMY HETZNER, Milwaukee Journal- Sentinel ahetzner@journalsentinel.com Posted: May 31, 2006 In an effort to get a better handle on state money schools use to reduce class sizes, the state Department of Public Instruction plans to tighten its control over … Continue reading State Tightening SAGE class size compliance

Budget Forum Audio / Video

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 … Continue reading Budget Forum Audio / Video

INCLUSIVE EDUCATION AS A CIVIL RIGHTS ISSUE

A letter to the editor Dear Editor: We are dismayed that two of the candidates running for the Madison School Board, Lucy Mathiak and Maya Cole, would work toward reversing access for students by promoting ability-grouping and tracking. In fact, Cole called the district’s efforts to provide more heterogeneous classes that all students could access … Continue reading INCLUSIVE EDUCATION AS A CIVIL RIGHTS ISSUE

A Parent and Taxpayer Perspective on School Budgets

Rafael Gomez is hosting a Forum this Wednesday evening (3/29/2006) from 7 to 8:00p.m. at the McDaniels Auditorium [map and driving directions]. The topic is a A Parent and Taxpayer Perspective on School Budgets. Rafael’s guests on the panel include: Carol Carstensen, President Madison School board Peter Gascoyne, MMSD Parent Don Severson, President Active Citizens … Continue reading A Parent and Taxpayer Perspective on School Budgets

April 2004 West High School Math Teacher Letter

Susan Lochen, Madison West High School (co-signed by other West math teachers: Janice Cis, Keith Knowles, Carol Michalski, Jackie Hubbard, Daniel Boyland, Artie L. Orlik, Stephen Lang, Stephen Land, Tim Goldsworthy):

Moreover, parents of future West High students should take notice: As you read this, our department is under pressure from the administration and the math coordinator’s office to phase out our “accelerated” course offerings beginning next year. Rather than addressing the problems of equity and closing the gap by identifying minority math talent earlier, and fostering minority participation in the accelerated programs, our administration wants to take the cheaper way out by forcing all kids into a one-size-fits-all curriculum.
It seems the administration and our school board have re-defined “success” as merely producing “fewer failures.” Astonishingly, excellence in student achievement is visited by some school district administrators with apathy at best, and with contempt at worst. But, while raising low achievers is a laudable goal, it is woefully short-sighted and, ironically, racist in the most insidious way. Somehow, limiting opportunities for excellence has become the definition of providing equity! Could there be a greater insult to the minority community?

I’d forgotten (unfortunately) about this letter. School Board Seat 1 candidate Maya’s post below included a link to these words. The current school board majority has not addressed these critical questions….

Standards, Accountability, and School Reform

This is very long, and the link may require a password so I’ve posted the entire article on the continued page. TJM http://www.tcrecord.org/PrintContent.asp?ContentID=11566 Standards, Accountability, and School Reform by Linda Darling-Hammond — 2004 The standards-based reform movement has led to increased emphasis on tests, coupled with rewards and sanctions, as the basis for “accountability” systems. … Continue reading Standards, Accountability, and School Reform

Math Forum Audio / Video and Links

Video and audio from Wednesday’s Math Forum are now available [watch the 80 minute video] [mp3 audio file 1, file 2]. This rare event included the following participants: Dick Askey (UW Math Professor) Faye Hilgart, Madison Metropolitan School District Steffen Lempp (MMSD Parent and UW Math Professor) Linda McQuillen, Madison Metropolitan School District Gabriele Meyer … Continue reading Math Forum Audio / Video and Links

A Formula for Failure in L.A. Schools

This is from a recent article in the Los Angeles Times. I was alerted to it by the Daily Howler blog http://www.dailyhowler.com/. I mention this because that site has had some great education coverage lately and will soon be launching an all-education companion blog. http://www.latimes.com/news/education/la-me-dropout30jan30,0,3211437.story?coll=la-news-learning THE VANISHING CLASS A Formula for Failure in L.A. Schools … Continue reading A Formula for Failure in L.A. Schools

Teachers bar shift in health coverage

Madison’s teachers union said Friday it will not agree to reopen its contract with the School District to renegotiate health-care benefits, dashing hopes the district could find cheaper coverage. A joint committee of district and union representatives has been studying rising health- care costs, but both sides had to agree to reopen the 2005-07 contract … Continue reading Teachers bar shift in health coverage

Noted Educator Donna Ford is Coming to Wisconsin

Dr. Donna Ford, Vanderbilt University Professor and nationally known speaker on gifted education and multi cultural and urban education issues, will be visiting Wisconsin this March. In conjunction with the MMSD Parent Community Relations Department, Dr. Ford will be presenting a workshop for parents entitled “Promoting Achievement, Identity, and Pride in your Children” on March … Continue reading Noted Educator Donna Ford is Coming to Wisconsin

Gutknecht on “Swan Creek residents ask to join Oregon schools”

Kurt Gutknecht: Frustrated by continued uncertainty over where their children will attend school, residents of Swan Creek are asking to be transferred to the Oregon School District. The decision would reverse a 2003 decision that transferred Swan Creek to the Madison Metropolitan School District. Residents obtained signatures from 188 households on a petition asking the … Continue reading Gutknecht on “Swan Creek residents ask to join Oregon schools”

MMSD’s Enrollment & Capacity Picture: A Perspective

The Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) is facing a significant challenge – growth. As a result of that growth – which is not evenly distributed across the district’s region – some schools are facing, or will soon be facing, overcrowding. Other schools still continue to see languishing enrollment which calls into question the appropriate future … Continue reading MMSD’s Enrollment & Capacity Picture: A Perspective

Urban League Honors Outstanding Students

Nine local high school students were inducted into the National Achievers Society at Sunday’s 22nd annual Youth Recognition Breakfast. The society was started by the National Urban League and other civic groups to promote positive attitudes about academic achievement, school participation, and a committment to exceeding expectations. The inducted students include Tyrone Cratic of East, … Continue reading Urban League Honors Outstanding Students

Swan Creek Residents Organize to Stay at Leopold

Kurt Gutknecht, writing in the Fitchburg Star: Residents of Swan Creek have launched a spirited campaign against plans to bus students from the area to Midvale/Lincoln elementary schools. A few days after Christmas, 185 households signed a letter [500K PDF] opposing the plan, which a task force had proposed to address overcrowding at several schools … Continue reading Swan Creek Residents Organize to Stay at Leopold

Speaking up about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. & King Events in Madison

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 … Continue reading Speaking up about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. & King Events in Madison

“They’re all rich, white kids and they’ll do just fine” — NOT!

Two of the most popular — and most insidious — myths about academically gifted kids is that “they’re all rich, white kids” and that, no matter what they experience in school, “they’ll do just fine.” Even in our own district, however, the hard data do not support those assertions.
When the District analyzed dropout data for the five-year period between 1995 and 1999, they identified four student profiles. Of interest for the present purpose is the group identified as high achieving. Here are the data from the MMSD Research and Evaluation Report from May, 2000:
Group 1: High Achiever, Short Tenure, Behaved
This group comprises 27% of all dropouts during this five-year period.
Characteristics of this group:

  • Grade 5 math scores – 84.2 percentile
  • Male – 55%
  • Low income – 53%
  • Minority – 42%
  • African American – 31%
  • Hispanic – 6%
  • Asian – 5%

West HS English 9 and 10: Show us the data!

Here is a synopsis of the English 10 situation at West HS. Currently — having failed to receive any reply from BOE Performance and Achievement Committee Chair Shwaw Vang to our request that he investigate this matter and provide an opportunity for public discussion — we are trying to get BOE President Carol Carstensen to … Continue reading West HS English 9 and 10: Show us the data!

Letter to Performance and Achievement Committee

The following letter was hand delivered to Shwaw Vang a week ago, and email copies were sent to the Board, Superintendent Rainwater, and Assistant Superintendent Pam Nash. There so far has been no response. A follow up email was sent yesterday to the Performance and Achievement Committee again asking that they look into why the … Continue reading Letter to Performance and Achievement Committee

Evaluation of the SLC Project at West High School

Here is the full text of SLC Evaluator Bruce King’s recent report on the plan to implement a common English 10 course at West HS. Evaluation of the SLC Project at West High School The 10th Grade English Course M.Bruce King, Project Evaluator 608-263-4769, mbking1@wisc.edu 2 November 2005 The development and implementation of the common … Continue reading Evaluation of the SLC Project at West High School

Harlem School Uses Regionally Grown Food

Reader Barb Williams forwarded this article by Kim Severson: But perhaps no school is taking a more wide-ranging approach in a more hard-pressed area than the Promise Academy, a charter school at 125th Street and Madison Avenue where food is as important as homework. Last year, officials took control of the students’ diets, dictating a … Continue reading Harlem School Uses Regionally Grown Food

Authors Challenge Schools to Challenge Students

Tuesday, September 20, 2005 – Washington Post Two new books on how to teach students of divergent abilities seem at first to have been written on different planets. But Deborah L. Ruf’s “Losing Our Minds: Gifted Children Left Behind” and a new edition of Jeannie Oakes’s “Keeping Track: How Schools Structure Inequality” eventually reveal a … Continue reading Authors Challenge Schools to Challenge Students

Soda Marketers To Reduce School Sales

American Beverage Association: Under the new policy, the beverage industry will provide: Elementary Schools with only water and 100 percent juice. Middle Schools with only nutritious and/or lower calorie beverages, such as water, 100 percent juice, sports drinks, no-calorie soft drinks, and low-calorie juice drinks. No full-calorie soft drinks or full-calorie juice drinks with five … Continue reading Soda Marketers To Reduce School Sales

Planning for MMSD Legislative Committee for 2005-06

As chair of the MMSD School Board’s Legislative Committee for 2005-06, I post information about state and federal laws and legislative issues related to the Madison Schools on this blog under Hot Topics , Madison School Board Legislative Committee blog. In June I asked MMSD staff for the committee, Joe Quick, for his ideas on … Continue reading Planning for MMSD Legislative Committee for 2005-06

K-12 Math Curriculum: A Visit With UW Math Professor Dick Askey

UW Math Professor Dick Askey kindly took the time to visit with a group of schoolinfosystem.org writers and friends recently. Dick discussed a variety of test results, books, articles and links with respect to K-12 math curriculum. Here are a few of them: Test Results: Wisconsin is slipping relative to other states in every two … Continue reading K-12 Math Curriculum: A Visit With UW Math Professor Dick Askey

Developing Credibility

From Debroah Bush-Suflita, Communications Manager of the Capital Region Board of Cooperative Educational Services, Albany, New York: The most important element of an effective public information program is credibility. Indeed, credibility is the most important element in an effective educational program. You cannot lie or obscure the truth, because you will quickly lose credibility. . … Continue reading Developing Credibility

DPI Letter – Optional Class Hours are NOT Part of the Regular School Day

In his letter to a Sherman parent, Michael George, Director of Content and Learning Team wrote: “The requirements for regular instruction in 121.02(1)(L) are to be scheduled within the regular school day which is defined as “the period from the start to the close of each pupil’s daily instructional schedule.” Times of the day or … Continue reading DPI Letter – Optional Class Hours are NOT Part of the Regular School Day

Middle School Curriculum

Much afoot at Sherman Middle school. MMSD will look at developing a district-wide middle school curriculum. While that might improve the mess at Sherman, it might also mean watering down the curriculum, eg. math, throughout the district. http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/local/index.php?ntid=45223 “School Board President Carol Carstensen, who made it one of her priorities to examine how the district’s … Continue reading Middle School Curriculum

Does Wisconsin’s method inflate graduation rate?

Original URL: http://www.jsonline.com/news/state/jun05/336091.asp NOTE: THIS LINK LEADS TO A PAGE THAT INCLUDES A CHART THAT IS NOT REPRODUCED HERE From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Does state’s method inflate graduation rate? Wisconsin says 92% finish high school; report estimates 78% do By SARAH CARR scarr@journalsentinel.com Posted: June 23, 2005 A new report lambastes states across the … Continue reading Does Wisconsin’s method inflate graduation rate?

Post Leopold / Operating Referenda Long Range Planning Meeting: Arlene Silveira and Beth Zurbuchen Speak

Click to watch this event The Madison Board of Education’s Long Range Planning Committee met on the 6th. Arlene Silveira and Beth Zurbuchen lead along with many others spoke about the failed referenda and next steps. Results and background here. Arlene and Beth were prominent members of Madison Cares, a group that spent heavily in … Continue reading Post Leopold / Operating Referenda Long Range Planning Meeting: Arlene Silveira and Beth Zurbuchen Speak

Madison Schools Health Care Cost/Benefit Analysis

Following are remarks and attachments distributed to the MMSD Board of Education electronically and hard copy on Monday, June 6, 2005, by KJ Jakobson, who is a researcher working with Active Citizens for Education in matters related to health care benefits for school district employees.  Discussion and questions may be directed to KJ Jakobson directly … Continue reading Madison Schools Health Care Cost/Benefit Analysis

Neenah schools add staff to special ed, gifted-talented program

The following story from the April 13, Appleton Post-Crescent reports on a school district in Wisconsin that is actually adding staff to both gifted and special education. News-Record staff writer NEENAH � The equivalent of four teachers will be added to the Neenah Joint School District next year to enhance its special education, and gifted … Continue reading Neenah schools add staff to special ed, gifted-talented program

What is Wrong with this Picture?

The Madison School Board of Education and the District administration are proposing nearly $50 million worth of referenda and are begging for the support of the taxpaying public to significantly raise taxes. At the same time, Superintendent Rainwater bashes the business community for not contributing more tax dollars to fund public education. By accusing businesses … Continue reading What is Wrong with this Picture?

Axing the Arts: District (again) proposes cutting popular strings program

Jason Shephard, writing in the 3.11.2005 Isthmus: Music teachers, parents and community activists are already agitating against Madison schools Superintendent Art Rainwater�s call to eliminate the elementary strings program, as part of a proposed slate of budget cuts. �This creates a very disturbing environment in the community,� says Marie Breed, executive director of the Wisconsin … Continue reading Axing the Arts: District (again) proposes cutting popular strings program

3/7/2005 Madison School Board Meeting Budget Comments

Board Members and citizens discussed the Madison School District Administration’s proposed budget changes (reductions in the increase, cuts and program eliminations – see this post for details. The overall budget will go up, from 317M to 327.7M as it does annually.) this past Monday evening: Don Severson & Bill Keys on special election costs, spending … Continue reading 3/7/2005 Madison School Board Meeting Budget Comments

Budget Time: Madison School District’s Credibility

The credibility of the Madison Metropolitan School District comes into serious question with the public when Board of Education members and district staff present erroneous information through the media to the public. Recent examples include: May, 2005 Special Election Costs:1. Bill Keys, President of the Board of Education, on the TV Channel 27 early morning … Continue reading Budget Time: Madison School District’s Credibility