Commentary on K-12 curriculum and outcomes

Will Flanders and Jessica Holmberg:

For every example like this that generates media coverage, there are probably 10 more that don’t. It is critical that parents are aware of what is being taught in their child’s schools. Children may not always know when they are being indoctrinated, and it can be extremely difficult for parents to discover what is being taught.

For example, WILL conducted an open records investigation into the 10 largest districts in the state asking for any teaching materials which include specified “woke” terms. Unfortunately, we found receiving the relevant information to be a tedious, time-consuming, and costly task. For instance, during a Zoom call with two representatives from Racine School District to discuss the records request, we were told by one representative that she did not “believe teachers would fulfill this request,” that the request would take “thousands of hours of work,” and would have a large location fee associated. In the same call we were also told the district wasn’t teaching any of the requested terms anyway—even sending us the district controversial teachings policy—and that the request included too many teachers to manageably fulfill (17 teachers.) One can only imagine how defeated and unsure a parent would feel after such a call.

Later, after consulting with an attorney at WILL, we informed the district we would pay any associated fees; however, we would not modify the request by reducing the number of teachers as the request fell within the parameters of the law. Within 10 business days, the school district fulfilled the request without payment, including all 17 teachers and included teaching materials that directly contradicted their claim about not teaching any of the requested terms. And although the request was eventually completed it took a lot of time and effort on our end and even required the use of an attorney, something which cannot be expected of any parent.

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

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

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

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

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

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