Annysa Johnson & Molly Beck: Teachers unions in the state’s five largest school districts are calling on Gov. Tony Evers and the state’s top health and education leaders Monday to require schools to remain closed for now and to start the school year online only, arguing the threat from the coronavirus remains too high for students and staff … Continue reading Teachers unions in largest districts call on Wisconsin Governor (& former DPI Leader) Tony Evers to require schools start virtually
Molly Beck: But media law experts say the First Amendment protects journalists’ possession and publication of truthful information in the public’s interest, regardless of how the information was released to them — and even trying to stop a reporter from publishing violates the U.S. Constitution. “Yes, I get it that if some reporter gets some information … Continue reading Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers stands by warning journalist of prosecution over Child Abuse reporting
Briana Reilly: Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is calling on lawmakers to use $250 million in newly projected surplus dollars to bolster K-12 funding through school-based mental health services and special education aid in districts across the state. The former state schools superintendent, who signed an executive order Thursday ordering a legislative special session to act on the sweeping … Continue reading Gov. Tony Evers calls on lawmakers to take up $250 million plan to bolster K-12 education
Molly Beck: Gov. Tony Evers’ administration sought to block a journalist from publishing information from a confidential child abuse investigation by threatening prosecution, a rare move that could violate the U.S. Constitution.
Briana Reilly: A Milwaukee TV station has sued Gov. Tony Evers for withholding copies of his emails — records his office eventually released, in part, minutes after the lawsuit was filed earlier this week. The lawsuit, filed in Dane County Circuit Court on Tuesday, came after Fox 6 repeatedly filed requests dating back to September … Continue reading Milwaukee TV station sues Gov. Tony Evers for withholding copies of his emails
Amanda St. Hilaire: Governor Tony Evers’ office is denying open records requests for his emails. The governor’s attorney says the decision saves taxpayer resources; transparency advocates say they’re worried about the erosion of the public’s right to know. “If you want to see what government is up to, you have to see the emails that … Continue reading Civics: Staff shields Governor Tony Evers’ emails from public access
Wiseye @ 24 September WisPolitics Lunch: Jim Zellmer: Thank you for your service Governor Evers. Under your leadership, the Wisconsin d.p.i. granted Mulligan’s to thousands of elementary teachers who couldn’t pass a reading exam (that’s the “Foundations of Reading” elementary teacher reading content knowledge exam), yet our students lag Alabama, a state that spends less … Continue reading My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results
WILL Policy Brief: Today WILL is releasing “A Deep Dive into Governor Evers’ K-12 Budget Proposal” that goes through nearly every single education proposal in Evers’ budget while utilizing new research as well as LFB analysis and JFC testimony. For each proposal, we explain how it impacts schools and students across Wisconsin. We dive deep … Continue reading Commentary on Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers’ proposed budget
Will Flanders: Perhaps the most egregious omissions are in the discussion of school funding and its effect on student outcomes. While the author cites one study – not yet peer-reviewed — the preponderance of evidence for decades has suggested little to no impact of per-student funding on educational achievement. This study, and others like it … Continue reading Here’s another view of what the research says about Tony Evers’ proposals
Jessie Opoien: Evers, a Democrat, is asking for $1.4 billion in additional funds for the state’s K-12 schools in the 2019-21 budget. The $15.4 billion request, submitted by Evers on Monday, comes less than two months before Walker and Evers will meet on the ballot — and Evers’ budget letter includes a swipe at the … Continue reading Gubernatorial Candidate Tony Evers Proposal: Spend 12.3% (10%?) more taxpayer funds on Wisconsin K-12 school districts; while killing substantive reading improvement efforts.
Kelly Meyerhofer: Walker proposed $13.7 billion in total state support for public schools for the 2017-19 biennium. That includes about $2.2 billion in property tax credits that are counted as K-12 funding, but don’t go directly into the classroom. Walker’s campaign spokesman Brian Reisinger touched on the record amount in a Saturday statement: “Scott Walker … Continue reading Gubernatorial Candidate Tony Evers Proposal: Spend 12.3% more taxpayer funds on Wisconsin K-12 school districts; while killing substantive reading improvement efforts.
Jessie Opoien: There was once a time when Tony Evers didn’t like cheese. But there was also a time when he didn’t see himself running for governor, and now multiple polls show him leading the field of Democrats vying for a chance to challenge Republican Gov. Scott Walker. Evers, 66, won his third statewide victory … Continue reading Tony Evers’ Election Rhetoric (running for Governor), despite presiding over disastrous reading results
Elizabeth Ross: This study examines all 50 states’ and the District of Columbia’s requirements regarding the science of reading for elementary and special education teacher candidates. Chan Stroman: “Report finds only 11 states have adequate safeguards in place for both elementary and special education teachers.” Make that “10 states”; with Wisconsin PI 34, the loophole … Continue reading Strengthening Reading Instruction through Better Preparation of Elementary and Special Education Teachers (Wisconsin DPI, lead by Tony Evers, loophole in place)
Matthew De Four: It wasn’t until the end of Wednesday night’s Democratic gubernatorial forum at the Madison Public Library that someone took a swing at the candidate who has led in all of the polls. Former party chairman Matt Flynn in his closing statement called State Superintendent Tony Evers “Republican lite” and criticized him for … Continue reading At Democratic forum Matt Flynn says Scott Walker will eat Tony Evers for lunch
Politifact: “Tony misspoke,” his campaign spokeswoman Maggie Gau told us. “We acknowledge it’s not correct. As much as we try to prevent them, no one is perfect and mistakes happen on the trail.” UW System’s funding streams The UW System is composed of 13 campuses, including the University of Wisconsin-Madison, that offer four-year and advanced … Continue reading Election Year Taxpayer Spending Rhetoric: Tony Evers Edition
Annysa Johnson: A brief summary of the proposal, provided by Evers’ office, said the budget would, among other things: Ensure that no district receives less in aid than they previously received. Allow districts to count 4-year-old kindergarten students as full time for state funding purposes. They are currently funded at 0.5 and 0.6 full-time equivalent. … Continue reading Tony Evers vows to restore state (taxpayer) commitment to fund two-thirds of schools in 2019-’21 budget
Daniel Bice: “Tony Evers refused to take action when it was time to protect children, but he moved pretty quickly when his political career was in danger,” said Alec Zimmerman, spokesman for the state GOP. Maggie Gau, spokeswoman for Evers, was dismissive of the criticism: “The Republicans are now attacking Tony for doing his job … Continue reading Teacher revocations spike under Tony Evers after GOP accuses him of being tardy on issue
Molly Beck: “The constitution creates the role of a state superintendent and gives the superintendent authority to supervise public instruction. That is all the constitution confers upon the superintendent,” Bradley wrote. “The majority creates a dangerous precedent. It brandishes its superintending authority like a veto over laws it does not wish to apply. In doing … Continue reading Supreme Court gives win to Tony Evers over Gov. Scott Walker in case challenging authority
Patrick Marley: Attorneys for Evers contended Schimel and his aides were violating ethics rules for lawyers because they were not pursuing the case in the way Evers wanted, were not conferring with him and did not honor his decision to fire them. Past court rulings have determined the schools superintendent has broad authority and that … Continue reading Scott Walker vs. Tony Evers: The governor and a Democratic challenger go before the Supreme Court
Tony Evers: As state superintendent, I’ve fought Walker’s school privatization schemes. I’ve proudly stood by our educators and fought for more funding for our public schools, while Walker has cut funding. We must never forget that under Walker, over a million Wisconsinites voted to raise their own taxes to adequately fund their schools. This isn’t … Continue reading Governor Candidate & Wisconsin Public Instruction chief Tony Evers Governance Commentary (track record?)
Jesse Opoien: State Superintendent Tony Evers said Tuesday he is declining legal representation from the Wisconsin Department of Justice in a lawsuit brought by a conservative law firm. Attorney General Brad Schimel said he will not step aside. Evers, a Democrat, is one of several candidates seeking to challenge Gov. Scott Walker in 2018. Both … Continue reading Wisconsin Education Superintendent Tony Evers ‘fires’ DOJ lawyer, Brad Schimel says he won’t step aside
Patrick Marley: Superintendent Evers should welcome greater accountability at (his Department of Public Instruction), not dodge it,” Evenson said in his email. “It’s not politics, it’s the law.” The lawsuit centers on the powers of Evers. It was brought Monday by two teachers and members of the New London and Marshfield school boards, represented by … Continue reading Gov. Scott Walker, AG Brad Schimel block Tony Evers from getting his own attorney
Jason Stein State schools superintendent Tony Evers will formally announce his gubernatorial run Wednesday, making him the third Democrat to commit to a bid and the first statewide office holder to challenge GOP Gov Scott Walker. Evers, who heads the state Department of Public Instruction, will announce his run at a suburban Madison park for … Continue reading Schools superintendent Tony Evers to make run for Wisconsin governor official Wednesday
Molly Beck: Since he was first elected state superintendent in 2009, Evers has asked Walker and the Legislature four times to significantly increase funding for schools, by raising state-imposed revenue limits and changing the equalized aid formula to account for districts with high poverty, declining enrollment and rural issues. His proposal to revamp the state’s … Continue reading Wisconsin State Superintendent Tony Evers considers run for governor
Annysa Johnson: “Wisconsin is the worst in the nation for achievement gaps and graduation gaps,” said Holtz, who believes public charter and private voucher schools could do a better job than some public schools. “We’re leaving a generation of students behind.” Evers says Wisconsin schools have raised standards, increased graduation rates and expanded career and … Continue reading DPI race between Tony Evers, Lowell Holtz centers on future of education in Wisconsin
Molly Beck: “The ability for school boards to use charters as kind of an incubator — I think that’s great,” Evers said, who lamented that the public often conflates private voucher schools with charter schools. Evers, who now opposes the expansion of taxpayer-funded school vouchers in Wisconsin, also once voiced support for them in 2000 … Continue reading Tony Evers seeks a third term after battles with conservatives, cancer and Common Core
Tony Evers (PDF): 1. Why are you running for State Superintendent of Public Instruction? I’ve been an educator all my adult life. I grew up in small town Plymouth, WI. Worked at a canning factory in high school, put myself through college, and married my kindergarten sweetheart, Kathy-also a teacher. I taught and became a … Continue reading Wisconsin DPI Superintendent Tony Evers Responds to Madison Teachers’ Questions
Molly Beck: John Matthews, former longtime executive director of Madison Teachers Inc., called Evers a “hero” and said he deserves to be re-elected. He said Wisconsin “residents know of his advocacy for their children.” “That said, I do worry that the far right and the corporations which want to privatize our public schools and make … Continue reading Wisconsin Education Superintendent Tony Evers faces re-election amid big GOP wins, union membership losses
Todd Richmond: Wisconsin can slow a growing shortage of teachers if people stop bad-mouthing educators and pay them more, the state’s schools superintendent said Thursday. Superintendent Tony Evers warned during his annual State of Education speech in the state Capitol rotunda that fewer young people are entering the teaching profession and districts are having a … Continue reading Wisconsin Superintendent Tony Evers: Stop bad-mouthing teachers
Molly Beck: But in a May 25 letter to Walker’s office, DPI’s chief legal counsel, Janet Jenkins, said Evers had no objection to DOJ withdrawing from a federal lawsuit over a transportation dispute with a private school in Hartford. “I don’t think he objected to them withdrawing but objected to the manner with which they … Continue reading Letter: Tony Evers did not object to DOJ dropping DPI as a client in lawsuit
Three weeks from today, Wisconsin voters will decide who will oversee K-12 public education for the next four years. Incumbent state Superintendent Tony Evers faces a challenge from Republican state Rep. Don Pridemore.
Evers says he’s proud of his accomplishments over the past four years. He highlights the implementation of Common Core Standards. The national initiative sets benchmarks for students to meet in English, Language Arts and Math, to make sure they’re prepared for the workforce.
“We’re developing new assessment systems and accountability systems. We have a new reading screener we’ve implemented at kindergarten that’s been very good as far as providing information for classroom teachers to intervene early,” Evers says.
Evers says his biggest challenge has been competing with choice or voucher schools for state funding. Students in Milwaukee and Racine can attend private schools – taking with them, the tax money that would have gone to the public system. Evers opposes Gov. Walker’s plan to expand the voucher program to nine more school districts and increase funding for participating students.
“There’s a zero dollar increase for our public schools per pupil and then on the voucher side there’s a $1,400 per student increase for $73 million. To me that’s a concept that isn’t connected in any good way for our public schools,” Evers says.
Evers opponent, Republican Rep. Don Pridemore of Hartford supports the expansion of choice. He says there would not to be need for it, if public schools better prepared students. Pridemore says if he’s elected, he’ll work to expand the program statewide.
Last week, Senate Democrats lashed out at a Republican bill they said was intended to weaken the already enfeebled Office of the Secretary of State, currently held by Democrat Doug La Follette.
“It’s directed to take the one Democrat elected to statewide office and cut him out of the legislative process,” state Sen. Fred Risser, D-Madison, says of the legislation, which would remove the secretary of state’s ability to delay the publication of a bill for up to 10 days after passage, as La Follette did following the controversial passage of Gov. Scott Walker’s collective bargaining bill two years ago.
Technically, Risser is correct. The secretary of state, which Gov. Tommy Thompson long ago relegated to obscurity, is the only statewide office held by Democrats.
But while the superintendent of public instruction is technically a nonpartisan position, current Superintendent Tony Evers, like his predecessors for the past 30 years, is supported by Democratic-affiliated groups and has been an outspoken opponent of many of Walker’s policies.
And unlike La Follette, Evers has a meaningful platform to influence one of the most important issues facing the state.
It’s noteworthy, then, that Evers does not seem to be a significant target for conservatives, even though his lone challenger in the April 2 election for another four-year term is a GOP member of the Assembly: Don Pridemore.
State Superintendent Tony Evers on Monday reintroduced a proposal from two years ago to increase state funding for public education and change the way the state finances its public schools as part of his 2013-’15 budget request.
The proposal calls for a 2.4% increase in state aid in the first year of the budget and a 5.5% increase in 2014-’15, which Evers said would put the state back on track to return to two-thirds’ state support for public school costs by 2017.
The Department of Public Instruction’s 2013-’15 budget proposal guarantees state funding of $3,000 per pupil and would result in every school district either getting more state money or the same money as before, but Republican legislators on Monday did not express confidence in the total package.
Luther Olsen, chair of the Senate Education Committee and a Republican from Ripon, said Evers’ “Fair Funding for our Future” plan just shifts money around between districts and doesn’t really award more money to schools.
Olsen did say he would like to increase districts’ revenue limit authority per student – or the combined amount they can raise in state general aid and local property taxes – by at least $200 per pupil starting in the first year of the next biennial budget.
Evers announced his 2013-’15 state public education budget request Monday at Irving Elementary School in West Allis.
Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie said the proposal will be reviewed in the context of the overall budget, but said education is one of Walker’s top budget priorities.
“The governor will work to build off of the work done with Superintendent Evers on school district accountability and Read to Lead as he creates the first version of the state budget, which will be introduced early next year,” Werwie said.
Evers also said he’ll run for re-election next year, adding that despite the funding cuts, he’s excited to continue pushing reform and accountability.
“In order for us to create a new middle class and to move our state forward in a positive way, our public schools need to be strong, and the reforms we’re implementing now are going a long way toward accomplishing that,” Evers said. “We’re in a great place as a state and we’ll keep plugging away.”
Various conservative education sources said no candidate has come forward to challenge Evers yet, but talks were ongoing with potential challengers. Nomination papers can be circulated Dec. 1 and are due back to the GAB Jan. 2.
Creating a new system of accountability for schools in Wisconsin could be a great help to parents and school districts and, thus, an important educational reform for the state. If the new system is fair and done right, it would provide plenty of clear information on which schools are achieving the right outcomes.
Ideally, it would measure schools not only on whether they have met certain standards but how much students and schools have improved over a certain time period. It also would measure all schools that receive public funding equally – public, charter and voucher – so that families would have the information they need to make good choices. That’s all important.
Gov. Scott Walker, state schools superintendent Tony Evers and others have signed on to create a new school accountability system and to seek approval from the U.S. Department of Education to allow the system to replace the decade-old, federally imposed one they say is broken. The feds should give that approval, and the state should move forward with this reform and others.
State Superintendent Tony Evers [SIS link] in a memo Monday urged the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee to restore funding for public schools and work collaboratively to improve the quality of all Milwaukee schools before considering any voucher expansion.
“To spend hundreds of millions to expand a 20-year-old program that has not improved overall student achievement, while defunding public education, is morally wrong,” Evers said in the memo.
Gov. Scott Walker has proposed eliminating the income limits on participating in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, eliminating the enrollment cap and has proposed opening up private schools throughout Milwaukee County to accept vouchers from Milwaukee students. Walker has spoken of expanding the voucher program to other urban areas in the state, such as Racine, Green Bay and Beloit.
The Milwaukee Parental Choice Program was created to improve academic performance among low-income students who had limited access to high-performing schools. Low-income students use taxpayer money to attend private schools, including religious schools. Each voucher is worth $6,442. The program now is limited to 22,500 students; 20,189 are in the program this year.
However, after 20 years and spending over $1 billion, academic performance data and the enrollment history of the school choice program point to several “concerning trends,” Evers said in his analysis of voucher student enrollment, achievement, and projected cost for long-term expansion.
Low-income students in Milwaukee Public Schools have higher academic achievement, particularly in math, than their counterparts in choice schools. Evers cited this year’s Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts exams and the legislatively mandated University of Arkansas study, which showed significant numbers of choice students performing below average on reading and math.
At a press conference in Racine, DPI Superintendent Tony Evers gave his harshest criticism of school vouchers yet. Well beyond the typical quibbles over test scores and graduation rates, Evers claimed that school vouchers were de facto “morally wrong.” It’s not every day that a State Superintendent of education accuses an education-reform program of being immoral. In doing so, Tony Evers may have bitten off more than he could chew.
Calling a school voucher program morally wrong inculpates more than just the program, it inculpates parents, teachers, organizations, lawmakers, and a majority of Americans that endorse it. In fact, one could reasonably argue that Evers’ statement makes himself morally culpable since Milwaukee’s voucher program operates out of the Department of Public Instruction of which he is the head. What does it say about the character of a man that knowingly administers an immoral program out of his own department?
In short, Evers’ argument goes something like this: voucher programs drain public schools of their financial resources; drained resources hurt children academically; hurting children academically is morally wrong; ergo, voucher programs are morally wrong.
JFC co-chair Robin Vos, R-Rochester, said in the last budget, cuts to K-12 education were offset by millions of stimulus dollars from the federal government.
“It was a luxury that was great at the time,” he said. “Now we don’t have that one-time money.”
While he admitted that the “tools” Gov. Walker provides may not offset funding cuts dollar-for-dollar, he said asking teachers to pay more for health insurance coverage and pension will help. Vos then asked Evers if he supports the mandate relief initiatives Walker proposed in his budget.
Evers said the mandates, which include repealing the requirement that schools schedule 180 days instruction but retains the required number of hours per school year, won’t generate much savings for school districts. He said the challenge schools face from reduced funding is much greater.
“It’s nibbling around the edges,” Evers said of the mandates. “I think we’re beyond that.”
Excerpts from Department of Public Instruction Superintendent Tony Evers prepared remarks to the Joint Finance Committee:
“We know that resources are scarce. School districts around the state have demonstrated that they are willing to do their part, both in recent weeks in response to this state budget crisis and throughout the past 18 years under the constraints of revenue caps. While this difficult budget demands shared sacrifice, we need a budget that is fair, equitable, and does not undercut the quality of our children’s education,” Evers said.
“As you know, the Governor’s budget proposal, which increases state spending by 1.7 percent over the next two years, would cut $840 million in state school aids over the biennium – the largest cut to education in state history. While these cuts present unprecedented challenges, an even larger concern is the proposed 5.5 percent reduction to school district revenue limits, which dictate exactly how much money schools have available to spend. Depending on the school district, schools would have to reduce their spending between $480 and $1,100 per pupil. Statewide, the proposed revenue limit cuts will result in a $1.7 billion cut over the biennium, as compared to current law. These dramatic and unprecedented revenue limit cuts will be a crushing challenge to our public schools, especially by the second year of the budget.”
February 5, 2010
State Superintendent Tony Evers
Department of Public Instruction
125 S. Webster Street
PO Box 7841
Madison, WI 53707-7841
Dear Superintendent Evers:
I am contacting you regarding your Notice of Decision dated February 4, 2010 issued to the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) which would potentially eliminate the $175 million in federal funds received for services to low-income children through the Title I program. In your press statement, you indicated that you had a legal responsibility to the children of Milwaukee and that you were using the only tool allowed under state law to ensure these federal funds are used effectively to improve MPS. Not only I am deeply perplexed by the timing of this notice, but I’m equally concemed over the use of your authority to withhold federal dollars to “speed up change” in MPS. I find your efforts to be disingenuous.
“Education is all about continued improvement, and the status quo is not satisfactory,” Evers told the audience at a WisPolitics.com luncheon Tuesday at the Madison Club.
In addition to guiding local schools as they navigate state cuts and an influx of federal stimulus funding, Evers is promoting a single federal test and an overhaul of accountability and assessment standards for public education. Under the new system, which Evers said would be formed quickly over the next few months, the state will be able to consistently measure other educational categories aside from test scores.
The test score measurement mandates under the federal No Child Left Behind law drew criticism from Evers for their incomplete picture of education, but he said the federal standard has done educators “a tremendous favor” by showing disparities between performance of white and non-white students.
He also called for a national standard of testing and curriculum, which he said 46 states had backed. He said that Wisconsin isn’t able to truly compare its educational growth to other districts and states because 50 different tests are being administered annually. He also called the current system “economically irrational.”
“Public education, even though it’s a state responsibility, is a national endeavor, and we have to view it as such,” Evers said. “By doing this, we’re going to make our system more transparent.”
Perhaps nothing will test the new state accountability system as much as Milwaukee. Evers went to great lengths to discuss the “magic” that teachers work with many less fortunate students in the state’s largest school district, but recognized a graduation rate that, despite increasing to about 70 percent, lags well behind the state average.
Advancing Wisconsin is leafletting (and profiling voters with handheld devices) for Wisconsin DPI Candidate Tony Evers (opposed by Ruth Fernandez) (watch a recent debate), Supreme Court Candidate Shirley Abrahamson (opposed by Randy Koschnick) and Dane County Incumbent Executive Kathleen Falk (opposed by Nancy Mistele).
Rose Fernandez regularly refers to herself as an outsider in the race to become the state’s next schools chief.
The implication is that her April 7 opponent, Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers, is an insider who is unlikely to change what is happening with education in the state.
The outsider candidate who can change things and shake up the status quo has long been a popular thrust in political campaigns. President Barack Obama, although a U.S. senator at the time, used aspects of the tactic in his campaign last fall.
But some wonder whether it will have the same impact in what is likely to be a low-turnout election April 7.
“The advantage to the insider is being able to draw off of established, organizational support,” said Charles Franklin, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “The outsider’s goal is to try to become visible enough that people unhappy with the status quo can voice their outsider outrage.”
From her Web site address – www.changedpi.com – to frequently tying her opponent to the state’s largest teachers union, the Wisconsin Education Association Council, Fernandez appears to be trying to capitalize on one of her many differences with her opponent.
“There are perils with entrenchment,” said Fernandez, a former pediatric trauma nurse and past president of the Wisconsin Coalition for Virtual School Families. “With that there comes an inability to see the problems as they really are.”
But being an outsider also has some disadvantages, which Evers is trying to play up as well.
At a recent appearance before the Public Policy Forum, Evers puzzled about Fernandez’s stance against a provision in Gov. Jim Doyle’s bill that he said was supported by voucher school proponents while she expressed support for voucher schools.
Tony Evers campaign, via email:
Tony Evers today pledged to continue his long commitment to Wisconsin’s charter schools, which provide innovative educational strategies. Dr. Evers has played a major educational leadership role in making Wisconsin 6th in the nation, out of all 50 states, in both the number of charter schools and the number of students enrolled in charter schools.
“We are a national leader in charter schools and I will continue my work for strong charter schools in Wisconsin,” Evers said. “As State Superintendent, I will continue to promote our charter schools and the innovative, successful learning strategies they pursue as we work to increase achievement for all students no matter where they live.”
Evers, as Deputy State Superintendent, has been directly responsible for overseeing two successful competitive federal charter school grants that brought over $90 million to Wisconsin. From these successful applications, Evers has recommended the approval of over 700 separate planning, implementation, implementation renewal, and dissemination grants to charter schools around the state since 2001.
During the past eight years, the number of charter schools in Wisconsin has risen from 92 to 221 – an increase of almost 150%. The number of students enrolled in charter schools has increased from 12,000 students in 2001 to nearly 36,000 today.
Evers has also represented the Department of Public Instruction on State Superintendent Elizabeth Burmaster’s Charter School Advisory Council. The council was created to provide charter school representatives, parents, and others with the opportunity to discuss issues of mutual interest and provide recommendations to the State Superintendent.
There had been some speculation Burmaster was interested in running for governor if Gov. Jim Doyle didn’t seek re-election in 2010, but she said that type of campaign is not in her plans.
She would not elaborate on her future career endeavors except to say, “I’m an education leader and I want to continue to serve in that capacity.” She also said she will get back to working in community schools with students in a “hands-on” role.
Mike Antonucci: What comes next? Federal and state governments are funneling unprecedented amounts of new money into public education, and the teachers unions have plenty of ideas on how to spend it.Watch a TV news segment or read an article about school reopenings and you’re bound to hear American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten … Continue reading Teacher Union & School “Reopenings”
Addison Lathers: Catalytic converters thefts are on the rise again, and few neighborhoods have been left unscathed. Madison has long been a hotspot for converter thefts, in part due to an abundance of street parking available throughout the city. In 2020, the city experienced 142 cases involving catalytic converter thefts. Some cases involved more than … Continue reading Rise in catalytic converter thefts leaves few vehicles safe in Madison
Wisconsin Supreme Court: For the respondent, there was a brief filed by Remzy D. Bitar, Sadie R. Zurfluh, and Municipal and Litigation Group ̧ Waukesha. There was an oral argument by Remzy D. Bitar. For the petitioners Wisconsin Council of Religious and Independent Schools, et al., there was a reply brief filed by Richard M. … Continue reading Political Posturing, interests and “adult employment” on taxpayer supported Dane County Madison public health ordering schools closed
BREAKING: Madison Teachers Inc. leaders, including union president Michael Jones, have filed a lawsuit against @MMSDschools over the ongoing teacher contracts dispute. Here’s a story from yesterday updating where things were: https://t.co/eiyGBlS8Ps — Scott Girard (@sgirard9) June 9, 2021 Lester Pines (Pines Bach law firm) has long represented local and state Teacher unions. Related: Catholic schools will sue … Continue reading Teacher Union sues the taxpayer supported Madison School District
Rasmussen: The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 40% of Likely U.S. Voters believe Fauci has told the truth about U.S. government funding for so-called “gain-of-function” virus research. Forty-six percent (46%) of voters believe Fauci has not told the truth about U.S. funding of such research, and 15% are not sure. … Continue reading Civics: Only 40% of Voters Think Dr. Fauci Told the Truth About Virus Research
Elisabeth Beyer: The Madison School District has reissued next year’s teacher contracts along with a letter outlining expected pay increases for education and experience, but the union says its related dispute remains unresolved because the raises are still missing from the document members must sign by June 15. Scott Girard: At issue is a change … Continue reading Commentary on Teacher Union interactions with the taxpayer supported Madison K-12 School District
Martin Kulldorff: I had no choice but to speak out against lockdowns. As a public-health scientist with decades of experience working on infectious-disease outbreaks, I couldn’t stay silent. Not when basic principles of public health are thrown out of the window. Not when the working class is thrown under the bus. Not when lockdown opponents … Continue reading Why I spoke out against lockdowns
Maximilian Forte: The documentary itself establishes its lead questions at the outset. Nico Sloot, described as an international entrepreneur, acts as the main voice in the film and our lead detective. What struck me from the start was how he framed the central problem that provoked his investigative journey: when would herd immunity be achieved? … Continue reading “Facts” were facts, until the facts suddenly changed.
Jill Tucker: Yet it’s clear many families vowed to leave after losing faith in the district because of the slow reopening of classrooms and ongoing drama among district leadership. That includes an $87 million lawsuit filed by board member Alison Collins against five colleagues after they removed her from the vice presidency and committee positions following the … Continue reading San Francisco schools see enrollment drop as families flee the district (Madison?)
Monica Wichgers says @MMSDschools teachers are promoting racial division through #CriticalRaceTheory. Republican lawmakers announced new legislation that would ban Wisconsin schools from teaching the divisive, Marxist ideology. #WIright pic.twitter.com/mNN2rjMi4d — MacIver News Service (@NewsMacIver) June 3, 2021 Machine generated transcript: My mother was the first African-American graduate of Edgewood college. She was a first grade … Continue reading Commentary on the Taxpayer Supported Madison School District’s Curriculum Experiences
Libby Sobic and Will Flanders, Ph.D. Wisconsin invests in our K-12 schools by creating options for families. On average, Wisconsin school districts average revenue (of local, state and federal funding) per student was $14,737 in 2019-2020. The majority of K-12 education funding is directly distributed to school districts. Under current law, even the lowest funded … Continue reading K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Ongoing Wisconsin $pending growth
Peter Anderson: The Capital Times editorializes, “Madison has a great public schools system” and Board President “Ali Muldrow, is a dynamic leader “who will move Madison schools in the right direction” — sentiments reminiscent of the acclaim it offered former Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham, whose policies Muldrow seems poised to continue. But is it really great? … Continue reading Muldrow’s policies continue to drive (Madison) schools’ decline
Ron Matus: Today its grad rate is 90% and its public schools rank No. 3 in K-12 achievement, according to Education Week. Since 2009, it’s finished in or near that Top 10 every year. This, with some of the lowest education spending in America. Florida spent $9,374 per pupil, according to the most recent federal … Continue reading Spending less for more: Florida
🚨Today WI will have a big debate about K-12 spending. If you are following it, you must understand these 3 charts by @LibbySobic @WillFlandersWI. Want more $? Explain where the current $ went & new federal COVID $$ will go – and commit to #transparency so parents are informed pic.twitter.com/ll9c7iiiPa — CJ Szafir (@CJSzafir) May … Continue reading Ongoing K-12 tax and spending growth: Wisconsin edition
Carina Julig: He teared up while discussing a conversation he had with the father of a high school boy who had attempted suicide. “Our kids have run out of resilience,” he said. “Their tank is empty.” Chief nursing officer Pat Givens said that the hospital system does not have enough capacity for the number of … Continue reading “Our children are experiencing unprecedented levels of pediatric mental health issues,”
Libby Sobic and Will Flanders: Without fail, each state budget cycle always results in cries from the public school establishment that “we need more money in public schools!” Governor Evers continues this status quo assertion with his 2021-23 budget proposal for massive increases in spending for K12 education (about $1.7 billion). These declarations are often made … Continue reading School Funding and the Pandemic: How Much Money Is Enough?
Emily Oster, Rebecca Jack, Clare Halloran, John Schoof, Diana McLeod: This paper reports on the correlation of mitigation practices with staff and student COVID-19 case rates in Florida, New York, and Massachusetts during the 2020-2021 school year. We analyze data collected by the COVID-19 School Response Dashboard and focus on student density, ventilation upgrades, and … Continue reading “We do not find any correlations with mask mandates”
Libby Sobic: Wisconsin parents have spent the last year scrambling to help cover learning loss created by the pandemic. For students living in Racine, any learning loss is particularly harmful considering the district was a low-performing school district prior to the pandemic. Despite this unfortunate reality, local leaders in Racine continue to purposefully confuse parents … Continue reading Politics vs Students in Racine
Wisconsin Policy Forum: Since 2013, the Wisconsin Policy Forum has produced an annual report on the superintendent’s proposed Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) budget that analyzes and describes the key elements and provides an independent assessment for school board members as they deliberate its contents. Last year, for the first time, we produced a similar budget … Continue reading An early look at the 2022 budgets of Wisconsin’s two largest school districts; +$70M for Madison!….
Bethany Blankley: As school choice bills continue to make their way through state legislatures, a report on student achievement published by the University of Arkansas’s Department of Education Reform argues that the more educational options are afforded parents, the better statewide test results are. “We find that higher levels of school choice are significantly associated … Continue reading Report: State-level test scores improve the more school choice options are given
Chris Rickert: Madison police have arrested a child in connection with a social media threat made last week against West High School. The Snapchat message posted early last week said the school would be targeted on Monday. “My revenge has come,” the message said. “West High School, I despise your students and culture and on … Continue reading Madison West High School Security Threat
Wall Street Journal: American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on Thursday hopped onto the caboose that has already left the station. “There is no doubt: Schools must be open. In person. Five days a week,” the teachers’ union chief declared in a speech. That’s nice of her to say now that nearly all school … Continue reading The teachers union chief finally says schools can open—next fall.
Alex Nester: A black mother slammed critical race theory at a school board meeting in the nation’s richest county Tuesday, comparing the radical education standards to tactics used by Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan to demean black people. “Critical race theory is not an honest dialogue, it is a tactic that was used by … Continue reading Parents describe Virginia’s Loudoun County as ‘ground zero’ in the fight against woke education
Christopher Rufo: Critical race theory is fast becoming America’s new institutional orthodoxy. Yet most Americans have never heard of it—and of those who have, many don’t understand it. This must change. We need to know what it is so we can know how to fight it. To explain critical race theory, it helps to begin … Continue reading How to fight critical race theory
James Varney: An occasional interview series with Americans who are challenging the status quo. Picking fights with lawyers and Green Berets can be a bit risky, and that is doubly true when one of them has extensive experience with totalitarian tactics. Gordana Schifanelli is a lawyer married to a former Army special forces officer, and what’s … Continue reading ‘Who’s racist?’ Lawyer mom takes on Maryland school district’s woke racism claims
Charles J. Courtemanche, Anh H. Le, Aaron Yelowitz & Ron Zimmer: This paper examines the effect of fall 2020 school reopenings in Texas on county-level COVID-19 cases and fatalities. Previous evidence suggests that schools can be reopened safely if community spread is low and public health guidelines are followed. However, in Texas, reopenings often occurred … Continue reading School Reopenings, Mobility, and COVID-19 Spread: Evidence from Texas
Karol Markowicz: The War on Merit in America’s schools is spreading — and threatening to take an ever-bigger toll on kids’ education. Last week, California’s Department of Education rolled out a draft framework for teaching math to K-12 students. The framework contains 13 chapters, most focused on (no joke) achieving “equity” through mathematics instruction. It … Continue reading The War on Merit, continued
David Leonhardt: In truth, the share of transmission that has occurred outdoors seems to be below 1 percent and may be below 0.1 percent, multiple epidemiologists told me. The rare outdoor transmission that has happened almost all seems to have involved crowded places or close conversation. Saying that less than 10 percent of Covid transmission … Continue reading Gaming Statistics
Hannah Natanson: In pursuit of in-person learning this year, Stephanie Koski of Oregon transferred legal guardianship of her 16-year-old son to his aunt — then sent the teen to live in Texas. Lyra Elder uprooted her husband, son and daughter from their home outside Portland, Ore., and took them to a cabin in Homer, Alaska, … Continue reading They moved for in-person school during the pandemic. Now they must decide: Stay or go?
To keep the merit-based entrance to Boston Exam Schools, a group of Boston parents established BPCAE, a non-profit organization (NPO) in November 2020. BPCAE is a platform for all to maintain academic excellence in Boston Exam Schools. We also focus on enhancing the K-6 grade education foundation for exam schools. Lawsuit by parents lost in … Continue reading BPCAE suing school committee for new exam school admissions
Mary Jacob: So far, their community remains online, in “the cloud.” But they expect to enlist around 2,000 willing participants (about the size of a small college town) to pack up and move to their yet-to-be-built city. No word yet on where the concept will touch down — but the two hope to land somewhere … Continue reading Commentary on privatizating taxpayer funded governance
Scott Girard: “Last fall … MTI brought to our attention the perception MMSD was in breach of our contract because the 2019-2020 contracts given to staff listed salaries the Board had not yet officially voted to accept,” LeMonds wrote. “It was later determined MMSD administration did not have the authority to include expected salary increases … Continue reading Commentary on Madison Teacher Compensation Agreements
Jill Tucker: When the teachers union over the weekend announced the “exciting news” that San Francisco’s high school seniors will get a chance to go back to classrooms starting Friday, they left out details about the plan, including that students might only be back for just one day. In addition, the class of 2021 won’t … Continue reading S.F. seniors might go back to school for only one day before term ends. Parents are furious
Steve Sharp: The Wisconsin Policy Forum is reporting that Wisconsin’s K-12 school enrollment is down by more than 25,000 students for the 2020-21 school year, one of many far-reaching impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic that may warrant a response from state and local policymakers. The information is contained in the findings of a new interactive … Continue reading Taxpayer supported Wisconsin K-12 Analytics, including enrollment changes
Will Flanders and Libby Sobic: As is typical of those who oppose school choice, Miller’s piece is full of misconceptions and outright falsehoods that distract from the important goal of ensuring that more kids have access to high quality schools. Below, we highlight three of the biggest problems with his piece. Admissions Requirements: “In fact, once … Continue reading “But it is the height of hypocrisy for Miller to attack the relatively straightforward agreements required in some charters while ignoring that far stricter rules exist at some schools under MPS’s purview.”
Hillary Borrud: Oregon teachers unions could be on the cusp of winning a state mandate for school boards to negotiate class size limits. A bill to institute the requirement is under consideration in the state House after passing the Senate. Adding class size to the list of issues districts must bargain over with unions would … Continue reading Oregon legislators are poised to mandate teacher union say on class size. Portland’s experience suggests it could undermine push for equity
Chris Rickert: The smaller number of F’s stands in contrast to the experience of almost all of the 15 other school districts completely or predominantly within Dane County. Fourteen districts saw more failing grades once instruction went online; only the McFarland district saw fewer failing grades in fall 2020 than in fall 2019. Meanwhile, the … Continue reading Public Health Madison and Dane County reports that as of Thursday, it knows of no COVID-19-related deaths or hospitalizations linked to in-person learning in the county.
Elizabeth Beyer: Upon further investigation, it was discovered there was evidence a camera may have been installed in the smoke detector with the approval of district staff in September 2019 in an effort to document “an employee discipline issue related to work rule violations,” according to a statement released by the district. The district hired … Continue reading Report recommends Madison terminate district employees who OK’d East High hidden cameras
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 … Continue reading Commentary on K-12 curriculum and outcomes
The Capital Times: Madison has a great public schools system that faces great challenges. A year of pandemic-required distance learning made existing vulnerabilities and inequities all the more serious. Now, as the COVID-19 threat is easing, and as the schools are reopening, it is impossible to avoid the evidence of the work that must be … Continue reading Commentary on Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 Governance Class
Jason Reilly: California, which is the most populous state and currently has the lowest per capita Covid rate in the country, also has the highest percentage of school districts that remain entirely virtual. Teachers unions have used the pandemic to demand more money and more-generous benefits. They know that millions of Americans can’t return to … Continue reading “Democrat Party obeisance to the AFT and NEA”
Jon Levine: The American Federation of Teachers lobbied the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on, and even suggested language for, the federal agency’s school-reopening guidance released in February. The powerful teachers union’s full-court press preceded the federal agency putting the brakes on a full re-opening of in-person classrooms, emails between top CDC, AFT and … Continue reading Teacher union CDC influence
Scott Girard: Both mentioned a few areas of focus for the upcoming year, including most immediately the transition back to in-person learning as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Muldrow noted that the “vast majority of the young people we serve” are not eligible for a vaccine yet, requiring the district to continue to “provide high-quality educational … Continue reading “It has to produce results or it doesn’t mean anything.”: taxpayer supported K-12 Governance, Madison
Rory Linnane: Schlifske also said that Northwestern Mutual will be reaching out to others in the philanthropic and business community to support the goal of an additional 5,000 seats in “high-quality schools” by 2025, as measured by state report cards based on standardized tests and other metrics. Schlifske’s op-ed specifically criticized MPS board members over … Continue reading “we just don’t see decisions being made to optimize student success at Milwaukee Public Schools”
Someone asked me yesterday why schools aren’t mainly open in San Francisco (despite 30 cases in city of 896K yesterday (& they test), <10 hospitalizations) or California (hundreds of thousand of tests done, 1400 cases in state of 40 million, lowest case rate in nation). — Monica Gandhi MD, MPH (@MonicaGandhi9) April 27, 2021 Related: Catholic schools will … Continue reading K-12 Governance: 2021 Commentary
Patrick Marley: Congress is showering Wisconsin and its local governments with $20 billion in help because of the coronavirus pandemic, a report released Friday shows. Since last year, Congress has passed five major spending bills to address COVID-19 and its toll. The two biggest ones cost more than $4 trillion, deepening the federal deficit but … Continue reading Federal COVID relief coming to Wisconsin and its local governments totals $20 billion
George Korda: Being disgorged annually from schools across the Volunteer State and the United States is a virtual army of young people with limited or no education or skills, rendering them incapable of prospering – or economically surviving – in a 21st century economy apart from being supported by taxpayers. Add to that figure the … Continue reading Too many kids can’t read, and it’s crippling them for life
Yascha Mounk: What has the pandemic told us about the state of our political institutions and the state of our economic institutions? Have you changed your mind about what’s working, or what’s not working, in light of the experience we’ve had over the last months? Tyler Cowen: Let’s focus on the United States. Our early response, … Continue reading the failure of state institutions during the pandemic
WILL: The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) issued a letter, Monday, to Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) Superintendent, Dr. Carlton Jenkins, urging the school district to address the racial segregation employed at Madison West High School for Zoom conversations on current events. This is the second occasion in the last year where WILL has warned … Continue reading Potential lawsuit over Madison West High Racial Segregation Policies
Noah Smith: A “Sputnik moment” is a historical reference to the launch of the first orbital satellite in October 1957. Though this was a triumph for humankind, it also triggered a panic in the United States, as we realized that the Soviet Union had a level of technical competence we hadn’t yet achieved (and which might be … Continue reading In recent years there’s a push to de-emphasize STEM, mostly out of egalitarian concerns. But this push is wrongheaded.
Tracy Beth Hoeg,, Monica Gandhi and Lillian Brown First, classrooms have thankfully been found — in studies examining schools in multiplestates — to be places of limited disease transmission, compared with communities at large. The rate of transmission within schools from individuals who test positive has been estimated to be on the order of 0.5 percent to 0.7 percent (and this includes people … Continue reading Widespread coronavirus surveillance testing at schools is a bad idea
John Roach: I worked with Caire when he headed the Urban League of Greater Madison and on his effort to launch Madison Prep, the earnest but quixotic attempt to address Madison’s embarrassing racial achievement gap. The failure to launch that school was a bitter blow. And the gap has remained unchanged. Madison Prep failed because … Continue reading Kaleem Caire and driving student / parent K-12 choice and achievement alternatives
Elizabeth Beyer: The district is still reeling from a significant drop in enrollment due to COVID-19 during the 2020-21 school year and, despite the passage of an operating referendum in November, operating revenue is expected to be up only 0.8%, less than the annual cost of living adjustment. Any additional funding the district may get … Continue reading Commentary on the taxpayer supported Madison School District’s 2021-2022 $500m+ budget (-1000 students, still building a new school)
For the last (and actually only) diversity session I attended before leaving The Intercept, the highly-paid outside consultant emailed everyone before saying employees would be divided by race into different rooms (white room & POC room) and it was shocking. Now it’s standard: https://t.co/0c6YmFMCX0 — Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 23, 2021 Top donors, 2019-20:@GeorgeSoros: $490,000Facebook … Continue reading Madison’s school and parent climate
County: “We don’t have authority over the school board.” School board: “We follow the county’s mandate to avoid confusion.” Experts: “We don’t make policy – we just provide information.” Policy makers: “We’re just following the advice of the experts” It’s all circular. — Jennifer Cabrera 😀 #ForgetYourMask (@jhaskinscabrera) April 20, 2021 Related: Catholic schools will sue Dane County … Continue reading K-12 Governance
An LA school district, @ccusd, has paused asymptotic surveillance testing due to major problems including all their positives actually being false positives. cc: @TracyBethHoeg @MonicaGandhi9 pic.twitter.com/wklGD4qFwX — Reopen California Schools (@ReopenCASchools) April 20, 2021 Related: Catholic schools will sue Dane County Madison Public Health to open as scheduled Notes and links on Dane County Madison Public Health. (> 140 employees). Molly … Continue reading Student False Positive Los Angeles School District Tests
Jordan Morales: Switching now to MPS, we see that according to the Department of Public Instruction’s 2018-19 Report Card, 71% of Black or African-American students had a “Below Basic” score in mathematics. Indeed, only 10% of Black students had either a proficient or advanced understanding of mathematics. Meanwhile, only 30% of white students scored “Below … Continue reading Commentary on the Taxpayer Supported Milwaukee Public Schools
Jeremy Tate: Upon learning to read while enslaved, Frederick Douglass began his great journey of emancipation, as such journeys always begin, in the mind. Defying unjust laws, he read in secret, empowered by the wisdom of contemporaries and classics alike to think as a free man. Douglass risked mockery, abuse, beating and even death to … Continue reading Howard University’s removal of classics is a spiritual catastrophe