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“An emphasis on adult employment”; the implications



Karol Markowicz

The lives of our children were destroyed by lockdowns — and long lockouts — from school during the pandemic.

This policy was largely forced through by Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. 

But we now know that President Biden and his wife-teacher, Jill Biden, were the ones who overruled their own medical experts to give Weingarten what she wanted — and threw American kids out the window.

It begins on the administration’s first day, when Jill Biden invited Weingarten and Becky Pringle, head of the National Education Association, to the White House, telling them, “I told you I was going to bring you with me to the White House. And on day one, you’re here,” according to a new book by Atlantic staff writer Franklin Foer, “The Last Politician.”

There they were, making sure kids didn’t get to have an education.

Foer is, of course, a partisan Democrat, and the portrayal of the Biden White House is comical in its friendliness. 

In retelling the story of Jill meeting with two women, Foer repeats the disgusting canard, “In upper-middle-class neighborhoods . . . there was a sense that the unions were acting in a spirit of selfishness.”

That’s obviously a joke. Upper-middle-class people, in areas unlucky enough to be under teachers unions’ thumb, had every option available to their children.

and:

“Beware of legacy practices (most of what we do every day is the maintenance of the status quo), @12:40 minutes into the talk – the very public institutions intended for student learning has become focused instead on adult employment. I say that as an employee. Adult practices and attitudes have become embedded in organizational culture governed by strict regulations and union contracts that dictate most of what occurs inside schools today. Any impetus to change direction or structure is met with swift and stiff resistance. It’s as if we are stuck in a time warp keeping a 19th century school model on life support in an attempt to meet 21st century demands.”




“An emphasis on adult employment”



“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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

No When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?




An Emphasis on adult employment



Mandates, closed schools and Dane County Madison Public Health.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




“An emphasis on adult employment”; Chicago Teachers Union 2022 edition



Maureen Kelleher:

If ever there was a moment to ensure that schools in underserved neighborhoods received gap-filling levels of resources, starting with PPE and moving up to capital spending on long-deferred ventilation upgrades, that moment arrived in March 2020. If ever there was a moment to ensure the most vulnerable children received first dibs on buses to school and tutoring, that moment arrived in September 2021.

So far, CPS has done little-to-nothing to move the equity needle on any of these fronts.

As a longtime observer of the district and a former CPS parent, it amazes me that district and city leaders cannot look at this situation through the eyes of families facing the greatest challenges right now and plan accordingly.

Mike Antonucci:

“Regrettably, the Mayor and her CPS leadership have put the safety and vibrancy of our students and their educators in jeopardy,” according to a CTU press release.

Whether teachers and students are safer at home is a matter for debate, as the current surge occurred while everyone was at home during the winter break. But I’m baffled to understand how shutting down schools is supposed to positively affect everyone’s vibrancy levels.

Mandates, closed schools and Dane County Madison Public Health.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




“An emphasis on adult employment “



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 Beck and Madeline Heim:

which pushed Dane County this week not to calculate its percentage of positive tests — a data point the public uses to determine how intense infection is in an area.   

While positive test results are being processed and their number reported quickly, negative test results are taking days in some cases to be analyzed before they are reported to the state. 

Channel3000:

The department said it was between eight and 10 days behind in updating that metric on the dashboard, and as a result it appeared to show a higher positive percentage of tests and a lower number of total tests per day.

The department said this delay is due to the fact data analysts must input each of the hundreds of tests per day manually, and in order to continue accurate and timely contact tracing efforts, they prioritized inputting positive tests.

“Positive tests are always immediately verified and processed, and delays in processing negative tests in our data system does not affect notification of test results,” the department said in a news release. “The only effect this backlog has had is on our percent positivity rate and daily test counts.”

Staff have not verified the approximately 17,000 tests, which includes steps such as matching test results to patients to avoid duplicating numbers and verifying the person who was tested resides in Dane County.

All 77 false-positive COVID-19 tests come back negative upon reruns.

Madison private school raises $70,000 for lawsuit against public health order. – WKOW-TV. Commentary.

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Assembly against private school forced closure.

Wisconsin Catholic schools will challenge local COVID-19 closing order. More.

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.




Achievement, Teacher Unions and “an emphasis on adult employment”



Item 10.11: $100,000 contract to WestEd (funded from the Teaching & Learning budget) for evaluation of the Special Education Plan

Item 10.15: $4 million purchase (all cash from fund balance) of a building for use as an alternative education site, meeting spaces, and offices for the professional learning department.

The regular meeting also has the annual presentation of the audited financials for the year ending June 30, 2019, toward the end of the meeting

This year the auditors actually called out a few “significant deficiencies” (Letter) (accounting term of art, which Kelly Ruppel chooses to call “significant findings” in her memo to Belmore & BOE).

Wegner CPA’s has delivered the district’s financial audit statements, single audit statements, and communication letter with those charged with governance. These documents are attached to this memo via email. Following are some pertinent points:

Our fund statements include an operating fund surplus of $8,488,636. This surplus includes unspent TID funds in the amount of $1,407,402, unspent TID closing $3,200,000, interest earnings over budget $902,426, and a Medicaid cost settlement over budget of $1,022,628. Governmental funds also showing a surplus include a Capital projects Surplus of $1,429,799 for safety projects completed over the summer, a Donation fund surplus of $918,635 related to the East High Field House donation, and a Community Service fund surplus of $107,920.

The auditors’ report includes a significant finding that some of the 12 schools tested retained incomplete documentation support for disbursements or deposits for their school activity funds. Although procedures are in place to mitigate this, we are working on retraining staff and emphasizing the importance of this documentation. We are also including this information in the Secretary and Principal’s back to school training to emphasize these procedures.

The auditors’ report also includes a significant finding that two special education employees were not properly licensed per the Department of Public Instructions licensing requirements. The new HR system currently being implemented will mitigate this in the future.

In the past, the Board has asked Administration to state the status of our non-WRS post-employment long term obligations. As of June 30, 2019, the liability balances of these are:oSick Leave –Currently Active Employees $39,644,330 (actuarial value)oSick Leave Escrow -Retirees $29,225,362 (actual value)oTeacher Emeritus Retirement Program (TERP) and Administrative Retirement Plan-$30,965,900 (actuarial value)oOther Post-Employment Benefits, OPEB(health and life) -$27,483,949 (actuarial values

Scott R. Haumersen, a Wegner CPA partner (the District’s auditor), recently held a fundraiser for School Board member Gloria Reyes.

Related: “an emphasis on adult employment“.

“The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”




An emphasis on adult employment



Luca Dellana:

The fact that (almost) all degrees have the same duration regardless of the complexity of the underlying field is the best evidence that education has been built around the universities’ needs, not the students’.




An Emphasis on Adult Employment





Andrew Coulson:

This week, President Obama called for the hiring of 10,000 new teachers to beef up math and science achievement. Meanwhile, in America, Earth, Sol-System, public school employment has grown 10 times faster than enrollment for 40 years (see chart), while achievement at the end of high school has stagnated in math and declined in science (see other chart).
Either the president is badly misinformed about our education system or he thinks that promising to hire another 10,000 teachers union members is politically advantageous-in which case he would seem to be badly misinformed about the present political climate. Or he lives in an alternate universe in which Kirk and Spock have facial hair and government monopolies are efficient. It’s hard to say.

Related: Madison School District 2010-2011 Budget Update: $5,100,000 Fund Balance Increase since June, 2009; Property Taxes to Increase 9+%, and Ripon Superintendent Richard Zimman:

“Beware of legacy practices (most of what we do every day is the maintenance of the status quo), @12:40 minutes into the talk – the very public institutions intended for student learning has become focused instead on adult employment. I say that as an employee. Adult practices and attitudes have become embedded in organizational culture governed by strict regulations and union contracts that dictate most of what occurs inside schools today. Any impetus to change direction or structure is met with swift and stiff resistance. It’s as if we are stuck in a time warp keeping a 19th century school model on life support in an attempt to meet 21st century demands.” Zimman went on to discuss the Wisconsin DPI’s vigorous enforcement of teacher licensing practices and provided some unfortunate math & science teacher examples (including the “impossibility” of meeting the demand for such teachers (about 14 minutes)). He further cited exploding teacher salary, benefit and retiree costs eating instructional dollars (“Similar to GM”; “worry” about the children given this situation).

Janet Mertz:

Thanks much for taking the time from your busy schedule to respond to our letter below. I am delighted to note your serious interest in the topic of how to obtain middle school teachers who are highly qualified to teach mathematics to the MMSD’s students so that all might succeed. We are all in agreement with the District’s laudable goal of having all students complete algebra I/geometry or integrated algebra I/geometry by the end of 10th grade. One essential component necessary for achieving this goal is having teachers who are highly competent to teach 6th- through 8th-grade mathematics to our students so they will be well prepared for high school-level mathematics when they arrive in high school.
The primary point on which we seem to disagree is how best to obtain such highly qualified middle school math teachers. It is my strong belief that the MMSD will never succeed in fully staffing all of our middle schools with excellent math teachers, especially in a timely manner, if the primary mechanism for doing so is to provide additional, voluntary math ed opportunities to the District’s K-8 generalists who are currently teaching mathematics in our middle schools. The District currently has a small number of math-certified middle school teachers. It undoubtedly has some additional K-8 generalists who already are or could readily become terrific middle school math teachers with a couple of hundred hours of additional math ed training. However, I sincerely doubt we could ever train dozens of additional K-8 generalists to the level of content knowledge necessary to be outstanding middle school math teachers so that ALL of our middle school students could be taught mathematics by such teachers.




“And emphasis on adult employment” – Wauwatosa edition



Open Record:

It’s a FOX6 investigation that sparked change before it even went to air. Thousands of tax dollars poured into a school program — but was it for the kids or a school leader’s relationship? In this episode of Open Record, FOX6 Investigator Amanda St. Hilaire explains how she came upon AVID and the Wauwatosa School District. Amanda breaks down what AVID is and why a seemingly conflict of interest raised red flags. You’ll hear how the district responded, what the school board is doing about the issue, and what prompted Amanda to show up at a recent school board meeting




“The Milwaukee k-12 governance structure is designed to support adult needs over children’s”



William Andrekopoulos

Fortunately, I had a mostly strong and supportive board with the courage to pass those recommendations even when there were hostile reactions from the public. These included closing under-enrolled schools, changing school start times for transportation savings, moving to central kitchens, and negotiating benefit changes.

There is not enough space here to talk about the adult push back to such cost saving changes. While I was superintendent, the auditorium was never packed with people lobbying about student achievement, increasing early childhood education, or improving the graduation rate. That hasn’t changed. It is always about adult issues.

Unfortunately, over the last ten years, there has been tremendous MPS staff turnover and retirements, which has significantly impacted institutional knowledge and expertise – most notably in the financial and human resources departments.

This has added stress to the current governance structure. The district’s latest reporting problems to the Wisconsin Department of Public instruction are a good example. The Milwaukee Parental Choice Program formed in 1989 was supposed to improve MPS performance by creating competition. As a result, MPS developed some very good new school and program options.

——-

“An emphasis on adult employment”




On average, 79% of U.S. adults nationwide are literate in 2024.



National Literacy Institute:

  • 21% of adults in the US are illiterate in 2024.
  • 54% of adults have a literacy below a 6th-grade level (20% are below 5th-grade level).
  • Low levels of literacy costs the US up to 2.2 trillion per year.
  • 34% of adults lacking literacy proficiency were born outside the US.
  • Massachusetts was the state with the highest rate of child literacy.
  • New Mexico was the state with the lowest child literacy rate.
  • New Hampshire was the state with the highest percentage of adults considered literate.
  • The state with the lowest adult literacy rate was California.

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




“No other Trusted Adults”



Scott Girard:

While the walkout was focused on Assad, as Yang continually reminded the group when conversation drifted to other resources and solutions, it also highlighted a larger concern: many of the students there said they couldn’t trust any other adult in the school.

“If you’re not a minority, you wouldn’t understand the impact of having someone that looks like you that’s someone you can go to,” La Follette junior Josepha Da Costa told the Cap Times. “That’s why Coach is so important to us because we have actually built those relationships with him and we see him as someone we can kind of look up to and teach us about ourselves.”

Junior Xodus More described Assad in an interview as “pretty much the only person that kids can go to.”

Multiple staff members spoke to the students during the walkout, offering their ear and a safe place to come and talk. Thompson pointed to The Den, another open walk-in space for students with counselors on hand.

“I’m going to have to work with the counseling team, our student services team to think about how we can be way more present and available to meet your mental health needs,” Thompson said.

Mandates, closed schools and Dane County Madison Public Health.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




“Adults first” policy commentary



Emily Oster:

Local governments are relaxing pandemic restrictions at a dizzying pace, removing mask requirements and vaccine entry rules for businesses. Politicians are generally pushing for a return to normalcy. But for one group, change is not forthcoming: children. The removal of mask mandates in schools is likely weeks, if not months, away in some parts of the country. Quarantine and testing requirements remain in many child-care and school settings, even as they disappear from adult life. My burning question is simply: Why? I can imagine three arguments in favor of a kids-last approach, none of which I find convincing.

First, one could argue that ongoing child-specific restrictions are warranted because children need more protection. This is a hard case to make. Throughout the pandemic, children have been at lower risk of serious illness than adults. In the latest CDC numbers, hospitalization rates for children 0–4 with COVID are estimated at 3.8 per 100,000 and for the 5–11 group at 1 per 100,000. By comparison, the rates in the 18–49, 50–64, and over 65 groups are 3.7, 8.5, and 22, respectively. (The very youngest kids and the 18-49 set have about the same risk, despite only the latter having access to highly effective vaccines.) Long COVID also seems less prevalent among children than adults. Some children are more vulnerable than others, of course, and society owes special attention to high-risk kids. But it doesn’t follow that COVID restrictions for children ought to stay uniformly in place after they’ve been removed for their parents.

A second possible argument in favor of a kids-last policy is that COVID mitigations work better in child settings than in others. The data don’t support this argument, either. Evidence from test-to-stay programs, for example, suggests that more than 97 percent of kids who are exposed to the coronavirus at school and are then required to stay home never end up testing positive. Keeping these kids out of school, then, isn’t meaningfully halting community spread. As for masking,others have made the point that, after two years, we still have paltry proof that face coverings significantly lower case counts at school. Even if you are skeptical of these arguments, masking in school (as practiced) is certainly not more effective than masking in other settings. The largest masking randomized trial, in Bangladesh, found the highest efficacy among older individuals.

Mandates, closed schools and Dane County Madison Public Health.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




“public education employment has the second lowest quit rate of any sector of the U.S. economy”



Mike Antonucci:

As is plain from the numbers, we spiked in both during the summer of 2020, and everything returned to normal soon after.

Not one of the above stories, nor any news report on the issue I have seen, contains any mention that public education employment has the second lowest quit rate of any sector of the U.S. economy, behind only federal government employment.

Where we have shortages at the moment is because people are out sick. They haven’t quit, retired or vanished from the face of the earth. Get a grip, reporters

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

“An emphasis on adult employment”




Political Posturing, interests and “adult employment” on taxpayer supported Dane County Madison public health ordering schools closed



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. Esenberg, Anthony LoCoco, Luke N. Berg, Elisabeth Sobic, and Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, Milwaukee.
For the petitioners St. Ambrose Academy, Inc. et al., there was a reply brief filed by Misha Tseytlin, Kevin M. LeRoy, and Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP, Chicago, Illinois; with whom on the brief was Andrew M. Bath and Thomas More Society, Chicago, Illinois; with whom on the brief was Erick Kaardal and Mohrman, Kaaradal & Erickson, P.A., Minneapolis, Minnesota.

An amicus curiae brief was filed on behalf of Attorney General Josh Kaul by Colin A. Hector, assistant attorney general, and Colin T. Roth, assistant attorney general; with whom on the brief was Joshua L. Kaul, attorney general.
An amicus curiae brief was filed on behalf of Institute for Justice by Lee U. McGrath, Minneapolis, Minnesota; with whom on the brief was Milad Emam, Arlington, Virginia.

An amicus curiae brief was filed on behalf of Freedom from Religion Foundation by Brendan Johnson, Patrick C. Elliott, and Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc., Madison.

An amicus curiae brief was filed on behalf of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Carolyn Stanford Taylor and Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction by Heather Curnutt, Madison.

An amicus curiae brief was filed on behalf of City of Milwaukee by Tearman Spencer, city attorney, and Gregory P. Kruse, city attorney.


An amicus curiae brief was filed on behalf of Madison Metropolitan School District and Monona Grove School District by Sheila M. Sullivan, Melita M. Mullen, and Bell, Moore & Richter, S.C., Madison.
An amicus curiae brief was filed on behalf of Madison Teachers Inc., Wisconsin Association of Local Health Departments and Boards, Wisconsin Education Association Council, Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association, Racine Educators United, Kenosha Education Association, and Green Bay Education Association by Diane M. Welsh, Aaron G. Dumas, and Pines Bach LLP, Madison.
An amicus curiae brief was filed on behalf of Governor Tony Evers and Secretary–Designee of Department of Health Services Andrea Palm by Sopen B. Shah and Perkins Coie LLP, Madison.
An amicus curiae brief was filed on behalf of Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice by Barry J. Blonien, Tanner Jean-Louis, and Boardman & Clark LLP, Madison.

An amicus curiae brief was filed on behalf of Liberty Justice Center, Alaska Policy Forum, Pelican Institute For Public Policy, Roughrider Policy Center, Nevada Policy Research Institute, and Rio Grande Foundation by Daneil R. Suhr, Reilly Stephens, and Liberty Justice Center, Chicago, Illinois.

An amicus curiae brief was filed on behalf of League of Wisconsin Municipalities by Claire Silverman and Maria Davis, Madison

Related: Catholic schools will sue Dane County Madison Public Health to open as scheduled

Notes and commentary from Scott Girard:

“While Heinrich allowed schools to use their premises for child care and youth recreational activities, the government barred students from attending Mass, receiving Holy Communion at weekly Masses with their classmates and teachers, receiving the sacrament of Confession at school, participating in communal prayer with their peers, and going on retreats and service missions throughout the area.”

Additional commentary:

“Reasonable” should mean that the public health authorities followed their own internal guidelines for evaluating regulations. These include posting the scientific evidence leading to the regulation, receiving community input, and studying the effectiveness and sustainability of the regulation. In the case of Covid and the schools all this was ignored in Dane County. There was no evidence of transmission in children of school age at the start, the community’s wish to have the schools open was ignored and, over time, it was seen that surrounding counties kept their schools open without increasing Covid transmission – and this last point was completely ignored by Dane County. But the Supreme Court didn’t address the issue of irresponsible public health officials. Perhaps it cannot as Owen pointed out. Perhaps dereliction of duty must be addressed by criminal courts. Instead the Supreme Court answered a different question which might be put as follows: suppose a majority of children in a given community refused the regular vaccines – or refuse the covid vaccine – can the public health authorities close the school? The answer was no. This is significant because racism has been defined as a public health issue. Suppose a majority of parents refused to allow their children to attend a CRT seminar defined as immunization against racism and required for admittance to school. Could the public health authorities close that school. No. In the past certain religious tests have been required before attendance at universities was allowed and non-conforming universites have been closed. If racism is a public health issue the Test Acts may return as public health tests and if that happened we may be sure Dane County would adopt Test Regulations closing non-conforming public schools if it could. Then this Court decision, barring such Test Regulations, would seem far-sighted.

Notes and links on Dane County Madison Public Health. (> 140 employees).

Molly Beck and Madeline Heim:

which pushed Dane County this week not to calculate its percentage of positive tests — a data point the public uses to determine how intense infection is in an area.   

While positive test results are being processed and their number reported quickly, negative test results are taking days in some cases to be analyzed before they are reported to the state. 

Channel3000:

The department said it was between eight and 10 days behind in updating that metric on the dashboard, and as a result it appeared to show a higher positive percentage of tests and a lower number of total tests per day.

The department said this delay is due to the fact data analysts must input each of the hundreds of tests per day manually, and in order to continue accurate and timely contact tracing efforts, they prioritized inputting positive tests.

“Positive tests are always immediately verified and processed, and delays in processing negative tests in our data system does not affect notification of test results,” the department said in a news release. “The only effect this backlog has had is on our percent positivity rate and daily test counts.”

Staff have not verified the approximately 17,000 tests, which includes steps such as matching test results to patients to avoid duplicating numbers and verifying the person who was tested resides in Dane County.

All 77 false-positive COVID-19 tests come back negative upon reruns.

Madison private school raises $70,000 for lawsuit against public health order. – WKOW-TV. Commentary.

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Assembly against private school forced closure.

Wisconsin Catholic schools will challenge local COVID-19 closing order. More.

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.




2021 K-12 Adult School Climate….



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 Beck and Madeline Heim:

which pushed Dane County this week not to calculate its percentage of positive tests — a data point the public uses to determine how intense infection is in an area.   

While positive test results are being processed and their number reported quickly, negative test results are taking days in some cases to be analyzed before they are reported to the state. 

Channel3000:

The department said it was between eight and 10 days behind in updating that metric on the dashboard, and as a result it appeared to show a higher positive percentage of tests and a lower number of total tests per day.

The department said this delay is due to the fact data analysts must input each of the hundreds of tests per day manually, and in order to continue accurate and timely contact tracing efforts, they prioritized inputting positive tests.

“Positive tests are always immediately verified and processed, and delays in processing negative tests in our data system does not affect notification of test results,” the department said in a news release. “The only effect this backlog has had is on our percent positivity rate and daily test counts.”

Staff have not verified the approximately 17,000 tests, which includes steps such as matching test results to patients to avoid duplicating numbers and verifying the person who was tested resides in Dane County.

All 77 false-positive COVID-19 tests come back negative upon reruns.

Madison private school raises $70,000 for lawsuit against public health order. – WKOW-TV. Commentary.

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Assembly against private school forced closure.

Wisconsin Catholic schools will challenge local COVID-19 closing order. More.

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

Unions, political affiliation more predictive of virtual learning decision than COVID cases. The report.

Run for Office: Dane County Executive is on the Spring, 2021 ballot.




The Bias Fallacy: It’s the achievement gap, not systemic racism, that explains demographic disparities in education and employment.



Heather MacDonald:

The United States is being torn apart by an idea: that racism defines America. The death of George Floyd under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer in late May 2020 catapulted this claim into national prominence; riots and the desecration of national symbols followed. Now, activists and their media allies are marshaling a more sweeping set of facts to prove the dominance of white supremacy: the absence of a proportional representation of blacks in a range of organizations. That insufficient diversity results from racial bias, claim the activists, and every few days, the press serves up another exposé of this industry or that company’s too-white workforce to drive home the point.

In one short stretch during the summer of 2020, the Wall Street Journal ran stories headlined “Wall Street Knows It’s Too White” and “A Decade-Long Stall for Black Enrollment in M.B.A. Programs.” The Los Angeles Times asked: “Why are Black and Latino people still kept out of the tech industry?” In another article, the Times documented its own “painful reckoning over race.” The New York Times pumped out news features and op-eds alleging racism in food journalism, Hollywood, publishing, and sports management, among other professions. The Chronicle of Higher Education painstakingly reported on protests against alleged racial bias in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields, citing, for example, charges that black scientists are constantly “attacked by institutional and systemic racism.” All the articles invoked employment ratios as proof of racism.

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

Unions, political affiliation more predictive of virtual learning decision than COVID cases. The report.

Run for Office: Dane County Executive is on the Spring, 2021 ballot.




MTI files complaint with state employment relations commission over budget cuts survey



Scott Girard:

Madison Teachers Inc. has filed a complaintagainst the Madison Metropolitan School District related to a survey sent out to staff last week.

The Prohibited Practice Complaint was filed Monday with the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission and seeks an immediate cease and desist of the survey and asks that the district be made to destroy any records related to the responses before reviewing them.

The survey was only two questions long, but one of those questions asked staff how they would prefer the district deal with an anticipated $5 million to $9 million in additional budget cuts for the 2020-21 school year. The two options were to freeze most compensation increases currently in the budget, including base wage, or to eliminate 92 full-time equivalent positions while keeping wage increases intact.

Related:

Act 10

Four Senators for $1.57M

An emphasis on adult employment“.

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




Deja vu: 2008 – 2019 Credit for non MadIson School District Courses and Adult Employment



Logan Wroge:

To help students make the transition to a higher-intensity setting, two Madison School District teachers spend time at Goodman South instructing courses with solely STEM Academy students and some with a mix of traditional college and high school students.

“We thought it was really important to have high school teachers be part of the program, teachers that kind of know 16-year-olds well and may already have relationships with students,” Green said.

MATC also has two resource specialists working with the students at Goodman South, acting as academic and career advisers.

Green said the district and college have been intentional about structuring the student schedules so they are on campus between about 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. This is designed so students can continue to participate in sports or after-school, extra-curricular activities, she said.

“We felt it was important for them to still have a connection to their home school,” Green said.

Miranda, the La Follette High School student, makes it back to the Southeast Side school three days a week to participate in three different clubs.

“I just felt like I left part of my high school experience or teenage experience back there, even though I have friends here,” Miranda said. “At the same time, I really do like this environment because it does fit with being mature and having your own independence.”

2008 (!) A
history of parent attempts to implement credit for non taxpayer supported Madison School District credit.

“The district and the union also have quarreled over the role of MTI members in online learning for seven years. Under the new agreement, ANY (my emphasis) instruction of district students will be supervised by Madison teachers. The deal doesn’t change existing practice but confirms that that practice will continue.”

You are quite new to the MMSD. I am EXTREMELY disappointed that you would “cave in” to MTI regarding a long-standing quarrel it has had with the MMSD without first taking the time to get input from ALL affected parties, i.e., students and their parents as well as teachers who might not agree with Matthews on this issue. Does this agreement deal only with online learning or ALL non-MMSD courses (e.g., correspondence ones done by mail; UW and MATC courses not taken via the YOP)? Given we have been waiting 7 years to resolve this issue, there was clearly no urgent need for you to do so this rapidly and so soon after coming on board. The reality is that it is an outright LIE that the deal you just struck with MTI is not a change from the practice that existed 7 years ago when MTI first demanded a change in unofficial policy. I have copies of student transcripts that can unequivocally PROVE that some MMSD students used to be able to receive high school credit for courses they took elsewhere even when the MMSD offered a comparable course. These courses include high school biology and history courses taken via UW-Extension, high school chemistry taken via Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development, and mathematics, computer science, and history courses taken at UW-Madison outside of the YOP. One of these transcripts shows credit for a course taken as recently as fall, 2005; without this particular 1/2 course credit, this student would have been lacking a course in modern US history, a requirement for a high school diploma from the State of Wisconsin.
The MMSD BOE was well aware that they had never written and approved a clear policy regarding this matter, leaving each school in the district deciding for themselves whether or not to approve for credit non-MMSD courses. They were well aware that Madison West HAD been giving many students credit in the past for non-MMSD courses. The fact is that the BOE voted in January, 2007 to “freeze” policy at whatever each school had been doing until such time as they approved an official policy. Rainwater then chose to ignore this official vote of the BOE, telling the guidance departments to stop giving students credit for such courses regardless of whether they had in the past. The fact is that the BOE was in the process of working to create a uniform policy regarding non-MMSD courses last spring. As an employee of the BOE, you should not have signed an agreement with MTI until AFTER the BOE had determined official MMSD policy on this topic. By doing so, you pre-empted the process.

An emphasis on adult employment




Adult Employment: Bay Area teachers hold sickout to support striking Oakland teachers



ABC 7:

The Albany Teachers Association is currently in negotiations with its district. Their contract expires in the fall. They feel the real battle though is with the state and plan on addressing school funding with Governor Gavin Newsom.

“Because the districts can do what they can do, but the state has a lot more power, and they need to put the money behind the lip service for our students in California,” said DeHart.

Related: an emphasis on adult employment.




“A Adult issues kept you out of the classroom where you belong”



Nate Bowling:

That’s an injustice and there’s no way to spin that. There shouldn’t have been a strike. I found the last two weeks mind-numbingly frustrating because it was preventable. If the McCleary Settlement was done with transparency, rather than dead-of-night-last-second deal making, we wouldn’t be here. If a fair contract had been offered from the beginning of negotiations, we wouldn’t be here. If young teachers in our city felt valued and knew they wouldn’t have to pick-up side-hustles to stay in their apartments, we wouldn’t be here.

Lastly for the school board, we elect school board members not spokespeople. Canceling school board meetings, ghosting from social media, and responding to community members with auto-form replies is not the way for school board members to lead. The community didn’t vote for the district public information office, we elected you. If you don’t want to face an angry public when things are bad, perhaps elected office isn’t your calling.

This will be my thirteenth year of teaching. I have worked in Tacoma my entire teaching career. But, my mentor in the profession departed during this strike. I am still not over that. Despite reaching a contract agreement, I have lingering concerns about our ability to retain many of the great teachers we have. I want for Tacoma Schools to be the world-class system our students deserve, but nothing that happened over the last two weeks brought us closer to that.

“An emphasis on adult employment”.




Adult employment and the Madison School Board’s self interest



Chris Rickert:

Like the rest of the board, both also voted to approve the 304-page employee handbook that replaced union contracts beginning in summer 2016.

District legal counsel Dylan Pauly pointed to two board policies that include provisions related to managing conflicts of interest among board members.

One says board members should “avoid conflicts of interest and the appearance of conflicts of interest,” including those set forth in a state law that prohibits “any official action substantially affecting a matter in which the official, a member of his or her immediate family, or an organization with which the official is associated has a substantial financial interest.”

In such cases the board member should refrain from participating in discussions about or voting on such matters in work groups and regular board meetings, and can even choose to leave the room, according to the policy.

Pauly told me Tuesday that she was “not going to address any specific issue or question regarding conflicts of interest for any particular board member.” (She wouldn’t say if it’s district taxpayers, the media or this particular member of the media who can’t get an opinion on the behavior of taxpayer-paid, publicly elected board members from the taxpayer-paid lawyer for the school district.)

But two years ago she pointed to a 1997 opinion from the old state Ethics Board as reason why board members with close personal relations employed by the school district can vote, in some capacity, on policies that affect those close personal relations.

A majority of the Madison School Board rejected the proposed Preparatory IB Charter School and the more recent Montessori pseudo Charter School.

This, despite spending more than most, now nearly $20,0000 per student and tolerating long term, disastrous reading results.

An emphasis on adult employment, and what’s different this time.




“placing adult-centric politics over systemic school improvement”



Laura Waters:

Plenty, according to members of the “Save Camden High School” cadre, who have rebranded themselves under the New Jersey Communities United banner and are planning a confrontation tonight at the Camden Board of Education meeting. Instead of following Sheriff Wilson’s example of placing children’s academic needs on top, this group has decided a years-old, dead-end debate will be its issue du jour, even if it’s to the detriment of students. More broadly, the group’s members represent a microcosm of those who masquerade as social justice warriors while placing adult-centric politics over systemic school improvement.

Eight years ago the Star Ledger described the debilitated state of the “Castle on the Hill”: “emergency scaffolding protects students entering and leaving the school from pieces of plaster and masonry falling off the decaying high school. A new chain-link fence keeps pedestrians clear of other portions of the wall, and broken windows dot the three-story facade.” More recent problems–as shown in the school district’s own video– include cracked steps, crumbling infrastructure, leaking pipes, “indoor vegetation growth,” and an ancient boiler that has required over a million dollars in chewing gum and bailing wire.

Related: “an emphasis on adult employment“.




Teacher license error means these Madison kids must redo classes



By Kayla Huynh

But the school failed to ensure the teacher had the proper licensing to teach a portion of the students’ instruction.

The error meant Steffen’s son, Theodore, and his son’s six classmates would need to redo thousands of minutes of instruction to stay on track with other students.

“I don’t think the problem was on the employee,” Steffen said. “(The school district) hired her, they put her in the position for the job she was going to do, so it seems like a district issue to me.” 

The Madison Metropolitan School District realized the problem when another parent filed a complaint with the state Department of Public Instruction, which credentials teachers, according to a district employee. The staff member requested anonymity because they were not authorized by the district to speak on the matter.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Civics: “Our two-party system isn’t always great, but it’s far preferable to one in which a single party gains total control”



Paul Buchheit:

The Biden situation is a good example of why single-party states are dangerous — the incentives always favor party loyalty over truth. If it weren’t for the disastrous debate and upcoming elections, experts and insiders would still be insisting that Biden is “sharp as a tack”, and that all evidence to the contrary are “cheapfakes” and dangerous misinformation.

Our two-party system isn’t always great, but it’s far preferable to one in which a single party gains total control. I believe this is also a significant factor in the California/SF dysfunction. Without a viable opposition party, party leaders can get away with just about anything, and corruption and incompetence grows unchecked.

—-

Madison has had many uncontested elections in recent years….

Yet:

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Wisconsin Watch Commentary on School library choices



Rachel Hale:

An increasing part of library specialists’ and district administrators’ jobs has become dealing with requests. Records showed hundreds of internal emails related to scheduling reconsideration meetings and addressing parent concerns. Administrators oversee books across numerous buildings and are struggling with the balancing act of appeasing parent concerns while maintaining appropriate grade interest levels for thousands of other students. 

Districts’ criteria took into account a book’s alignment with curriculum and state standards, the readability and appeal of texts to diverse students, the grade-level appropriateness, the significance and reputation of a book’s author, popular appeal and reviews from sites such as Scholastic and Common Sense Media.

——

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Notes on redistributed state taxpayer funds and the madison School District’s budget



Abbey Machtig:

State aid payments are influenced by factors like enrollment, district spending and local property values. Assistant Superintendent of Financial Services Bob Soldern told the Wisconsin State Journal via email the district had been planning to receive about $50 million in state support.

Nichols said she doesn’t think the additional money from the state dramatically changes the district’s financial situation.

“I don’t think for the long haul in terms of the future forecasting of our budget … there will be a huge shift,” she said.

Statewide, the general aid paid to school districts for 2024-25 totals $5.6 billion, according to DPI. Nearly 70% of districts are estimated to receive more general aid from the state, while about 30% are estimated to receive less. Eight districts are estimated to have no change in aid.

DPI is anticipating “greater than usual volatility” in the estimates due to inaccuracies and delays in financial reporting from Milwaukee Public Schools.

The state aid amounts will be finalized in October.

——-

John Jagler:

Dear Milwaukee media. Stop saying MPS is going to “lose” $81 million this year. Or that aid will be cut. It makes it seem like the district is a victim. Instead try: MPS received $81 million more than it should have because of incompetence and is now being held accountable.

Corrinne Hess:

Quinton Klabon, research director with the conservative Institute for Reforming Government, said solving the budget gap will be painful. 

“No cut will be invisible, so every curriculum purchase, every contract, and every staffing decision must justify itself going forward,” Klabon said. “How MPS handles these summer months will determine whether students get the education and services they deserve. Rebuilding trust with parents begins now.”

State aid is the largest form of state support for Wisconsin public schools

DPI calculates general school aids through a formula that uses property values in the district, enrollment and district spending.

The current estimates are based on the 2023-25 biennial budget and pupil count and budget data reported by school districts to the DPI. 

Due to previously reported delays in financial data reporting by Milwaukee Public Schools, the DPI anticipates greater than usual volatility in these estimates.

“Figures used in this estimate may change by a greater than usual amount for the certification of general school aids,” according to a DPI press release. “The department therefore encourages caution when utilizing this estimate.”

Statewide, estimated general school aids for 2024-25 total $5.58 billion, a 4.2 percent increase from 2023-24. 

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average K – 12 spending. Per student spending ranges from $22,633 to $29,827 depending on the spending number used (!)

Enrollment notes.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Notes on Madison’s planned $607M tax & spending increase, outcomes?



Abbey Machtig:

At $607 million, the Madison School District’s pair of referendums set for November will be the second-largest ask of voters by a school district in Wisconsin history.

It comes in behind Racine’s $1 billion referendum, which passed in 2020 by only five votes. The dollar amount Madison is requesting has been described as “unprecedented” in district history by the Wisconsin Policy Forum — not to mention the tax impacts homeowners would see if both questions were approved.

Madison property owners are being asked to fork over a lot of money.

The Madison School District, however, is not alone in its increasing reliance on referendums to fill operating budget holes and to pay for new construction. Other Wisconsin school districts, including Madison suburbs, also have put a number of big referendums on ballots in recent years.

While the dollar amounts are significantly less than what Madison schools are requesting this fall, Madison’s population — estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau at about 280,000 — is significantly greater as well.

It’s hard to make direct comparisons of the tax implications of various referendums, including those Madison is proposing, over the years. Inflation, property values, population changes, and the fact that operating referendums frequently ramp up over a period of time all have an impact.

But for context, here’s a look at the large school referendums Madison and other Dane County voters have approved in recent years.

——-

Madison, meanwhile excels in unopposed school board elections.

Yet:

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average K – 12 spending. Per student spending ranges from $22,633 to $29,827 depending on the spending number used (!)

Enrollment notes.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




47 candidates (!) file for Chicago school board elections



Nader Issa

The window for hopefuls to submit their minimum 1,000 signatures to get on the ballot closed Monday afternoon with more than two dozen final-day submissions wrapping up the week-long process that kicked off the elections.

Chicago’s first-ever school board elections will feature 47 candidates vying for 10 seats, a number surpassing most expectations and including parents, former teachers and principals, nonprofit workers and a rapper.

The window for hopefuls to submit their minimum 1,000 signatures to get on the ballot closed Monday afternoon with more than two dozen final-day submissions wrapping up the week-long process that kicked off the elections.

Carmen Gioiosa beat the clock to file her paperwork in District 4 along the north lakefront, where six people are battling it out. The former high school Italian teacher and Chicago Public Schools central office administrator said she was still collecting signatures Monday morning.

——-

Madison, meanwhile excels in unopposed school board elections.

Yet:

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average K – 12 spending. Per student spending ranges from $22,633 to $29,827 depending on the spending number used (!)

Enrollment notes.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Delong Middle School student makes history winning the first Wisconsin Civics Bee: “focused on the flaws of the education system”



Jeremy Wall 

When Rya Mousavi saw a poster for Wisconsin’s first civics bee, she had an idea.

“My teacher just had a poster on the board and I talked to her about it. She kind of introduced me to the civics bee and I thought it was a good opportunity,” said Mousavi

An opportunity to improve her community. The civics bee is a competition hosted by the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce Foundation in which middle schoolers from across the state share ideas to improve their communities and answer civics questions. 

Contestants are asked to pick a topic to write about. Mousavi focused on the flaws of the education system. She says school systems nationwide, including the Eau Claire Area School District, don’t meet the diverse needs of all students

“We’re really not able to make the most out of all the time, we have to learn and a lot of that is because of issues to the system. There’s a lot we can do to improve the system. I believe we have the resources,” Mousavi said.

——

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average K – 12 spending. Per student spending ranges from $22,633 to $29,827 depending on the spending number used (!)

Enrollment notes.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Notes on Madison’s planned K-12 tax & $pending increase referendum (enrollment data?)



Abbey Machtig

Administrators are recommending Sennett Middle School and Cherokee Heights Middle School be replaced with new buildings. The same goes for several combined schools that share the same location: Shabazz City High and Sherman Middle; Black Hawk Middle and Gompers Elementary; Toki Middle and Orchard Ridge Elementary.

The district would also renovate Anana and Crestwood elementary schools, bringing the total cost of construction to $507 million.

It’s not clear exactly where the new schools would be located. New schools could be built on empty fields next door to some of the existing buildings, according to board materials.

Meanwhile, money from the operating referendum could be spent on things like staff salaries and educational programming. The district has not provided details on exactly what the $100 million will buy.

….

In the preliminary budget, spending would total $581 million, about $10 million less than last school year. With COVID-19 pandemic relief aid winding down, the district is getting significantly less money from federal sources.

The district plans to add more than 100 full-time equivalent positions in 2025. Most of the additions will be at the classroom level, with more teachers and education assistant positions added back to schools.

——

Kayla Huynh:

If voters approve of the school district’s two measures, MMSD officials estimate an owner of an average-value home in Madison would see a $1,376 increase on their property tax bills by 2028. That could be on top of hundreds of dollars annually for a city property tax increase.

If the operating budget referendum fails, the district’s starting budget would still include 107 new full-time positions. It would also retain 111 positions previously funded by federal pandemic relief aid, the Policy Forum said.

The number of administrators would stay nearly the same, but the district would add more teachers, educational assistants and mental health support staff. Many of the teacher resources would go toward the 4-year-old kindergarten and kindergarten through first grade programs.

Total staff for the school district would be the equivalent of 4,192 full-time employees — the largest number of district staff since at least 2013, the Policy Forum said.

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average K – 12 spending. Per student spending ranges from $22,633 to $29,827 depending on the spending number used (!)

Enrollment notes.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




“The best news reporter in town is up with a story today that ought to get heads rolling in our public school district”



David Blaska:

but probably won’t because — Forget it, Jake, it’s Madison WI!

School employees harassed police as they arrested an 18-year-old student criminal for carrying a loaded weapon inside La Follette high school, according to the most excellent report from Chris Rickert of the WI State Journal, made after an open records request. 

One Kyshawn M. Bankston had a Glock 9 mm handgun, two magazines with rounds in them, a scale and an empty plastic bag that had contained marijuana, police say. The young scholar lunged for that gun as police moved to arrest him. (Their police report)

——-

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average K – 12 spending. Per student spending ranges from $22,633 to $29,827 depending on the spending number used (!)

Enrollment notes.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Madison’s K-12 Governance: recent calendar activity



With the arrival of our latest K-12 Superintendent, I thought readers might have interest in recent calendar activity. On 4 June, 2024, I made a public records request of the taxpayer funded Madison School District:

“digital copy of Superintendent Joe Gothard’s calendar from his first meetings (April?) through 4 June, 2024.

In addition, I write to request the same for Nichelle Nichols, Board President from 1 January 2024 to 4 June, 2024.

Digital screenshots of these requests in png or jpg format are fine.”

I received the response today. Nichelle Nichols and Joe Gothard.

Superintendent Gothard’s May to June weekly calendar screens:

——

2013: What will be different, this time? 2019: Jennifer Cheatham and the Madison Experience

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average K – 12 spending. Per student spending ranges from $22,633 to $29,827 depending on the spending number used (!)

Enrollment notes.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




“Security staff are in the wrong job if they object to arresting armed students.”



David Blaska

The so-called “security staff” at La Follette high school put up a hissy fit when police carted off an 18-year-old student found with weapons of mass destruction in his backpack. (“We’re supposed to protect kids here” — from police!) The newspaper quotes the school principal, who caught hell from the “security staff,” to say: 

“We have amazing employees of color who were watching a student of color going into the system. They were, and are, heartbroken” and “raw emotions and feelings surfaced. …. Their hearts were in the right place.” — Principal Mat (one T) Thompson, quoted here.

That kind of Woke blibber blabber surfaces raw emotions and feelings in this correspondent but he does not want to go all Proud Boy on the schools. Instead, we offer defeated school board candidate David Blaska’s response to rightly concerned Madison parents and taxpayers: 

—-

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average K – 12 spending. Per student spending ranges from $22,633 to $29,827 depending on the spending number used (!)

Enrollment notes.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Commentary on Madison’s Latest K-12 Superintendent



“Mildred & Hands”:

He certainly has his work cut out for him. Gothard is being thrust into a likely $600 million referendum campaign this fall that won’t be easy to pass. Inflation and soaring housing costs have soured many voters on tax hikes. Advocates will need to show taxpayers in a clear and specific way what they are getting for their money. How will outcomes for children improve?

The district must retrain elementary teachers in reading instruction that emphasizes phonics. State officials have mandated the strategy, based on research showing better results. But they aren’t giving Gothard’s district additional resources for the considerable effort (?).

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average K – 12 spending. Per student spending ranges from $22,633 to $29,827 depending on the spending number used (!)

Enrollment notes.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Tiny and terrifying: Why some feel threatened by Wisconsin’s parental choice programs



Patrick Mcilheran:

In Madison, where the possibility of school choice arrived 23 years after Milwaukee, there are six private schools in the choice program that Smith calls “vouchers,” and those six schools enrolled 655 choice students in the school year just ended. The Madison Metropolitan School District, in comparison, has about 25,000 students.

Big ask

Perhaps Madison families will see some of the growth common elsewhere. Independent private schools in the city of Milwaukee educated about 29,000 children using choice grants last year, and those in Racine educated about 4,000. Nearly 19,000 kids throughout the rest of Wisconsin used choice grants.

Several more Madison schools have been cleared by state regulators to join the choice program in fall, including a second one to offer high school grades. This likely will be a blessing to Madison families looking for an alternative to a school district where, by the state’s most recent figures, only 41% of the students had been taught to read at grade level or better. By contrast, Madison’s largest private school in the choice program, Abundant Life Christian School, got 73% of its students to grade level or better in reading. 

Why Senator Smith regards this as “failing” is baffling.

When families take their children to Abundant Life or other independent options, $10,237 of state aid will follow each one, or $12,731 if they’re high schoolers — the entirety of taxpayers’ outlay. 

By contrast, in the most recent state figures, Madison Metropolitan School District spent a total of $17,944 per child in taxpayer money.

What’s more, the district may ask voters in November for another $600 million in spending, overriding the taxpayer-protecting limits set in law. The proposal would add $1,378 to the property taxes of a typical Madison home. The district says its budget is in dire straits because it used temporary pandemic aid for permanent expenses. It could have to cut its $589 million budget by about $2 million, or 0.4%.

——-

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average K – 12 spending. Per student spending ranges from $22,633 to $29,827 depending on the spending number used (!)

Enrollment notes.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Notes on Madison K-12 Governance and outcomes



David Blaska

Contrast that with a public school system here in Madison in which so-called safety monitors try to prevent police from removing pistol-packing pupils from the hallways of La Follette high school in the name of diversity, equity, and inclusion. (Read & Weep!) 

In the spirit of transparency, our new superintendent of schools gave an interview to our favorite local morning newspaper in which he manages to talk much and say little. Asked about Jennifer Cheatham’s Behavior Education Plan, however, Joe Gothard acknowledges:

“People would like to support a complete upheaval and change… but I haven’t been directed by the board and I certainly haven’t heard it as a priority.”

Blaska’s Bottom Line #1And you won’t hear it as a priority if you’re a new hire who reports to the likes of school board members Ali Muldrow, Savion Castro, and their allies at Progressive Dane and Freedom Inc.! 

Blaska’s Bonus Bottom Line: As we told Dave Zweifel of The Capital Times in the last thrilling episode, not exposing students to Woke ideology is a feature, not a bug.

——

More:

My old boss at The Capital TimesDave Zweifel kvetches that “the school choice program is no longer limited to that altruistic approach championed by Thompson in 1990,” that being limiting participation to the poorest of the poor. Dave, you were opposed to Tommy’s altruistic approach even in 1990! BTW: The program is still income-limited.

Another supposed fly in the ointment, Dave sez, is that voucher schools can prevent students from being exposed (Dave’s word) or subjected (Blaska’s word) to Woke ideology. That’s a feature, not a bug, Dave. He writes:

Since the days of Thomas Jefferson, America provided public education to its citizens. 

Still does, thanks to the voucher program! No mention of Milwaukee’s scandalous public schools, which do NOT provide public education to its citizens.

——

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average K – 12 spending. Per student spending ranges from $22,633 to $29,827 depending on the spending number used (!)

Enrollment notes.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Substantial Madison K-12 tax and $pending increase plans



Kayla Huynh

One question on the ballot would ask voters for $100 million over the next four school years to increase spending on staff salaries and education programs. The second would ask for $507 million to renovate or replace seven aging elementary and middle schools.

The two referendums would be “unprecedented in size and scope in district history,” according to an analysis from the nonpartisan Wisconsin Policy Forum released today.

As school district leaders consider the referendums, Madison city leaders also are weighing a property tax referendum of their own on the same ballot.

That would mark the first time Madison voters are asked to consider property tax referendums from both the school district and the city.

If voters approve of the school district’s two measures, MMSD officials estimate an owner of an average-value home in Madison would see a $1,376 increase on their property tax bills by 2028. That could be on top of hundreds of dollars annually for a city property tax increase.

——

Wisconsin Policy Forum (achievement?)

Another set of points for referendum voters to consider is how MMSD funding compares to other districts in Dane County and around Wisconsin. In short, the district’s revenue limit and related aid of $15,435 per student is already relatively high compared to other districts, and the referendum would accentuate that.

….

However, the middle schools in particular have low rates of utilization because of declining enrollment, with Sennett, Sherman, Toki, and Black Hawk middle schools all operating at or between 45% and 56% of their capacity. With enrollment currently projected to fall further in the next several years, MMSD officials and voters may wish to consider whether all of these schools will be used for many years to come or whether it makes sense to explore consolidating two middle school buildings to avoid at least one of the construction projects.

They may wish to engage in a similar discussion about elementary schools as well, though those facilities generally have at least somewhat higher utilization rates.

That would be the largest number of MMSD staff since at least 2013 despite the fact that enrollment is essentially at its lowest point over that period.

Sarah Lehr:

But Stein said the latest proposals are historic in size.

“This would be both from the capital and the operating side, the largest referendum questions that have ever been put to (MMSD) voters,” he said. “So certainly, this is a bigger ask than voters have ever had from the district in the past.”

Stein says Madison is contending with financial headwinds, including state-imposed limits on fundraising and waning pandemic aid. 

He also noted that money from a tax referendum approved by MMSD voters in 2020 is drying up.

Last year, Madison’s school board approved employee raises between 5.5 and 10 percent, which cost an extra $12 million in the current fiscal year. MMSD’s proposed budget for 2025 would add more than 100 full-time equivalent staff positions, and could also include additional raises.

It remains to be seen how many of those positions will be filled in a hot labor market, and Stein noted that vacancies could help patch up the budget shortfall.

“All school districts have been facing challenges from employee turnover (and) from rising inflation costs that have put pressure on their labor costs,” he said.

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average K – 12 spending. Per student spending ranges from $22,633 to $29,827 depending on the spending number used (!)

Enrollment notes.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Notes on “voucher” schools; accountability?



Dave Zweifel

Many educators complained at the time that the entire voucher program would serve as a foot in the door to eventually undermine the public school system — a system that had served the country since colonial days and was credited with representing the true melting pot among children from different cultures, races and incomes. Besides, experiments comparing public and private schools in other places hadn’t resulted in any significant improvements in student outcomes.

The ACLU filed suit against the religious school expansion and in 1998, the State Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional. But, three years later the U.S. Supreme Court okayed the concept, agreeing with voucher proponents that taxpayer money actually went to parents who then could use the money as they saw fit for their children’s education. Therefore, states weren’t directly sending funds to religious schools, the court found.

From those beginnings here in Wisconsin, that seemingly modest little program has blossomed into a colossus that is rapidly creating a complete second school system funded by the American taxpayer.

“Billions in taxpayer dollars are being used to pay tuition at religious schools throughout the country, as state voucher programs expand dramatically and the line separating public education and religion fades,” a report in the Washington Post read earlier this month.

——-

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average K – 12 spending. Per student spending ranges from $22,633 to $29,827 depending on the spending number used (!)

Enrollment notes.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




“Second, the latest revelation underscores the incompetence of the board”



John Schlifske:

The recent news that Milwaukee Public Schools failed to file a required financial report to the state Department of Public Instruction, that its past reports were missing data or inaccurate, and that it might have to payback millions in funds to the state is just another proof point underscoring the need for substantial governance reform. This lays open two serious deficiencies with the MPS board

First, is the lack of transparency and outright deceit on the part of the board. Do we really believe all this was “discovered” after the district led a push for $252 million in new property taxes? Do we really believe that no one on the board was aware of what was going on? For an elected body to misrepresent and hide the true situation at MPS immediately preceding the spring ballot initiative is outrageous and unacceptable. The board operates in star-chamber proceedings with absolutely no oversight. It no longer holds the public’s trust.

Second, the latest revelation underscores the incompetence of the board. Why weren’t they asking the tough questions? Why weren’t they seeking information as to the delay? Were they so oblivious to good governance that they didn’t even think to ask for this kind of data? No well-governed organization should ever find itself in the situation the MPS board is in right now. Moreover, this incompetence extends to the performance of the school system itself.

Milwaukee schools near bottom in national academic performance

As a city, our K-12 educational performance is near dead last, well below the national averages (based on the National Assessment of Educational Progress) in both reading and math. Think about it, we are below virtually every other major city in America. Worse, only 15.9%, and 9.9% of MPS students are on grade level on the state assessment in reading and math, respectively.

——-

Commentary.

Meanwhile, Madison!

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average K – 12 spending. Per student spending ranges from $22,633 to $29,827 depending on the spending number used (!)

Enrollment notes.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




“You shouldn’t expect to know how to read, do math, or make a life for yourself”



Luther Ray Abel:

once you’re auto-graduated from one of the area’s failed schools. But if you’re a Marquette-educated city planner who grew up in Whitefish Bay and now has a place, a goldendoodle, and a job in the Third Ward, Milwaukee is everything a man could ever want. Ride the white-collar novelty streetcar that cost tens of millions to build and bask in how good it is to be anywhere that isn’t steeped in crime-and-grift-maintained poverty.

It just so happens that those moaning about Trump’s assessment of Milwaukee are the latter. Everyone else is fighting for their lives.

——-

If @MilwaukeeMPS accounting is this bad, can the initial figures it presented when it first pushed for the $252M referendum even be trusted? @WISN12News

——-

Commentary

——

Meanwhile:

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average K – 12 spending. Per student spending ranges from $22,633 to $29,827 depending on the spending number used (!)

Enrollment notes.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Notes on planned Madison tax & $pending increase 2024 Referendum(s)



Abbey Machtig:

Past spending decisions combined with current revenue estimates leave the district with an estimated $40 million shortfall, Assistant Superintendent of Financial Services Bob Soldner told the Wisconsin State Journal.

District could renovate, build new schools

The district appears to be leaning toward building several new schools with potential referendum dollars rather than renovating existing buildings.

Leadership says many aging school buildings require substantial aesthetic, electrical and mechanical changes the district can’t afford without a referendum. The money would also go toward making schools more energy efficient and accessible.

“Under revenue limits, you just don’t have any other options on the facilities,” Soldner said Monday. “If you have a need, you have to seek voter approval.”

District administration is recommending that Sennett Middle School and Cherokee Heights Middle School be replaced with new buildings. The same goes for several combined schools that share the same location: Shabazz City High and Sherman Middle; Black Hawk Middle and Gompers Elementary; Toki Middle and Orchard Ridge Elementary.

That new construction would cost an estimated $443 million.

——

“city would spend about $431.4 million but raise only about $409.4 million in revenue”:

Of the $26 million in new spending expected for next year, most of it — $14.5 million — will go toward staff salaries and benefits. Last year, the city raised pay by 3% for unionized employees like police and fire department staff. General city employees got a 6% raise.

Of the $14.5 million for staff, $2.97 million will cover rising health insurance costs alone.

On the revenue side, the $4 million in new cash the city will bring in next year comes from increasing the property tax levy to the extent allowed without a referendum, which would generate about $12.6 million. Another $6 million will come from interest earnings and $1 million from increased ambulance fees.

Those increases are offset by one-time funding the city used to balance its 2024 budget, which came from the city’s rainy day fund, federal stimulus support and tax incremental financing money.

As the city’s budget options come into sharper focus, it remains unclear how, if at all, the city will use $16 million added to the rainy day fund thanks to higher-than-expected income from the city’s investments.

—-

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average K – 12 spending. Per student spending ranges from $22,633 to $29,827 depending on the spending number used (!)

Enrollment notes.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




“If both measures pass, that means the average tax bill for Madison residents could increase by $2,030 by 2028”



Abbey Machtig:

The estimated tax impact for residents is as follows:

Operational referendum: 2024-25 — $316.72 increase; 2025-26 — $315.49 increase; 2026-27 — $209.1 increase; 2027-28 — $208.28 increase; total: $1,049.58 increase in property tax bill over the next four years.

Facilities referendum: 2025-26 — $327.47 increase; 2026-27 — $328.83 increase; 2027-28 — $326.20 increase; total — $980.50 increase in property tax bills by 2028.

Since 2000, the district has put 10 referendum questions on the ballot. Eight have passed, giving the district extra money to balance its operating budget and for renovations and construction. In 2020, voters passed a $33 million operating referendum, which pays the bills to keep the district running, and a $317 million capital referendum to fund renovations to five of the district’s high schools and to build the new Southside Elementary School.

——

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average K – 12 spending. Per student spending ranges from $22,633 to $29,827 depending on the spending number used (!)

Enrollment notes.

—-

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




“to audit the effectiveness of teaching and instruction of our kids in classrooms across the district.” (!)



Molly Beck, Rory Linnane And Kelly Meyerhofer

The review proposed by Evers would be funded through federal dollars allocated for MPS but yet used or funding leftover from previously awarded contracts, according to the governor.

The audits would produce “a comprehensive review and evaluation of the district’s systems, processes, and procedures to identify areas for improvement,” and “a comprehensive review and analysis of instructional practices, methodologies, and policies, which may include, for example, reviews of school and classroom learning environments, professional development policies and practices, curriculum implementation, and leadership, among other areas.”

“Parents and families, taxpayers, and the greater community rightfully have questions, and each and everyone of those questions deserves honest and transparent answers,” Evers said. “For any meaningful conversation about possible solutions to happen, the first step is to fully identify the extent of the problems. The audits I’m proposing today must be done to drive those future conversations.”

——

DPI Superintendent Underly: “I support Eliminating the Foundations of Reading (FORT)” Teacher Test

Wisconsin’s low bar WKCE expedition. (DPI)

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

The New England Primer.

——

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




“teachers at Burruss used to use a method called balanced literacy”



Juma Sei:

The easiest way to describe it is you kind of just let a kid figure things out by giving them context clues for the words they see, like pictures. But…

JOHNSON: Our reading data was terrible. We didn’t have the data to back up what we were doing.

SEI: So today, the teachers at Burruss use a method called structured literacy or the science of reading.

JOHNSON: Structured literacy is explicit instruction. Like, no, let’s teach them the code, teach them what the letters mean and how the letters represent sounds. And how the sounds come together to make words and, like, explicit instruction.

SEI: With national K-12 reading scores lower than they’ve been in decades, schools across the country are making the same transition to structured literacy. And those changes are being enshrined in legislation. Last year, 17 states passed new laws or implemented new policies encouraging schools to adopt the science of reading. That’s according to an analysis by Education Week. Georgia was one of those states.

RAMONA BROWN: Words are stored in memory through blank and blank.

—-

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Wisconsin DPI and learning to read….



Will Flanders:

The person put in charge of implementing the Science of Reading in Wisconsin apparently wrote positively about Lucy Calkins.

More.

Quinton Klabon:

GENUINE QUESTION: She was the 2017 president of the Wisconsin State Reading Association, which lobbied against Act 20 in 2023!

Many know her, so can someone explain?

DPI Superintendent Underly: “I support Eliminating the Foundations of Reading (FORT)” Teacher Test

Wisconsin’s low bar WKCE expedition. (DPI)

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

———

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Madison police: School staff objected to arrests of students for gun possession in school



Chris Rickert:

Staff at Madison’s La Follette High School have on at least two occasions objected to police arresting at least one La Follette student who brought a gun to school, including one case in which two staffers lied about being two students’ legal guardians, according to police reports.

Kyshawn M. Bankston, 18, was charged May 9 with possession of a firearm on school grounds and carrying a concealed weapon after being arrested at the school two days earlier. Police had been called to the school about an unrelated robbery, but while there they were informed by staff that Bankston might have a gun and were asked for help searching his backpack.

Police found a handgun, two magazines with rounds in them, a scale and an empty plastic bag that had contained marijuana, and as they moved to arrest Bankston, he lunged for the gun and had to be restrained, according to police.

Madison police denied a State Journal request under the state’s public records law for the full report of the May 7 incident, saying the investigation into the incident was still open, but did release two other reports regarding Bankston in response to the records request.

More in this PDF

——

Commentary:

——

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Madison parents file complaint to remove taxpayer funded Southside Elementary principal and assistant principal



Abbey Machtig:

Both groups have similar demands and say the school’s principal, Candace Terrell, and assistant principal, Annabel Torres, are “unfit” to lead Southside or any school.

“With Candace Terrell and Annabel Torres at the helm, Southside will continue to run afoul and eventually sink into the abyss,” the complaint from parents reads. “For this reason, we will no longer allow or tolerate our opinions and voices to be suppressed.”

The parent complaint also alleges there are high levels of unsafe and disruptive behaviors at the school, both physical and psychological. They say physical fights and bullying among students are common, with no adult intervention.

“Ms. Terrell and Ms. Torres are not following up with parents after bullying or physical violence happens. There is concern that the administration is not following up with families, and is not officially reporting serious incidents,” the complaint says.

The Complaint (PDF).

—-

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




K-12 Tax & $pending climate: City of Madison plans to increase residential density and the tax base….



Lucas Robinson:

West Side residents who have been most opposed to the plan worry about elements that call for up to 16-story apartment buildings along Mineral Point Road and near the Hilldale Shopping Center. They also complain that the plan now doesn’t have enough medium-density housing, some of which was removed in response to previous resident feedback. That medium-density housing still exists in other parts of the plan, such as on Gammon Road.

West Side resident Janet Hirsch said she thinks the West Side already has taken on its fair share of housing density, evidenced by Hilldale and the ongoing Madison Yards redevelopment, but doesn’t get in return the cultural amenities and entertainment seen Downtown or on the East Side.

“If you want to have more housing over here then fine, give us some of the other services,” Hirsch said. “But with some of the big apartment buildings we’re going to lose that sense of community.”

——

Letter to the editor:

Forced-rezoning fans keep their self-righteousness greased up with crass stereotypes. They sneer at us decadent West Siders in Madison, lounging around in our opulent mansions.

I walk through the rooms of my very small home, unimproved for 35 years, because we have to watch our money carefully — and I wonder who they’re scolding. Many seniors are in our situation.

The main pants-on-fire lie is that Madison will, inevitably, have 40,000 new citizens in a few years, and we have to greet them with open arms and a ton of new housing units. No, we don’t.

The more arrogant people in favor of rezoning command us whiny chumps to shut up and let them get on with their holy task of stacking 40,000 people up really high. They say this is our moral duty. False. Many of these new units would not be affordable. And Madison doesn’t have to be boomtown.

Commentary.

——

Looming substantial Madison tax and $pending increases.

—-

Yet:

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average k-12 $pending. Dive in, here.

Yet:

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Looming substantial Madison tax and $pending increases



Allison Garfield:

 If the property tax increase covered the projected $27 million deficit, it would cost the average household an additional $284 annually, or roughly $24 a month.

If approved by voters, the increase would add to a revenue stream Madison already relies heavily upon to fund its services, with over 70% of the city’s money coming from property taxes. The city’s rapidly growing population has added to the demand for services, and while a property tax hike is one of only a few options available for the 2025 budget, the City Council is also considering what steps can be taken to address future deficits down the line.

——

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average k-12 $pending. Dive in, here.

Yet:

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Mississippi students and educators have closed the gap and reached the national average on the National Assessment of Educational Progress.



Julia James:

This growth can be attributed to several factors, but chief among them is a 2013 state law that created a more robust infrastructure around helping children learn to read and holding them back at the end of third grade if they didn’t hit a certain benchmark.

But this national test also measures students again in eighth grade. The gap between the national average and Mississippi’s eighth-grade reading score has gotten smaller over the last decade, but it hasn’t closed at the rate of fourth-grade reading. 

State leaders are paying attention. 

“Some of our challenge points are eighth-grade reading,” Interim State Superintendent Ray Morgigno said when presenting an annual report at the Jan. 18 State Board of Education meeting.

Morgigno then pointed to the pilot programs underway around the state to expand Mississippi’s fourth-grade reading strategies up to the middle school level. One is being operated by the Mississippi Department of Education in conjunction with a regional arm of the U.S. Department of Education. 

Literacy momentum stalls in Wisconsin (DPI): Why would Wisconsin’s state leaders promote the use of curriculum that meets “minimal level” criteria, instead of elevating the highest-quality

——-

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Advocates of discredited way to teach reading the most dangerous cult of all



Chris Reed:

Given how many kids struggle with reading proficiency, it’s stunning that the ‘whole language’ approach is still used in so many elementary schools

Who are the most dangerous cultists — adherents of a belief system regarded as unorthodox or spurious, to use a common definition — in the United States? Some will point to religions perceived as out of the mainstream, others will cite extreme political movements and still others might take a potshot at devotees of Red Sox Nation.

But in a country built on the idea that free, competent public education is the bedrock to the success of individuals and society in general, the most dangerous cult is the one that promotes unscientific methods of teaching reading. Despite massive evidence that the “phonics” approach is far more effective, the “whole language” approach is still a part of the reading instruction curricula used by 72 percent of elementary school teachers, according to a 2019 Education Week Research Center survey. Education researchers routinely note that lesson plans with no history of working well are ubiquitous in U.S. schools.

Language education experts say this is a big reason why nearly two-thirds of fourth- and eighth-graders in the U.S. in 2019 — before the pandemic disruption hurt scores even more — were not proficient readers. The stats were similar but slightly worse in California. The implications are grim. Poor reading skills correlate with dropping out of school, a lack of career success and even a much shorter life expectancy.

—-

Reed is deputy editor of the editorial and opinion section….

Meanwhile, Madison’s legacy newspaper opinion folks supported a successful candidate – Jill Underly – for the Wisconsin department of public instruction who sought (and continues) to get rid of our only early literacy teacher knowledge exam. More.

—-

More, here.

—-

Literacy momentum stalls in Wisconsin (DPI): Why would Wisconsin’s state leaders promote the use of curriculum that meets “minimal level” criteria, instead of elevating the highest-quality

——-

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




“The conflict between the bureaucratic, managerial priorities of school administrators and the moral ideals of teachers has characterized my seventeen-year teaching career”



Jeremy Noonan:

It is also a major reason why teachers are fleeing public schools. The public school accountability system, by relying solely on quantitative metrics like graduation rates to gauge educational quality and to evaluate administrators, frustrates teachers’ ability to truly teach and care for their students and look out for their long-term well-being. 

The first shock to me was the “make-up work” policy. My school let students skip assignments and miss deadlines until the end of the semester, then let them do the work at the last minute to avoid a failing grade. When I objected, stressing the importance of personal responsibility, the assistant principal replied, “Is it your job to teach chemistry or to teach responsibility?” She didn’t care to hear my answer: “Both.”

Next came the “curving” practice, which dictated that I convert a raw score on a test by multiplying the square root of it by ten. Hence, a score of forty-nine, an F, would be “curved” to seventy, a C minus. When I refused to curve grades, the principal had my department chair make the changes covertly. When I found out, I objected once again, and the principal rebuked me for “denying these children the opportunities all of us had.”

These were both cases of what Michael Polanyi calls “moral inversion”: a presumed moral duty to do immoral actions. This tacit duty to the immoral means that teachers who exercise integrity by refusing to go along with these policies are perceived as the bad guys. Never would an administrator acknowledge the bureaucratic purpose of these policies, which was to keep the wheels turning and money flowing. A failing student is a wrench in the system. He lowers the graduation rate, and the school looks bad. The bureaucracy rationalizes that the students will be better off with a diploma. But if they aren’t learning, their futures are being compromised.  

My next moral conflict with administrators put me in a position to blow the whistle on a practice called “online credit recovery” (OCR). I was teaching the two-year Theory of Knowledge course in the International Baccalaureate program, a kind of honors school-within-a-school. Top students in the school could enroll, and so could students from nearby schools who wanted vigorous college prep. 

——

Literacy momentum stalls in Wisconsin (DPI): Why would Wisconsin’s state leaders promote the use of curriculum that meets “minimal level” criteria, instead of elevating the highest-quality

——-

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?

——-




being sued for defamation for criticizing her school district on social media for employing a “social justice coordinator.”



WILL

WILL filed this appeal because Ms. Johnson’s posts are protected by the First Amendment. She should not have to endure a costly, pointless, and incoherent jury trial. 

The Quotes: WILL Deputy Counsel, Luke Berg, stated, “The case against Ms. Johnson should have been promptly dismissed. She was expressing her opinion, and the First Amendment gives her the right to do so. We hope the Court of Appeals allows her to appeal to avoid a misguided trial.”   

Scarlet Johnson, stated, “We have a right to free speech in this country and no one should be treated differently under the law because of their political beliefs. I am hopeful that we can establish what is a clear protection of the 1stAmendment.”  

Additional Background: The lawsuit involves a defamation claim for run-of-the-mill social media posts on X and Facebook. The posts in question criticized a school district for having a “social justice coordinator,” and described people who hold such positions as “woke,” “white savior[s]” with a “god complex,” “woke lunatics,” and “bullies.” Statements like these are pervasive on social media; indeed, they were more restrained than a lot of online speech. Nevertheless, the Plaintiff, who previously held the position, chose to respond with a defamation lawsuit.  

——

Legislation and Reading: the Wisconsin Experience 2004-

——

Literacy momentum stalls in Wisconsin (DPI): Why would Wisconsin’s state leaders promote the use of curriculum that meets “minimal level” criteria, instead of elevating the highest-quality

——-

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




“where we were and why nothing ever changes. Both are worth reading.”



Quinton Klabon:

Alan Borsuk:

Wisconsin’s kids need help learning to read, so let’s see more cooperation and an end to power maneuvers and partisanship.

Enough. Enough.  

I’m fed up with partisanship, polarization and power maneuvers in the state Capitol that put adults and politics first and kids last. 

There have been many episodes of this unfortunate soap opera over the years. And now we have one of the most aggravating because it involves something that has both urgency and broad agreement, yet is at a standstill.   

Wisconsin has a reading crisis. Milwaukee and some other areas where poverty is high especially have a reading crisis, but the problem goes beyond income, race and where a child lives. There are just too few children who are becoming capable readers by the end of third grade, which a wide range of educators would tell you is an important point in determining whether a kid is on the road to doing well in school and, in many cases, in life beyond school.  

In state standardized tests a year ago (the most recent results available), 37% of all third-graders in Wisconsin were rated as proficient or better in English language arts, which generally means they’re reading well. Another 36% were rated as “basic,” which I interpret as “kind of OK.” And 25% were rated as “below basic,” which I rephrase as “not really on the playing field.” Overall, that means about 60% of the kids are rated below proficient — or, to put it more gently, a quarter are not doing well at all. That is a lot of kids.  

Education and the Administrative State

CJ Safir:

The “why can’t we all get along?” narrative doesn’t apply here.

➡️DPI worked WITH legislators to craft literacy legislation copying the best states.

➡️Now, as my team has shown, DPI has tried to override the law every step of the way.

J-S

In 1964, 10 years after Brown v. Board of Education, a coalition set up a one-day boycott of Milwaukee Public Schools to protest school segregation.

——

Legislation and Reading: the Wisconsin Experience 2004-

——

Literacy momentum stalls in Wisconsin (DPI): Why would Wisconsin’s state leaders promote the use of curriculum that meets “minimal level” criteria, instead of elevating the highest-quality

——-

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Mind the Governance Mulligans + low expectations on Wisconsin Reading Curricula



A.J. Bayatpour

While the DPI supports a broader list of programs, joint finance Republicans want to limit the money to a shorter list of four programs recommended by the state’s early literacy council.

——

Literacy momentum stalls in Wisconsin (DPI): Why would Wisconsin’s state leaders promote the use of curriculum that meets “minimal level” criteria, instead of elevating the highest-quality

——-

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




“newest “community school”” literacy?



Abbey Machtig:

Madison developed the community schools program in 2015 and Kennedy will be the eighth school with that designation. 

Starting next school year, Kennedy will be granted a community school resource coordinator and a family liaison who will work full-time from the school.

Kennedy also is adding several other new staff members, including another school social worker, a behavior specialist and a handful of new classroom teachers to help decrease class sizes.

“The idea is that all children and families benefit from the community school model by being able to access resources, opportunities and support to advance their learning and healthy development,” Community School Manager Sarita Foster said. “So, community schools address barriers that limit opportunities for students and families.”

But parents and teachers who have been advocating for more help and have witnessed Kennedy’s struggles for years, say the district’s support hasn’t come fast enough. 

——

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Students are coming to college less able and less willing to read. Professors are stymied.



Beth McMurtrie:

Theresa MacPhail is a pragmatist. In her 15 years of teaching, as the number of students who complete their reading assignments has steadily declined, she has adapted. She began assigning fewer readings, then fewer still. Less is more, she reasoned. She would focus on the readings that mattered most and were interesting to them.

For a while, that seemed to work. But then things started to take a turn for the worse. Most students still weren’t doing the reading. And when they were, more and more struggled to understand it. Some simply gave up. Their distraction levels went “through the roof,” MacPhail said. They had trouble following her instructions. And sometimes, students said her expectations — such as writing a final research paper with at least 25 sources — were unreasonable.

——

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Commentary on proposed Madison k-12 tax & $pending increase referendums



Abbey Machtig

So far, feedback on the referendums has been mixed, with some residents supporting funding operational costs and smaller building renovations. But district administrators said others were unsure about the feasibility and cost of a 20-year referendum.

About 60% of survey respondents said supporting the district to invest in a 20-year facilities referendum was either a high or moderate priority. Almost one-third of respondents said they were undecided.

A similar percentage of respondents said supporting a facilities referendum that prioritized updating middle schools over a shorter time was a high or moderate priority. Again, about one-third of respondents said they were undecided.

Poll results shared at Monday’s meetingindicated a lack of public support for a 20-year facilities referendum, too. The Madison Public Schools Foundation commissioned the poll.

The sample size was about 400 people, according to Luke Martin, vice president of Impact Research.

“Especially with the challenges of complexity that are potentially in store for the November ballot, I do think the 20-year would be a much more difficult measure to pass,” Martin said Monday.

——

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




“the same teacher could earn up to $68,000 in Appleton, and only between $39,000 and $43,000 in Oshkosh”



Alex Tabarrok:

In my 2011 book, Launching the Innovation Renaissance, I wrote:

At times, teacher pay in the United States seems more like something from Soviet-era Russia than 21st-century America. Wages for teachers are
low, egalitarian and not based on performance. We pay physical education teachers about the same as math teachers despite the fact that math teachers
have greater opportunities elsewhere in the economy. As a result, we have lots of excellent physical education teachers but not nearly enough excellent
math teachers. The teachers unions oppose even the most modest proposals to add measures of teacher quality to selection and pay decisions.

As I wrote, however, Wisconsin passed Act 10, a bill that discontinued collective bargaining over teachers’ salary schedules. Act 10 took power away from the labor unions and gave districts full autonomy to negotiate salaries with individual teachers. In a paper that just won the Best Paper published in AEJ: Policy in the last three years, Barbara Biasi studies the effect of Act 10 on salaries, effort and student achievement.

Compensation of most US public school teachers is rigid and solely based on seniority. This paper studies the effects of a reform that gave school districts in Wisconsin full autonomy to redesign teacher pay schemes. Following the reform some districts switched to flexible compensation. Using the expiration of preexisting collective bargaining agreements as a source of exogenous variation in the timing of changes in pay, I show that the introduction of flexible pay raised salaries of high-quality teachers, increased teacher quality (due to the arrival of high-quality teachers from other districts and increased effort), and improved student achievement.

We still have a long way to go but COVID, homeschooling and open-access voucher programs have put a huge dent in the power of the teacher’s unions. There is now a chance to bring teacher pay into the American model. Moreover, such a model is pro-teacher! Not every district in Wisconsin grasped the opportunity to reform teacher pay but those districts that did raised pay considerably. Appleton district, for example, instituted pay for performance, Oshkosh did not. Prior to the Act salaries were about the same in the two districts:

After the expiration of the CBAs, the same teacher could earn up to $68,000 in Appleton, and only between $39,000 and $43,000 in Oshkosh.

——-

Wisconsin’s Act 10, Flexible Pay, and the Impact on Teacher Labor Markets: Student test scores rise in flexible-pay districts. So does a gender gap for teacher compensation.

If not to teacher salaries, where is this money going?

More on Act 10 and the related Milwaukee pension scandal.

——-

More. “Important insights into the impact of flexibility in teacher pay schemes on student outcomes.”

——

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




“The educational publisher raked in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue during the 2010s selling reading programs based on a disproven theory”



Christopher Peak:

The educational publisher raked in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue during the 2010s selling reading programs based on a disproven theory. The company now faces financial fallout, as schools ditch its products.

A publisher that once held a commanding shareof the market for materials to teach and test reading has seen its sales drop significantly in recent years — a decline its attorney attributes to the 2022 APM Reports podcast Sold a Story.

Heinemann published some of the most widely used programs for teaching reading in U.S. elementary schools. Its roster of authors — including Lucy Calkins, Gay Su Pinnell, Irene Fountas, Jennifer Serravallo and the late Marie Clay — helped to define how literacy was taught to two generations of students. Their work also helped Heinemann rack up higher and higher sales on an unbroken growth streak from 2006 through 2019.

But recent data suggests school districts are turning away from Heinemann. The company’s 2023 sales were down about 75% compared to what they were in 2019, according to current numbers from GovSpend, a database of government spending.

——

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Notes on uncontested school board elections



David Blaska:

Those days dwindled in Dane County a good 30 years ago. In tandem with the teachers union and unionized labor, the Dane County Democrat(ic) Party has been muscling into office progressive candidates who, among other achievements, defunded school resource police officers and dumbed down honors classes.

In the last contested Madison school board election, the Democrat(ic) Party endorsed one Blair Mosner Feltham, who proclaimed “Our schools are products of white supremacy.” The Wisconsin State Journal also endorsed the Woke candidate, even after one of its education beat reporters proclaimed that critical race theory “isn’t taught in any of Wisconsin’s K-12 schools.” Yet, District officials acknowledgethat the NY Times’ 1619 Project is taught in Madison classrooms.

Endorsing Ms. MF over a working immigrant father, The State Journalquoted a UW-Oshkosh professorwho maintained that Issues like Covid lockdowns, critical race theory, and classroom chaos are “pretty disconnected from the reality of being a school board member.” Maybe that was the problem. 

 Inconvenient headline: “Democrats spend [$230,000] on Wisconsin school board races, overtaking Republicans” (Read & Weep!)

——

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




“the future gets reinvented daily, in terms of the way the world is working right now.” – Madison’s incoming Superintendent



Cris Cruz and Leila Fletcher

He shared his concerns about trying to create a one-size-fits-all solution for access to advanced learning and literacy instruction across schools and districts.

“We know that if we do the same in all school districts, that we’re going to continue to have students who aren’t accessing it and being successful the way that others are,” said Dr. Gothard. “I’m very concerned that if not done well and done with an equity mindset, that we could just be perpetuating gaps, opportunity gaps, [and] access to learning.”

He also said there will be a focus on the structure for reading instruction. He wants to make sure every student has “time every day for a dose of a very individualized science-of-reading-based learning experience, where they can be monitored, day in, day out.”

Rather than prioritizing a district-wide routine, Gothard stressed the importance of flexibility to “truly meet the needs of students.” He explained the role of community engagement in raising awareness about reading and the traits that make a reader successful.

“I believe we can activate our community just by sharing with them, this is what it means to decode words. This is what phonemic awareness is. This is why fluency is important,” he said. This will allow the community to support the district’s efforts in improving reading instruction and will also help the community keep him accountable. “If I want to be accountable for something as a superintendent, reading, I’m in. Hold me accountable for reading. But we must do it together.”

When more Madison students are proficient in reading, access to advanced learning opportunities will be an even more pressing matter. In past years, MMSD has grappled with whether to abolish traditional honors classes in favor of embedded honors options. When, however, the district got pushback from parents and the community, the plan was temporarily scrapped.

—-

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Why Can’t MPS Improve Student Reading Scores?



Bruce Thompson:

Beginning sometime after 2000, there was growing concern that many students had difficulty with reading. When comparing reading scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) among states, Massachusetts stood out. Suddenly, that state’s reading and math scores jumped.

Massachusetts’ scores (shown in yellow in the graph below) started the late 1990s looking similar to Wisconsin’s, but then enjoyed a substantial jump. By contrast, Wisconsin scores (shown in gray) were largely flat or decreasing and were eventually joined by the average national scores.

What accounted for the jump in Massachusetts’ scores? That state decided to replace whole language (currently called “balanced literacy”) with a program that was based on research into the science of learning to read. Children learning to read were taught to sound out the parts of unknown words (called phonemes) and then combine these parts to sound out the whole word.

To enforce this change, the state designed a test for aspiring teachers to assess their knowledge of the research on the process of learning to read.

As the next graph shows, Milwaukee Public Schools made little or no progress during the last two decades. Scores were also flat during this period, indicating that many of its students were struggling with reading. They also trailed the average scores for big cities in the nation.

——

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




“They viewed reading more as rules and memorization”



Kayla Huynh:

After years of stagnant reading scores, educators see renewed promise in Act 20. The law, signed in July with broad support from legislators and school districts, is set to make sweeping changes across the state in how schools teach kindergarten through third grade students how to read.

Under the act, districts next school year will need to shift to a teaching model based on the science of reading, a collection of research on how children best learn to read. It emphasizes the use of phonics and phonemic awareness, or an understanding of the individual sounds of letters and how those sounds together can form words.

Among many of its provisions, the law requires schools to assess students through reading tests. Teachers will need to complete additional instructional training, and some schools will need to change their curriculum to comply.

Third-graders who fail to reach their reading milestones are more likely to struggle in later grades because they cannot comprehend the written material that is key to the educational process. And those who cannot read at grade level by third grade are more likely to not finish high school, according to research from the nonprofit Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The study revealed that one in six children who are not proficient at reading in third grade do not graduate from high school on time — a rate four times greater than that of their proficient peers. The rate is even higher for third graders who score “below basic proficiency,” with around one in four dropping out or graduating late from high school, compared with 9% of those with basic reading skills and 4% of proficient readers.

—-

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




“Every student group performs better in Mississippi than in Virginia”



Chad Aldeman:

The only reason Virginia might look better overall is because of the composition of our schools –>

Andrew Rotherham:

The next time someone tells you not to worry, Virginia is not some state like Mississippi, this is all a made up crisis…we don’t need an accountability system…well…

——

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




“the student/teacher ratio in Wisconsin is lower than in 2000 due to declining enrollment”



Will Flanders:

If there are fewer teaching candidates, it’s not showing up here.

Abbey Machtig:

(Madison) Teachers also delivered a petition with 2,000 signatures to the board that calls for increased staff allocations and smaller class sizes. They presented the signatures on pieces of paper representing each school, receiving applause and cheers from the teachers filling the seats and aisles of the building’s auditorium.

In June, the School Board also will decide whether to add referendum questions to the November ballot to help remedy its budget hole. If the district moves forward with referendums and voters approve the measures, local property taxes will increase beyond the levy limits set by the state.

In 2023, MTI and employees agreed to an 8% wage increase. The district initially offered 3.5%. The district gave employees a 3% base wage increase in 2022. Actual raises vary depending on level of education and years of experience.

—-

Madison taxpayers have long supported far above average k-12 $pending.

—-

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Taxpayer Funded Wisconsin DPI Report on Teacher Shortage Misses the Mark



Wisconsin Institute for law of liberty:

Recently, Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction released a report on the teacher shortage in the state.  The report claims that nearly 40% of teachers leave the profession within the first five years, and blames declines in teacher compensation over the past decade for the shift.  While the problems identified in the report are legitimate, the causes and solutions offered are more representative of traditional liberal talking points than an honest effort to make improvements for the teaching workforce in the state.  In this explainer, we identify a number of issues with DPI’s report. 

Consistent with National Patterns 

Despite attempts to blame Act 10 for the decline in teacher retention, in reality this is a problem around the county. Indeed, based on the numbers reported by DPI, Wisconsin may actually be better than average. A 2018 study estimated that 44% of teachers nationwide leave the profession within five years  And this data was pre-COVID–there is extensive evidence that turnover has increased since then.  To illustrate this, consider a recent Chalkbeat analysis looked at teachers leaving the profession across four states.  Each of these states saw an annual turnover rate of more than 10% during the 2022 school year.   A figure from that report is reproduced below. 

Figure 1. Annual Teacher Turnover in Four States (Chalkbeat) 
——

Rep. Barbara Dittrich:

I have supported getting more teachers in the classroom, but several of our efforts (including my bill with Sen. Knodl, SB 608) have been vetoed. Let’s hope we can work together in more constructive ways next session.

———

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Commentary on Madison’s latest K-12 Superintendent



Abbey Machtig

In his first news conference in Madison since being named the public schools’ new superintendent, Joe Gothard vowed to be an engaged leader and said he wasn’t afraid to make changes.

“I think that we’ve got to be very deliberate. I think we’ve got to be very open with our community around where our challenges are, report frequently about progress that we’re making and not be afraid at all to say, ‘You know what, we’re not making a mark here; we need to make a change here,'” he said.

Gothard shared his top priorities for the district with administrators and Madison School Board members during a news conference Thursday at Thoreau Elementary School on Madison’s Near West Side. Gothard, who is the outgoing superintendent of Saint Paul Public Schools in Minnesota, has been in Madison since Monday visiting schools and meeting staff.

——

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Wisconsin’s Act 10, Flexible Pay, and the Impact on Teacher Labor Markets: Student test scores rise in flexible-pay districts. So does a gender gap for teacher compensation.



Barbara Biasi

Using employment records on all public-school teachers in Wisconsin linked to individual student information on achievement and demographics from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, I first document how teacher salaries changed in flexible-pay and seniority-pay districts in the aftermath of the reform. After the expiration of districts’ collective bargaining agreements, salary differences among teachers with similar seniority and credentials emerged in flexible-pay districts, but not in seniority-pay districts. Before the passage of Act 10, such teachers would have been paid the same. These newly emerging differences are related to teachers’ effectiveness: Teachers with higher value-added (individual contributions to the growth in student achievement, as measured by standardized test scores) started earning more in flexible-pay districts. This finding is striking considering that school districts in Wisconsin neither calculate value-added nor use it to make any human-resources decisions. School and district administrators appear to be able to identify an effective teacher when they see one.

Does Flexible Pay Attract Better Teachers?

Changes in teachers’ pay arrangements after the expiration of the collective bargaining agreements changed teachers’ incentives to stay in their district or to move, depending on the teachers’ effectiveness and the pay plan in place in their district of origin. Because flexible-pay districts compensate teachers for their effectiveness and seniority-pay districts only reward them for seniority and academic credentials, teachers with higher effectiveness should want to move to flexible-pay districts, whereas teachers with lower effectiveness and higher seniority should want to move to seniority-pay districts.

The data confirm these hypotheses. The rate of cross-district movement more than doubled after Act 10, with most moves occurring across districts of different type (flexible-pay vs. seniority-pay). Teachers who moved to a flexible-pay district after a collective bargaining agreement expired were more than a standard deviation more effective, on average, than teachers who moved to the same districts before the expiration; these teachers also had lower seniority and academic credentials and enjoyed a significant pay increase upon moving. The effectiveness of teachers moving to seniority-pay districts, on the other hand, did not change. and these teachers did not experience any change in pay.

——-

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

——

The late 1990’s Milwaukee pension scandal is worth a deep dive as well.

——-

More.

——-

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Sold a Story: The Aftermath



APM Reports:

Banks: We have not taught the kids the basic fundamental structures of how to read. 

David Banks is the chancellor of the New York City public schools.  

Banks: We have gotten this wrong in New York and all across the nation. And many of us follow the same prescript of balanced literacy. And… 

Balanced literacy is the approach to teaching reading we focused on in Sold a Story

—-

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




“two universities stick with a discredited idea”



Christopher Peak and Emily Haavik

Pressure is mounting on two universities to change the way they train on-the-job educators to teach reading. 

The Ohio State University in Columbus and Lesley University near Boston both run prominent literacy training programs that include a theorycontradicted by decades of cognitive science research. Amid a $660 million effort to retrain teachers that’s underway in 36 states, other academic institutions are updating their professional development. Yet Ohio State and Lesley are resisting criticism and standing by their training. 

For decades, their Literacy Collaborative programs deemphasized teaching beginning readers how to sound out words. These programs do cover some phonics, but they also teach that students can use context clues to decipher unfamiliar words. Studies have repeatedly shown that guessing words from context is inefficientunreliable and counterproductive. Twelve states have effectively banned school districts from using that flawed approach. 

The approach, sometimes called “cueing,” originated in the 1960s in the United States and New Zealand, and was popularized in American reading instruction by Gay Su Pinnell and Irene Fountas, professors at the two universities. Pinnell, who is now retired, founded OSU’s Literacy Collaborative, and Fountas founded and still directs Lesley’s Center for Reading Recovery & Literacy Collaborative.  

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Jenny Warner shares:

As if they took a cue from @FountasPinnell, @OhioState won’t speak publicly, lucky for us @lesley_u took their cue from Calkins and shared their adoration for @rrcna_org and how they haven’t altered how they teach future teachers how to read, but rather how teach them to be “politically savvy.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




“Over the last decade, just 10 of 24 races for Madison School Board have been contested”



WiSJ:

But the odd way Madison elects its School Board is a significant factor that needs fixing. State law requires candidates in cities with populations between 150,000 and 500,000 — meaning only Madison — to run citywide in seven numbered seats for three-year terms.

So every spring, candidates must choose which of two or three seats they will seek. For competitive reasons, new candidates tend to run for seats that incumbents don’t already hold. That lets incumbents avoid scrutiny.

It also can deny voters choices. For example, an incumbent ran unopposed for Seat 7 last spring, while two new candidates ran for Seat 6. But what if a voter preferred the two newbies over the incumbent? Voters can’t select those two on their ballots. 

In theory, a candidate with fewer votes could even win election. 

A better system would pit all candidates for Madison School Board in the same pool, with the top vote-getters earning however many seats are available. That’s how most school boards across Wisconsin conduct their elections. Or they assign seats to geographic areas.

——

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Madison School Board Candidate Forum (both unopposed)



Simpson Street Free Press:

Local Journalists Interview School Board Candidates

Simpson Street Free Press hosts Q&A session for Madison school board candidates. Questions are posed by local education reporters. You can watch the video here:

Our panel of journalists — Abbey Machtig (Wisconsin State Journal), Kayla Huynh (Cap Times), Abigail Leavins (Isthmus), Sandy Flores Ruiz (Simpson Street Free Press), and Scott Girard (former Cap Times ed-beat reporter).

The candidates are Savion Castro (seat 2 incumbent, unopposed), and Maia Pearson (seat 1 incumbent, unopposed).

The moderators are Taylor Kilgore and Leila Fletcher from Simpson Street Free Press.

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




“It’s just that people sometimes give privilege to some things and not others.”



Abbey Machtig:
Still, at least once major American leader of the balanced literacy movement, Lucy Calkins, has rolled out changes to her reading curriculum under pressure from the science of reading movement. And initial test scores from around the country show this science of reading model seems to be working. Mississippi was one of the first states to pass a law related to “evidence-based” reading instruction. More than 30 states, including Wisconsin, have followed suit, especially after 2019, when Mississippi became the only state in the nation to meaningfully improve its fourth-grade reading scores. —– The Madison School District adopted EL Education in 2022, one of the four curricula that ended up on the state’s final list, which the school district estimated at the time to cost about $3.5 million for materials, including shipping. The Oregon School District also has been using EL Education since the beginning of the school year. The McFarland School District started using a curriculum called Wonders last fall. McFarland schools said it meets the standards outlined in Wisconsin’s reading law even though it’s not one of the four approved by the state. The Waunakee School District has been using an early literacy curriculum called Meaning Making since fall 2022. This curriculum also does not appear on the state’s short list but still meets ACT 20’s requirements, according to Amy Johnson, the district’s director of elementary curriculum and instruction. Waunakee already is looking for a new elementary math curriculum. Johnson said the district will be focusing on that work, rather than pursuing another reading curriculum change.
Abbey Machtig interviewed Mariana Castro from the Multilingual Learning Resource Center for this article.

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Caulkins Commentary



Lucy Caulkins:

Your Feb. 29 cover story, “When Kids Can’t Read,” references Springfield public schools and my curriculum, Units of Study.

I applaud Springfield for attending to the individual differences among children as readers. It is fundamentally important to recognize that children are all different. Assessments from reading specialists and individualized support for those who need it are foundational parts of a successful education strategy. Some children will need help segmenting and blending sounds as they read, while others need more opportunities to read nonfiction texts and to develop world knowledge and vocabulary.

Springfield’s programs such as Real Men Read and Compass for Kids similarly show that the district is making sound, research-based decisions that will move readers forward. The Real Men Read program provides valuable mentorship, allowing children to grow up seeing themselves as readers and thinking, “Reading is something cool people do.” And Springfield’s decision to supplement classroom learning with after-school and summer programs to support readers is wise. Kids need time to practice reading. These efforts make a real difference. These programs matter.

——

Much more on Lucy Caulkins.

——

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




“At least 79% of school districts surveyed by @WisconsinDPI in 2021 said they use a curriculum that is either not rated or is negatively rated by EdReports”



Danielle Duclos

With low reading proficiency scores across the state, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin is exploring the causes and consequences of low literacy. This article is part of the By the Book series, which examines reading curriculum, instructional methods and solutions in K-12 education to answer the questions: Why do so many Wisconsin kids struggle to read, and what can be done about it? 

To read other stories in the series, click here.

Wisconsin’s Joint Committee on Finance approved Monday a list of four reading curricula schools can adopt to be in compliance with the state’s new reading law, Act 20. The curricula approved are those recommended by the state’s Early Literacy Curriculum Council, a nine-member council created to specifically evaluate K-3 reading curriculums for their compliance with Act 20.

The four curricula approved are:

  • Core Knowledge Language Arts K-3
  • Our EL Education Language Arts
  • Wit and Wisdom with Pk-3 Reading Curriculum
  • Bookworms Reading and Writing K-3

Act 20, signed into law last summer, requires curriculum to be backed by the “science of reading”: a decades-old body of research that explains how the brain learns to read. It includes an emphasis on phonics, which teaches students the sounds letters make and how those sounds combine in predictable patterns to form words.

The law’s changes are aimed at improving reading proficiency in the state, which has been low for years. Fewer than half of students at the state’s five largest school districts are considered proficient in reading, according to state exam scores since 2018.

Part of the law’s revamping of reading instruction requires schools to use specific instructional methods that are systemic and explicit by next school year. This instruction must include fluency, phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, phonics, oral language development, vocabulary, writing, comprehension and building background knowledge.

Earlier: Legislation and Literacy: Wisconsin Early Reading Curriculum Selection

——

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Legislation and Literacy: Wisconsin Early Reading Curriculum Selection



mp3 audio | transcript.

Corri Hess:

Most school districts in the state now use a balanced literacy approach called “three-cueing,” that will now be illegal in all public and private schools.

The change comes at a time when fewer than 40 percent of third graders were proficient in reading on the most recent Wisconsin Forward Exam. Wisconsin’s achievement gap between Black and white fourth grade students in reading has often been the worst in the nation.

Quinton Klabon:

Joint Finance Committee FINALIZES reading curriculum list with the highest-quality options! 🎆🎇🎇🎆

Amplify: Core Knowledge
Great Minds: Wit And Wisdom and Geodes and Really Great Reading
Open Up: Bookworms
Open Up: EL

More.

Karen Vaites:

Wisconsin’s 2024 curriculum list is final:

The ELCC recommendations carry the day, giving Wisconsin the strongest ELA curriculum list in the country! 👏

Also, the lobbyist box is empty. 👏

Curious local media coverage.

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




What was Project Follow Through?



Linda Carnine, Susie Andrist, and Jerry Silbert

Project Follow Through was probably the largest study of educational interventions that was ever conducted, either in the United States or elsewhere. While it is now largely forgotten, at the time it embodied many of the hopes and ideals of those who wanted a more just and equitable society and believed that education had an important role to play in those endeavors. Follow Through emerged from President Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty,” announced in his 1964 State of the Union address in Congress.

Project Follow Through was originally conceived as a service project that would extend the types of support provided in Head Start to students in the primary grades. When it became clear that the cost of such an endeavor would be very large, the purpose was changed to determining the most effective educational interventions for students from low-income households. The Office of Education developed a research design, called “planned variation.” In contrast to a carefully controlled laboratory setting, this design would involve the implementation of educational innovations in real-life settings, but in the very best way possible. Sponsors of these innovations were required to “provide the community with a well-defined, theoretically consistent and coherent approach that could be adapted to local conditions,” and implement a “total program, rather than a small fragment, with a resulting possibility for a major impact on the child’s life.” Participating districts received supplemental funding of $750 for each Follow Through student to support additional costs for aides, materials, and staff travel. In addition, all children were provided health and dental care as well as nutritious food through meal programs. In total, Follow Through served over 10,000 students from low-income households in 180 communities at a cost, at that time, of 500 million dollars, a research expenditure that will likely never again be matched.

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More.

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Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Literacy experts started Wisconsin’s curriculum list. Will lobbyists finish it?



Karen Vaites:

In recent weeks, we’ve wondered which curriculum list would prevail in Wisconsin.

Would it be the list proposed by the expert Early Literacy Curriculum Council (four programs, widely acclaimed in the literacy community) or the list proposed by Wisconsin DPI (eleven curricula, the top-rated programs on the increasingly-under-fireEdReports review site), which DPI’s own staff characterized as meeting “minimal level” quality standards?

Today brought good news: wisdom prevailed in Wisconsin’s Joint Finance Committee, which rejected DPI’s proposal. The four high-quality curricula proposed by ELCC seem to remain on the table. Local literacy advocates are cheering.

But the story doesn’t end there. Lobbyists have been hard at work, and the quality of the list may yet be watered-down with programs from large publishers.

And when districts go to select curriculum, we have no reason to believe that the cream will rise to the top in America’s Dairyland. Usually, the opposite happens. 

Here’s what Wisconsinites need to know.

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More. And. DDWI.

——-

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Wisconsin Act 20 Literacy Curriculum Update



Quinton Klabon:

Joint Finance Committee REJECTS the curriculum lists presented to them.

——-

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Taxpayer Funded Madison Schools Underperform



Dave Cieslewicz:

A few weeks ago I wrote about a study that showed that Madison public schools are underperforming both state and national averages for math scores. And while everyone is bouncing back a bit after COVID, Madison students’ improvement has severely lagged.

Now comes a Wisconsin State Journal report on absenteeism. It’s bad everywhere but again worse in Madison. The three charts below, from the State Journal story written by reporter Chris Rickert, compare Madison to Middleton and Sun Prairie.

——

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Competitive school board races in Monona (Madison are uniparty – uncontested of course)



David Wahlberg:

The Monona Grove School Board candidate forum will be from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Four candidates are running for three three-year terms. They are incumbents Eric Hartz and Philip Haven, and challengers Katie Moureau and Janice Stone.

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Notes on taxpayer supported by Madison’s K-12 budget plans



Abbey Machtig:

Board members and administration, however, have begun talking more seriously about adding referendum questions to the November ballot to help remedy the financial uncertainty. If the district moves forward with referendums and voters approve the measures, local property taxes will increase beyond the levy limits set by the state.

This proposal from the district comes after the 8% wage increase MTI and the district ultimately agreed to in 2023. MTI teachers and staff rallied in support of the 8% increase after the district initially offered 3.5%.

—-

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




The (big) void in Madison’s k-12 Governance



Years ago, a former Madison Superintendent lamented the lack of business community substantive engagement in our well funded k-12 system.

Has anything changed?

2024 brings another year of uncontested Madison School board elections.

Madison has another new SuperintendentJoe Gothard– due to start soon.

Meanwhile:

A scorecard.

More on Madison’s well funded K-12 system.

Accountability? A Milwaukee business leader says that it is time to vote no on their tax and $pending increase referendum. Madison business leaders: radio silence.

——

Politics and the taxpayer funded DPI.

Wisconsin DPI Reading Curriculum Evaluation list

——-

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Notes on Madison K-12 $pending and tax increases amidst declining enrollment; achievement?



Abbey Machtig and Dean Mosiman:

the district had to pull $28 million from its general education fund to cover the extra expenses.

The city, which has a growing population and a $405.4 million general fund operating budget for 2024, and the school district, which has a $591 million budget for the 2023-24 school year, both point to the state as a source of their financial struggles.

Closing the budget gap exclusively from the property tax through a referendum would add $284 to the city tax bill on the average home, now valued at $424,400, with a city bill of $3,017 for the current year. That would be an additional 3.7% rise for the average home and roughly 9% increase in the total city levy, according to Schmiedicke’s report.

To do so from revenue sources outside the property tax would require a 50% increase in each individual tax, fee and charge in these categories, it says. 

The school district is considering referendums in part to fund commitments it has made to students and staff. Last year, the School Board approved an 8% wage increase for district employees, along with hourly pay bumps for custodial and trade staff. Additionally, when inflation and supply costs meant 2020 referendum construction projects went over budget, the district had to pull $28 million from its general education fund to cover the extra expenses.

——

More on Madison’s well funded K-12 system.

Accountability? A Milwaukee business leader says that it is time to vote no on their tax and $pending increase referendum. Madison business leaders: radio silence.

——

Politics and the taxpayer funded DPI.

Wisconsin DPI Reading Curriculum Evaluation list

——-

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




An update on Wisconsin’s attempts to improve our long term, disastrous reading results



Alan Borsuk:

The approach is best known for emphasizing phonics-based instruction, which teaches children the sounds of letters and how to put the sounds together into words. But when done right, it involves more than that — incorporating things such as developing vocabulary, comprehension skills and general knowledge.

More:What is phonics? Here’s a guide to reading terms parents should know

The approach differs from the “balanced literacy” approach widely used in recent decades, which generally downplayed sounding out letters. One well-known balanced literacy approach, called “three-cueing,” will be illegal in Wisconsin in all public schools, charter schools and private schools taking part in the state’s voucher program as of this fall.  

What curriculums will be recommended? 

Good question. The law created an Early Literacy Curriculum Council with nine members, generally educators from around the state, to make recommendations. The council had a big job and got behind schedule. But it recently recommended four curriculums, generally ones regarded favorably by prominent “science of reading” advocates.

The state Department of Public Instruction has been critical of aspects of the council’s work, including saying that council members didn’t stick strictly to the requirements of the new law. DPI took the council’s recommendations, deleted one, and added eight to come up with 11 curriculum choices that it said meet the law’s requirements.

Some literacy council members and other advocates have criticized the DPI list for including programs that are not as good as the ones the council recommended.  

Can you give examples?  

Sure. “Into Reading,” by HMH (also known as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), is a popular program. It is one of three programs now being used by schools in New York City, the largest district in the country. And Milwaukee Public Schools has been using “Into Reading” for a couple years. It is considered to meet “science of reading” standards, but some experts regard other curriculums as better.

The literacy council did not include “Into Reading” on its list. The DPI included it. For one thing, including it could lead to saving districts, including MPS, large sums of money by not putting them under pressure to get new textbooks and other materials.    

And then there is “Bookworms.” This curriculum has some distinctive aspects, and some advocates, such as well-known curriculum analyst Karen Vaites of New York, regard it highly and say schools using it have had good results. The literacy council included “Bookworms” on its list. DPI did not and said the program did not meet all the standards of the new law.  

——-

Politics and the taxpayer funded DPI.

Wisconsin DPI Reading Curriculum Evaluation list

——-

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Wisconsin DPI Reading Curriculum Evaluation list



The taxpayer funded Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s early literacy review, as a result of Act 20. (Letter to Leaders). Letter to JFC

Early Literacy Curriculum Comparison “At a Glance”

ELCC Center for Collaborative Classroom Ratings

American Reading Company (ARC)

ELCC Ready 4 Reading Ratings

Voyager Passport Intervention

ELCC Into Reading

Wilson Language Training

CKLA Amplify Education

Raz Plus Learning A-Z, LLC

ELCC CKLA

Ready 4 Reading (Scholastic)

Into Reading (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

UFLI Ventris (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Writing A-Z (Learning A-Z LLC)

EL Education K-3 Imagine Learning

ELCC Wonders

Exact Path Edmentum

Connections OG in 3D The Apple Group

Just the Reader Decodeables Just Right Rider

Wonders Mcgraw Hill

ELCC EL by Open Up

Open Court Reading McGraw Hill

Bridge to Reading Foundational Skills Hagerty

Superkids

Early Literacy Curriculum Council Rating Form

Magnetic Reading Curriculum Associates

Vendor Self Assessment Rubric

EL Education K-3 Open Up Resources

My view Savvas Learning

ELCC Benchmark

Benchmark Education Advance Benchmark Education Company

Open Court

Phonics to Reading Sadlier

IMSE

My View

Bookworms Reading & Writing K-3Open Up Resources

Kindercorner & Reading Roots Reading Wings – Success for All Foundation, Inc.

Center for Collaborative Classrooms

Great Minds Wit and Wisdom with Really Great Reading

Being a Reader Center for Collaborative Classroom

ELCC ARC

OG Plus IMSE (Institute for Multi-Sensory Education)

ELCC Successfor all

## Curious “terms of use” .

via Jenny Warner.

—–

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




“Which gives us pause. We need educators who aren’t cookie cutter. Because what they’re doing ain’t workin”



David Blaska:

Public school bureaucrats talk in a code all their own. According to Abbey Machtig’s excellent account in the Wisconsin State Journal, Gothard promises courses in “critical ethnic studies.” Sounds like emulating higher education’s various grievance studies, which is what got us into this mess in the first place. Teaching victimhood excuses and perpetuates failure.

Gothard is quoted to say instruction must be “culturally relevant… and adaptive in an equitable way … through their lived experiences … to unpack trauma that student have experienced.” Buzz buzz.

A previous State Journal education reporter assured her readers that Madison public schools do not teach critical race theory. Ms. Machtig, perhaps breaking with the received progressive canon, chooses to quote a parent whom, The Werkes believes, is representative:

—-

Kayla Huynh

The Madison Metropolitan School District’s newly hired superintendent will be paid nearly $300,000 a year plus moving expenses, travel allowances and 87 sick days including unused time off from a decade ago.

The School Board unanimously approved the two-year agreement with Joe Gothard in a Monday evening meeting with no discussion. 

——

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Another new Madison k-12 Superintendent



Kayla Huynh

In his new role, Gothard will oversee the second largest school district in Wisconsin, which serves over 26,000 students in 52 schools and has a nearly $600 million annual budget. He’ll take over at a challenging time, with COVID-19 federal funding set to expire and the board determining the 2024-25 budget.

Gothard will also be responsible for carrying out Wisconsin’s Act 20, a law that is set to make sweeping changes across the state in how schools teach 4-year-old kindergarten through third grade students how to read. The act requires districts to shift to a “science of reading” approach that emphasizes the use of phonics. 

Using pandemic funds, Gothard created a similar program in 2021 at St. Paul Public Schools in an effort to improve the district’s lagging reading scores. The program pairs struggling students with educators who specialize in science-based reading instruction. 

——

Abbey Machtig:

He spent two years as an assistant superintendent of secondary schools in Madison and was a semifinalist in the Madison School District’s search for a new superintendent in 2013, with the board ultimately hiring Jennifer Cheatham.

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Literacy momentum stalls in Wisconsin (DPI): Why would Wisconsin’s state leaders promote the use of curriculum that meets “minimal level” criteria, instead of elevating the highest-quality



Karen Vaites:

All eyes have been on Wisconsin, where politics threaten to stall promising curriculum improvement efforts. 

The Badger State’s Act 20 literacy bill was one of the bright spots in a flourishing national legislative phase. The bill had a refreshing focus on all aspects of literacy, and recognized the importance of curriculum in fostering change. Act 20 called for the convening of an expert Early Literacy Curriculum Council (ELCC) to identify a set of recommended ELA curricula; only these programs would be eligible for state subsidy.

The ELCC – which includes a high-performing superintendent, practitioners immersed in reading research, and dyslexia advocates whose children suffered under previous DPI choices – has real stakes in Act 20’s success. And the stakes are high: Wisconsin has the largest gap in reading outcomes for Black vs white students of any state. 

Last week, the nine-member ELCC submitted its recommendations: four curricula widely praised for their quality (Bookworms, Core Knowledge, EL Education, and Wit & Wisdom). Literacy leaders cheered the selections. Personally, I consider it the best state list we’ve seen.

Just two days later, Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction (DPI) issued a statement asking the Joint Finance Committee to approve a rather different list of 11 options… the list of curricula that earn “all-green” ratings on EdReports. Conspicuously omitted from DPI’s list: Bookworms, a curriculum with the most persuasive studies showing that it improves reading outcomes – but which earned a widely-questioned yellow review on EdReports.

The average quality of the DPI list was markedly lower than the ELCC list, something that even DPI acknowledged. Laura Adams of the DPI told CESAs,“The two different lists represent two different perspectives. The Council’s list represents a judgment of quality, while DPI’s list represents a floor of those materials that meet the requirements, even at a minimal level.”

——-

Jill Underly didn’t attend the meetings, so she missed these conversations. Frankly, her absence from ELCC meetings speaks volumes. If DPI felt urgency about children’s reading success, or even about the review timelines, one would have expected Underly to make time for ELCC meetings. Underly’s late-breaking objections have not sat well with close watchers of the process.

—-

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Wisconsin DPI vs learning to read



Jenny Warner:

Last week, Wisconsin’s expert Early Literacy Curriculum Council recommended the highest-quality list we have seen from any state.

Then @WisconsinDPI tried to overrule them, for no sound reason.

More.

The nine-member Early Literacy Curriculum Council reviewed and recommended four curriculums. The council includes six members chosen by the Republican majority leaders of the state legislature, and three chosen by state Superintendent Jill Underly. 

In addition to the Early Literacy Council’s review, the DPI conducted its own review, which diverged in part from the council. It rejected one of the council’s recommendations (Bookworms Reading & Writing for K-3), and added others that the council hadn’t rated. 

DPI is recommending the following programs:

American Reading Company K-3 (ARC
Core, 2017)

Being a Reader (K-2nd, 2021; 3rd, 2023) & Being a Writer (K-3rd., 2014) with Systematic Instruction in Phonological Awareness, Phonics & Sight Words (SIPPS,

2020) (Center for the Collaborative Classroom)

Benchmark Education Advance (Benchmark Education Company, 2022)

Core Knowledge Language Arts K-3 (CKLA,
Amplify Education, 2022)

EL Education K-3 Language Arts (Open up
Resources, 2017)

EL Education K-3 (Imagine Learning LLC,
2019)

Into Reading, National V2 (Houghton
Mifflin Harcourt, 2020)

myView Literacy Elem. Reading Curriculum (Savvas Learning Company, 2025)

Open Court (McGraw Hill, 2023)

Wit and Wisdom (Great Minds, 2020) with PK-3 Reading Curriculum (Really Great Reading)

Wonders (McGraw Hill, 2023)

The Joint Committee on Finance has 14 working days to schedule a meeting to review the proposed curriculum recommendations. The committee will then make any changes and approve the list. If it does not notify the DPI that it’s scheduled a meeting, the department can adopt the recommendations as is.

——

Unsurprising, unfortunately. “an emphasis on adult employment”.

——

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




“We have made things happen for children.”



AJ Bayatpour

As MPS (Milwaukee Public Schools) asks taxpayers for $252 million in April, I asked Supt. Keith Posley about national testing data (NAEP) that show Milwaukee 4th graders have been scoring worse than the average big city district for more than a decade.

—-

and:

For reference, 10 points is about the equivalent for one year’s worth of learning. In 2022, Milwaukee was 20 points lower than the average big city district in 4th grade reading and math results. The gap has worsened over the last decade:

——

Plus:

When the media reports that spending in MPS has “fallen far behind inflation,” they are cherry-picking one year of data to make the claim: pre-Great Recession. Real $ over time has largely kept up with inflation, and districts saved billions with Act 10.

More:

This is an interesting outtake from @CBS58’s Milwaukee Public Schools referendum story!

In contrast, here is Miami’s former superintendent in 2015, post-recession, in the midst of making Miami America’s best big district, closing gaps, spending $7,500 less per child than MPS.

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




“Currently, only about 30 percent of Wisconsin school districts use a science of reading approach”



Corrinne Hess:

“I think DPI is trying to appease the masses and go with the status quo,” Warner said. “I think they are putting in too many, and putting in poor quality because they are not willing to push the envelope of what they are expecting in schools.” 

——

More.

——

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




For those of you watching the state curriculum list developments in Wisconsin…



Quinton Klabon:

“DPI is recommending all…instructional materials that meet the requirements outlined in Act 20. …By providing a list of all of those that meet the requirements, there is meaningful choice for Wisconsin districts to best match their local needs.”

Is this the right philosophy?

—–

DPI:

“Those materials that meet the requirements, even at a minimum level.

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




By the Book: We’re investigating why many Wisconsin kids struggle to read. We want to hear from you.



Danielle DuClos

In Wisconsin, at least 79% of school districts surveyed by the Department of Public Instruction use curriculums that don’t meet academic standards recommended by the department. Many teacher preparation programs aren’t embracing this science to help new educators learn to teach reading either.

Are you an elementary school teacher whose students are having a hard time reading? Do you want a new reading curriculum?

Or are you a parent whose child struggles to read? Is your child getting the support and instruction they need to be successful?

Maybe you’re a community member or researcher with insight into Wisconsin’s reading instruction.

If this sounds familiar, tell us about it. Through this series, we want to share the experiences and stories of teachers, parents, community members and students who are trying to navigate a system that might not be working for them.

—-

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Notes on Wisconsin DPI Reading Curriculum Selections



Quinton Klabon:

Whoa! Wisconsin reading curriculum update!

@WisconsinDPI @DrJillUnderly disagree: NO to Bookworms, YES to basals, bilingual. See screenshot.

Tensions come out in explanatory literacy text!

Joint Finance @repborn @SenMarklein @JFCDemocrats decide now. What will they choose?!

——-

Jenny Warner:

DPI adding ARC to the list proves they have no idea what three cueing looks like or an adequate curriculum. teachingbyscience.com/arc?fbclid=IwA…

——-

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Madison’s taxpayer funded K-12 systems’s lack of transparency



Abigail Leavins:

Monica Santana Rosen, the CEO of the Alma Advisory Group, which consulted on the superintendent search, explained why the board thought it was important to provide a platform for students, in particular, to ask questions of the candidates, but she did not answer why additional panels were not made available to the public.

“In the end, we felt it was better to prioritize the conversations that were going to bring the best information to the broader community,” Rosen said. “We really wanted to hear what the students had to ask the candidate and how each of them were going to respond.”

“Ultimately,” she added, “the board prioritizes students and parents as those who really are the closest and have a lot at stake in giving them the opportunity to have that platform and share it with the rest of the community.”

In late January, the district announced three finalists for superintendent: Mohammed Choudhury, the former state superintendent of the Maryland State Department of Education; Joe Gothard, the superintendent of Saint Paul Public Schools and a former Madison principal; and Yvonne Stokes, a former superintendent of Hamilton Southeastern Schools in Indiana. On Feb. 6 the district hosted two interview panels; one led by students and another by parents and caretakers. These were livestreamed but neither the public nor media could attend in person. The interview panels held on Feb. 7 were not livestreamed or open to the public or media at all.

$pending is always a challenge, given the moving numbers.

Mr. Rickert mentions current school year spending of $591,000,000 for 25,581 students or $23,103 per student.

——-

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




“The Madison school district is planning to hit up taxpayers for $1 billion — one Billion with a capital B dollars — in referenda over the next 20 years to go carbon neutral”



David Blaska:

Someone tell the Madison public schools we need more global warming, not less. The school district is planning to hit up taxpayers for $1 billion — one Billion with a capital B dollars — in referenda over the next 20 years to go carbon neutral. 

MMSD can’t teach or keep young Javon safe but it’s going to replace that Swedish girl’s perpetual scowl with a Mona Lisa smile.

Blaska’s Bottom Line:What local government needs is an independent budgetary watchdog — something like the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance. (Where are the Frautschis and the Evjue Foundation when you really need them?) Meanwhile, the Republican state legislature is once again trying to give us a break on our income taxes — Gov. Evers having once before vetoed.

——

Explore Madison taxpayer’s k-12 $pending, now at least $23k per student.

——

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




Overall, the Taxpayer supported Madison School District plans to spend about $591 million this school year”



Chris Rickert:

Math achievement did not necessarily line up with per-pupil spending in Dane County and Wisconsin’s largest districts. Madison spent the most, for example, of the 10 county districts included in the analysis, or $18,896 per pupil in the 2021-22 school year, according to data from the state Department of Public Instruction. Among the state’s largest districts, it was second only to Milwaukee, which spent the most per student, or $19,164, in 2021-22, and had the lowest math scores.

Schools nationwide closed to in-person learning on the recommendation of federal health officials in March 2020 and in some cases, such as in Madison, didn’t fully reopen until the 2021-22 school year — a year and a half later. Public health researchers have long known that the old and the sick were most at risk of dying or developing serious illness from COVID-19, and research as early as the fall of 2020 indicated that in-person schooling did not create an elevated risk of getting COVID for students or employees.

While it’s not known to what degree closing schools curbed the spread of the disease, an October 2022 analysis by the joint Madison-Dane County public health agency of COVID hospitalizations and deaths linked to in-person schooling in Dane County showed there had been no deaths and eight hospitalizations among school populations — six of students and two of teachers.

One school-age person in Dane County, a 16-year-old boy, died of COVID-19, on Nov. 25, 2020.

——

$pending is always a challenge, given the moving numbers.

Mr. Rickert mentions current school year spending of $591,000,000 for 25,581 students or $23,103 per student.

——-

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

Underly and our long term disastrous reading results….

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

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

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.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

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?




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