Search results

431 results found.

DPI Superintendent Underly Speaks at the 2023 Wisconsin Democrat Party Convention



WisPolitics:

Underly road a historic wave of cashflow to win in 2021, marking a significant win for Dems of the GOP. While the race was officially nonpartisan, the Dem Party contributed $949,844 to Underly’s campaign, which spent $1.53 million over the election. In all, candidates and outside groups spent $3 million on the race, a record to elect Wisconsin’s education department head. 

She also said she knows schools aren’t perfect right now, but she loves them enough to see that “and devote my life to making them better, more equitable and stronger.”

Much more on Jill Underly, here (and her efforts to abort our elementary teacher literacy test: the Foundations of Reading).




A thin chat with taxpayer supported Wisconsin DPI Superintendent JilL Underly



Scott Girard:

It’s been a challenging few years for K-12 education, both locally and nationally. Wisconsin State Superintendent Jill Underly is nonetheless “optimistic” about what’s ahead for the field.

“I think people are coming together, realizing that if we want to improve the lives of all Wisconsinites and especially the kids who are going to be the future leaders of the state, we need to all come together to solve these problems,” Underly said, as she reflected on 2022. “I see that reflected in a budget, I see it reflected in the referendums that our communities have passed, I see it in the policies that our stakeholders are proposing.

“I’m really, really optimistic about it in the long run.”

Notes and links on Jill Underly.

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?




“But the underlying moral principle—prohibition of theft and fraud through currency debasement—persists”



Dylan Pahman and Alexander William Salter:

It would be one thing if inflation were unforeseeable, but it isn’t. The Federal Reserve flooded the market with money for years and supported the market for government debt. Politicians ran record deficits as the Fed happily purchased bonds. The result was an unprecedented money-supply increase, to almost $22 trillion today from about $15.5 trillion in March 2020—far outpacing the market’s need for liquidity. Policy makers kept the money flowing despite clear warning signs. The Russian invasion of Ukraine contributed to inflation, but not nearly as much as America’s own fiscal and monetary profligacy.

Even if policy makers had the best of intentions, the exigencies of the moment don’t justify yoking the underprivileged to the burden of fading purchasing power. The engineers of today’s inflation violated the biblical commandment to maintain a stable currency. Those in authority are supposed to protect “the least of these” from exploitation. Instead, they made the economically insecure even more vulnerable.




TJ Papers of school board emails and texts: TJHSST admissions changes had “an anti asian feel underlying some of this, hate to say it lol”



Parents defending education:

New documents released in a federal lawsuit filed by parents alleging anti-Asian discrimination case against the school board in Fairfax County, Va., reveal that board members knew that the new admissions policies to America’s No. 1 high school, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, were “racist,” “anti asian” and “political.”

The case, Coalition for TJ vs. Fairfax County School Board et al, is Case Number: 1:21-cv-00296-CMH-JFA in U.S. federal court in Alexandria, Virginia. Judge Claude Hilton will hear the case in federal court in Alexandria on Tuesday, January 18, at 10 a.m.

The Coalition for TJ is represented by Pacific Legal Foundation.

The new documents chronicle the behind-the-scenes manipulations and motivations that disturbed even school board members for their rushed and hurried process.




Jill Underly and DPI Work to Deceive Parents



Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt:

Moving the goal line on scores doesn’t change the sorry outcomes

Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt and the Chairman of Assembly Committee on Education released the following statement on the results of the 2019-20 District and School Report Cards released by the Department of Public Instruction on Nov. 16:
“Wisconsin State Superintendent Jill Underly and the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) have manipulated the 2020-21 District and School Report Card data in ways that mislead the public. Wisconsin parents and taxpayers deserve better. The Department would demonstrate true leadership of our public schools by being focused on teaching children how to read using science and evidence-based methods, instead of massaging data to convince parents that they are doing effective work.”

The department altered four of the five Accountability Ratings Categories* to making it easier for schools to receive a higher rating. As an example, on the 2018-19 version of the Report Card, Milwaukee Public School District (MPS) scored 58.4 placing them in the Meets Few Expectations category. In the version released yesterday, MPS dropped to 58.1 but was placed in the Meets Expectations category. The new Report Cards also eliminated the deductions for high rates of absenteeism.

Rep. Thiesfeldt responded, “This is the equivalent of scoring a touchdown at the 20 yard line instead of reaching the endzone. Students do not benefit from the manipulation of these numbers. It is a clear attempt to manipulate media reporting on the Report Cards to help insulate DPI, school administrators, and school boards from accountability for poor decisions and performance during 2020.”

“Superintendent Underly is creating a mirage with the data. This action seeks to hide from parents the impact of the poor decisions made in schools across Wisconsin during




“and I would create a more robust communications team to foster improved public relations”- Jill Underly on Wisconsin taxpayer funded K-12 Governance



Molly Beck:

One of the most influential lawmakers over the state budgeting process said he wouldn’t support increasing funding for the state education agency because its new leader elected Tuesday was heavily backed by Democrats and teachers unions. 

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, made the statement just an hour after Pecatonica School District Superintendent Jill Underly was elected state schools superintendent, a position that oversees the state Department of Public Instruction.  

Vos went to war with Underly immediately after her election after outside spending fueled by Democratic groups set a record for state superintendent races, which are supposed to be nonpartisan but aren’t as more political groups spend to back candidates and state parties promote them. 

“… the teachers union owns the DPI; not the parents or the students or the taxpayers. Count me as someone who isn’t going to support putting another nickel into this unaccountable state bureaucracy,” Vos tweeted on Tuesday, an hour after the Associated Press called the race for Underly over former Brown Deer School District Superintendent Deb Kerr.

In response, Underly said she wants to work with the Legislature and Gov. Tony Evers to “help all kids — no matter how their parents vote.”

“I think it’s clear from yesterday’s results that supporting our local schools and our children isn’t a partisan issue,” she said in a statement. “There’s plenty of common ground here, as I’ve already said I want resources to flow to schools, to help with mental health, credit recovery, staffing, and 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.




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



Transcript [Machine Generated PDF]:

Deborah Kerr: [00:43:53] Um, whose turn is it to go first? Okay. That’s fine. Yeah, we’re pretty good at figuring this out. Um, [00:44:00] so that’s one thing we can do. Um, yes, I support the FORT. I fo I support the Praxis test. So you gotta think about something. Why do these things cause barriers and prevent people from getting certified? And so as a superintendent, I’ve always had to help aspiring teachers who, who needed to either pass the Praxis test or get more additional training on the FORT.

[00:44:23] And so. This starts with the teacher preparation programs. Okay. We need to start talking about, um, these kinds of tests earlier on in the scope and sequence of the coursework and making sure that our teachers are immersed in these kinds of situations that will help allow them to do better. These are standards for making sure that we have the highest quality teachers in the classroom.

[00:44:46] So what I did in Brown deer is I had a couple of teachers who needed to pass the fork test. Um, the problem with that is when you take the fourth test and you fail it, you have to pay again. You don’t just take the part that you didn’t pass. [00:45:00] And so I believe we need to work on that, but also I made sure our reading specialists help to tutor.

[00:45:06] Those two teachers that needed extra support because they didn’t get it for whatever reason at the university level. So I do believe that we have to have standards. We want the best and the brightest into our classroom, but sometimes just like students, they need a different approach and they need more time.
[00:45:23] Thank you.

[00:45:27] Jill Underly: All right. Um, as far as the Foundations of Reading (FORT) test is concerned, I would support eliminating it. And I’ll tell you why. I believe it’s an unnecessary hoop. Um, it makes it difficult and much harder for people to become teachers, particularly when we are already struggling. Right. With recruiting and retaining teachers.

[00:45:45] Um, we need to trust our education preparation programs to prepare the kids. I mean, these programs are certified by the department of public instruction. Um, they have to go through a rigorous certification process to be officially, you know, To be able to [00:46:00] officially endorse teachers to get their licenses.

[00:46:02] Um, I do know that representative Travis Tranel who’s from my area of Southwest Wisconsin, was successful in getting the legislature to suspend, um, the foundations of reading tests for special education teachers. And I think that says a lot, you know, these are barriers. And we need to eliminate barriers, um, for good people, um, who are intelligent and kind and compassionate to become teachers.

[00:46:26] Um, you can still be a good teacher and you could still be a good teacher of reading. Um, if you can’t pass a standardized test, so I would be in favor of eliminating it. Thanks.

mp3 Audio.

While working for the DPI in Madison, Ms. Underly sent her children to a private school.

The Foundations of Reading, [SIS links] Wisconsin’s one elementary reading teacher content knowledge requirement is (was) an attempt to improve our K-12 students’ disastrous reading results.

The foundations of reading is Wisconsin’s only teacher content knowledge requirement. It is based on Massachusetts’ successful MTEL program.

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.




13-1 Special interest $pending for Wisconsin DPI Superintendent Candidate Jill Underly



Wisconsin Democracy:

Liberal groups are winning the money race in the so-called “nonpartisan” state school superintendent race, where Pecatonica Area School Superintendent Jill Underly faces Deborah Kerr, a retired Brown Deer schools superintendent.

Three groups that generally back Democratic candidates in partisan elections – A Better Wisconsin Together, Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC), and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin – have doled out $766,425 to support Underly or oppose Kerr.

American Federation for Children, a pro-voucher outfit founded by Betsy DeVos that generally backs Republicans, has spent $56,500 to oppose Underly.

That’s a 13 to 1 advantage for the liberal groups backing Underly.

Two weeks out from the April 6 spring elections, eight special interest groups have topped $1 million combined in outside election spending on the state school superintendent race and two special legislative elections.




Wisconsin Superintendent candidate Jill Underly accused of ‘hypocrisy’ for sending her children to private school



Daniel Bice:

No one has been a bigger promoter of public schools during the race for state school superintendent than Jill Underly. 

That was, no doubt, a large part of the reason that Underly, the Pecatonica school superintendent, has won the endorsement of state and local teachers unions.

But back when it was her decision to send her two children to school when she lived in Madison, Underly went private. 

Her campaign has confirmed that she chose to send her kids to St. James Catholic School in Madison during the 2013-’14 and 2014-’15 terms rather than Leopold Elementary, the low-performing neighborhood school in Fitchburg. 

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.




Lawfare and Wisconsin’s Reading improvement plans



Corrinne Hess:

This week, Underly sent a letter to Joint Finance Committee co-chairs Sen. Howard Marklein, R-Spring Green and Rep. Mark Born, R-Beaver Dam, expressing frustration the money has not been released. 

“Despite the JCF’s and legislative leadership’s failure to act, the DPI continues to work in good faith to implement all components of this statute,” Underly wrote. “But as the DPI has told you repeatedly, the long delay in releasing these funds is now putting full implementation of this statute at risk. Schools are well into preparations for the fall semester, and teachers are already being asked to take classes, learn new skills, and prepare new curricula.”

Tom McCarthy, deputy superintendent, filed a declaration to the Dane County lawsuit, saying DPI has been covering the costs to implement the new reading law, but the department needs to $50 million to continue. 

“The (Supreme Court) ruling is a message to the legislature, that type of behavior, that sort of we’re going to require you to do all the things with the string attached, and then pull the rug back when an agency has acted in good faith to implement the law is not constitutional,” McCarthy said. “The court is now saying that is not a legal means to do partnership and work together.” 

Born and Marklein did not respond to requests for comment from WPR. Their attorney, Ryan Walsh, with Madison law firm Eimer Stahl, released the following statement. 

“Neither the Department of Instruction’s letter nor the declaration filed in Dane County refer to the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s recent decision or suggest that this is a ‘win’ for DPI,” Walsh said. “The holding of that decision does not apply to the lawsuit pending in Dane County. The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s recent decision concerns a different function of the Joint Committee on Finance, one that is not at issue in the Dane County lawsuit.”

——-

Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-




Why the most intuitive explanation for ideas getting harder to find is wrong



Seeds of Science:

But without knowing the underlying kinetics of science and economic growth, this inertia model is just a guess. There are lots of other explanations which are consistent with the observation of diverging fuel use and acceleration. Our car could be going up a hill, or over a rough and rocky road. Or our engine could be depreciating or using the extra fuel inefficiently. Similarly, the ideas we produce might face growing barriers before they can materialize as physical products and buildings which affect productivity. Or our institutions of science are squandering the extra resources they receive with inefficient institutional designs.

The title of my post was “Something Is Getting Harder But It’s Not Finding Ideas” but I really only end up proving that Something Is Getting Harder And We Aren’t Sure What. This post gets closer to fulfilling my original promise by addressing one of the most common arguments for why ideas really are getting harder to find: the burden of knowledge.




Further Audits of the taxpayer funded Milwaukee k-12 District



Corrinne Hess:

We had asked that the governor use the Audit Bureau, but he’s decided to go on a different path. That doesn’t mean we can’t pursue it as well. The more eyes looking at what happened to prevent problems going forward, the better.” 

As of Thursday, the MPS audit was not listed as one of the nine audits in progress or planned on the LAB website. 

Sen. Duey Stroebel, R-Cedarburg, said it’s “incredibly troubling that the state Department of Public Instruction knew that MPS was late on reporting their finances months ago, but waited until after the $252 million MPS referendum narrowly passed to release this information to the public.”

DPI said the state first became aware in late March that MPS may have submitted incorrect data that led to the state giving the district more money than it should have.

State Superintendent Jill Underly told WISN’s UPFront on June 23, DPI did not realize how bad it was until late April. At that time, DPI began daily meetings with MPS officials, Underly said. 

Stroebel said what is happening at MPS is concerning because the district’s actions could affect schools across the state. 

“I’ve already heard from a number of constituents, including school district employees in my district, who are concerned about how this crisis at MPS will impact their school’s finances,” Stroebel said. 




‘We could’ve pushed harder’: State superintendent discusses MPS fiscal mess, changes state will make in response



By: A.J. Bayatpour

Wisconsin’s top education official said in an interview Friday the state Department of Public Instruction (DPI) is considering changes to how it handles districts falling behind on their financial reporting. 

The policy revisions would largely be in response to a fiscal crisis Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) is now facing. The state’s biggest district is now nine months late on turning in audited versions of last year’s finances. 

Beyond that, MPS’ data from the previous year was inaccurate, leading to overpayments to the district. To make up for those dollars, DPI officials estimate they’ll end up deducting between $35 million and $50 million from MPS’ general state aid for the 2024-25 school year.

State Superintendent Jill Underly said she first was alerted to MPS’ financial mess in late April. She said, at that time, DPI officials were not alarmed by that seven-month delay.




Non-accountability at the taxpayer funded Wisconsin DPI



Matt Smith:

The thing is, we pushed to make this public,” Wisconsin state superintendent Jill Underly said on financial crisis in Milwaukee Public Schools: “When it comes to our, you know, the community is informed, we can do better. And we are looking at ways to make that more transparent”

——

Brian Fraley:

Get a load of this load.

Current DPI Superintendent Underly tries to take credit for bringing MPS woes to light. DPI knew MPS reporting was a mess, district was over subsidized and the state would be clawing back funds. But they withheld this knowledge until after the referendum passed.

Notes and links on Jill Underly




Milwaukee scandal hurts all Wisconsin students



Barbara Dittrich

Representative Barbara Dittrich (R – Oconomowoc) issued the following statement regarding the MPS fiscal scandal and its impact on local school districts:

“Aside from the fact that the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) leadership have deceived the public and hurt some of Wisconsin’s most underprivileged students, there is an enormous ripple effect this scandal has on every one of the state’s students. 

“As a result of the MPS referendum, the school districts in the area I serve see reductions in annual state aid as follows:

——

Matt Smith:

Wisconsin’s state superintendent — Sunday morning on UPFRONT

——-

AJ Bayatpour:

State Supt. Jill Underly says she first learned of MPS’ financial problems in late April.

She says the state wasn’t worried then since MPS was about that late with its reports last year. I asked why DPI was so lenient, knowing the state’s biggest district could affect everyone:

Much more on Jill Underly, here (and her efforts to abort our elementary teacher literacy test: the Foundations of Reading).




Notes on Milwaukee K-12 Governance



Brian Fraley:

State Superintendent Jill Underly put out a written press statement today (Thursday) wherein she shared startling, detailed statistics regarding the historic failure of DPI and MPS to educate hundreds of thousands of Milwaukee Public School students over the last several decades. She included information regarding the district’s increased spending and the flow of state aid provided to MPS and how these monies did not get directed to classroom instruction and did not bring about corresponding gains in math, science and reading scores. Underly not only took responsibility for her and her department’s failure, she explained how Tony Evers has also been a part of the problem, dating back a quarter of a century to when he began to work at the Department of Public Instruction. She was critical of the bloat within MPS and expressed frustration that the district didn’t focus on educational basics and continued to fail to prepare a large percentage of its students to lead productive and successful lives after they leave MPS.

Yeah, right.

In actuality, Underly issued a one paragraph statement about MPS. It reads, in part:

“I am confident the MPS Board of School Directors will approve and implement the corrective action plan we sent them today.”

DPI and the governor are upset that the district hasn’t filed the proper financial paperwork with the proper bureaucrats, and that’s where they want to keep the focus. As soon as the MPS Board votes to accept the plan, they’ll get the millions in state aid DPI withheld earlier this month.




Civics: E.U. Censorship Laws Mostly Suppress Legal Speech



JD Tuccille:

In a new report, Preventing “Torrents of Hate” or Stifling Free Expression Online?, The Future of Free Speech, a think tank based at Vanderbilt University, points out that online regulation changed in 2017 with Germany’s adoption of the Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG), “which aimed to combat illegal online content such as defamation, incitement, and religious insults.” That law inspired lawmakers around the world, as well as similar E.U.-wide legislation in 2022 in the Digital Services Act (DSA). “The underlying assumptions surrounding the passage of the DSA included fears that the Internet and social media platforms would become overrun with hate and illegal content,” notes the report.

But “hate” and other forms of unacceptable content are often in the eyes of the beholder. And the power to punish platforms for allowing forbidden speech encourages suppressing content.

The DSA “gives way too much power to government agencies to flag and remove potentially illegal content and to uncover data about anonymous speakers,” cautioned the Electronic Frontier Foundation in 2022.




“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?




Condemning the “Wisconsin DPI’s Ridiculous Attempt to Disguise Lackluster Student Achievement”



WILL:

The News: The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) strongly condemns the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) for changing the terminology regarding student performance as well as once again considering changing the cut points for proficiency on the state’s Forward Exam. This represents a blatant effort to conceal lackluster academic performance for Wisconsin students. WILL believes these changes will cloud parent’s ability to best understand their child’s academic performance and allow schools to avoid accountability for their failures.  

The Quotes: WILL Research Director Will Flanders urges, “Instead of focusing on declining academic achievement in Wisconsin, the Department of Public Instruction is working to hide the problem. Unfortunately, changing standards for political correctness and to avoid accountability will hurt students today, tomorrow, and long into the future. DPI should prioritize addressing more pressing issues, such as implementing reading reforms which will raise student outcomes and helping to resolve the mess in Milwaukee Public Schools.”  

The Changes from DPI:  DPI announced they would be changing the terminology of student performance categories to as follows:  

  • “Below Basic” will now change to “Developing.”
  • “Basic” will now change to “Approaching.”
  • “Proficient” will now change to “Meeting.”
  • “Advanced” will remain the same.  

These labels are not designed to spare the feelings of the students who are not performing as expected, as DPI has alluded. Rather, they intend to prevent families from recognizing the ineptitude of the schools that fail to help students reach the standards required for the workforce or college. 

——

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.




Notes on UW-Madison School of Education Literacy skills



Quinton Klabon:

Dean Haddix will oversee science of reading rollout at UW-Madison. Her literacy research focused elsewhere, but the group of which she was president wrote a nuanced defense of balanced literacy and called out UW’s Mark Seidenberg. How does she feel?

—-

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.




Wisconsin taxpayer funded “DPI pretends our NAEP scores aren’t gross”



Quinton Klabon:

Good news! DPI fixed Milwaukee Public Schools!

No, I don’t mean MPS’ finance crisis.

The Forward Exam categories were OFFENSIVE.
YUCKY: Below Basic, Basic, Proficient, Advanced
HAPPY: Developing, Approaching, Meeting, Advanced

So, 68% of Black students are Developing. ✨

Will Flanders

Changing terms for student performance on the Forward Exam will only serve to cloud parent’s ability to know how their child is doing in school. It’s great if a child in the lowest category is developing skills, but those skills may never actually develop in a failing school.

The use of politically correct terms for students that aren’t meeting expectations can be seen as little more than an attempt to mask failure. DPI should spend less time worrying about what to call levels of proficiency and more time fixing schools that aren’t meeting them.

Libby Sobic

Why is the @WisconsinDPI doing this? Changing the cut scores (again) only makes it harder to see trends over time on student proficiency. AND don’t forget all of this

Lucas Vebber:

DPI is organizing a meeting next week “to establish cut scores for the Wisconsin Forward Exam in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics.”

Attendees are required to “sign a Security and Non-Disclosure Agreement” — is this meeting open to the public? How is this funded

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.




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?




Why Didn’t DPI Inform Voters Before $252 Million Referendum?



Jessica McBride & Jim Piwowarczyk

State School Superintendent Jill Underly’s executive director, the powerful leftist ex=campaign operative Sachin Chheda, donated to the committee working to push through a $252 million Milwaukee Public Schools referendum at the same time DPI was failing to tell the public that the district had not turned in key financial data as far back as September.

DPI finally came clean with the public in a May 24 scathing letter to Milwaukee Public Schools that outlined a series of missing financial documents, including its annual report and certified budget data, a problem dating back months. The School Board, which was not told by DPI about the missing financial data until May 24, along with the public, met on June 3 to consider the fate of Superintendent Keith Posley, who is, correctly, absorbing a lot of the outrage. Posley ended up resigning.

According to DPI’s letter, MPS “continues to fail to provide key required financial data.” As of May 24, MPS had not submitted required financial reports, “some of which are now more than eight months overdue.”

The fiscal meltdown has significant impact. “Continuing to wait for MPS to submit its missing financial data jeopardizes the timing of the aid reports, negatively impacting every Wisconsin school district,” DPI wrote MPS in the May letter – conveniently about two months after the referendum.

Who knew what and when?

Who knew what and when? Why didn’t those people tell Milwaukee taxpayers before they voted on a $252 million referendum for MPS in April? Was there an active effort to cover up the problems before the referendum?

The state Department of Public Instruction, run by leftist Schools Superintendent Underly, knew for months before the April referendum election that MPS had failed to submit key financial data. We know this from the DPI’s own letter, which admits it.

——

Lucas Vebber:

Last year, MPS had 11.1% proficiency in math and 17.3% in English language arts. Yet b/c DPI changed the report card in a way that helps MPS schools avoid being held accountable for their failure to educate kids, MPS is in the “meets expectations” category. Totally ridiculous




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?




Civics: Taxpayer Funded “Course Correct” Documents



Daniel Nuccio:

A group of professors is using taxpayer dollars doled out by the federal government to develop a new misinformation fact-checking tool called “Course Correct.”

National Science Foundation funding, awarded through a pair of grants from 2021 and 2022, has amounted to more than $5.7 million for the development of this tool, which, according to the grant abstracts, is intended to aid reporters, public health organizations, election administration officials, and others to address so-called misinformation on topics such as U.S. elections and COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy.

This $5.7 million in grant money is on top of nearly another $200,000 awarded in 2020 through a Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act-funded NSF grant for a project focused in part on mental health that Course Correct is said to have grown out of.

According to the abstract of the 2021 grant, Course Correct’s developers, a group of five professors from various institutions nationwide, are using techniques related to machine learning and natural language processing to identify social media posts pertaining to electoral skepticism and vaccine hesitancy, identify people likely to be exposed to misinformation in the future, and flag at-risk online communities for intervention

Phase II proposal; more.

Overview: Democracy and public health in the United States are in crisis. These twin crises are exemplified by two major public problems: 1) vaccine hesitancy related to the COVID-19 pandemic, hindering vaccination and spilling over to other domains (e.g., flu vaccines) and 2) skepticism regarding American election integrity. These crises have resulted in 200,000 excess deaths after COVID-19 vaccines became available due to low uptake rates, especially among Black, Hispanic and Native American people, and concerted attempts to overturn the 2020 United States presidential election, culminating in an attack on the US Capitol. Networks of misinformation production and diffusion on social media platforms are ground zero for the creation, sharing, and uptake of content that spurs election skepticism and vaccine hesitancy. Journalists reported to us in Phase I that while they are trying to tame the misinformation tide, they are overwhelmed by what to check, how to effectively correct misinformation and target misinformation networks, and how to evaluate their interventions. To address these twin crises, we propose Course Correct, our innovative, four-step method to detect, test, verify, and field test a system to counter real- world misinformation flows. We propose to (1) extend our computational work to detect misinformation, using multimodal signal detection of linguistic and visual features surrounding vaccine hesitancy and electoral skepticism, coupled with network analytic methods to pinpoint key misinformation diffusers and consumers; (2) further develop A/B-tested correction strategies against misinformation, such as observational correction, using ad promotion infrastructure and randomized message delivery to optimize efficacy for countering misinformation; (3) disseminate and evaluate the effectiveness of evidence-based corrections using various scalable intervention techniques available through social media platforms by conducting a series of randomized control trials within affected networks, focusing on diffusers, not producers of misinformation and whether our intervention system can reduce misinformation uptake and sharing; and (4) scale Course Correct into local, national, and international newsrooms, guided by our interviews and ongoing collaborations with journalists, as well as tech developers and software engineers.

Intellectual Merit: The Intellectual Merit of our project springs from the insight that the problems of both vaccine hesitancy and electoral skepticism emerge from a common set of sources: a) declines in the trust that many citizens have in political processes, public institutions, and the news media; b) accumulation of misperceptions where the acceptance of one piece of misinformation often reliably predicts the endorsement of other misinformation; c) an active online group of merchants of doubt, often driven by ideological extremism and empowered by social media recommendation algorithms, and d) growing cadres of micro-influencers within online communities who, often unintentionally, play an outsized role in fueling the spread of misinformation. Despite the rapid development, testing, approval, and delivery of safe, reliable, and effective COVID-19 vaccines, 34.5 percent of Americans are not vaccinated. Despite a clear and transparent result, several recounts, audits, and lawsuits concerning the 2020 presidential election, 40 percent of Americans do not believe the result. Good science and good electoral administration alone are not enough to foster trust in health and political institutions, outcomes, and behaviors. Converging approaches across communication, social platforms, computer science, politics, and journalism are necessary to show which networks and actors spread falsehoods, and which strategies work best for reducing sharing and endorsement behaviors on social media that amplify misinformation.

Broader Impacts: The Broader Impacts of the project include delivering: 1) Course Correct: an interactive system that enables reporters to detect high-priority misinformation topics and the underlying networks where they flow, perform rapid-response randomized testing of fact-checks, and monitor their real-time performance, 2) the underlying code, survey instruments, and databases of labeled and curated messages to share publicly, 3) evidence-based corrective messages of immediate utility to public health and electoral professionals, 4) training of research personnel and journalists in interdisciplinary topics of global and practical significance, and 5) papers and presentations that will share our findings and conclusions with the academic and broader community.

and

Network Detection of Misinformation and its Spread: To address Aim 1, we will continue our work from Phase I, using multimodal signal detection to develop a curated dataset and machine learning classifiers to discern social media posts related to COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and adoption of misinformation about election integrity, along with the spreaders and consumers of misinformation.



We have begun creating a corpus of millions of public content on our two topics: posts, images, videos, and URLs shared on popular social media and information platforms, including, but not limited to, Twitter, Reddit, and YouTube. In Phase II, we will consult with our Advisory Board member, Dr Kate Blackburn at TikTok to explore adding TikTok data collection. The data collection, which has already started, will span from January 2019 to January 2023. We focus our data collection on content about (1) election administration in the U.S. 2020 generally and a secondary focus on the 2022 midterm elections and (2) COVID-19. specifically, vaccine hesitancy. In Phase I, using the respective platforms’ Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), we have collected data about COVID-19 vaccine misinformation, including false claims that vaccines cause infertility and COVID-19 was caused by 5G*.




The data collection will continue to be done via a snowball sampling technique where we begin the collection with seed relevant keywords (identified with expert consultation) and then expand it with their co-occurring terms. With this corpus, we will continue to develop machine learning techniques to accurately detect electoral administration and COVID-19 related content that is directly related to attitudes about the veracity of the elections we target and the effectiveness and safety of the COVID-19 vaccines. Since all posts that contain a certain keyword (e g., ‘COVID-19′) may not be related to the topic (many users add popular keywords so their posts get more views), we will develop a two-tier filtering process to identify the relevant posts that support or deny a specific claim. We will take inspiration from our previous works that adopts a similar strategy to create a clean and relevant data corpust’. We will build supervised machine leaming classifiers for this task. The first tier of the classifier will weed out irrelevant posts, while the second tier will categorize posts as pro versus anti posts according to the topic. Word embedding and multi-modal models: To enable this, our team members will label a set of 2000-3000 posts on each topic and mark their relevance to the topic and their stance (pro or anti). We will use the relevance labels to train a supervised classifier (e.g., SVM, Random Forest classifier or a neural network), which uses text features as inputs and generates relevance class as output. The text features will contain syntactic, semantic, lexical and psycholinguistic categories. We will also use word embedding models (such as BERT and its variants’ , which will be fine-tuned on the supervised data) to extract tweet features? – a direction that our Advisory Board member, Dr. Koustuv Saha, has extensively used in his research. Models trained with an ensemble of all these features will be used for both tiers (relevance in the first tier and pro- or anti in the second tier). We will evaluate the performance of the trained machine learning classifiers with precision, recall, area under the ROC curve, false positive rate, and false negative rate with respect to the hand-labeled dataset. The classifier that perforns the best will be used to classify the entire corpus. As a proof of concept, in Phase I, we followed this pipeline to conduct classification for one topic of COVID-19 misinformation, specifically on ‘vaccines cause infertility’ misinformation. The classifier achieved an F-1 score of 0.9848 This shows the effectiveness of the proposed pipeline. This pipeline, however, was focused on text-based misinformation detection only.

In Phase II, we will extend the framework to detect misinformation to a multimodal setting, i.e. integrating images/videos along with the text. When both features are available (as is the case with many social media posts) the image can often disambiguate the text (for example, making it clear whether it is a post about basketball or about guns). In outline, we will develop deep multimodal fusion-based methods that leverage knowledge extraction from visual and linguistic features, as images can often complement aifically ont methad will encode the text usine_a_BERJibased fontire vector and.

Based on common forms and types of misinformation we detect, we will collaborate with our end-users at Snopes, the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, and the Capital Times in Year 1, adding International Fact-Checking Network signatories in Year 2, to co-design misinformation mitigation messages for use in evidence-based correction strategies. Interventions will be tested for effectiveness while also meeting organizational needs and journalistic norms— an aspect important for the purposes of cultural validity. Then, we will take advantage of existing sponsored content mechartisms available on platforms such as Twitter and deliver the co-designed interventions through randomized n-arm A/B testing to social media users on these platforms. Based on the pilot test we conducted in Phase I, we are confident that rapid-cycle A/B testing can help demonstrate the feasibility and efficacy of various corrective interventions, some content specific and some “evergreen” (i.e., non-content specific), and better understand which messages best reduce the endorsement and sharing of misinformation.

we will implement Course Correct into local, national, and international newsrooms, guided by dozens of interviews and ongoing collaborations with journalists, as well as tech developers and entrepreneurs. Rather than focusing on platform restriction and fact-checking partisan political elites, Course Correct will help journalists, and ultimately public health and election administration officials, to see what misinformation is circulating on social platforms and to quickly test correction strategies within the online communities most in need of seeing those corrections so that they are exposed to the verifiable truth. We will begin scaling up on a case study basis with our local (Capital Times), state (WCIJ, and national (Snopes) partners in Year 1. Phase II supports the hiring of a new journalist for




Wisconsin Teacher of the Year



Abbey Machtig:

Shabazz High School science teacher Brian Counselman has been named a Wisconsin Teacher of the Year, the first time since 2010 that a Madison School District teacher has earned that honor.

The school held a surprise assembly Tuesday to announce the award, which was presented by State Superintendent Jill Underly in front of staff, students and some of Counselman’s family and friends.

“It is clear that the students not only deeply respect and trust him, but admire and adore him, which aids their ability to learn and grow,” Underly said.




‘Nothing short of a miracle’ as Wisconsin Youth Orchestra opens site



By Kayla Huynh

For decades, the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras rehearsed in what Artistic Director Kyle Knox called “the bowels” of the UW-Madison humanities building. 

After the organization moved out four years ago, WYSO became scattered, with members practicing in schools, churches and even parking lots throughout Dane County. 

Now, for the first time in the nonprofit’s 58-year history, the regional orchestra for young musicians has its own home at 1118 East Washington Ave. 

“To go from that … to a building that is unique in the entire United States, it’s nothing short of a miracle,” Knox said. “It’s just astounding that in a city this size we have a building like this, (one) that is all about celebrating music and about bringing people together.” 

At the building’s official opening Tuesday, Gov. Tony Evers, Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway and state Superintendent Jill Underly — all of whom played musical instruments growing up — praised the organization for helping hundreds of aspiring artists grow in their passions. 

“That connection of making music with other people really is magic. It’s life changing and it feeds your soul,” Rhodes-Conway told the crowd of students, donors and alumni, including members of the inaugural 1966 orchestra. “This building and WYSO will allow even more kids to access that magic, that education, and perhaps most importantly, to meet … other people who are just as passionate about music as they are.” 

The new $33 million building adds to a growing youth arts corridor on the near east side, where WYSO, the Madison Youth Arts Center, Madison Youth Choirs and the Children’s Theater of Madison are all just steps from each other. 




“tax code and the regulations now total 35 million words”



Committee to unleash prosperity:

The firm Cover & Rossiter (certified public accountants) has estimated that the tax code and the regulations now total 35 million words. That’s more than 6 times as many words as War and Peace, the Bible, the entire Harry Potter series, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Les Miserables, the Hunger Games series, Atlas Shrugged, the Twilight series, Gone with the Wind, and The Brothers Karamazov – combined.

And those were interesting readings. Can we PLEASE get a flat tax?

——-

More.

Interesting take by Will Flanders of WILL on WISN this morn: DPI head Jill Underly could have easily (and more honestly) spun the new study as ‘WI is doing better in retaining teachers than other states’.
Instead, she spun out an attack on ACT 10 and underfunded schools.




Fertility Decline: Proof of Culture Drift



Robin Hanson:

The clearest proof of biologically maladaptive culture drift is fertility. Children per woman per lifetime has been declining worldwide for centuries, and is now below replacement levels almost everywhere. Earth passed peak births in 2016, and in a few decades, we’ll pass peak population. Absent huge AI advances, innovation rates will then fall even faster than the population, causing a many-centuries-long innovation pause, and then less liberal governance, perhaps including even the return of slavery.

This fertility fall is driven by many strong and beloved cultural trends, including more gender equality, more intensive parenting, longer inflexible career paths, less religion, more urbanity, capstone replacing cornerstone marriage, and less grandparent involvement. On the whole, these look more like non-adaptive value drifts than adaptive learning or context-dependence. And having fertility fall below replacement during times of plenty seems clearly maladaptive. While policy solutions exist, like big payouts to parents, they seem unlikely to be adopted, as they need us to care enough, and to allow the reversal of beloved trends.

How exactly did culture drift to hurt fertility? Maybe many independent trends just added up to that. But another possibility is that high-status folks had wealth to invest in kids and widespread status markers that could be improved by wealth. Then our general cultural habit of copying high-status behavior could have combined with a selection effect: having fewer kids causes each to have higher status. This pattern was widely reported in history, at least among elites.

Just as our cultural drift story predicts, the main fertility exceptions we see are in fragmented, very insular cultures like Mennonites, Amish, and Haredim. By doubling every two decades, they look on track to replace our mainline civilization in a few centuries, just as Christians once took over Romewith similar growth rates over a similar timescale. And just as Christians discarded many things they didn’t like about Roman civilization, these new groups may discard many aspects of our liberal civilization that we now treasure.

In fact, many ancient civilizations like Greece and Rome plausibly fell due to low fertility. And humanity may repeat this pattern: innovation causing wealth causing fewer richer cultures, which drift, fall, and fragment. Culture selection then heals drifts, letting civilizations rise again.

Is There a Fix?

Eventually, when our descendants spread across the stars, long communication delays will ensure cultural fragmentation, and thus more selection. (Fast or easily copied minds might also work, as in my book Age of Em.) Before then, I see only three fixes: conservative, totalitarian, and multicultural. And none seems likely to work (though we should try).

The conservative fix is to revert culture back to a point when cultural selection was strong, and then stop it from changing. If these cultural values are shallow, this would forgo gains from adapting deep values to changing conditions since then. But agreeing on deeper underlying conservative values seems hard.




“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.

—-

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?




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.

——-

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?




Wisconsin DPI Commentary on Reading Curriculum



Wisconsin Public Radio’s Kate Archer Kent interviews Laura Adams:

mp3 audio. Transcript.

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:

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.




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?




Notes on changes in Wisconsin taxpayer K-12 funding policies



WILL:

The Assembly is currently considering AB900—a bill that would “decouple” public school spending from spending on the voucher and independent charter school programs. While the concept likely sounds quite confusing, it’s actually relatively straightforward, and will benefit public schools, taxpayers, and choice schools as well. We’ll explain how below. 

PUBLIC SCHOOLS 

Currently, when a student leaves for the state’s school choice programs and some independent charters, state aid to school districts is reduced to make up for the cost to the state of that student.  This loss of state aid is allowed to be made up for with a revenue limit adjustment that raises property taxes in the district.  AB900 would change this.  School districts would no longer see their aid reduced for the cost of the voucher or charter students, leading to a property tax cut and access to more state aid. Instead, choice and charter schools would be funded by the state.  In addition, the bill includes a provision for school districts to recoup 25% of the revenue limit authority they used to receive for voucher students—leading to additional revenue per pupil for the vast majority of districts in the state.   

We have included an attachment that shows what the bill would result in for every district. This comes from a memo produced by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau.  To help with understanding, consider the example from Green Bay reproduced below: 

——-

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?




“diminishes our district’s ability to maintain our high standard for 4K services that are needed for our families” – credentialism



Rich Kremer:

The Wisconsin Association of School Boards, the Wisconsin Educational Association Council teachers union and Wisconsin State Reading Association have registered against the bill. The Wisconsin Child Care Administrators Association and the Wisconsin Early Childhood Association have registered in support.

Wisconsin Early Childhood Association Co-Director Paula Drew told legislators that while the organization “acknowledges that the way childcare is funded is flawed” in Wisconsin, the bill is “pitting public schools against local childcare providers.”

“While equitable 4K funding for community 4K childcare is an important piece, it’s not the silver bullet to solve the current childcare crisis,” Drew said. “Above all, there must be an ongoing state investment to stabilize childcare infrastructure in Wisconsin.”

SB 973

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?




Why did the legislature remove third-grade literacy as a goal?



Catrin Wigfall:

There is no doubt that the 2023 legislative session was “transformational.” I have written here about the numerous new education mandates that the DFL-controlled legislature passed and what they mean for Minnesota students, families, and educators. 

But there were also things removed — such as the goal to support third-grade students in achieving grade-level literacy. As of spring 2023 test results, less than half (47.1 percent) of third-grade students statewide are reading at grade level as measured by the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA).

—-

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 or Loyalty? Mulligans?



Lauren Gilbert:

In a discrete choice experiment in which bureaucrats in education were asked to make trade-offs between foundational literacy, completion of secondary school, and formation of dutiful citizens, respondents valued dutiful citizens 50% more than literate ones. For many policy makers, the goal is not the production of knowledge, but the fostering of nationalism.

This may sound like an odd set of priorities, but both European and Latin American countries had similar priorities when they expanded their education systems to serve more than a small elite around the turn of the 20th century. The goal was not to produce scientists or entrepreneurs but to inculcate a reliable workforce that would support the state.

—-

Commentary

This is part of why I think modernity was born out of the Reformation and the response thereto. Education is always in danger of falling afoul of the state – either banned for any appreciable number of folks or for being required to emphasize the propaganda and justifications of the state. China, for instance, had everything needed for mass literacy – printing, a large scholar class, and even some reverence for written words. But instead the state used education largely to staff the bureaucracy on the basis of who could make Confucian piety sound the best and who had memorized the most Legalistic commentary. 

The Protestant Reformation, most notably in Scotland, has this radical idea that even the poor dirt farmers of society need to be literate and educated enough to understand holy scriptures to grasp Reformed doctrine. And that understanding had to be enough to end with a “credible profession of faith” the evidenced understanding and (at least in theory), not just vain repetitions. 

And this is part of why I think the West achieved so much, there really was an ideology of learning for a higher purpose and enough teachers bought that they were dealing with the immortal souls of their pupils that the fundamentals could not be short changed merely to maintain discipline or orthodoxy.

——

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 3 taxpayer supported Madison k-12 Superintendent candidates



Abbey Machtig:

The community will be able to hear from the three finalists for Madison School District superintendent in a series of public interviews this week.

Yvonne Stokes, Mohammed Choudhury and Joe Gothard will be interviewed in person by two panels on Tuesday. The public can watch the interviews through a livestream. The livestream can be found via go.madison.com/finalists. The district said one panel will be made up of students and the other will be made up of parents and caregivers. Public feedback is welcome.

——

More:

——

More:

Choudhury did not respond to an interview request from the Cap Times. He told the Post, however, that he had “inherited a dysfunctional department with a workforce accustomed to inefficiency — and that his detractors are unwilling to embrace the change he is determined to bring to Maryland.”

——

Yet:

——-

Madison has long spent far more than most taxpayer supported k-12 systems, now at least 22 to 29k per student, depending on the district numbers used.

——-

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 cost disease in education



Bryan Caplan:

On the growth of higher ed expenditures, for years, I bought into the lagging productivity view as forwarded by Richard Vedder and others. In fact, William Poole, while still president of the St. Louis Fed, delivered a speech on this topic to a small luncheon group at WKU with our university president sitting right there. It was fairly humorous seeing our president’s reaction. However, I realized that in assessing productivity, Vedder, Poole, and others (like myself) routinely treated education as the sole product/service.  Yes, we had always acknowledged a “consumption” component to student demand, but we treated that as a nuisance element, not as an integral feature of the market. That was probably not a bad assumption back in the mid-20th century and earlier.  Over the last 50ish years, the consumption element has become increasingly important but remains ignored as merely a nuisance factor. Even the educational part itself has taken on more of a consumption aspect as students have opted into degrees that are more about avocation than serious academic study or vocation.

For all my grousing about the lack of student interest and “why are they even here,” the puzzle existed only because of my underlying, single-product assumption. There is a large demand for the consumption aspects of the higher ed “experience.” The U.S. is a rich society, and students (and their families through intra-household economics) want to consume the college product/service bundle – the “college experience” as even this verbiage began to reflect the shift toward non-educational, “summer camp”/ consumption. It is related to what we have observed at lower levels of education where the reason there isn’t more learning has little to do with teaching methods or school systems but the lack of interest by students and their parents in the educational component. For many parents, school is mainly about cheap day care. That’s a point that I make in my 1999 Spoiled Rotten: Affluence, Anxiety, and Social Decay in America.

Yes, $1.5+ trillion in student loan guarantees helps bolster this demand, but $1.5 trillion in loan guarantees is not the same as handing out $1.5 trillion in direct subsidies (grants), at least not yet. During most of this growth period in demand, the majority of students/parents expected to repay these loans. That may have changed more recently.




Notes on the most recent group of taxpayer supported Madison K-12 Superintendent candidates… Achievement?



Abbey Machtig:

The candidates will be interviewed again Wednesday, but those discussions will not be livestreamed, recorded or open to the public. The interviews will involve teachers, district leaders, students and selected community members.

Eric Murphy:

Choudhury is one of three finalists for superintendent in Madison, along with 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. Stokes also resigned under pressure from conservative school board members who took issue with her diversity and inclusion efforts as superintendent. All three will be interviewed by various panels Feb. 6-7. 

When asked for comment on the allegations against Choudhury by Cornelius and others, school district leaders said they were happy with their final three options for superintendent. “Our board has done exhaustive work in selecting our finalists, and we remain confident with the process and the selection of our finalists,” the district said in an unsigned email to Isthmus sent by communications staffer Ellie Herman. 

The email pointed to a previous statement from school board president Nichelle Nichols: “We are extremely pleased with the pool of candidates for this position. They each reflect the diverse needs of our community and the competencies that we agreed upon in November. Our three finalists have exceeded our expectations, and we’re excited for the community to meet 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?




Madison’s Taxpayer Supported K-12 Superintendent Candidate Notes



Dave Cieslewicz:

Notice what’s missing? There’s nothing in there about a track record of actually improving, you know, education. Nothing about a record of improving test scores.

That’s concerning because MMSD’s record in that regard is not good. This morning the New York Times ran a story that allowed readers to check on how their district was performing with regard to math test scores. Here’s the chart for Madison:

We have been below the national average for at least seven years while Wisconsin as a state performs above the average. We came close in 2019 and then dipped again during COVID. Our recovery since then has been anemic, running below both the national and state average.

——-

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?




Should We Teach to Empower Students or to Keep Them as “Sacred Victims”?



George Leef:

Among the many destructive ideas that “progressive” thinking has unleashed on education in America is that it’s unfair to hold students from “underrepresented groups” to the same standards as others. Schools and colleges should “help” minority students succeed by lowering expectations for them—somehow atoning for wrongs done to their ancestors in the distant past. That is how Claudine Gay wound up as president of Harvard.

The notion that academic standards should be lower for minority students has swept through our educational institutions, but there are some dissenters who argue that this doesn’t help but hurts. One of them is Professor Erec Smith of York College. He teaches rhetoric and composition and has written a book challenging the belief that minority (especially black) students are somehow harmed by teaching them to use standard English. Smith argues in his book, A Critique of Anti-Racism in Rhetoric and Composition, that standard English empowers those students by giving them another tool to accomplish their objectives.

Much as woke professors want to stamp out racism, they’re going about it the wrong way.As Smith sees things, professors in his field, eager to display their “anti-racist” zeal, have adopted the trendy idea that “whiteness” is the enemy of progress for blacks. They’re passionate and sincere, but they have allowed their emotions to trample over reason in evaluating the pros and cons of their pedagogy. Smith writes that “feelings and opinions have replaced critical thinking in attempts to decenter whiteness and challenge hegemonic forces in academia.” Much as those professors want to stamp out racism, they’re going about it the wrong way.

That way entails an exclusive focus on the racial identity of students. Black students are assumed to be victims of white, racist social forces against which they are helpless. Therefore, they must band together in group solidarity to be empowered against “whiteness.” The trouble with that, Smith shows, is that it actually disempowers them. It leads to fallacious interpretations of texts and situations (seeing racism everywhere) and an inability to communicate and persuade. Instead of enabling black students to succeed, it infantilizes them. They’re trapped in an identity of victimhood, always looking for excuses and villains.

——

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?




Searching for a new UW-Madison Education School Dean



Gavin Escott:

The search is underway for a new dean of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education after Diana Hess stepped down as the head of one of the nation’s highest-ranked education schools. 

Hess, who served as the dean of the School of Education since 2015, announced in October she would be leaving her leadership position and returning to a faculty role in summer of 2024. During her tenure, Hess oversaw new programs to support students and solidified the education school’s status as No. 3 in the nation, according to U.S. News.

——-

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 enshittocene”



Cory Doctorow gave the annual Marshall McLuhan lecture at the Transmediale festival in Berlin

We’re all living through the enshittocene, a great enshittening, in which the services that matter to us, that we rely on, are turning into giant piles of shit.

It’s frustrating. It’s demoralizing. It’s even terrifying.

I think that the enshittification framework goes a long way to explaining it, moving us out of the mysterious realm of the ‘great forces of history,’ and into the material world of specific decisions made by named people – decisions we can reverse and people whose addresses and pitchfork sizes we can learn.

Enshittification names the problem and proposes a solution. It’s not just a way to say ‘things are getting worse’ (though of course, it’s fine with me if you want to use it that way. It’s an English word. We don’t have der Rat für englische Rechtschreibung. English is a free for all. Go nuts, meine Kerle).

But in case you want to use enshittification in a more precise, technical way, let’s examine how enshittification works.

It’s a three stage process: First, platforms are good to their users; then they abuse their users to make things better for their business customers; finally, they abuse those business customers to claw back all the value for themselves. Then, they die.

———

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 school district finalists: Two had resigned under criticism



Kayla Huynh:

The Madison Metropolitan School District has named two former education administrators and one current administrator as finalists to be the next superintendent.

Two of the finalists left their former jobs after facing criticism for their performance.

The finalists are Mohammed Choudhury, the former state superintendent of schools at the Maryland Department of Education; Joe Gothard, a Madison native who is superintendent of Saint Paul Public Schools in Minnesota; and Yvonne Stokes, the former superintendent at Hamilton Southeastern Schools in Indiana. 

The Madison School Board began interviews with candidates in closed meetings last month and selected the three candidates from nearly 60 applicants, according to district officials.

——

David Blaska:

——-

Dave Cieslewicz:

There’s some process left, with three or four sets of interviews ahead, and the board isn’t expected to make a decision until the end of February. At least on paper, Gothard is clearly the strongest candidate while Choudhury seems like a guy you’d want to stay away from. But I would give the edge to Stokes. I’m not sure this board will be able to resist the chance to hire the first Black woman superintendent.

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 school district Superintendent finalists’ history: One resigned, one fired



Kayla Huynh:

The Madison Metropolitan School District has named two former education administrators and one current administrator as finalists to be the next superintendent.

Two of the finalists left their former jobs after facing criticism for their performance.

The finalists are Mohammed Choudhury, the former state superintendent of schools at the Maryland Department of Education; Joe Gothard, a Madison native who is superintendent of Saint Paul Public Schools in Minnesota; and Yvonne Stokes, the former superintendent at Hamilton Southeastern Schools in Indiana. 

The Madison School Board began interviews with candidates in closed meetings last month and selected the three candidates from nearly 60 applicants, according to district officials. 

The finalists will participate in a final round of in-person interviews next week with the board as well as over 100 nominated community members and staff who were selected through a lottery process. 

On Feb. 6, two of the interviews will be recorded and live-streamed online, including one interview with a student panel from noon to 1:30 p.m. and another with parents and caregivers from 6:30 p.m. to 8:55 p.m. 

The board expects to select MMSD’s next leader in late February, replacing former Superintendent Carlton Jenkins, who retired last summer after three years at the helm. Formerly retired educator Lisa Kvistad is serving as interim superintendent for the current school year.

——-

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?




Legal Motion to Defend Wisconsin Act 10 on behalf of Public-School Employee



WILL:

WILL Client, Kristi Koschkee, stated, “Act 10 is pro-taxpayer and pro-freedom. This legislation provides public employees like me the freedom to not participate in unionization, or be compelled to finance or support political speech I do not agree with. It’s critical that we stand up for this law and not undo the years of positive results produced for Wisconsin.”

Our Client: WILL Client and Defendant, Kristi Koschkee, faces significant harm if Act 10 were to be somehow repealed or scaled back. Ms. Koschkee is a public-school district employee who values the benefits the Legislature provided her via Act 10.

Koschkee does not want her local union interfering with her relationship with her employer by bargaining on subjects beyond those permitted by Act 10 or entering agreements that last longer than a year. She supports requiring unions to rectify annually, does not want to have her decision to abstain from a union certification vote work in the union’s favor, and does not want to be pressured into participating in recertification elections. Ms. Koschkee also opposes allowing unions to access employee wages directly through payroll deductions.

——

Notes and links on Act 10.

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

——

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?




Don’t Fuss About Training AIs. Train Our Kids



Esther Dyson:

People worried about AI taking their jobs are competing with a myth. Instead, people should train themselves to be better humans.

We should automate routine tasks and use the money and time saved to allow humans to do more meaningful work, especially helping parents raise healthier, more engaged children.

We should know enough to manipulate ourselves and to resist manipulation by others.

Front-line trainers are crucial to raising healthy, resilient, curious children who will grow into adults capable of loving others and overcoming challenges. There’s no formal curriculum for front-line trainers. Rather, it’s about training kids—and the parents who raise them—to do two fundamental things.

First, ensure that they develop the emotional security to think long term rather than grasp at short-term solutions through drugs, food, social media, gambling or other harmful palliatives. (Perhaps the best working definition of addiction is “doing something now for short-term relief that you know you will regret later.”)

Second, kids need to understand themselves and understand the motivations of the people, institutions and social media they interact with. That’s how to combat fake news—or the distrust of real news. It is less about traditional media literacy and more about understanding: “Why am I seeing this news? Are they trying to get me angry—or just using me to sell ads?”

Unfortunately, many children today are exposed to bad training as the result of having divorced or missing parents or experiencing abuse, hunger, exposure to addiction, mental illness, racism or bullying. These children complete less school, commit more crime and suffer from more instances of addiction, obesity and poor health than their peers with loving relatives and helpful neighbors. Affected children then often pass these vulnerabilities to those around them, including their own children when they become adults. Everyone suffers (including future taxpayers).

Expecting and new parents are the ideal place to begin such training. They are generally eager for help and guidance, which used to come from their own parents and relatives, from schools and from religious leaders. Now such guidance is scarce.

——-

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?




Chipotle steps into the education void



Sabrina Escobar:

“To attract Gen Zers, Chipotle is rolling out a plan that helps workers pay off student loans while saving for retirement, a debit card to help them build credit, and broader access to mental-health resources and financial education. Chipotle noted that Gen-Zers “are experiencing notable financial challenges,” from credit-card debt to “not feel[ing] confident managing their money.”

——-

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’s latest early literacy curriculum bake off



Quinton Klabon:

APPROVED FOR DPI & LEGISLATURE Amplify: Core Knowledge Great Minds: Wit And Wisdom AND Really Great Reading

NOT APPROVED, WILL BE DISCUSSED MORE Benchmark: Advance Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: Into McGraw Hill: Wonders

REJECTED Savvas: MyView Zaner-Bloser: Superkids

——

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?




Apples to Apples; Comparing Wisconsin public, charter, and private voucher schools



Will Flanders:

It’s an unfortunate reality that demographic factors historically play a large role in student performance; any honest assessment of how schools and school sectors are performing must take those factors into account. Much of the reporting on school performance, though, ignores this reality. This report endeavors to incorporate these factors through rigorous statistical modeling that controls for, and assesses the impact of, several student characteristics. This report has been updated to include data from the 2022-23 report cards.

Among the key findings:

  • Students in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program continue to outperform their public school peers. Proficiency rates in private choice schools were about 8.6% higher in English/Language Arts (ELA) and 7.0% higher in math on average than proficiency rates in traditional public schools in Milwaukee.
  • Charter school students in Milwaukee continue to outperform their public school peers. District charters saw 6.9% and 6.6% higher proficiency in ELA and math respectively than traditional public schools.
  • Statewide, choice students outperform their public school peers in ELA. Proficiency rates were about 5.4% higher in ELA for students participating in school choice statewide than traditional public school students. No difference was found in math performance.
  • Wisconsin continues to struggle with its achievement gaps. Statewide, a school with 100% low-income students would be expected to have proficiency rates 40.6% lower in ELA and 44.0% lower in math compared to a hypothetical school with zero low-income students. For African American students, that gap is 17.8% in ELA and 20.3% in math. Hispanic students have an achievement gap of approximately 6.3% in math, but no significant gap was found in ELA.
  • Choice and charter schools are more efficient with taxpayer money. Once the demographics of students in the schools are taken into account, choice and charter schools earn more proficiency per $1,000 of spending than traditional public schools in both Milwaukee and the state as a whole.
  • Choice schools offer more value added. 12 of the top 20 schools in the state where student performance exceeds expectations based on demographics are in the state’s choice programs.
  • Rural schools perform worse than schools in any other type of geography. On average, proficiency in Wisconsin’s rural schools is significantly lower in both ELA and math than urban, suburban, or town schools.

Commentary.

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 student achievement and US decline



Myra Adams:

1. Uncontrollable U.S. Debt: The U.S. Debt Clock displays the inevitability of American decline — a “ticking time bomb” of data and financial evidence — especially the following three.

The U.S. government’s total unfunded liabilities — the combined amount of payments promised without funds to recipients of Social Security, Medicare, federal employee pensions, veterans’ benefits and federal debt held by the public — stand at $212 trillion, and are rapidly increasing. For context, that number was just $122 trillion as recently as 2019 and is projected by the Debt Clock to reach $288.9 trillion by 2028. 

That is an unimaginable amount of money — more than a quarter of a quadrillion dollars. When or if the government is forced to reduce payments, pensions or services to hold things together, or to default on its debt, the consequences will be brutal.

The second ticking bomb is the U.S. debt. At $34 trillion, it has increased more than six-fold from $5.6 trillion in 2000. Of that $34 trillion, $731 billion has been accumulated through interest payments — the fourth-highest annual U.S. budget item. (If you are keeping score, the third-highest is $851 billion for Defense, exceeded by Social Security at $1.39 trillion and topped by Medicare-Medicaid at $1.72 trillion.)

Like an irresponsible credit card user, the federal government is perpetually borrowing more money to make the interest payments as they come due. And the interest payments on the newly refinanced debt will be much higher due to recent and significant rate-hikes.

Finally, the $34 trillion national debt, as a percentage of the nation’s $27.8 trillion economy entails a debt-to-GDP ratio of 122.30 percent, headed to 150 percent by 2028. That’s up from 56 percent in 2000 and 36 percent in 1980. Don’t expect any meaningful discussions or solutions from either party about these three “bombs” as their timers tick away.

2. Low student achievement: If our nation is to dig itself out of that harrowing debt trap, it will need successive generations of superstar students, armed with skills and creativity. Someday, they will invent and harness technologies to manufacture state-of-the-art products and related services, fueling an economic boom that boosts the GDP.

——

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 construction in the taxpayer funded Madison School District



Abbey Machtig:

The pandemic significantly affected the projects.

Not only did it exacerbate inflation and supply chain delays, but it also altered the scope of work by bringing new needs to attention — such as improving HVAC systems and ventilation and getting rid of environmental hazards such as asbestos in the old school buildings.

These expenses meant the district had to scrounge up $28 million beyond the $317 million voters authorized in the 2020 referendum, bringing total spending to $345 million.

High inflation accounted for $11 million of that, additional electrical and mechanical work accounted for $9 million, and environmental work accounted for another $8 million, according to school board materials.

Some of those extra dollars came from the district’s general education fund and from money the district saved from staff vacancies and reduced energy usage in buildings during the pandemic. Fundraising gave the district extra money to work with as well.

——

Madison school district spending over the decades, now at least $25k/student.

——

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 Literacy changes



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?




In Massachusetts’ richest towns, many top-ranked schools cling to outdated methods of teaching reading



Naomi Martin and Mandy McLaren

At school, she panics if she has to read aloud. She’s a conscientious student and keeps her grades up, but it isn’t easy; at times she has such trouble synthesizing the novels she reads in English class, she Googles plot summaries to remind herself of what happened. Even in math, word problems are thickets.

Madison von Mering, a driven 16-year-old who loves field hockey and sailing, is not a strong reader. As a young child, she was never correctly taught how to sound out unfamiliar words.

More.

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 School Board incumbents will run for reelection unopposed



Kayla Huynh:

The 2024 Madison School Board election cycle will include both incumbents running for re-election unchallenged.

Candidates for the board began circulating nomination papers and gathering the required signatures in December. Incumbents Maia Pearson and Savion Castro were the only two to submit those papers by the Jan. 2 deadline, according to Ian Folger, spokesman for the Madison Metropolitan School District.

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?




“Board, Superintendent ruined Madison’s fine public schools”



James Lister:

The Madison School Board needs to take a hard look at the lessons of the last 10 years. The general functioning and the overall management of the school district have been poor and unprofessional. If you call the central offices, you seldom get ahold of a person or get a call back.

Teachers are mistreated and disrespected by students and administrators. No wonder so many quit the profession or retire as soon as possible. Disruptive students ruin lessons and intimidate classmates based on the erroneous theory that we are helping disruptive students by leaving them in the classroom when they are highly agitated. They have very low consequences for poor behavior.

The School Boards that hired the last two superintendents are responsible are taking an excellent district and driving it into the ground by hiring poor superintendents.

No, we should not return to the 1950s and ’60s when classes were in rows and students never spoke. Yet we must reinstate self-discipline and respect for all people in our schools where hard work and learning are cherished. Parents must be responsible for the behavior of their children and support teachers.

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?




Sources of isomorphism in the Milwaukee voucher school sector



Michael R Ford and Fredrik O Andersson

In this article, 25 years of data are utilized from nonprofit schools operating in the United States’ oldest and largest private school voucher program to test theories of isomorphism. We find that startup and religious schools belonging to an umbrella organization such as an archdiocese are particularly likely to serve similar student bodies at similar costs. In addition, we find that isomorphic pressures increase the longer a school participates in the Milwaukee voucher program, and that increased program regulation is related to increased sector isomorphism. The results illustrate the difficulty of using New Public Management style reforms, at scale, to encourage a diversity of nongovernment providers to provide a service traditionally provided by the public sector. The results will be of interest to scholars studying nonprofit institutional theories, school choice, and New Public Management style reforms.

Jill 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?




“It showed only a modest relationship between high school grades and college grades, partly because so many high school students now receive A’s”



David Leonhardt:

Now, though, a growing number of experts and university administrators wonder whether the switch has been a mistake. Research has increasingly shown that standardized test scores contain real information, helping to predict college grades, chances of graduation and post-college success. Test scores are more reliable than high school grades, partly because of grade inflation in recent years.

Without test scores, admissions officers sometimes have a hard time distinguishing between applicants who are likely to do well at elite colleges and those who are likely to struggle. Researchers who have studied the issue say that test scores can be particularly helpful in identifying lower-income students and underrepresented minorities who will thrive. These students do not score as high on average as students from affluent communities or white and Asian students. But a solid score for a student from a less privileged background is often a sign of enormous potential.

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?




More of the Same in the taxpayer supported K-12 School District



Dave Cieslewicz:
Anyone hoping for improvement in Madison’s public schools will need to keep waiting. Incumbent school board members Savion Castro and Maia Pearson will be reelected by default in April as no challengers showed up before the filing deadline yesterday. Sincere congratulations to Castro and Pearson. They’ve stepped up. They put their names on the line. I strongly disagree with their views, but I have to respect the fact that they’ve put themselves in the arena. It’s ironic that the story of their de facto reelection appeared on the same day as a story about how MMSD is moving away from letter grades. Failing a class? Heading for a “D”? Turns out you’re not failing at all. You’re “emerging.” It wasn’t at all clear what MMSD is trying to accomplish by moving away from letter grades. They admit that it will create more work for already over-burdened teachers and they’ll need to translate “emerging” into a “D” at some point so that high school students can have a GPA for their transcripts when applying for college. I guess it spares a kid’s feelings in the short-run, maybe. Also, attendance and behavior won’t be taken into account with the new non-grading system either. In fact, this board seems to view good behavior as some sort of privileged cultural hegemony. I see it as just good behavior. It’s being respectful of your fellow students and teachers. Maybe I just don’t get it. I guess you’d have to say that when it comes to my grasp of MMSD policies my work is emerging. This is precisely the kind of stuff about this school board that drove me to encourage challengers to the incumbents. When this board, or any group of leaders, sees every issue in terms of race and gender they’re pretty much guaranteed not to solve the problem because they’ve misdefined it from the start. The problem is not a racial achievement gap. The problem is that there are some kids, of every race, who aren’t learning. To cover that up with words like “emerging” is just moving us further away from solutions rather than confronting the problem. We’ve got a school system where more than 60% of students are consistently performing below grade level in English and math, where behavioral problems are going unaddressed thanks to an ill-conceived “Behavior Education Plan,” and where parents have been voting with their feet for over a decade. And now we’re going to continue down that same road by phasing out the accountability (and yes, the pressure — it’s a good thing) that comes with real grades.

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?




Evers criticizes lawsuit seeking to end the Milwaukee voucher program



Molly Beck:

Gov. Tony Evers says he opposes abolishing the state’s oldest school voucher program through a lawsuit filed by some of the governor’s strongest supporters.

Evers, a former state superintendent and public school educator, said eliminating the taxpayer-funded voucher system in Milwaukee could have “traumatic” effects on the nearly 30,000 students who attend more than 100 private schools with the subsidies.

“It wasn’t just created yesterday. It was created decades ago, and I think ending it in such a way is going to be traumatic to a whole bunch of families and kids,” Evers said in an interview with the Journal Sentinel.

“It’s not that I think I’m a huge supporter of the vouchers but I also understand that uprooting the lives of a whole bunch of kids is not the way to address it. I’m not sure what the way to address it is right now, but just saying ‘Boom — it’s over,’ that’s going to be a problem.”

Evers also said it would likely be difficult for Milwaukee Public Schools to absorb tens of thousands of students quickly.

—-

More.

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?




“I knew better than to recruit certified teachers”



Dr Kevin Roberts:

Twenty years ago, when I was hiring teachers for the private K-12 school I founded, I knew better than to recruit certified teachers. That’s right—I didn’t want to hire certified teachers. Why?

Because from my previous work as a college history professor, I knew that the people least prepared to teach a subject were education majors. Requiring an embarrassingly low minimum of credit hours to be certified to teach a subject — just four courses in some states! — education majors encounter the least substance and rigor, but the maximum of racialist theory and left-wing ideology in their program.

——

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?




“Parents may feel like they don’t have a clear of an understanding of how their child is performing in school and students may fear falling behind their peers”



Abbey Machtig:

“You have to manage the expectations, the emotions, the fears of ‘is my child making the right progress’ — that is the question I think we hear families ask the most,” she said. 

Students and parents also may worry that grades won’t translate on applications to colleges, jobs or other opportunities after high school. However, students at East High will still receive a letter grade for each class at the end of the semester and maintain a GPA throughout high school, Schaefer said.

The grades translate as Advanced = A; Proficient = B; Developing = C; Emerging = D, according to the East handbook. 

Schaefer said the transition to this system will bring extra work for teachers, who have to change how they assign grades and learn a new system for entering them into the online gradebook. Schaefer recommends instructors focus on between three and eight priority standards for each course.

Yet, Madison has long tolerated disastrous reading results despite spending far more than most taxpayer funded k-12 systems.

Commentary.

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?




Looking ahead to 2024 and the taxpayer funded Madison School District



Abbey Machtig:

The Madison School Board is scheduled to hire a new superintendent by February or March. The board began interviewing candidates in closed meetings this month and will continue into January. The board is expected to announce two or three finalists and hold open interviews where the public can participate.

The new superintendent will eventually replace Lisa Kvistad, a longtime district educator who has been serving as interim superintendent since June. She was selected to replace Jenkins earlier this year.

This time around, the board is looking for a superintendent familiar with Madison who can “lead large-scale change” and has a track record of improving outcomes for students of color, according to a job profile drafted and approved in October.

School Board elections also will take place on April 2. Incumbents Maia Pearson and Savion Castro have announced their reelection campaigns. Board members serve in staggered, three-year terms.

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?




Reading Recovery program being phased out as new law takes effect



By Sue Loughlin

Under a new law, HEA 1558, the state of Indiana is mandating instruction and curriculum that aligns with the science of reading; use of Reading Recovery must be phased out by fall of 2024.

Science of reading is a methodology that uses direct, systematic use of five elements in literacy instruction: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.

It is based on research about how brains actually learn to read.

The law says schools may not adopt curriculum based on the “three-cueing” model, which uses context, pictures or syntax clues for literacy instruction.

Teresa Stuckey, VCSC executive director of elementary education, says that Reading Recovery is considered three-cueing under the changes.

“The research is showing (three-cueing) doesn’t fit with the way children’s minds work, the way the brain processes,” she said.

The district has 24 Title 1 reading teachers, or interventionists, who use Reading Recovery part of the day.

———

Madison has long used Reading Recovery, despite our long term, disastrous reading results.

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?




Credentialism: “to testify on engineering matters without a license”



US Eastern District Court:

Defendants Andrew Ritter and other members of the North Carolina Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors (collectively, the “Board”) disavow the notion that the Board has targeted or will target expert testimony under the Act. Rather, the Board seeks a counter- declaration that Nutt’ s expert reports submitted on behalf of a group of plaintiffs in a state lawsuit violates the Act’ s prohibition against the unlicensed practice of engineering. Whereas Nutt seeks to protect engineering speech, the Board seeks to prohibit the work underlying that speech. For the following reasons, the court grants in part and denies in part Nutt’s motion and denies in toto the Board’s motion.




Commentary on Wisconsin’s K-12 System



Mackenzie Krumme

In her 2023 State of Education Address, the head of the Department of Public Instruction said schools are undergoing significant change. We speak with Superintendent Jill Underly on issues facing Wisconsin’s schools in the past year and look ahead to 2024.

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?




Decline has consequences: One of them is more decline.



Paul Mirengoff:

Yesterday, Ted Leonsis, owner of the Washington Wizards (NBA) and the Washington Capitals (NHL), announced that he has reached a non-binding agreement under which both teams would move to Alexandria, Virginia. Gov. Glenn Youngkin appeared with Leonsis to tout the relocation, for which the Commonwealth will make a major financial commitment. 

The original owner of the two teams, Abe Pollin, moved them from Maryland to D.C.’s Chinatown neighborhood in 1997. The move transformed a deteriorating, crime-ridden part of town. New restaurants and bars flourished. The area became what Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post calls “a neighborhood that used to pulse with life even when the Caps and Wizards weren’t home.” (Emphasis added) 

But the key words in the Svrluga quotation are the ones I emphasized — “used to.” The neighborhood surrounding the area has undergone a sharp declinein recent years. There’s an open-air drug market nearby. Homelessness is evident.  Crime has spiked (as is the case throughout D.C.).

This decline isn’t the only reason why Leonsis approached Virginia about taking his teams there. But it likely played a significant role. As Svrluga puts it, the equation is more complex than, “‘The District’s going downhill, so the teams had to leave’, but damned if it doesn’t feel that way.”

It feels that way for good reason.

Left-liberals writing about Leonsis’ planned move blame the pandemic for the decline of the Chinatown area. During the pandemic, a great many workers who live outside of D.C. but whose jobs are in the city, started working remotely. After the pandemic, the federal government was extremely lenient in permitting its employees to continue working from home. As a result, there are many fewer people in the city when the workday ends.

But people won’t come at night to an area riddled by homelessness, open drug use, and crime. Just yesterday night, I passed on a big high school basketball game between two great D.C. rivals — a matchup I’ve attended for years except during the pandemic — because it was played in a sketchy neighborhood.

——-

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?




History (revisionist…?), Governance and Madison’s long term, disastrous reading results



David Blaska:

Here in Madison, the proponents of one-size-fits-all government monopoly schooling are rewriting history to cover their misdeeds. The occasion was the recent passing of barely remembered Daniel Nerad, superintendent of Madison public schools between 2008 and 2012.  

Capital Times publisher Paul Fanlund marvels that the same problems that beset Nerad a dozen years ago plague the city’s public schools today — those being a yawning racial achievement gap and disparate disciplinary problems. Indeed, the numbers have not budged. Only 8% of the district’s black students can read and write at grade, compared to 64% of white students. 

Back in 2011, nationally renowned education reformer Kaleem Caire offered Madison an escape hatch — a charter school called Madison Prep that would hold longer school days on an almost year-round calendar and suffer no race-shaming excuses. But the school board sent him packing.

Today, former school board president Ed Hughes, incredibly, blames Scott Walker’s Act 10 for supposedly tying the district’s hands because, Fanlund quotes Hughes to say:

“The district could not as a practical matter alter the collective bargaining agreement with the teachers union.” 

We’re still paying for MTI’s self interest

—-

2011: On the 5-2 Madison School Board No (Cole, Hughes, Moss, Passman, Silveira) Madison Preparatory Academy IB Charter School Vote (Howard, Mathiak voted Yes)

——

Meanwhile, decades go by….

——

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 DIE climate and the 2024 Madison School Board election



David Blaska:

Madison school board members Savion Castro and Maia Pearson are seeking re-election in April. They are thoroughly Woke. Get 100 signatures to get on the ballot. Nomination papers are not due until January 3. The forms candidates need can be found here even though, strangely, the city’s website has not been updated!

Blaska’s Bottom Line: DEI is the hill upon which Tony Evers and his Democrats have chosen to fight. The shame and guilt taught from UW-Parkside to UW-Superior is injected directly into our kids’ classrooms and, increasingly, into workplace sensitivity training — public and private sector. It sharpens the oppressor/victim dichotomy now weaponized against Jews and Asians. It stifles free inquiry.

—-

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 Biden administration’s unseriousness on PISA



By Dale Chu

The latest PISA results dropped earlier today and, perhaps to no one’s surprise, they weren’t good. U.S. students saw a 13-point drop in math, which was “among the lowest ever measured by PISA in mathematics” for the U.S., according to the OECD.

This morning’s headlines summarize the bad news:

“U.S. students’ math scores plunge in global education assessment” (Axios)

“Math scores dropped globally, but the U.S. still trails other countries” (New York Times)

“Learning loss hits the U.S. hard. It’s as bad or worse across the world.” (Wall Street Journal)

“Math scores for U.S. students hit all-time low on international exam” (Washington Post)

——

Meanwhile:

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?




Civics: The most serious problem in any organization is the one that cannot be discussed



Arnold Kling:

I think that we can interpret the political tension in the United States and Western Europe in Andreessen’s terms. The political elites do not want to discuss the issue of how to handle large-scale migration of people from the global South to the global North. Underlying this is an unwillingness to discuss cultural differences between the WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic) and the rest. And an unwillingness to favor the former over the latter. Consequently, these leaders face populist revolts, surprising them with Donald Trump, Brexit, Geert Wilders, and the Irish anti-immigrant riot. On the latter, Ed West writes,




‘Right-to-read’ settlement spurred higher reading scores in California’s lowest performing schools, study finds



Jill Barshay:

In 2017, public interest lawyers sued California because they claimed that too many low- income Black and Hispanic children weren’t learning to read at school. Filed on behalf of families and teachers at three schools with pitiful reading test scores, the suit was an effort to establish a constitutional right to read. However, before the courts resolved that legal question, the litigants settled the case in 2020. 

The settlement itself was noteworthy. The state agreed to give an extra $50 million to 75 elementary schools with the worst reading scores in the state to improve how they were teaching reading. Targeted at children who were just learning to read in kindergarten through third grade, the settlement amounted to a little more than $1,000 extra per student. Teachers were trained in evidence-based ways of teaching reading, including an emphasis on phonics and vocabulary. (A few of the 75 original schools didn’t participate or closed down.)

A pair of Stanford University education researchers studied whether the settlement made a difference, and their conclusion was that yes, it did. Third graders’ reading scores in 2022 and 2023 rose relative to their peers at comparable schools that weren’t eligible for the settlement payments. Researchers equated the gains to an extra 25 percent of a year of learning.

This right-to-read settlement took place during the pandemic when school closures led to learning losses; reading scores had declined sharply statewide and nationwide. However, test scores were strikingly stable at the schools that benefited from the settlement. More than 30 percent of the third graders at these lowest performing schools continued to reach Level 2 or higher on the California state reading tests, about the same as in 2019. Third grade reading scores slid at comparison schools between 2019 and 2022 and only began to recover in 2023. (Level 2 equates to slightly below grade-level proficiency with “standard nearly met” but is above the lowest Level 1 “standard not met.”) State testing of all students doesn’t begin until third grade and so there was no standard measure for younger kindergarten, first and second graders.

——

Meanwhile:

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?




School Choice Commentary (achievement not found)



Bob Peterson

Establishing two school systems — one public and one private, yet both supported with tax dollars — only expands the ability of private schools to pick and choose the most desirable students

Supporters of Wisconsin’s voucher schools make it seem that the schools are just one of many variations of our public schoolsDon’t be fooled.

Voucher schools, often referred to as “choice” schools, are private schools that receive taxpayer money that pays for tuition. To argue that a private school is “public” merely because it receives public tax dollars is like arguing that Metro Mart is a public grocery store because it accepts food stamps.

Peterson was member of the Milwaukee School Board from 2019-2023, and board president for the final two years. He was also a classroom teacher for more 25 years, and president of the Milwaukee teachers’ union from 2011-2015.

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?




Learning loss and the teacher unions



David Blaska:

The teachers union laid down a gauntlet of demands — over two dozen! — before they would return, including (Surprise! Surprise!) that teachers union default: More Money, aka “hazard pay.” Socialist provocateur John Nichols had their back. When a former governor encouraged schools to reopen for in-class instruction, Comrade Nichols lit the match:

“Scott Walker is exploiting the pandemic to … attack teachers and their unions.”

Blaska’s Bottom Line: “Teachers and their unions” — always the progressive’s top of mind priority. Children? Schmildren! All the while, Wisconsin’s smaller school districts remained open or closed for only a couple of weeks. Nationally, schools in Republican states such as Florida and Iowa kept their schools entirely open.

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?




1 2 3 5