“Facts” were facts, until the facts suddenly changed.

Maximilian Forte: The documentary itself establishes its lead questions at the outset. Nico Sloot, described as an international entrepreneur, acts as the main voice in the film and our lead detective. What struck me from the start was how he framed the central problem that provoked his investigative journey: when would herd immunity be achieved? … Continue reading “Facts” were facts, until the facts suddenly changed.

San Francisco schools see enrollment drop as families flee the district (Madison?)

Jill Tucker: Yet it’s clear many families vowed to leave after losing faith in the district because of the slow reopening of classrooms and ongoing drama among district leadership. That includes an $87 million lawsuit filed by board member Alison Collins against five colleagues after they removed her from the vice presidency and committee positions following the … Continue reading San Francisco schools see enrollment drop as families flee the district (Madison?)

Commentary on the Taxpayer Supported Madison School District’s Curriculum Experiences

Monica Wichgers says @MMSDschools teachers are promoting racial division through #CriticalRaceTheory. Republican lawmakers announced new legislation that would ban Wisconsin schools from teaching the divisive, Marxist ideology. #WIright pic.twitter.com/mNN2rjMi4d — MacIver News Service (@NewsMacIver) June 3, 2021 Machine generated transcript: My mother was the first African-American graduate of Edgewood college. She was a first grade … Continue reading Commentary on the Taxpayer Supported Madison School District’s Curriculum Experiences

K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Ongoing Wisconsin $pending growth

Libby Sobic and Will Flanders, Ph.D. Wisconsin invests in our K-12 schools by creating options for families. On average, Wisconsin school districts average revenue (of local, state and federal funding) per student was $14,737 in 2019-2020. The majority of K-12 education funding is directly distributed to school districts. Under current law, even the lowest funded … Continue reading K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Ongoing Wisconsin $pending growth

Muldrow’s policies continue to drive (Madison) schools’ decline

Peter Anderson: The Capital Times editorializes, “Madison has a great public schools system” and Board President “Ali Muldrow, is a dynamic leader “who will move Madison schools in the right direction” — sentiments reminiscent of the acclaim it offered former Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham, whose policies Muldrow seems poised to continue. But is it really great? … Continue reading Muldrow’s policies continue to drive (Madison) schools’ decline

Ongoing K-12 tax and spending growth: Wisconsin edition

🚨Today WI will have a big debate about K-12 spending. If you are following it, you must understand these 3 charts by @LibbySobic @WillFlandersWI. Want more $? Explain where the current $ went & new federal COVID $$ will go – and commit to #transparency so parents are informed pic.twitter.com/ll9c7iiiPa — CJ Szafir (@CJSzafir) May … Continue reading Ongoing K-12 tax and spending growth: Wisconsin edition

“Our children are experiencing unprecedented levels of pediatric mental health issues,”

Carina Julig: He teared up while discussing a conversation he had with the father of a high school boy who had attempted suicide. “Our kids have run out of resilience,” he said. “Their tank is empty.” Chief nursing officer Pat Givens said that the hospital system does not have enough capacity for the number of … Continue reading “Our children are experiencing unprecedented levels of pediatric mental health issues,”

School Funding and the Pandemic: How Much Money Is Enough?

Libby Sobic and Will Flanders: Without fail, each state budget cycle always results in cries from the public school establishment that “we need more money in public schools!” Governor Evers continues this status quo assertion with his 2021-23 budget proposal for massive increases in spending for K12 education (about $1.7 billion). These declarations are often made … Continue reading School Funding and the Pandemic: How Much Money Is Enough?

“We do not find any correlations with mask mandates”

Emily Oster, Rebecca Jack, Clare Halloran, John Schoof, Diana McLeod: This paper reports on the correlation of mitigation practices with staff and student COVID-19 case rates in Florida, New York, and Massachusetts during the 2020-2021 school year. We analyze data collected by the COVID-19 School Response Dashboard and focus on student density, ventilation upgrades, and … Continue reading “We do not find any correlations with mask mandates”

Politics vs Students in Racine

Libby Sobic: Wisconsin parents have spent the last year scrambling to help cover learning loss created by the pandemic. For students living in Racine, any learning loss is particularly harmful considering the district was a low-performing school district prior to the pandemic. Despite this unfortunate reality, local leaders in Racine continue to purposefully confuse parents … Continue reading Politics vs Students in Racine

An early look at the 2022 budgets of Wisconsin’s two largest school districts; +$70M for Madison!….

Wisconsin Policy Forum: Since 2013, the Wisconsin Policy Forum has produced an annual report on the superintendent’s proposed Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) budget that analyzes and describes the key elements and provides an independent assessment for school board members as they deliberate its contents. Last year, for the first time, we produced a similar budget … Continue reading An early look at the 2022 budgets of Wisconsin’s two largest school districts; +$70M for Madison!….

Report: State-level test scores improve the more school choice options are given

Bethany Blankley: As school choice bills continue to make their way through state legislatures, a report on student achievement published by the University of Arkansas’s Department of Education Reform argues that the more educational options are afforded parents, the better statewide test results are. “We find that higher levels of school choice are significantly associated … Continue reading Report: State-level test scores improve the more school choice options are given

The teachers union chief finally says schools can open—next fall.

Wall Street Journal: American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on Thursday hopped onto the caboose that has already left the station. “There is no doubt: Schools must be open. In person. Five days a week,” the teachers’ union chief declared in a speech. That’s nice of her to say now that nearly all school … Continue reading The teachers union chief finally says schools can open—next fall.

Parents describe Virginia’s Loudoun County as ‘ground zero’ in the fight against woke education

Alex Nester: A black mother slammed critical race theory at a school board meeting in the nation’s richest county Tuesday, comparing the radical education standards to tactics used by Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan to demean black people. “Critical race theory is not an honest dialogue, it is a tactic that was used by … Continue reading Parents describe Virginia’s Loudoun County as ‘ground zero’ in the fight against woke education

‘Who’s racist?’ Lawyer mom takes on Maryland school district’s woke racism claims

James Varney: An occasional interview series with Americans who are challenging the status quo. Picking fights with lawyers and Green Berets can be a bit risky, and that is doubly true when one of them has extensive experience with totalitarian tactics. Gordana Schifanelli is a lawyer married to a former Army special forces officer, and what’s … Continue reading ‘Who’s racist?’ Lawyer mom takes on Maryland school district’s woke racism claims

School Reopenings, Mobility, and COVID-19 Spread: Evidence from Texas

Charles J. Courtemanche, Anh H. Le, Aaron Yelowitz & Ron Zimmer: This paper examines the effect of fall 2020 school reopenings in Texas on county-level COVID-19 cases and fatalities. Previous evidence suggests that schools can be reopened safely if community spread is low and public health guidelines are followed. However, in Texas, reopenings often occurred … Continue reading School Reopenings, Mobility, and COVID-19 Spread: Evidence from Texas

They moved for in-person school during the pandemic. Now they must decide: Stay or go?

Hannah Natanson: In pursuit of in-person learning this year, Stephanie Koski of Oregon transferred legal guardianship of her 16-year-old son to his aunt — then sent the teen to live in Texas. Lyra Elder uprooted her husband, son and daughter from their home outside Portland, Ore., and took them to a cabin in Homer, Alaska, … Continue reading They moved for in-person school during the pandemic. Now they must decide: Stay or go?

BPCAE suing school committee for new exam school admissions

To keep the merit-based entrance to Boston Exam Schools, a group of Boston parents established BPCAE, a non-profit organization (NPO) in November 2020. BPCAE is a platform for all to maintain academic excellence in Boston Exam Schools. We also focus on enhancing the K-6 grade education foundation for exam schools. Lawsuit by parents lost in … Continue reading BPCAE suing school committee for new exam school admissions

Commentary on Madison Teacher Compensation Agreements

Scott Girard: “Last fall … MTI brought to our attention the perception MMSD was in breach of our contract because the 2019-2020 contracts given to staff listed salaries the Board had not yet officially voted to accept,” LeMonds wrote. “It was later determined MMSD administration did not have the authority to include expected salary increases … Continue reading Commentary on Madison Teacher Compensation Agreements

S.F. seniors might go back to school for only one day before term ends. Parents are furious

Jill Tucker: When the teachers union over the weekend announced the “exciting news” that San Francisco’s high school seniors will get a chance to go back to classrooms starting Friday, they left out details about the plan, including that students might only be back for just one day. In addition, the class of 2021 won’t … Continue reading S.F. seniors might go back to school for only one day before term ends. Parents are furious

Taxpayer supported Wisconsin K-12 Analytics, including enrollment changes

Steve Sharp: The Wisconsin Policy Forum is reporting that Wisconsin’s K-12 school enrollment is down by more than 25,000 students for the 2020-21 school year, one of many far-reaching impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic that may warrant a response from state and local policymakers. The information is contained in the findings of a new interactive … Continue reading Taxpayer supported Wisconsin K-12 Analytics, including enrollment changes

“But it is the height of hypocrisy for Miller to attack the relatively straightforward agreements required in some charters while ignoring that far stricter rules exist at some schools under MPS’s purview.”

Will Flanders and Libby Sobic: As is typical of those who oppose school choice, Miller’s piece is full of misconceptions and outright falsehoods that distract from the important goal of ensuring that more kids have access to high quality schools.   Below, we highlight three of the biggest problems with his piece. Admissions Requirements: “In fact, once … Continue reading “But it is the height of hypocrisy for Miller to attack the relatively straightforward agreements required in some charters while ignoring that far stricter rules exist at some schools under MPS’s purview.”

Oregon legislators are poised to mandate teacher union say on class size. Portland’s experience suggests it could undermine push for equity

Hillary Borrud: Oregon teachers unions could be on the cusp of winning a state mandate for school boards to negotiate class size limits. A bill to institute the requirement is under consideration in the state House after passing the Senate. Adding class size to the list of issues districts must bargain over with unions would … Continue reading Oregon legislators are poised to mandate teacher union say on class size. Portland’s experience suggests it could undermine push for equity

Public Health Madison and Dane County reports that as of Thursday, it knows of no COVID-19-related deaths or hospitalizations linked to in-person learning in the county.

Chris Rickert: The smaller number of F’s stands in contrast to the experience of almost all of the 15 other school districts completely or predominantly within Dane County. Fourteen districts saw more failing grades once instruction went online; only the McFarland district saw fewer failing grades in fall 2020 than in fall 2019. Meanwhile, the … Continue reading Public Health Madison and Dane County reports that as of Thursday, it knows of no COVID-19-related deaths or hospitalizations linked to in-person learning in the county.

Report recommends Madison terminate district employees who OK’d East High hidden cameras

Elizabeth Beyer: Upon further investigation, it was discovered there was evidence a camera may have been installed in the smoke detector with the approval of district staff in September 2019 in an effort to document “an employee discipline issue related to work rule violations,” according to a statement released by the district. The district hired … Continue reading Report recommends Madison terminate district employees who OK’d East High hidden cameras

Commentary on Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 Governance Class

The Capital Times: Madison has a great public schools system that faces great challenges. A year of pandemic-required distance learning made existing vulnerabilities and inequities all the more serious. Now, as the COVID-19 threat is easing, and as the schools are reopening, it is impossible to avoid the evidence of the work that must be … Continue reading Commentary on Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 Governance Class

“Democrat Party obeisance to the AFT and NEA”

Jason Reilly: Cal­i­for­nia, which is the most pop­u­lous state and cur­rently has the low­est per capita Covid rate in the coun­try, also has the high­est per­cent­age of school dis­tricts that re­main en­tirely vir­tual. Teach­ers unions have used the pan­demic to de­mand more money and more-gen­er­ous ben­e­fits. They know that mil­lions of Amer­i­cans can’t re­turn to … Continue reading “Democrat Party obeisance to the AFT and NEA”

Teacher union CDC influence

Jon Levine: The American Federation of Teachers lobbied the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on, and even suggested language for, the federal agency’s school-reopening guidance released in February. The powerful teachers union’s full-court press preceded the federal agency putting the brakes on a full re-opening of in-person classrooms, emails between top CDC, AFT and … Continue reading Teacher union CDC influence

“It has to produce results or it doesn’t mean anything.”: taxpayer supported K-12 Governance, Madison

Scott Girard: Both mentioned a few areas of focus for the upcoming year, including most immediately the transition back to in-person learning as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Muldrow noted that the “vast majority of the young people we serve” are not eligible for a vaccine yet, requiring the district to continue to “provide high-quality educational … Continue reading “It has to produce results or it doesn’t mean anything.”: taxpayer supported K-12 Governance, Madison

“we just don’t see decisions being made to optimize student success at Milwaukee Public Schools”

Rory Linnane: Schlifske also said that Northwestern Mutual will be reaching out to others in the philanthropic and business community to support the goal of an additional 5,000 seats in “high-quality schools” by 2025, as measured by state report cards based on standardized tests and other metrics. Schlifske’s op-ed specifically criticized MPS board members over … Continue reading “we just don’t see decisions being made to optimize student success at Milwaukee Public Schools”

Federal COVID relief coming to Wisconsin and its local governments totals $20 billion

Patrick Marley: Congress is showering Wisconsin and its local governments with $20 billion in help because of the coronavirus pandemic, a report released Friday shows. Since last year, Congress has passed five major spending bills to address COVID-19 and its toll. The two biggest ones cost more than $4 trillion, deepening the federal deficit but … Continue reading Federal COVID relief coming to Wisconsin and its local governments totals $20 billion

Too many kids can’t read, and it’s crippling them for life

George Korda: Being disgorged annually from schools across the Volunteer State and the United States is a virtual army of young people with limited or no education or skills, rendering them incapable of prospering – or economically surviving – in a 21st century economy apart from being supported by taxpayers. Add to that figure the … Continue reading Too many kids can’t read, and it’s crippling them for life

the failure of state institutions during the pandemic

Yascha Mounk: What has the pandemic told us about the state of our political institutions and the state of our economic institutions? Have you changed your mind about what’s working, or what’s not working, in light of the experience we’ve had over the last months? Tyler Cowen: Let’s focus on the United States. Our early response, … Continue reading the failure of state institutions during the pandemic

Potential lawsuit over Madison West High Racial Segregation Policies

WILL: The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) issued a letter, Monday, to Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) Superintendent, Dr. Carlton Jenkins, urging the school district to address the racial segregation employed at Madison West High School for Zoom conversations on current events. This is the second occasion in the last year where WILL has warned … Continue reading Potential lawsuit over Madison West High Racial Segregation Policies

In recent years there’s a push to de-emphasize STEM, mostly out of egalitarian concerns. But this push is wrongheaded.

Noah Smith: A “Sputnik moment” is a historical reference to the launch of the first orbital satellite in October 1957. Though this was a triumph for humankind, it also triggered a panic in the United States, as we realized that the Soviet Union had a level of technical competence we hadn’t yet achieved (and which might be … Continue reading In recent years there’s a push to de-emphasize STEM, mostly out of egalitarian concerns. But this push is wrongheaded.

Widespread coronavirus surveillance testing at schools is a bad idea

Tracy Beth Hoeg,, Monica Gandhi and Lillian Brown First, classrooms have thankfully been found — in studies examining schools in multiplestates — to be places of limited disease transmission, compared with communities at large. The rate of transmission within schools from individuals who test positive has been estimated to be on the order of 0.5 percent to 0.7 percent (and this includes people … Continue reading Widespread coronavirus surveillance testing at schools is a bad idea

Kaleem Caire and driving student / parent K-12 choice and achievement alternatives

John Roach: I worked with Caire when he headed the Urban League of Greater Madison and on his effort to launch Madison Prep, the earnest but quixotic attempt to address Madison’s embarrassing racial achievement gap. The failure to launch that school was a bitter blow. And the gap has remained unchanged. Madison Prep failed because … Continue reading Kaleem Caire and driving student / parent K-12 choice and achievement alternatives

Commentary on the taxpayer supported Madison School District’s 2021-2022 $500m+ budget (-1000 students, still building a new school)

Elizabeth Beyer: The district is still reeling from a significant drop in enrollment due to COVID-19 during the 2020-21 school year and, despite the passage of an operating referendum in November, operating revenue is expected to be up only 0.8%, less than the annual cost of living adjustment. Any additional funding the district may get … Continue reading Commentary on the taxpayer supported Madison School District’s 2021-2022 $500m+ budget (-1000 students, still building a new school)

Madison’s school and parent climate

For the last (and actually only) diversity session I attended before leaving The Intercept, the highly-paid outside consultant emailed everyone before saying employees would be divided by race into different rooms (white room & POC room) and it was shocking. Now it’s standard: https://t.co/0c6YmFMCX0 — Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 23, 2021 Top donors, 2019-20:@GeorgeSoros: $490,000Facebook … Continue reading Madison’s school and parent climate

K-12 Governance

County: “We don’t have authority over the school board.” School board: “We follow the county’s mandate to avoid confusion.” Experts: “We don’t make policy – we just provide information.” Policy makers: “We’re just following the advice of the experts” It’s all circular. — Jennifer Cabrera 😀 #ForgetYourMask (@jhaskinscabrera) April 20, 2021 Related: Catholic schools will sue Dane County … Continue reading K-12 Governance

Student False Positive Los Angeles School District Tests

An LA school district, @ccusd, has paused asymptotic surveillance testing due to major problems including all their positives actually being false positives. cc: @TracyBethHoeg @MonicaGandhi9 pic.twitter.com/wklGD4qFwX — Reopen California Schools (@ReopenCASchools) April 20, 2021 Related: Catholic schools will sue Dane County Madison Public Health to open as scheduled Notes and links on Dane County Madison Public Health. (> 140 employees). Molly … Continue reading Student False Positive Los Angeles School District Tests

Commentary on the Taxpayer Supported Milwaukee Public Schools

Jordan Morales: Switching now to MPS, we see that according to the Department of Public Instruction’s 2018-19 Report Card, 71% of Black or African-American students had a “Below Basic” score in mathematics. Indeed, only 10% of Black students had either a proficient or advanced understanding of mathematics. Meanwhile, only 30% of white students scored “Below … Continue reading Commentary on the Taxpayer Supported Milwaukee Public Schools

Howard University’s removal of classics is a spiritual catastrophe

Jeremy Tate: Upon learning to read while enslaved, Frederick Douglass began his great journey of emancipation, as such journeys always begin, in the mind. Defying unjust laws, he read in secret, empowered by the wisdom of contemporaries and classics alike to think as a free man. Douglass risked mockery, abuse, beating and even death to … Continue reading Howard University’s removal of classics is a spiritual catastrophe

Public records show students struggling across SE Wisconsin

Amanda St. Hilaire: For students struggling through the last year of pandemic learning, GPA is not just a number. “Before we got kicked out of school, my grades was top-notch,” said Maleak Taylor, a Milwaukee Public Schools 11th grade student. His eyes were smiling behind his mask as he logged into his virtual classes. “After … Continue reading Public records show students struggling across SE Wisconsin

“data malfeasance involving Imperial College and Neil Ferguson”

Phil Magness: Huge discovery this morning showing data malfeasance involving Imperial College and Neil Ferguson. Almost exactly 1 year ago I wrote an article on how a team of researchers at Uppsala University had adapted Ferguson’s UK model to Sweden, and yielded preposterous results – e.g. a prediction of over 90K dead if they did … Continue reading “data malfeasance involving Imperial College and Neil Ferguson”

Wisconsin lawmakers should allow parents to direct redistributed K-12 billion$ from American Rescue Plan

Institute for Reforming Government, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, Wisconsin, Federation for Children School Choice, Wisconsin Action ExcelinEd in Action, Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy Badger Institute, FreedomWorks and Building Education for Students Together: Dear Governor Evers, Speaker Vos, Majority Leader LeMahieu, and State Superintendent Stanford Taylor, … Continue reading Wisconsin lawmakers should allow parents to direct redistributed K-12 billion$ from American Rescue Plan

A lawsuits over race based scholarships

Kelly Meyerhofer: State law restricts program eligibility to African American, American Indian, Hispanic and some Southeast Asian students. WILL argues the program criteria amounts to racial discrimination — which is prohibited by the state constitution — because students who are Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, North African, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, or white don’t qualify. “It’s hard to … Continue reading A lawsuits over race based scholarships

Commentary on Incumbent school board member election losses (unopposed in Madison…)

Samantha West, Alec Johnson and Rory Linnane: Tricia Zunker said she knows school board presidents sometimes have a target on their backs. It’s part of the job, she said. But as Zunker led the Wausau School District board over the past year, she said, “People were so cruel, you’d think I personally brought the pandemic … Continue reading Commentary on Incumbent school board member election losses (unopposed in Madison…)

An Interview with Outgoing Madison School Board Member (and President) Gloria Reyes

David Dahmer: As president, Reyes has been the face and often the spokesperson of the Madison School Board during some very trying and challenging times including the COVID-19 pandemic and the canceling of in-person classes, the hiring of new MMSD superintendent twice (Dr. Matthew Gutierrez rescinded his acceptance of the job before MMSD started over … Continue reading An Interview with Outgoing Madison School Board Member (and President) Gloria Reyes

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

Madison Receives More Redistributed Federal Taxpayer Funds; $70,659,827 (!)

Molly Beck: The $797 million allocated for Milwaukee amounts to $11,242 per student — the second-highest distribution of COVID-19 relief funding. On the lowest end, the McFarland School District in suburban Madison will receive $107 per student, according to an analysis released by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau. Republicans who control the state’s budget-writing committee … Continue reading Madison Receives More Redistributed Federal Taxpayer Funds; $70,659,827 (!)

Deja Vu: Taxpayer supported Madison high schools moving toward eliminating standalone honors courses for ninth, 10th grades

Scott Girard: Madison Metropolitan School District high schools plan to move away from “standalone honors” courses for freshmen and sophomores in the next few years, with an Earned Honors system expected to replace them. The goal, MMSD leaders told the School Board Monday, is to bring rigor to all classrooms for all students and give … Continue reading Deja Vu: Taxpayer supported Madison high schools moving toward eliminating standalone honors courses for ninth, 10th grades

Advocating K-12 Governance Diversity

In the last year, I’ve gone from lightly supporting vouchers programs to vociferously supporting the complete, utter, and eternal destruction of public schools. https://t.co/30ffPiZoeK — Hans Fiene (@HansFiene) April 5, 2021 Related: Catholic schools will sue Dane County Madison Public Health to open as scheduled Notes and links on Dane County Madison Public Health. (> 140 employees). Molly Beck and Madeline … Continue reading Advocating K-12 Governance Diversity

A moment for humility and a new path forward on reading

Kareem Weaver: Where is the humility? Where is the institutional courage to admit mistakes and move forward? Individuals in leadership positions often derive their credibility from being the most knowledgeable person in the room, the unquestioned oracles of knowledge. This moment in education, however, requires leaders who will publicly position themselves as the best learners, … Continue reading A moment for humility and a new path forward on reading

“An emphasis on adult employment “

There are no hidden complexities that could possibly explain this misalignment of social priorities. #openschools@GavinNewsom pic.twitter.com/GfPCXWEq8b — Jeanne Noble (@JeanneNoble18) April 3, 2021 Related: Catholic schools will sue Dane County Madison Public Health to open as scheduled Notes and links on Dane County Madison Public Health. (> 140 employees). Molly Beck and Madeline Heim: which pushed Dane County this week not … Continue reading “An emphasis on adult employment “

Bills Increase Access to Wisconsin Open Enrollment, Expanding Public School Choice

Jessica Holmberg: Gov. Evers recently signed two bills that increase public school choice in Wisconsin. SB 109 and SB 110 specifically aim to remove barriers to accessing Wisconsin’s largest school choice option, the Open Enrollment Program, by expanding access to virtual schools. The program allows over 65,000 students to access a public school district outside their own without living … Continue reading Bills Increase Access to Wisconsin Open Enrollment, Expanding Public School Choice

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

“We’ve likely overestimated the protective health benefits of school closures and underestimated the costs for children.”

John Bailey: One year after nationwide public school closures, a growing body of medical research and the firsthand experiences of school systems worldwide can provide a sound basis for determining a reopening strategy. This report examines the collective findings of more than 120 studies and considers their implications for current decisions. These studies cover a … Continue reading “We’ve likely overestimated the protective health benefits of school closures and underestimated the costs for children.”

Culture, Status, and Hypocrisy: High-Status People Who Don’t Practice What They Preach Are Viewed as Worse in the United States Than China

Mengchen Dong: Status holders across societies often take moral initiatives to navigate group practices toward collective goods; however, little is known about how different societies (e.g., the United States vs. China) evaluate high- (vs. low-) status holders’ transgressions of preached morals. Two preregistered studies (total N = 1,374) examined how status information (occupational rank in … Continue reading Culture, Status, and Hypocrisy: High-Status People Who Don’t Practice What They Preach Are Viewed as Worse in the United States Than China

Education Secretary: It’s Too Soon to Say If Schools Can Reopen by Fall

Alex Nextel: Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said it’s “premature” to determine if schools can resume in-person instruction this fall, despite a growing body of evidence that shows students can safely return to the classroom. In a Wednesday interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, Cardona said the rate of COVID-19 transmission in a community would play … Continue reading Education Secretary: It’s Too Soon to Say If Schools Can Reopen by Fall

An Interview with Julie Willems Van Dijk, deputy secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Milwaukee Press Club [Machine Translation]: [00:31:11] If we had had the opportunity to, um, put restrictions on what businesses were open and closed as we did earlier in the pandemic. One of the things that is true about Wisconsin, That is not true about nearly all of the 49 other States is that because of … Continue reading An Interview with Julie Willems Van Dijk, deputy secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Oakland teachers refuse to return to school, despite getting COVID vaccine priority

Caitlin McFall: But due to a lack of teachers willing to come back before April 14, high needs pupils, including homeless, foster and special needs students, will not be able to get into classrooms ahead of time, the newspaper reported. “At this time, we simply do not have enough staff who opted in for in-person … Continue reading Oakland teachers refuse to return to school, despite getting COVID vaccine priority

Commentary on renaming a Madison High School

Scott Girard: “Madison was a person that benefited off of the exploitation of Black bodies, and those who embarked in such acts of racism should have no influence in today’s culture,” Berry wrote. “Expecting Black students to attend a school named after a slave owner is anti-Black.” [Glendale Elementary will be renamed for Virginia Henderson] … Continue reading Commentary on renaming a Madison High School

Commentary on the 2021 Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) Superintendent election

Scott Girard: [I have received 3 text messages and a door knock from a paid lit drop person, for one of the candidates. Guess?] 13-1 Special interest $pending for Wisconsin DPI Superintendent Candidate Jill Underly, running against Deborah Kerr. In that same forum, Kerr outlined a plan to decentralize the Department of Public Instruction by … Continue reading Commentary on the 2021 Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) Superintendent election

Nearly half of schools are open full-time, survey finds

Laura Meckler: The first federal data on education during the pandemic finds nearly half of public schools were open for full-time, face-to-face classes, with White children far more likely than Black, Hispanic or Asian American students to be attending in person. The data suggests the nation is both close to a goal set by President … Continue reading Nearly half of schools are open full-time, survey finds

Milwaukee Teachers union: ‘Very irresponsible’ if school board approves in-person plan

Matt Smith: Milwaukee Public School teachers would return to the classroom next week ahead of a phased-in return of students learning in April under a plan that will go before the school board Tuesday evening. The plan calls for in-person instruction four days a week, with Wednesdays set aside for cleaning when students would remain … Continue reading Milwaukee Teachers union: ‘Very irresponsible’ if school board approves in-person plan

One City Schools expands – in Monona (Governor Evers’ proposed budget would once again abort this school, by eliminating the UW charter office)

Logan Wroge: With a $14 million donation from American Girl founder and philanthropist Pleasant Rowland, One City Schools announced plans on Tuesday to purchase an office building in Monona that will become a new home for the fast-growing independent charter school. One City will use the donation to buy a 157,000-square-foot office building on the … Continue reading One City Schools expands – in Monona (Governor Evers’ proposed budget would once again abort this school, by eliminating the UW charter office)

“Teachers taking the backseat — that flies in the face of white Western thought, right?

Commentary on Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district current governance practices, in light of long term, disastrous reading results. Related: Catholic schools will sue Dane County Madison Public Health to open as scheduled Notes and links on Dane County Madison Public Health. (> 140 employees). Molly Beck and Madeline Heim: which pushed Dane County this week not to calculate its percentage … Continue reading “Teachers taking the backseat — that flies in the face of white Western thought, right?

Redefining Racism in Madison Schools

Maciver News: Everything you thought you knew about education is being redefined as racist in Madison Schools. During this workshop last week, Madison schools teamed up with UW-Madison to root out anything they consider to be “white, western thought” and talk about how they’re replacing it. 2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School … Continue reading Redefining Racism in Madison Schools

A year into the pandemic, Wisconsin residents still aren’t being told where COVID-19 spread

Matt Piper Madeline Heim: Even though the state budgeted $75 million to trace the virus’ path, its health department chose from the earliest days of the pandemic to reveal little about outbreak locations. Then, during last fall’s surge, the state’s most powerful business and manufacturing group sued to make doubly sure nobody but the state could access those … Continue reading A year into the pandemic, Wisconsin residents still aren’t being told where COVID-19 spread

Migration, Taxpayer funded governance and policy outcomes

Douglas Newby: I have left for last this tax advantage, which is the most obvious economic reason Fortune 50 companies and individual families are moving from Los Angeles to Dallas. A fourth generation Angelenos family who belongs to the most prestigious Los Angeles beach club, have their children in the finest preparatory schools, and live … Continue reading Migration, Taxpayer funded governance and policy outcomes

31% Have Experienced Positive Benefits From the Pandemic

Mike Antonucci: A majority of only one group was able to cite some positive benefits. “Those who work at a school or college are far more likely than other government employees to report positive benefits from the pandemic,” Rasmussen reports. “By a 60% to 36% margin, those who work in education report positive benefits.” Related: Catholic schools will … Continue reading 31% Have Experienced Positive Benefits From the Pandemic

Lockdowns Prompting Devastating Levels of ‘Psychological Distress’ Among Young People

Pew Research: Most young people are at little risk of dying from the coronavirus. But a new Pew Research survey shows that they are disproportionately bearing the consequences of heavy-handed pandemic lockdowns and isolating government restrictions. Pew finds that an astounding 32 percent of young adults aged 18 to 29 report experiencing high levels of … Continue reading Lockdowns Prompting Devastating Levels of ‘Psychological Distress’ Among Young People

Commentary on the taxpayer supported Madison School District’s hiring and layoff practices

Scott Girard: The Madison School Board is expected to vote Monday on a controversial proposal that would minimize the importance of seniority in layoff and reassignment decisions. Madison Metropolitan School District administrators have pushed for the change, which would prioritize culturally responsive practices and student learning outcomes instead of the experience-based system in place now. They see it … Continue reading Commentary on the taxpayer supported Madison School District’s hiring and layoff practices

Social isolation during COVID‐19 lockdown impairs cognitive function

Joanne Ingram, Christopher J. Hand and Greg Maciejewski: Studies examining the effect of social isolation on cognitive function typically involve older adults and/or specialist groups (e.g., expeditions). We considered the effects of COVID‐19‐induced social isolation on cognitive function within a representative sample of the general population. We additionally considered how participants ‘shielding’ due to underlying … Continue reading Social isolation during COVID‐19 lockdown impairs cognitive function

As U.S. schools shuttered, student mental health cratered, Reuters survey finds

Benjamin Lesser, MB Pell and Kristina Cooke: A few weeks after San Francisco’s school district moved to remote learning last year in hopes of halting the spread of the coronavirus, Kate Sullivan Morgan noticed her 11-year-old son was barely eating. He would spend days in bed staring at the ceiling. The mother formed a pod … Continue reading As U.S. schools shuttered, student mental health cratered, Reuters survey finds

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school District continues to resist open records requests

Chris Rickert: Fourteen districts eventually responded with at least some of the data. The county’s two largest and most racially and socioeconomically diverse, Madison and Sun Prairie, required the newspaper to file public records requests for the data. To date, they remain unfilled. In Madison, students could be marked present simply by exchanging messages with … Continue reading Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school District continues to resist open records requests

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

Get Woke Or Get Laid Off: Madison’s taxpayer supported schools

Bill Osmulski: The Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) is planning to make sweeping changes to how it handles teacher layoffs, and wokeness could become the biggest factor in who stays and who goes. All teachers would be scored in five weighted categories, according to the school board’s current draft proposal. Most of the weight would … Continue reading Get Woke Or Get Laid Off: Madison’s taxpayer supported schools

Commentary on school spending and outcomes

Kirabo Jackson & Claire Mackevicius: We use estimates across all known “credibly causal” studies to examine the distributions of the causal effects of public K12 school spending on test scores and educational attainment in the United States. Under reasonable assumptions, for each of the 31 included studies, we compute the same parameter estimate. Method of … Continue reading Commentary on school spending and outcomes

Commentary on Wisconsin teacher diversity

Scott Girard: The Report: WPF highlights five areas for policymakers to consider: • Elevate teacher diversity as a top education priority • Target state investments to support both individuals and institutions • Provide flexibility and rigor in teacher preparation and evaluation • Require districts and teacher training programs to demonstrate greater transparency and accountability for … Continue reading Commentary on Wisconsin teacher diversity

We asked Wisconsin high schools how many students failed a class during first semester. It’s not pretty. Madison?

Samantha West: In one Wisconsin school district, two in five high school students failed a class during first semester. In another, the fall failure rate was four times what it had been in recent years. Almost all of the 60 school districts responding to a USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin survey reported that more high school students failed … Continue reading We asked Wisconsin high schools how many students failed a class during first semester. It’s not pretty. Madison?

National poll: Pandemic has negatively impacted teens’ mental health

University of Michigan: For teens, pandemic restrictions may have meant months of virtual school, less time with friends and canceling activities like sports, band concerts and prom. And for young people who rely heavily on social connections for emotional support, these adjustments may have taken a heavy toll on mental health, a new national poll … Continue reading National poll: Pandemic has negatively impacted teens’ mental health