Good News, Too 

The Whitehorse story along with the spring elections for the Madison School Board, at times, tend to further a narrative that much is wrong with what takes place in the classrooms.  But if we only pay attention to that narrative we would miss the good work that is happening in our schools.   A teacher and her nineteen fifth-graders, while not making top of the fold coverage, is the flip side to the news we all have come to know.

Two weeks ago my partner, James, and I sat for an hour in a very busy and creative classroom at Falk Elementary School.  Over the school year a number of adults sponsored a student so that each month a new book landed in their hands.  The effort was made possible in tandem with Scholastic Books and related services.  The school reached out to say thanks with Read Your Heart Out Day.  What I witnessed made an impression that lifted my spirit about teachers, students, and our schools.

Via The Other Madison Classroom | CAFFEINATED POLITICS

‘Carcass on Roadside’

After 7 years of Scott Walker, the collapse of our state colleges has now begun:

Chancellor Bernie Patterson said UWSP is facing a “perfect storm” caused by declining enrollment, 15 years of state budget cuts, and the state imposed tuition freeze.

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point students held a sit-in in front of the chancellor’s office on to protest the planned elimination of academic majors in the humanities (like) American studies, art, English, French, German, Spanish, philosophy, political science, history, geography, geoscience, music literature and sociology. The cuts come as the school faces a $4.5 million structural deficit.

Via DemoCurmudgeon: Republicans leave Wisconsin’s Hollowed Out Education Carcass on Roadside.


Wisconsin has truly become a red state, not for elections, but for its college graduates. As recently as a decade ago this was a state where college graduates had a lower average level of debt. Not any more.From 2004 to 2014 the average debt of college grads in Wisconsin soared, rising from $16,560 to $28,810. That was a jump of 74 percent, a bigger hike than all but six states. Wisconsin now ranks higher than all but two states in the proportion of students — 70 percent — with debts.

Via Murphy’s Law: Wisconsin Student Debt Is Soaring @ Urban Milwaukee.


The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism report comes from reporter Abby Becker. She talked to students of color who expressed discomfort in majority white schools. She also compared test scores between the different groups.


“John McWhorter writes, in a WSJ piece, “Closed Minds on Campus”: The idea that only the naive or the immoral would question issues connected to something as broad and protean as race and racism is hasty at best and anti-intellectual at worst. What qualifies as discrimination? As cultural appropriation? As aggression? What is an ethnicity?…


“You’ve heard it before; Republican Governors say they want to replace Common Core with a unique statewide educational policy. Local, local, local!!! Except when they don’t. Are ready for another right wing lie? What does a supposed Wisconsin “centered” curriculum really looks like under conservative authority rule: WSJ: A 6-year-old student went to school at…

Badger Blueprint

Yesterday, the Wisconsin Senate Democrats unveiled a new progressive and forward-looking vision. After listening to citizens around the state, our fourteen State Senators outlined a pragmatic and growth-oriented agenda that will restore Wisconsin to national economic, educational, and environmental leadership.

Called The Badger Blueprint, the 14 page plan plan is divided into three general sections- Growth,Innovation, and Opportunity. Under these headers, there are thirty specific actions that show the direction that state Democratic leaders want to take us.

Via Badger Blueprint @ Just Sayin’ Blog.

Ahmed Mohamed’s Clock

1. The question whether the clock was an “invention” should be recognized as a debate about the meaning of a word. It’s ridiculous to badger a 14-year-old about a linguistic point.

2. The annoyance at calling the clock an “invention” should be recognized as a dispute with the adults who overplayed their enthusiasm over the child’s brilliance and technological prowess. A child whose self-esteem is not perfectly aligned with the level of his accomplishments might have a problem, but, if so, it’s nothing for strangers to be sticking their nose into.

Via Should there be any discussion of whether Ahmed Mohamed actually “invented” his clock and what his true motives might have been? @ Althouse.

Contract for Statewide Exam Goes to Connected Political Donor  

Susan Engeleiter, chief executive officer and president of DRC, was the Republican Senate minority leader in the 1980s. She also ran an unsuccessful campaign against former U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl, a Democrat, in 1988.

Engeleiter gave Walker’s campaign $10,000 in October 2014 and $500 to state Superintendent Tony Evers in 2013, according to Wisconsin Democracy Campaign records.

Via State picks former Republican lawmaker’s company to create test to replace Badger Exam @ State Journal

Backward in Beloit

This week, after a tweet by feminist Abi Bechtel went viral, Target stores agreed to abandon gendered separation of kids’ toys and bedding. Word is getting out: Sex stereotyping will not fly in 2015. If you think gender-separation of toys is bad, what about sex separation of kids? Consider the following examples drawn from the Beloit Area School District in Wisconsin, which had separated boys and girls into separate academic classes….

Via The 8 Crazy Stereotypes Used in Wisconsin to Justify Single-Sex Classes and How They’re Boomeranging Back on Administrators @ American Civil Liberties Union.