DAILY WISCONSIN

Schools

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

School referenda on the ballot

We’ll see if this trend of large amounts of school referenda in recent years starts to fade with both the aid increases, and because of a provision in the state budget that limits schools to 2 referendum questions a year, and limits the dates those referenda can take place. But the continued large amount of referenda (66 questions on Tuesday) shows that one pre-election bump by the Governor hasn’t come close to filling in the gaps of 6 prior years of state cuts to K-12 education and limits on property taxes to make up the difference.

Via Jake’s Wisconsin Funhouse: The other big item on tomorrow’s ballot- school referenda.

‘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.

More

The district wants $32.7 million NOW to spend on a laundry list of items and a tax increase FOREVER to spend on whatever they can think of. Both of these referenda are ridiculous, but the one to permanently increase taxes above the state limit is downright offensive. But as West Bend begins the search for a new superintendent, it’s worth taking note of what’s going on in Menomonee Falls.

Via Consistent Performance in Menomonee Falls @ Boots & Sabers.

Red

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.

Gaps

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.

Nationalized

“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…