Wisconsin

New Book: Closing the Opportunity Gap

The National Center for Education Policy (NEPC), an OTL ally, has a new, must-read book about the change our nation needs to make from thinking about the achievement gap to trying to fix the opportunity gap that underlies it.

The National Center for Education Policy (NEPC), an OTL ally, has a new, must-read book about the change our nation needs to make from thinking about the achievement gap to trying to fix the opportunity gap that underlies it.

Private School Voucher Expansion: A Growing Taxpayer‐Funded Entitlement

By John Forester, School Administrators Alliance

The ultimate objective of private school voucher advocates is a statewide system of private school vouchers for all Wisconsin school children. Voucher expansion is not only bad education policy. It is bad fiscal policy as well.

 Many observers have called Governor Walker’s proposal to expand private school vouchers bad education policy. I agree. But, today, I would like to address voucher expansion from the perspective of fiscal policy.

If voucher advocates are successful in expanding private school vouchers in this budget, vouchers will eventually become one of the largest taxpayer‐funded entitlements in Wisconsin.

Out of School and Off Track - The Overuse of Suspensions in Schools

Publication Date: 
Thu, 2013-04-11
Author: 
The Center for Civil Rights Remedies – The Civil Rights Project
Type: 
reports
Category: 
equitable-instructional-materials

A new report from UCLA's Civil Right Project is a one stop shop for all the school discipline data advocates or organizers needto fight the overuse of out-of-school suspensions. Out of School & Off Track uses data from over 26,000 U.S. middle and high schools for the 2009-2010 academic year and breaks it down by district, race, gender, elementary/secondary school level, English language learners, and disability status.

This is an incredibly useful and powerful report – download it here!

How to Talk to Your Legislator and Defend Your Local School

By Tom Beebe, Opportunity to Learn – Wisconsin

It’s no longer good enough to just know that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s 2013-15 budget proposal is bad for kids in the state's public schools. Now that you know it, think about telling your friends and neighbors and, equally important, ask your elected representatives to change the plan. Here's how.

It’s no longer good enough to just know that Governor Scott Walker’s 2013-15 budget proposal is bad for kids in Wisconsin’s public schools. Now that you know it, think about telling your friends and neighbors and, equally important, ask your elected representatives to change the plan.

WI Bait-and-Switch Budget is Shortchanging Students

Tom Beebe, Director, Opportunity to Learn – Wisconsin

What started as an anemic bump in aid for Wisconsin public schools has been reduced to a pittance through politicized accounting games that are funneling desperately needed funds towards private charter schools and voucher programs. This lack of funding only exacerbates the state's broken school funding system, which has relentlessly widened the gap between the cost of quality education and the state’s share of that cost, resulting in decades of underfunding.

Question: When is $129 million not $129 million?

Answer: When it is the additional aid Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker promised to send to the state’s public schools.

Despite the Governor’s claimed increase for 2013-15 ─ an anemic and inadequate one percent even if true ─ it is really only $39 million …. a paltry half-percent increase or $44.83 per student even if schools could spend it (but more on that later).

The Free Market Fairy vs. Supports-Based Reforms

By Steve Strieker, WI Teacher

Tying school funding to performance and making repeated allusions to the mythical Free Market Fairy don't constitute systemic, supports-based reform. That's a nonsensical proposal that presumes that staff in high-needs schools are failing because educators lack the motivation or know-how to help students succeed. Let's stop fooling ourselves and start provide students, teachers and schools with the resources and opportunities they need to succeed.

Mixed in with voucher and school choice nonsense, Wisconsin Gov. Walker pitched yet another useless and wasteful education reform this past week that panders to his free market-minded friends.

WI Gov.'s K-12 Budget Starves Public Schools

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has unveiled a funding proposal for K-12 public education that will weaken schools and diminish opportunities for students. After years of devastating cuts to the education budget, general aid will be increased by only $129.2 million – hardly making a dent in the $1 billion in cut over the last two budgets alone.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Tom Beebe, Director, Opportunity to Learn - Wisconsin
920-650-0525
tbeebe@excellentschools.org

Governor's K-12 Budget Proposals Continue to Starve Public Schools While Private Choice Schools Benefit

Along With Learning, Let's Measure Love!

By Steve Strieker, WI Teacher

With Valentine’s Day nearing, my family just took its annual love survey. Using a privately-run, publicly-funded love rating system, my family members and I rate our love for one another using a scale of 1 to 5. While the surveys are done individually and anonymously, the answers are compiled collectively and the results are shared publicly. Why, you may ask, do we go through this annual ritual and analysis of our family love? Because who better to turn to in matters of love than business-minded reformers. These data meisters profess that we must measure what we value. In our family, we value love, so – hence – the love meter matters.

I hail from Mark Twain country. Thus, a little satire for this week's posting. - Steve

With Valentine’s Day nearing, my family just took its annual love survey.

Mark Your Calendars! OTL Webinar Racial Justice Training

On February 27th, the Opportunity to Learn Campaign will be hosting a webinar on racial justice with the Applied Research Center, an OTL ally. The webinar will provide advocates and organizers with valuable tools for framing and combating racial disparities in our nation's education system. Sign up here!

On February 27th, the Opportunity to Learn Campaign will be hosting a webinar on racial justice with the Applied Research Center, an OTL ally. The webinar will provide advocates and organizers with valuable tools for framing and combating racial disparities in our nation's education system. Sign up here!

WI State of the State Is a Wild Ride Through the Looking Glass

By Tom Beebe, Opportunity to Learn - Wisconsin

Have you ever felt that you fell through the looking glass hand-in-hand with Alice to a place where up is down, north is really south, and wrong is actually right? If you watched Governor Scott Walker’s State of the State message on Tuesday you might very well have felt you were in Wonderland where everything you know in your heart of hearts is wrong for kids and public schools was talked about as a viable education reform strategy.

(This post originally appeared on FightingBob.com.)

Have you ever felt that you fell through the looking glass hand-in-hand with Alice to a place where up is down, north is really south, and wrong is actually right?

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