From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
Demond Means, a Milwaukee Public Schools graduate who heads one of the state’s highest-performing school systems, has been tapped to lead — at least for now — a Milwaukee turnaround district mandated by the Legislature in hopes of turning around some of the city’s poorest-performing schools, County Executive Chris Abele is expected to announce Thursday.
Abele is scheduled to introduce Means, superintendent of the Mequon-Thiensville School District, as commissioner of the Opportunity Schools and Partnership Program at a noon news conference. Continue reading Milwaukee County Exec. Selects Mequon-Thiensville Superintendent to Lead MPS Turnaround District
Assembly Bill 239 (as amended by Assembly Substitute Amendment 1) has been scheduled to be taken up by the full state Assembly on Tuesday, October 27.
This substitute amendment requires, upon request of a parent or guardian, a school board, or the governing body of an independent charter school or a private voucher school, to excuse a pupil enrolled in any grade from 3 to 12 from taking any examination required under state or federal law, except for an examination that is a high school graduation requirement. [Under current law, upon request from a parent or guardian, a school board, independent charter school, and private voucher school must excuse a pupil in 4th, 8th, 9th, 10th, or 11th grade from taking the knowledge and concepts examination (WKCE) adopted by the state superintendent of public instruction that is required to be administered to pupils in that grade.] Continue reading Exam Opt-Out Bill Scheduled for Assembly Floor Vote on Oct. 27
The state Senate’s proposed floor calendar (bills they plan to vote on) for October 20 includes the following education-related bills we have been following:
AB-325 School Board Vacancies (Weatherston, Thomas (R)) Allows the Racine Unified school board president to fill a vacancy on the school board that has existed since June. Also requires all school boards to adopt a policy on filling vacancies. Read More
SB-254 Achievement Gap Reduction (Olsen, Luther (R)) This bill makes technical corrections to the Achievement Gap Reduction program (formerly SAGE) created in 2015 Wisconsin Act 53.
Like many districts in the U.S., Chicago’s public school system offers open enrollment. If parents or kids are dissatisfied with their default neighborhood school, they can choose another one to attend among many options: magnets, charters, other neighborhood schools, and more. Open enrollment was created with the best of intentions: to give students in underperforming, underfunded schools a shot at a better education.
But more research is finding that students can wind up worse off when given more school choices. One scholar recently found that 15 percent of a cohort of low-income Chicago students who attended high schools away from their neighborhood wound up at an institution that was objectively worse than their local option. Most traveled further, and spent more time commuting. Continue reading Study: Changing Schools Has Long-Term Effects
Two K-12 education-related task forces create by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) are set to hold hearings on Tuesday, Sept. 29.
The Speaker’s Task Force on Urban Education will hold its first meeting in Madison at 1:00 PM in Room 412 East, State Capitol. The focus will be on teacher recruitment and retention in urban school systems.
Invited speakers will include: Jennifer Cheatham, Superintendent, Madison Metropolitan School District; Ray Cross, President, University of Wisconsin System; and representatives of the Department of Public Instruction, Teach for America, Leadership for Educational Equity, and the Coordinator of Teacher Education, Milwaukee Area Technical College.
At the conclusion of the invited testimony, the Task Force will accept public testimony regarding the focus topics of teacher recruitment, retention and training.
The Speaker’s Task Force on Youth Workforce Readiness will hold its second meeting in Wausau at 11:00 AM at Northcentral Technical College. The hearing will take place in Room 1004 – Auditorium, Center for Health Sciences, 1000 W. Campus Drive, Wausau, WI 54401. Continue reading Two Assembly Task Forces to Hold Hearings Next Tues. (Sept. 29)
Firearms on School Grounds
Wisconsin lawmakers have passed a bill (Senate Bill 70) to permit off-duty and former police officers to carry guns on school premises on a bipartisan vote.
The Senate voted 22-11 to pass the measure Tuesday. The Assembly followed suit shortly thereafter on a voice vote with no debate. The bill goes next to Gov. Scott Walker.
Current state law generally prohibits a person from possessing a firearm on the grounds of a school or within 1,000 feet of the grounds of a school. An exception already exists for police officers who are on duty. Continue reading Legislature Approves Bills on Off Duty & Former Law Enforcement Carrying Firearms in Schools and SAGE