Martin says Walker is ‘out of touch’ after governor objects to coalition’s education accountability plan

Governor Walker objected Wednesday to Wisconsin’s education accountability plan drafted by a broad-ranging coalition of education stakeholders and with tremendous input from teachers and education support professionals. “The governor is out of touch with the people of the state,” said WEAC President Ron Martin, an eighth grade teacher who served on Wisconsin’s Equity Council comprised of state residents, parents, educators and public school leaders. The group met for 18 months to create a state education plan that crosses ideological lines and does what’s best for students.

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Why have they taken the fun out of kindergarten?

Kindergarten was designed as an introduction to schooling, and one that should help children discover that learning can be fun. But many believe that kindergarten has become the new first grade, and that pressure on schools to demonstrate student progress, even at the kindergarten level, has led schools to take the playfulness out of kindergarten. This week, Wisconsin Public Radio examined this issue by interviewing Christopher Brown, an associate professor of curriculum and instruction in early childhood education at the University of Texas at Austin, who says that heightened standards have pushed some teachers to forgo the emphasis on play and spend much more time on structured learning, a trend that is exhausting both children and teachers.

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Community Schools model can be a successful strategy for improving schools under ESSA, researchers say

Community schools — which feature integrated student supports, expanded learning time, family and community engagement, and collaborative leadership — can be a successful strategy for improving schools under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). That’s the conclusion of a new research review released at the Community Schools Awards for Excellence Symposium.

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Public listening sessions scheduled on ESSA plan

Listening sessions on the state’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan will be held June 12 in Pewaukee, June 15 in Tomahawk, June 16 in Oshkosh, June 19 in West Salem, June 19 in Milwaukee, and June 27 in Madison. The listening sessions are conducted by the Department of Public Instruction and will feature short presentations with information about Wisconsin’s ESSA plan followed by guided discussions.

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Legislative Update – April 24

Bill increases state aid for special education and school age parents programs to no less than 33 percent of the school district’s costs … Bill would raise early retirement age from 50 to 52 for protective services employees and from 55 to 60 for general employees, and change the calculation for a participant’s final average earning from the highest 3 years to the highest 5 years … Series of bills introduced to restrict the ability of school districts to win passage of local referendums … Bill would require DPI to first submit its ESSA plan to the Assembly and Senate education committees for approval before it goes to the federal government … Joint Finance Committee to begin state budget deliberations … Senate Education Committee will hold an executive session on bills related to recovery charter schools and a mental health training program.

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