What the Supreme Court Election Means for School Funding in Wisconsin

On April 5th, Wisconsin will choose a new Supreme Court justice. While elections to the Court are normally nonpartisan affairs, this election is drenched in political bickering between Republicans, Democrats, and public employee unions. Public union supporters argue that if incumbent conservative Justice David Prosser is defeated by liberal challenger Joanne Kloppenburg, the Court would then […]

Fighting “Last In, First Out”

With funds available to public schools shrinking, many schools in the upcoming months are going to be forced to shrink their staffs.  In many cases, schools determine which teachers to let based on seniority – known as the “Last In, First Out” philosophy, as described in this Politico profile of education crusader Michelle Rhee. The […]

In Budget Crises, an Opening for School Reform

Michelle Rhee in today’s WSJ: States will continue to find it difficult to solve budget deficits if they continue to ignore problems surrounding the current structure of their benefits and pensions for teachers and administrators. For example, states and districts must shift new employees from defined-benefit pension programs to portable, defined-contribution plans where employees can […]

Doyle’s Charitable Sleaze

So we now know Governor Jim Doyle has shifted $1 million of his now-defunct campaign fund over to the Greater Wisconsin Committee, a political group intending to run television ads to smear Republicans in the upcoming fall election. Perhaps as interesting as the fact that Doyle chose to use $1 million of his own money […]

Think You Had a Bad Year?

On Sunday, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ran a column I wrote that demonstrates what a truly awful 2009 the Milwaukee Public Schools had.  The column compared MPS’ travails to those of a well known athlete that had a rough go of it last year: If you attended a New Year’s Eve party, chances are you […]

Wisconsin: Separating Teachers From Results

This weekend, news broke that Wisconsin may not be eligible for certain federal education funds because of an interesting law on the state’s books.  Under Wisconsin law, teacher pay cannot be influenced in any way by student test results – meaning, the amount we pay teachers are legally not allowed to have any relation to how […]

Mark Miller Has a Point

Do not adjust your computer screen.  You have not accidentally run across the One Wisconsin Now website, or even the Capital Times editorial page.  (If you were the guy that reads Cap Times editorials, you’d probably have the munchies and have lost interest by now, anyway.  Wait – is Matlock on?) Last week, legislative Democrats […]

Here We Go Again on School Choice

It’s a the same song and dance we go through every year on School Choice, but with increased relevance given what Assembly Democrats did to the program last night.  In a motion passed behind closed doors, Democrats capped participation in the Milwaukee School Choice program at 19,500, which could throw hundreds of kids back into […]

WEAC on the QEO: “Never Mind.”

For a decade and a half, the state’s teachers union has been hammering away at Republican state lawmakers for failing to repeal the Qualified Economic Offer law (QEO), which essentially allowed school districts to grant a 3.8% increase in salary and benefits to teachers without going to arbitration. In the state budget he submitted in […]

Upping Our Standards

The Wisconsin State Journal editorializes in favor of last week’s WPRI report urging changes to K-12 testing in Wisconsin: Wisconsin’s statewide test given to hundreds of thousands of students each year deserves a poor grade for its own performance. The test has some of the weakest standards in the nation. The test takes far too […]