Democrats Release Urban Education Task Force Minority Report

By John Forester | August 24, 2016

Yesterday, Democrats on the Assembly Speaker’s Task Force on Urban Education released a minority report. The minority report contains many policy recommendations that the Democrats believe should have been included in the committee’s original report, released in June 2016.

See the report here.

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ACT Participation Jumps to 100% in Wisconsin

By John Forester | August 24, 2016

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) announced today that Wisconsin’s participation in ACT testing jumped to 100 percent for the 2016 graduating class as the state joined 19 others that administer the college admissions exam to all public school graduates. Wisconsin’s composite score is 20.5, ranking fourth in the nation for “census testing” states.

Additional information is available in the DPI news release here.

See Associated Press news story from the Janesville Gazette here.

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Challenges To Evers Taking Shape

By John Forester | August 22, 2016

Check out the WisPolitics interview with Jeff Holmes, Germantown Superintendent and candidate for State Superintendent.  WisPolitics orignally published this interview on June 13, 2016.

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Holtz Targets Graduation, Achievement Rates in State Superintendent Bid

By John Forester | August 22, 2016

Check out the WisPolitics interview with Lowell Holtz, recently retired Whitnall superintendent and candidate for state superintendent.

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DPI Seeks Input on Computer Science Academic Standards

By John Forester | August 18, 2016

The potential of computer science to drive job growth and innovation calls for elementary and secondary schools to prepare all students with foundational knowledge in the subject. To meet this need, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction is requesting public comment on whether the state should develop model academic standards that describe what students should know and be able to do in computer science.

Additional information is available in the DPI news release here.

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141 Districts to Receive Sparsity Aid

By John Forester | August 17, 2016

The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) announced today that 141 small rural districts across the state will share $17.7 million in sparsity aid for general school operations, which will be paid on the third Monday in September.

Additional information including a list of districts receiving aid is available in the DPI news release here.

A map showing distribution of aid is available here.

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School Data Committee Selects Options for Further Discussion

By John Forester | August 17, 2016

From The Wheeler Report . . .

At the conclusion of today’s committee Chairman Thiesfeldt asked committee members to start compiling ideas for Legislative Council to have available for the September 14 meeting.  Committee members asked for options on:

Student Privacy Officer’ written into statutes, hired and supervised by the Department of Public Instruction. There was discussion about looking at the Georgia legislation with regards to this suggestion.

The study committee heard from the DOA Chief Information Officer, David Cagigal. Cagigal told members that Wisconsin has an advantage over other states because they have a centralized data information center, meaning it is easier to protect against intrusions and hacks from outside sources. Cagigal said that in March the state received 146 million emails and 95% of them were bad (non-business related). Cagigal said that number is high, and that the average monthly emails are usually closer to 70-90 million emails.

DPI testified on specifically what information the agency (and schools) collects, and what information the agency (and schools) don’t collect on students.

A presentation by Brennan McMahon Parton of Data Quality Campaign. Parton told committee members that Wisconsin is not unique in studying student data.  In 2013, one state had a bill related to student data privacy. In 2014, there were 110 bills related to student data privacy in 36 states. In 2015, there were 188 bills related to student data privacy in 47 states. In 2016, there were an additional 113 bills related to student data privacy in 34 different states. The presentation made the following recommendations for building a state data privacy and security policy:

Caitriona Fitzgerald, a policy coordinator from the Electronic Policy Information Center (EPIC) provided information about the risks to students when data is collected.  She completed her presentation with recommendations on how Wisconsin could adopt a Student Privacy Bill of Rights:

Documents and Presentations from today’s meeting:

Next Meeting on Wednesday, September 14. Rep. Thiesfeldt said the committee will probably not meet in October.

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Walker Approval Rating Remains 38%

By John Forester | August 11, 2016

Check out the news article on the most recent Marquette University Law School Poll from Wisconsin Public Radio.

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School Data Committee to Hold Second Meeting

By John Forester | August 10, 2016

The Legislative Council Study Committee on School Data will hold its second meeting beginning at 9:30am on Tuesday, August 16th in Room 412 East, State Capitol.  See the preliminary committee agenda here.

As you know, several school administrators are members of this important study committee.  The SAA will continue to monitor the committee’s work and keep the SAA membership informed of any significant developments.  Stay tuned.

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DPI to Hold Hearing on SAGE/AGR Rule

By John Forester | August 10, 2016

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction will conduct a hearing from 2:30 to 4 p.m., Aug. 25, at the DPI’s headquarters, in Madison to accept public testimony on modifications to rules for the Student Achievement Guarantee in Education (SAGE) program and the recently created Achievement Gap Reduction program so the administrative rules align with current law.

Additional information is available in the DPI news release here.

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