Wisconsin

Personal Opportunity Plans

Publication Date: 
Wed, 2011-12-21
Type: 
policy
Category: 
equitable-instructional-materials

In the first in a series of policy proposals, the National Opportunity to Learn Campaign advocates the creation of Personal Opportunity Plans for every student who is one grade level or more behind in reading or math, giving them access to the academic, social and heathcare supports they need to get back on track.

OTL Campaign Releases State Policy Guide on Out-of-School Suspensions!

Need some help developing or advocating for policies in your state to tackle school pushout and end the school-to-prison pipeline? Then look no further than this newly released state policy guide from the Opportunity to Learn Campaign! The guide provides advocates and policymakers with recommendations for ending the ineffective and discriminatory practice of out-of-school suspensions as well as a summary of the significant action and legislative proposals that are already underway in states to address our national pushout crisis.

Need some help developing or advocating for policies in your state to tackle school pushout and end the school-to-prison pipeline? Then look no further than this newly released state policy guide from the Opportunity to Learn Campaign!

It's Not a Waterbed Without Water

Bill Conway, Social Studies Teacher, Janesville Public School District

Budgets are like waterbeds. Push down in one area of the bed and it will just force another area of the bed to rise. And if you let out all the water, it will stop being a bed altogether. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is underfunding education (pushing down on one side of the waterbed) to balance the state budget, thereby raising the amount of funding that communities have to provide to continue educating their children. But what about communities that can't afford to assume the extra costs? Well, it's not a waterbed without water.

This post is written by Bill Conway, an acclaimed social studies teacher in Janesville, WI.

"Fair Funding" Good For Kids, Schools and Communities

Let's hear it for the advocates in Wisconsin who are pushing a proposal for fair funding for the state's public schools! "Fair Funding for Our Future," put forward by State School Superintending Tony Evers, aims to restore the funding lost in recent years to budget cuts, close loopholes in the funding system, and establish a sustainable and equitable funding system for the future.

Let's hear it for the advocates in Wisconsin who are pushing a proposal for fair funding for the state's public schools!

Behind the Rankings Lies the Real Problem

Steve Strieker, Social Studies Teacher, Janesville School District

Thrown under the school bus this week by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) were 76 Wisconsin schools that "Failed to Meet Expectations" as calculated under the state's newfangled school accountability system. But dig deeper into those rankings and you'll see they only add to the mountain of national data showing that students' socio-economic status affects their access to the resources and opportunities they need to succeed. Standing atop this heap of evidence, advocates must remind legislators, parents, school leaders, and taxpayers that reducing childhood poverty does much to reform public schools.

The following post was written by Steve Strieker, a veteran Social Studies teacher in Janesville, WI. This has been reposted, with Strieker's permission, from his blog "One Teacher's Perspective."

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Today's Rainy Forecast Is Brought to You By School Budget Cuts

Thomas Beebe, Project Director, Opportunity to Learn - Wisconsin

Let's do the math: Cut enough funding from Wisconsin's schools and other public services and you will eventually, through lack of spending, end up with a state budget surplus. But rather than shuffle that surplus off to the state's Rainy Day Fund, let's acknowledge that all those cuts have our schools looking under the weather. We need to reinvest that money now, because today it isn't just raining in WI schools, it's downpouring. 

The Wisconsin Department of Administration recently sent out a press release praising Governor Scott Walker for his leadership in making the “largest deposit to our Rainy Day Fund in state history.”

State Got a Surplus? Reinvest It in Schools!

Thomas Beebe, Project Director, Opportunity to Learn - Wisconsin

Public schools in Wisconsin (and, indeed, across the entire nation) are suffering "death by a thousand cuts" as state and local budgets drastically reduce the size of school funding. But as our economy begins to recover from the recession and as budget surpluses begin to appear, our policymakers need to reinvest in schools and in students. Wisconsin is looking at a surplus of $126 million this year. Nothing has a better claim on this unexpected windfall than our public schools.

There is a ray of hope for Wisconsin’s 800,000-plus public school children looking for quality educational opportunities. After 20 years of hemorrhaging resources to a broken school funding system and a state budget that slashed $1.6 billion from public school resources, at least a partial payback for all of that pain and suffering might be on the horizon.

Free Webinar: How to Go from Mad to Movement Building!

Join the Opportunity to Learn Campaign (along with members of the Dignity in Schools Campaign, our partner in the Solutions Not Suspensions initiative) for a 60-minute webinar on October 3rd to learn how you can go from outrage over harsh school discipline polices to movement building! This webinar will examine how student organizers in Philadelphia were able to collect necessary data, build their coalition, and win a decisive victory bringing about alternatives to out-of-school suspensions.


Free Webinar! Solutions Not Suspensions:
How to Go from Mad to Movement Building

October 3, 2012, 2:00-3:00 PM EDT

Schott Foundation Releases "The Urgency of Now: 50 State Report on Black Males and Public Education"

The Urgency of Now: The Schott 50 State Report on Public Education and Black Males finds that almost half of Black and Latino males do not graduate high school in four years.  Without a policy framework that creates opportunity for all students, strengthens supports for the teaching profession and strikes the right balance between support-based reforms and standards-driven reforms, the U.S. will become increasingly unequal and less competitive in the global economy. Where does your state rank? Visit www.blackboysreport.org to learn more!

Public Education's Eight Ball: Student Poverty

Steve Strieker, Social Studies Teacher, Janesville School District

If teachers and administrators are truly interested in educating every child, then we need to embrace this truth: Communities with dramatically less poverty will have dramatically reformed school systems. Yes, we keep teaching. Yes, we keep believing in our students. Yes, we can continue to improve our instructional practices. However, above all, we must become a unified voice for reducing childhood poverty.

The following post was written by Steve Strieker, a veteran Social Studies teacher in Janesville, WI. This has been reposted, with Strieker's permission, from his blog "One Teacher's Perspective."

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