Archive for August, 2012

Local teachers and parents share back-to-school tips for a smooth start

It doesn’t matter if your child is starting kindergarten or high school, preparing ahead of time for the first day is essential for a smooth back-to-school transition. Some schools have already begun, but many more will start tomorrow. With that in mind, OnMilwaukee.com contacted a variety of teachers and parents to hear their suggestions on […]

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Teacher Compensation in the News

I am so late to this I probably need to serve a month of detention, but here goes … In the wake of Act 10, the (in this teacher’s opinion) misguided legislation that removed from Wisconsin’s teachers the right to bargain collectively over anything but basic, small wage increases, school districts around the state have […]

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Really Gov. Walker, this stuff just isn’t working for our kids

Really Gov. Walker, this stuff just isn’t working for our kids

As I travel around Wisconsin, it’s evident that a lot of people still believe Gov. Scott Walker when he says public schools and children are better off—or at least no worse off—since he brought us Act 10 and his 2011-13 state budget. As a quick reminder, Act 10 gives school boards the ability to ask […]

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A few good seats still available at MacDowell Montessori

You know by now that I support public Montessori, a method that has been responsible for some of the highest achieving schools in MPS. (Note: I say “a” method, not “the” method in response to some talkbacks on my commentary recently on the opening of the new Howard Avenue Montessori School. There are other methods, […]

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Been down so long it looks like up

Been down so long it looks like up

The author of this blog is Thomas J. Mertz is a Madison parent and advocate for improved educational opportunities. He is a founder of For All Madison Students and other local groups and is an active member of Opportunity to Learn-Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent Schools. A version of this post originally appeared […]

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One Test Score Does Not An Honest Picture Make

One Test Score Does Not An Honest Picture Make

A few months back, I had a small tête-à-tête with an op-ed columnist in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who’d written mean things about the school where I teach.  I fired back, because I am just that loose a cannon. But here’s the thing:  What got me most upset* about the op-ed was the way the […]

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2 MPS schools among 100 in U.S. to win $25,000 Target grants

Milwaukee Public Schools’ Brown Street Academy and Lowell Elementary School are among just 100 schools across the nation to win $25,000 grants from Target as part of the retailer’s $5 million Give With Target campaign. Principals of the two schools were surprised with the announcement during an all-principals meeting Friday. “We’re so pleased with the […]

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Primary results are a major win for public education

Primary results are a major win for public education

Tuesday’s Democratic primary election in Milwaukee was a victory for public education. Who lost? Democrats who support vouchers, the Republican Party and Tea Party activists. At the center of this election was the seat in the 11th assembly district, a race between Mandela Barnes and Jason Fields. Fields has been a longtime advocate for private […]

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Principal training: Are we doing it wrong?

Principal training: Are we doing it wrong?

If you ask a question like that, the answer is almost always, “Yes, of course.” (A more cynical me might have written, “This is the Milwaukee Public Schools we’re talking about, so of course the answer is yes.”  However, I don’t think MPS is doing much differently than other districts in this regard, so I’m […]

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Early childhood education works; it’s time to just make it happen

If our children are going to learn in school and succeed in life they need opportunities to learn,  like quality early childhood educational experiences. The Wisconsin State Journal made that point very well in a recent editorial (“Sooner is better than later in learning”). Children from poverty face an array of problems that hold them […]

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Too late, evidence that collective bargaining works

This got some notice in the media a few months ago when it was first discussed, but the Milwaukee Public Schools officially said today that there would be no teacher layoffs this fall, and hardly any layoffs at all, thanks in large part to savings realized through collective bargaining in 2010. In a press release today, […]

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Rapid creation of Howard Ave. Montessori marks a step forward

Lately I’ve written very little about Montessori in Milwaukee Public Schools. It’s not for the lack of activity and it’s not for the lack of passion. In fact, the opposite. I’ve been too passionate and too active – serving on a committee working on a plan to expand public Montessori in Milwaukee – to write […]

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