Articles By: Jay Bullock

MPS meeting on Dover St. School building leaves questions unanswered

MPS meeting on Dover St. School building leaves questions unanswered

The excess space owned by the Milwaukee Public Schools has been in the news a lot lately.  Wednesday in Madison, for example, the state Senate held a Baltimore, Find Your Spot that worked with GMC and Teachtown.  Daniels suggested that as Milwaukee’s teacher needs continue to grow, it will keep being difficult to find places […]

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PolitiFact sorts only some of the “truth” on voucher schools, leaves out key objections to program’s expansion

PolitiFact sorts only some of the “truth” on voucher schools, leaves out key objections to program’s expansion

Back when I used to blog about politics, I was a constant critic of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s PolitiFact operation. Or, as I called it, Politi”Fact,” with the emphasis on the sarcasm quotes. Why? Because PolitiFact Wisconsin, as the local franchise is known, tries to set itself up as a neutral arbiter, and so it […]

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Walker’s budget is a school killer; legislative Republicans propose a severe beating instead

Walker’s budget is a school killer; legislative Republicans propose a severe beating instead

It’s budget season in Wisconsin, which means two things: One, the histrionics are dialed up to 11 (j’accuse, you say, and you’re right); and two, everyone I know and care about in education in Wisconsin is furious. Two years ago, Governor Scott Walker’s first biennial budget was devastating to schools. In it, the revenue cap […]

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Infinite Campus likely to be Wisconsin statewide school information system (Updated)

Infinite Campus likely to be Wisconsin statewide school information system (Updated)

In an offer tax breaks if they offered the lowest bid. Though not the home team, Infinite Campus is no stranger to Wisconsin, as it currently provides the information systems for dozens of districts all across the state, like Madison, Greenfield, West Allis-West Milwaukee, New Berlin, and Mukwanago. If any readers with IC experience want […]

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Is there a new McCarthyism afoot?

Is there a new McCarthyism afoot?

We all had a good laugh last week when Wisconsin State Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) put out a press release asking, exasperatedly, “Why Must We Still Hear About Kwanzaa?” I am not sure exactly how it is that Grothman finds Kwanzaa to be such an unbearable burden that he has to drag himself to […]

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One Last Chance for Input on Bay View Middle and High School

One Last Chance for Input on Bay View Middle and High School

Hi, kids. Remember me? Yeah, yeah, long time no blog–in no small part because of what’s been going on at My School. After a few years of slow but steady but slow progress, at the school. One kicks off at 4:15 and the other at 6:30. (A session during the school day that day will […]

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Teacher Compensation in the News

another story I read recently about pay and performance (emphasis in the original): Eichenwald’s conversations reveal that a management system known as “stack ranking”—a program that forces every unit to declare a certain percentage of employees as top performers, good performers, average, and poor—effectively crippled Microsoft’s ability to innovate. “Every current and former Microsoft employee […]

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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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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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Too late, evidence that collective bargaining works

This got some notice in the media a few months ago when it was first 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 totaled about $20 million between 2011-2012 and 2012-2013, will pay for 88 teaching positions this coming year. […]

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Using NAEP cut scores devastates, disserves our students

Using NAEP cut scores devastates, disserves our students

Yeah, I think I made up that word, disserves.  But I mean it; this new plan to use NAEP cut scores to grade schools and students on our state test would be a tremendous disservice. As many of you may know, Wisconsin was granted its waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind law a […]

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What kind of district is MPS going to be? Aide benefit question offers a guess at the answer

what changed in the last year that made paying a family-supporting wage to school employees harder?) Peter Blewett, in his last year as member of the Board, is the only one left fighting against the notion that MPS can’t simultaneously become a bad place to work and good place for children to learn. That so […]

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The Crisis of MPS’s Invisible Students, Part Three: Solutions

The Crisis of MPS’s Invisible Students, Part Three: Solutions

To sum up where we are: On Tuesday, I examined a large sample of students from the Milwaukee Public Schools, comparing achievement between students who had been in a school for a full year prior to the test (Full Academic Year, or FAY) and students who spent part or all of the prior year in […]

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The crisis of MPS’s invisible students, part two: Implications

The crisis of MPS’s invisible students, part two: Implications

Yesterday, I broke down the numbers: Milwaukee Public Schools students who change schools within a year before they take the state’s standardized test (WKCE) perform worse on the test than students who don’t. Today I want to game out some of the practical implications of that. If we know that there’s a group of MPS […]

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The Crisis of MPS’s Invisible Students, Part One: FAY and Non-FAY

Wisconsin’s state achievement test, the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam (WKCE), is given every November to public school students in grades 3-8 and 10. At the high school where I teach, in early fall we English teachers were emailed a list of selected 10th-grade students. These are your FAY students, we were told. These are […]

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