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 hearing on a bill that would force MPS to sell buildings to interested charter or voucher school operators even if students or teachers were using the building.  A […]

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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 letter (pdf) written Friday, Feb. 1, Wisconsin’s Bureau of Procurement (no, I didn’t know we had one, either) named Minnesota-based Infinite Campus as the winner of the process to provide a statewide school information system. School districts across Wisconsin currently use a variety of information and data management systems. The Milwaukee Public […]

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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, An Unfortunate Incident occurred earlier this fall at Bay View Middle and High School, where I occupy room 233 and remove extra […]

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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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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 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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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

At its regular monthly meeting last week, the Milwaukee Board of School Directors voted to limit the availability of benefits to non-full time employees of the Milwaukee Public Schools.   Anyone working under 30 hours a week – and that could be anyone from a cafeteria worker to the paraprofessional assistant in a special-education classroom […]

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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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