Author

Catherine Capellaro

Catherine Capellaro

Catherine Capellaro is a freelance writer and the arts and culture editor for Isthmus in Madison, Wisconsin. She is also the former managing editor of Rethinking Schools, a former anchor and reporter for Wisconsin Public Radio and WORT-89.9 FM and an accomplished playwright and musician.

Classroom of desks row after row that are all empty

Sparks fly between Deborah Kerr and Jill Underly at online forum

By: - March 15, 2021

The state superintendent candidate forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters and the Wisconsin Public Education Network (WPEN) was not a dull affair.  Jill Underly had technical difficulties that served to illustrate one of her campaign priorities. As a candidate she has emphasized improving rural broadband access. During the March 11 forum, her internet […]

Joint Finance Committee announces four public budget hearings: Only one is virtual, and none in Milwaukee

By: - March 11, 2021

Joint Finance Committee announces four public budget hearings: Only one is virtual, and none in Milwaukee

F_35 fighter jet

Environmental group files new lawsuit over F-35 decision

By: - March 11, 2021

A group seeking to halt the siting of a squadron of F-35 fighter jets at Madison’s Truax Field filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the U.S. Air Force. After several years of contentious debate, in February 2020 the Air Force confirmed that it had chosen Madison’s Truax Field and a site in Montgomery, Alabama, from five […]

Raye David (Holocaust Education Resource Center)

Republicans and Democrats agree on this: Teaching the Holocaust

By: - March 8, 2021

Recent national events are now part of history: The man storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 wearing a “Camp Auschwitz” shirt. The chants of “Jews will not replace us” in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2019. U.S. Congress member Marjorie Taylor Green and her “Jewish space laser” theory. Closer to home, incidents of antisemitism are on […]

Wisconsin's Poet Laureate Dasha Kelly Hamilton

Poetry for the people

By: - March 3, 2021

On Inauguration Day, while the country was still on edge after the horrific violence of Jan. 6, Dasha Kelly Hamilton — Wisconsin’s newly inaugurated poet laureate — was half tuned in to the broadcast from Washington, D.C.  She heard a poet’s name being announced, and her first reaction was that Joy Harjo, the nation’s first […]

Kelly and Eric Maday

‘A slap in the face’

By: - February 25, 2021

Kelly and Eric Maday’s kindergartner, Abigail, has cried every day since Feb. 2 when she and her brother were pulled out of school in Ashland and moved into a district “isolation room” while they waited 45 minutes for a parent to pick them up. Eric Maday and their three children  — Reggie,  Howard and Abigail […]

Palmyra-Eagle sports fields (photo by Ruth Conniff)

Senate education committee debates sports eligibility

By: - February 24, 2021

Debates over virtual education and charter schools resurfaced during a meeting Tuesday of the Senate Education Committee as the committee heard testimony on a bill that would require school boards to allow students enrolled in virtual charter schools to participate in extracurricular activities in the districts where they reside.  Speaking in favor of the bill […]

A mother at home with a doula

Community health workers provide essential links for struggling communities

By: - February 23, 2021

Community health workers provide essential links for struggling communities

a snowy landscape with tree in center

Investing in rural schools

By: - February 18, 2021

When Gov. Tony Evers announced his biennial budget on Tuesday, including a hefty $7.7 billion proposed for various education programs, Kim Kaukl felt like the concerns of rural Wisconsin were being heard.   “I feel it’s a strong budget,” says Kaukl, executive director of Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance (WiRSA). “It has basically everything that our members […]

children at school looking at a computer

Kerr and Underly to vie for state superintendent position

By: - February 17, 2021

Jill Underly and Deborah Kerr came out of a seven-way primary to advance to the April 6 general election for Wisconsin state superintendent of education. The two women, both experienced school district superintendents, will make their case to voters that they are the best person to lead Wisconsin’s more than 2,000 schools through a pandemic. […]

local officials high fiving kids on the first day of school

Evers proposes massive investment in education

By: - February 16, 2021

“If we’re going to bounce back from this pandemic, then we have to start by making sure our kids are better off than when we started this pandemic,” Gov. Tony Evers told an online audience at his biennial budget address on Tuesday. The governor touched on key issues for public education advocates, including broadband access, […]

a long line of parked school buses in a field

“Teachers and students at risk” 

By: - February 12, 2021

A Legislative committee’s decision to tie federal COVID relief aid to in-person instruction strips control from local elected officials and could make it more difficult for schools to plan for safe re-opening, according to education advocates. “This is a partisan attempt to punish public schools and override local control by playing political games with the […]