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 […]

Row of transgender pride flags along a curb

Protecting women or a transphobic agenda in new sport participation bills? 

BY: - March 3, 2021

To kick-off March as Women’s History Month, three Republican lawmakers — Rep. Barb Dittrich (R-Oconomowoc), Rep. Janel Brandtjen (R-Menomonee Falls) and Sen. Kathy Bernier (R-Chippewa Falls) — introduced bills purporting to “protect women in sports” from men competing against them, putting them in physical jeopardy and creating an unfair advantage, as the legislators described it. […]

Miguel Cardona (Photo by Joshua Roberts/Getty Images)

Senate confirms Cardona as education secretary

BY: - March 1, 2021

Senate confirms MIguel Cardona as education secretary

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 […]

students sitting at their desks in a classroom bent over papers taking a test

The hammer of student testing

BY: - February 19, 2021

Each year, states spend more than $7.1 billion on student testing. This year, because of the pandemic, much of that money will be wasted. The waste will be worse in Wisconsin. Republicans here are pushing hard for schools to reopen, and they may be inclined to use the hammer of student testing to force all […]

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 […]

Deb Kerr

State Superintendent candidate deletes Twitter account after tweets about N-word

BY: - February 17, 2021

Shortly before polls closed in the primary election for state superintendent, candidate Deborah Kerr was responding to a prompt on Twitter about experiences with the N-word. The series of tweets prompted controversy and led her to deactivate her account.  Kerr is one of two candidates who advanced to the general election in April. She is […]

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 […]

Miguel Cardona; photo courtesy of Biden transition team

Biden nominees for education and labor posts approved by U.S. Senate panel

BY: - February 11, 2021

WASHINGTON—Miguel Cardona was one step closer to leading the U.S. Department of Education on Thursday after the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee moved his nomination to the full Senate for a vote.  The panel voted 17-5. Senators also voted 18-4 to advance the nomination of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh to serve as secretary […]