Education

For the more than 3,000 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Wednesday's mass shooting was terrifying and life-changing. But what of the tens of millions of other children, in schools across the country, who have since heard about what happened and now struggle with their own feelings of fear, confusion and uncertainty?

"In the ways that we teach and learn about the history of American slavery," write the authors of a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), "the nation needs an intervention."

Milwaukee Teachers' Education Association

By several key measures, Wisconsin’s black-white disparities in education are the highest in the country. Last year, the state Department of Public Instruction crafted a plan to cut the achievement gap in half. It’s a plan that was required under federal education policy.

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Learning a new language gets harder for most of us once we’re past the age of 6 or 7. But one way to help make learning a foreign language easier, and perhaps just a bit cooler, for middle and high school students is to bring in a band.

In early November, MPS hosted a special event for students learning German. They brought in the German pop/hip hop and classical mash-up band Einshoch6 to the Milwaukee School of Languages.

Mitch Teich

Notre Dame Hall, the iconic building on the Mount Mary University campus, was built nearly 90 years ago.  But the work that goes on in one particular room is anything but historic.  It’s cutting edge work being done in a space that serves the university and the community at large.

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Employers both large and small have concerns about whether people graduating are ready for employment. Sometimes that question involves specialized skills; but increasingly, the questions are bigger and seemingly simpler - are students prepared to join the workforce?

It’s a field known as “essential employability qualities,” or EEQs, and Alverno College will play a role in determining how to measure whether students are ready for the workplace as a participant in the The Quality Assurance Commons for Higher Postsecondary Education (the QA Commons) EEQ Pilot program.

BRAD WILSON / FLICKR

The Racine Unified School District is in danger of being dismantled. State lawmakers put a rule into effect in 2015 that impacts districts that receive a failing report card two years in a row.

The rule allows the worst-performing schools to be pulled out of a district. It also allows the creation of a separate school district. Meanwhile, a second measure would allow municipalities in Racine County to secede from Unified. The debate over what should happen with the district is tied to the two-year state budget that lawmakers are considering this week.

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Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images

The Trump administration has announced an end to DACA, an Obama-era law that protects undocumented children brought to the U.S. as minors from deportation. And the decision could have a serious impact on a number of immigrant students in Wisconsin schools.

AGCREATIVELAB, FOTOLIA

Wisconsin's K-12 schools are on target to see more money in the next two years – just not quite as much as they’d originally been promised by the Governor.

It was months ago that we first heard about Gov. Scott Walker’s K-12 funding proposal for the current two-year state budget. Since February, Walker has been touring the state, touting a record $649 million increase for state spending on public schools.

Walker has called education a ‘top priority’ for the new biennium.

The start of the school year can be rough on some kids. It's a big shift from summer's freedom and lack of structure to the measured routines of school. And sometimes that can build up into tears, losing sleep, outbursts and other classic signs of anxiety.

"Going back to school is a transition for everyone," says Lynn Bufka, a practicing psychologist who also works at the American Psychological Association. "No matter the age of the child, or if they've been to school before."

Photo by James Stukenberg/Milwaukee Magazine

As technology develops, the “world of work” is trying to keep up. And one unlikely hero has been quietly working to fill that gap: technical colleges.

As a state that once was a leader in manufacturing and factory jobs, Wisconsin has experienced the rapid pace of economic change firsthand. Like many other job markets, Wisconsin now faces a skills gap.

And tech colleges, traditionally known and created to train for careers in the blue-collar trades, have made moves over the past several years to expand their role, creating programs for newer, middle-skill positions.

Rachel Morello/info.gram

Like law and medicine, education can be a complicated field -- particularly with how many buzzwords people use.

Educators are infamous for having their own lingo – commonly referred to as “edu-speak” -- filled with acronyms and other jargon. And all that terminology adds a layer of confusion for some parents, as they try to advocate for their kids.

Once you immerse yourself in the world of school policy (like anything else) you fall prey to becoming a wonk, and using verbage normal people might not recognize – phrases like “blended learning” or “21st century skills.”

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Believe it or not, school starts next week for some kids in the Milwaukee area – and MPS students, parents and staff have a few notable changes on the horizon as kids head back to class.

Led by Superintendent Darienne Driver, the struggling district has implemented a number of reforms that leaders hope will spur gains in student achievement.

Rachel Morello

With just a few weeks left in the summer, teachers are asking themselves what needs to be done to get ready for the upcoming school year.

And preparations are not just about classroom supplies, or lesson plans.

Many Milwaukee-based educators have spent the summer thinking about race and cultural differences. They say they want to break down barriers between their staff and students.

Rachel Morello

It’s no secret that Milwaukee, like many cities across the U.S., is facing a teacher shortage – due in part to massive retirements after Act 10.

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