Education

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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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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.

Closing the Tech Gender Gap One Girl at a Time

Jul 13, 2017
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By 2020, there will be 1.4 million jobs available worldwide in computing related fields. U.S. graduates are on track to fill a respectable 29% of those jobs, but U.S. women will fill just 3%.

Amber Regan

Charter schools of all shapes and sizes populate a sizeable chunk of Milwaukee’s education scene.

But this year, only one new charter is joining the field: Pathways High School. Chartered by UW-Milwaukee, Pathways’ mission is to emphasize project-based learning during students’ teenage years.

But what's also unique about Pathways is the school's leaders.

ADELIE FREYJA ANNABEL, FLICKR

As Wisconsin's legislature struggles to finish its biennial budget, the UW Board of Regents has already approved its financial blueprint for the upcoming year.

Rachel Morello

Most school-age kids have to compete to earn spots on athletic teams, and sometimes they're also pitted against one another in the classroom.

But experts disagree on whether competition is an asset or a roadblock to the learning process.

Rachel Morello

What do you want to be when you grow up? Gender might determine what images come to kids’ minds.

So many fields are dominated by one gender or another that Wisconsin has a name for this trend: “non-traditional occupations.” Those are fields that employ 25 percent or less of one gender. The state keeps track, and publishes a list every few years.

Leaders at schools like MATC say it’s their mission to shorten that list.

Rachel Morello

School is no longer in session – but families are encouraged to come to a special lesson in Milwaukee Monday night.

Leaders from the state Department of Public Instruction will be in town to talk about how they plan to implement a new federal education law.

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