Education

Alberto G. / Flickr

Fall is the time of year when thousands of Wisconsin high schools will virtually lock themselves in a classroom on a Saturday morning and take one of two tests that have customarily helped or hindered the effort to get into college.

The ACT and the SAT have undergone some significant changes in recent years in an effort to be a more useful predictor of college success, but an increasing number of colleges and universities are becoming “test-optional” schools. These schools no longer require students to include test scores as part of their application process.

Morgan / Flickr

The White House issued its first-ever college scorecard this week.  It’s a website designed to help people compare costs and offerings across all the public and private colleges and universities in the country.  It’s a tool that its designers hope will be useful in connecting schools with their future students.

woodleywonderworks / Flickr

Common Core standards have been a political flash point since they were introduced and implemented.  Some believe they’re an unwanted government intrusion into local control of schools, while others say nationwide standards are necessary to ensure a quality education across the country.

Jordan Ellenberg, a math professor at UW-Madison, falls under the latter category.

Marti Mikkelson

Classes begin Tuesday for many children across Milwaukee, including in MPS. Some students will find brand new teachers greeting them. MPS and other schools nationwide have been facing a teacher shortage.

Hundreds retired here after the state passed Act 10, kicking out most public union rights. One way MPS and other schools have been filling vacancies is to employ young people from the Teach for America program. More than 100 have signed up to teach this year in Milwaukee.

Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, Facebook

If you've ever been to the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center on the lakeshore north of the city, you know there is a lot of the natural world on display. And if you haven't been there, just trust me.

But quantifying everything that lives at or grows on the nature center's grounds is a daunting task, and one that's being taken on by a cadre of scientists beginning Friday afternoon.

There are few household names in education research. Maybe that in itself constitutes a problem. But if there was an Education Researcher Hall Of Fame, one member would be a silver-haired, plainspoken Kiwi named John Hattie.

Hattie directs the Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He also directs something called the Science of Learning Research Centre, which works with over 7,000 schools worldwide.

Lily Wellen

Over the last six years the University of Minnesota Monarch Lab has collaborated with the US Forest Service to reach teachers around the country with the latest in monarch butterfly biology and ecology. In turn, teachers pass the information on to their students and hope to ignite a passion for conservation.

ALYSON HURT NPR

A federal report out Thursday reinforces the notion that when it comes to state standards, proficiency is still in the eye of the beholder.

A top-scoring student on Arizona's reading test may fall far below average in states with more rigorous exams, like Massachusetts or Wisconsin.

Survey of the Health of Wisconsin

Since 2008, the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health has been conducting surveys on the health of Wisconsin citizens.

Survey of the Health of Wisconsin, or SHOW, explores individual health behaviors and choices, collects physical measurements, biological samples and considers healthy and unhealthy features of Wisconsin neighborhoods. SHOW is expanding its surveying radius by 10 new counties over the next two years, including into Milwaukee County.

Although UW-Milwaukee's Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health is still in its fledgling stages, the school has already begun to make a difference.

Now the school is starting the process of looking for new leadership. After leading the school through its formative years, founding Dean Magda Peck is stepping down July 1. 

Jabril Faraj / Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service

The effort to create the so-called Milwaukee Excellence Charter School took a hit this past spring when the proposal was tabled after a split vote by the MPS School Board. However, it is expected that the plan will be going back in front of the board for further consideration soon.

Claire Moseley

As Milwaukee area’s schools prepare to wrap up classes, students of all ages are thinking about their summer plans. 

But the end of the school year marks the end of a long period away from home for students at one institution. The Wisconsin International Academy itself isn’t a school – rather it’s the home away from home for dozens of high school age students from China, who are attending schools in the Milwaukee area.

The academy occupies a former motel along Bluemound Road in the western reaches of Wauwatosa.

Carroll University

Public art often gets a bad rap – rightly or wrongly.  Typically an artist is chosen, a piece is created, installed, and the only real public part is whatever reaction you have to it once it’s on display.  Artist Kasia Ozga works differently.

She takes the public part of public art quite literally.  Her latest project is a public art installation based on water at Carroll University in Waukesha, being installed with the public’s help and input at the university.

North Middle School / facebook.com

The Menomonee Falls School District is seen by many in the education field as a model for how data can be used effectively alongside traditional education work.

The New York Times recently published a feature on the increasing use of data in primary and secondary education. The paper focused on work happening in the Milwaukee area.

Sarah Carr

For years, the Menominee Indian School District has posted some of the worst test scores and graduation rates in Wisconsin. While the district still struggles, it has been on an upswing, particularly when it comes to graduation rates.

One likely reason - it now employs more teachers who share the students’ culture and history.

Pages