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.


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 /

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.

Courtesy of Tim Decker & Vince Prantil / Morgan & Claypool Publishers

Generations of college students have learned from textbooks that are often large, text-heavy, expensive paperweights that can make your eyes glaze over.

But cartoonist Tim Decker and MSOE mechanical engineering professor Vince Prantil have created a unique physics book that engages students through visual learning.

ThoseGuys119, flickr

On Tuesday, the legislature’s budget committee will vote on funding for K-12 schools. One item Gov. Walker has included is a phase-out of Chapter 220. He says participation is minimal.

Wisconsin created the program to integrate public schools in Milwaukee, after a federal judge declared them segregated in 1976.  The state hailed Chapter 220 as a voluntary way to desegregate Milwaukee’s public schools. It paid for black and white students to attend schools farther away from home, in order to make them more racially balanced.