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Wisconsin

News, analysis, and opinion about K-12 education in Wisconsin
Ash covers the desks at Cardinal Newman High School where the Tubbs fire destroyed part of the school in Santa Rosa, Calif., on Oct. 9, 2017.
Ash covers the desks at Cardinal Newman High School where the Tubbs fire destroyed part of the school in Santa Rosa, Calif., on Oct. 9, 2017. Forty percent of principals in a recent EdWeek Research Center survey said the buildings where they most often work lack fire sprinkler systems.
Gabrielle Lurie/San Francisco Chronicle via AP
School & District Management From Our Research Center Thousands of Schools Don't Have Working Fire Sprinklers
School buildings constructed before sprinkler mandates now face prohibitively steep costs to install crucial fire-prevention systems.
Mark Lieberman, January 2, 2024
4 min read
Sawyer Wendt, a student intern for the Altoona school district’s IT department, repairs a Chromebook.
Sawyer Wendt, who's been a student intern for the Altoona district's tech department since junior year, is now studying IT software development in college.
Courtesy of Jevin Stangel, IT technician for the Altoona school district
IT Infrastructure & Management One Solution to Maintaining 1-to-1 Devices? Pay Students to Repair Them
Hiring students to help with the repair process is one way school districts are ensuring the sustainability of their 1-to-1 programs.
Lauraine Langreo, December 19, 2023
4 min read
Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC) vice president Betsy Kippers leads a chant during a rally to protest Governor Scott Walker's budget repair bill, at the Brown County Courthouse in downtown Green Bay on February 16, 2011.
Betsy Kippers, vice president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council, leads a chant during a rally to protest Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill, at the Brown County Courthouse in downtown Green Bay on February 16, 2011.
H. Marc Larson/The Green Bay Press-Gazette via AP
Law & Courts Wisconsin Teachers Sue to Restore Collective Bargaining Rights
The lawsuit takes fresh aim at a 2011 law that severely restricted bargaining, and has survived several legal challenges since.
Madeline Will, December 1, 2023
6 min read
Photo of collage of gavel and school building.
F. Sheehan for Education Week / Getty
School Choice & Charters Private School Choice Faces New Challenges as State Lawsuits Pile Up
The lawsuits target new, broader state programs that allow parents to use public money for private school expenses.
Mark Lieberman, November 16, 2023
6 min read
As part of Senior Signing Day in June, Sheboygan South High School seniors sign certificates of commitment to their post-high school plans, which include: acceptance to a four-year college, acceptance to a two-year technical college, enlisting in the military, and any full-time employment secured by the end of senior year.
As part of Senior Signing Day that takes place in June, Sheboygan South High School seniors sign certificates of commitment to their verified post-high school plans, which include: acceptance to a four-year college or two-year technical college, military enlistment at time of graduation, and any full-time employment secured by the end of senior year.
Photo courtesy of Sheboygan Area School District
College & Workforce Readiness This High School Used to Leave Seniors' Career Planning to Chance. Not Anymore
Students graduate from Sheboygan South High School knowing what's next and how to get there.
Elizabeth Heubeck, October 30, 2023
6 min read
A man in a suit gestures with two open hands as he stands behind a wooden podium.
Andrew Farley, the principal of Brookfield East High School, in Brookfield, Wis., was named Principal of the Year by the National Association of Secondary School Principals on Oct 20, 2023.
Photo courtesy of National Association of Secondary School Principals
School & District Management Q&A For the Principal of the Year, Academic Success Starts With Listening to Students
Principal of the Year Andrew Farley incorporated student voice, high expectations, and mental health into his school's culture.
Evie Blad, October 23, 2023
5 min read
Image of a gavel and a family symbol.
marchmeena29/iStock/Getty
Law & Courts District Can't Let Students Change Pronouns Without Parental Consent, Judge Rules
A Wisconsin judge said gender transitions are a medical issue over which parents have fundamental control, including on pronouns in school.
Mark Walsh, October 5, 2023
4 min read
The National Association of Secondary School Principals named Andrew Farley, Kimberly Winterbottom, and Sham Bevel as finalists for its principal of the year award.
The National Association of Secondary School Principals named Andrew Farley, Kimberly Winterbottom, and Sham Bevel as finalists for its principal of the year award.
National Association of Secondary School Principals
School & District Management Meet the Finalists for 2024's Secondary Principal of the Year Award
The National Association of Secondary School Principals will name the winner later this month.
Evie Blad, October 5, 2023
2 min read
Illustration of person sitting with knees to chest and hands pointing at them and one have reaching out and open to offer help.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Equity & Diversity District Failed to Protect Nonbinary Student From Harassment, Federal Investigation Finds
A Wisconsin district may owe compensatory instruction to a nonbinary student for excluding them from some in-person instruction.
Eesha Pendharkar, August 4, 2023
5 min read
A group of around 200 people who turned out for a rally inside the Nebraska State Capitol hold up signs in support of the transgender community on March 24, 2023 in Lincoln, Neb. A Wisconsin district can't enforce a policy banning trans students from using the bathrooms of their choice, a judge said.
A group of around 200 people who turned out for a rally inside the Nebraska State Capitol hold up signs in support of the transgender community on March 24, 2023, in Lincoln, Neb. A Wisconsin district can't enforce a policy banning trans students from using the bathrooms of their choice, a judge said.
Margery Beck/AP
Equity & Diversity District Can't Restrict Transgender Student's Bathroom Use, Federal Judge Says
A Wisconsin district must allow trans students to use bathrooms aligning with their gender identity, according to a new ruling.
Eesha Pendharkar, July 31, 2023
5 min read
Dolly Parton, left, and Miley Cyrus perform "Jolene" at the 61st annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Feb. 10, 2019. Administrators at Heyer Elementary School in Waukesha, Wis., aren't letting a first-grade class perform "Rainbowland," a Cyrus and Parton duet from Cyrus' 2017 album "Younger Now," promoting LGBTQ acceptance, because they say the song could be seen as controversial.
Dolly Parton, left, and Miley Cyrus perform "Jolene" at the 61st annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Feb. 10, 2019. Administrators at Heyer Elementary School in Waukesha, Wis., didn't let a first-grade class perform "Rainbowland," a Cyrus and Parton duet from Cyrus' 2017 album "Younger Now," promoting LGBTQ+ acceptance, because they said the song could be seen as controversial.
Matt Sayles/Invision via AP
Teaching Profession A Teacher Was Fired for Criticizing Her District's Move to Ban a Song. Here's What to Know
A 1st grade teacher in Wisconsin was fired for objecting to her district’s decision to ban a student performance of a song about rainbows.
Eesha Pendharkar, July 26, 2023
7 min read
Illustration of hand placing stacked coins.
iStock / Getty Images Plus
Education Funding A Governor Boosted School Funding for the Next 400 Years. But the Reality Is More Complex
Wisconsin's governor enshrined mandatory K-12 funding increases in law until 2425—but the move may not be transformative for districts.
Mark Lieberman, July 12, 2023
4 min read
A young person reaches out from behind a virtual reality headset
Natasa Adzic/iStock
Classroom Technology How This Teacher Tapped Virtual Reality to Pump Up Student Engagement
A Milwaukee-area teacher used VR to teach about the water cycle, and saw a huge spike in student engagement.
Alyson Klein, June 27, 2023
2 min read
Crime scene tape cordons off a school bus as police officers from the Indiana State Police, Bartholomew County Sheriff's Department and Columbus Police Department investigate a hit and run involving a student and a vehicle at a bus stop on South Gladstone Avenue in Columbus, Ind., on Aug. 30, 2021.
Crime scene tape cordons off a school bus as police officers from the Indiana State Police, Bartholomew County Sheriff's Department and Columbus Police Department investigate a hit-and-run involving a student and a vehicle at a bus stop on South Gladstone Avenue in Columbus, Ind., on Aug. 30, 2021. About eight students per year are killed boarding or getting off of school buses.
Mike Wolanin/The Republic via AP
School Climate & Safety Drivers Illegally Pass Buses 42 Million Times a Year. What Schools Can Do
A handful of students are killed each year getting on and off school buses. Schools can take some steps to try to make a difference.
Caitlynn Peetz, May 24, 2023
6 min read