Whitewater’s ACT Scores

Yesterday, I posted on the below-average ACT participation rate for Whitewater.  As with last year, the Whitewater Schools want to tout a high average ACT score, but only while concealing a low participation rate.  See, Whitewater’s ACT Participation Rate Near the Bottom of Area Schools. A few remarks on the latest results. Competency on the…

The Better, Reasoned Approach on ACT Scores

There’s been ongoing discussion about the ACT test results at our high school. Among a smaller percentage of students, those scores are higher over these last two years. That’s good news for those who actually took the test. Results require a context; the fitting context for scores is the participation rate of students taking a…

Whitewater’s ACT Scores and Participation Rates

Last week, I wrote about the lower number of students who were taking the ACT at Whitewater High School.  Although the scores are higher, fewer students are taking the test.  That’s to the credit of students taking the test (and those teaching them), but it’s an unfavorable sign for the district. See, What’s Being Done is…

The Better Way on Standardized Scores

Post 2 in a weekly series.  I’ve written previously about our schools’ touting of ACT scores based on a selective presentation of those standardized test results.  There’s an irony in this: I consider standardized scores an imperfect measure of actual learning, and have written about them mostly in response to others’ repeated and superficial twisting of the…

Whitewater’s ACT Participation Rate Near the Bottom of Area Schools

The latest ACT scores for area schools are out, and when one looks at the data with care, one sees that Whitewater yet again lags area schools in the proportion of students taking that test.   Relying only on the scores, without thought to the participation level, would be a superficial gloss on a result that deserves…

James Fallows on ‘Eleven Signs a City Will Succeed’ (Part 2)

I wrote yesterday about James Fallows‘s ‘Eleven Signs a City Will Succeed.’  Today’s post considers whether his list applies to Whitewater, and how Whitewater fares if items on the list – at least in part – apply to our small city. One word of caution applies to Fallows’s list: it was compiled after he visited cities larger than Whitewater.…

Borsuk on Testing

Post 8 in a weekly series. In January, Alan Borsuk, a senior fellow in law and public policy at Marquette University Law School, wrote an essay in the Journal Sentinel about Wisconsin’s mercurial standardized-testing regime.  See, Wisconsin grades as proficient in standardized testing chaos. Borsuk observes the scene over the last few years: The standardized tests a few hundred thousand…

Whitewater YES is Right, for Now

Over at the Whitewater YES for Education Facebook page, they’ve a post describing the WUSD budget proposal in supportive terms. Here’s part of what they have to say: ….The school board reviewed the District Leadership Team’s (DLT) program and staffing proposal at the April 20 board study session. The DLT created a proposal that aligned…

On the Whitewater Schools

Today is the first of a series of posts about the upcoming, contested WUSD board elections.  Three candidates are running for two seats: Kelly Davis, Dan McCrea, and Jim Stewart.  In today’s post, I’ll summarize some of my own views. (I’ve been direct these last several years; it makes sense to state one’s convictions plainly,…

What’s Being Done is More than Just a (Sketchy) Number

A good discussion about education is one about substantive work in academics, athletics, and art (an expansive curriculum). A few days ago, press releases touted the ACT scores of some of our students over the last three years. The data showed progress from 2011 to 2014, as against the statewide ACT average. They’re good scores;…

Corrections

Corrections   3.29.16 Added numbers 1-4 to an enumerated list of points in post on Referenda. 2.11.16  Fixed typo in post about AG Schimel’s support for assault reporting amnesty – removed stray word (‘of’) in last sentence. 2.4.16 Meeting dates corrected from 2.3 to 2.4. 2.2.16 Corrected spelling of roaring-lion-avoidance policy. 2.1.16 Post on Answers…

Daily Bread for 1.18.17

Good morning. Wednesday in town will see afternoon clouds give way to afternoon sunshine, with a high of forty-four. Sunrise is 7:20 AM and sunset 4:51 PM, for 9h 30m 51s. The moon is a waning gibbous with 63.3% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the seventy-first day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day. Whitewater’s…

Daily Bread for 1.10.17

Good morning. Whitewater will see a mix of rain and snow today, with a high of forty-three. Sunrise is 7:24 AM and sunset 4:41 PM, for 9h 17m 29s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 94.4% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the sixty-third day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first…

That From Which Dreams Are Made

Wisconsin, like most states, publishes sets of scorecards measuring students’ progress. (The overwhelming majority of school districts – 91% – at least meet expectations. Our local district falls within this common group; a few particular schools are admirably above it.) Yesterday, the district announced the latest results, after the state’s Department of Public Instruction made them…

Daily Bread for 11.19.16

Good morning. We’ve a cloudy & windy day ahead in this city, with a high of thirty-seven.  Sunrise is 6:53 AM and sunset 4:27 PM, for 9h 34m 13s of daytime.  The moon is a waning gibbous with 68.2% of its visible disk illuminated. Worth reading in full —  Steven Horwitz writes about The double thank…

Daily Bread for 1.10.16

Good morning, Whitewater. Sunday will be cold, but with increasing sunshine on a day with a high of nine degrees.  Sunrise is 7:24 and sunset 4:40, for 9h 16m 24s of daytime.  It’s a new moon, with just .4% of that natural satellite’s visible disk illuminated. Clemson or Alabama tomorrow?  That was the FW poll question…

Boo! Scariest Things in Whitewater, 2015

Here’s the ninth annual FREE WHITEWATER list of the scariest things in Whitewater for 2015. The 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 editions are available for comparison. The list runs in reverse order, from mildly frightening to truly scary. 10. The Coming Ferret Invasion. Alternative title: The Unprepared Will Be Doomed.  Earlier this year,…

Policy Topics for the Fall

I last wrote in February about local policy topics that I thought were interesting. See, Policy Topics for the Spring and before that Four Public Topics for the Fall (2014). In February, these were my selections:  Whitewater School Budget Cuts, the Whitewater’s School Board Election, the UW-Whitewater’s Budget, UW-Whitewater’s Social Relations, and the City of…

The Whitewater Schools’ Near Future

Look out a few years (the next three to five, let’s say), and the Whitewater Unified School District has difficult prospects.  Beyond that conditions may get better, but getting better may simply mean recapturing lost ground rather than net gains from today’s circumstances. The district faces perpetual, structural deficits, made somewhat less difficult only through…

Daily Bread for 11.23.14

Good morning, Whitewater. There’s a mild November day ahead for us, with a high of fifty-one and cloudy skies. Sunrise is 6:57 AM and sunset 4:25 PM, with 9h 27m 43s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with only 1.3% of its visible disk illuminated. Friday’s FW poll asked respondents for their favorite…