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Education

Wise Words for Whitewater from Steak-umm

There’s a thread on Twitter from Steak-umm (an American brand of thin-sliced frozen steaks) that does a better job (truly) discussing the role of science and skepticism about the pandemic than much of what’s published online. The full thread is available at Twitter, and excerpts are imediately below. It’s spot-on for Whitewater. (Note: the thread…

Jane Jacobs with Useful Advice on Responsibility (for Whitewater, Richmond Township, Delavan, Etc.)

In Jane Jacobs’s Death and Life of Great American Cities (describing large cities, not small towns), she writes of business owners’ sense of responsibility for the sidewalks near their shops: First, there must be a clear demarcation between what is public space and what is private space. Public and private spaces cannot ooze into each other…

From Comic-Con@Home 2021: The Science of Art

How is STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) used to inspire and create our most beloved popular arts? What do portrayals of science and scientists in popular media get right and wrong? From world-building to special effects and cosplay, IF/THEN ambassadors (www.ifthenshecan.org) Sydney Hamilton (aerospace engineer), Myria Perez (paleontologist), Dr. Samantha Thi Porter (archaeologist), and Dr.…

(Local) Fear of a Red Hat

There are any number of fears that occasionally grip people, however unfounded those fears, of snakes, of spiders, of black cats, etc. (Snakes play an important ecological role, some cultures think spiders are good luck, and black cats are beautiful with notably soft coats.) And yet, and yet… no fear strikes deeper and holds tighter…

The System Balks

For eight years, there has been a state-imposed price freeze for in-state UW System tuition.  (This restriction applied to UW-Whitewater as a System school.) The WISGOP wanted this freeze, and it has lingered since Walker’s defeat in 2018. During its imposition, administrators complained about the freeze, and rightly so: price freezes, even short-term ones, are a…

Whitewater’s Local Politics 2021: The Limits of Local Politics

This is the final post in a series on Whitewater’s local politics of 2021. Earlier posts at FREE WHITEWATER have addressed the limits of local politics in the community: local public (or powerful private) institutions have a limited power of action (with harmful actions likely to be more immediate than helpful ones). It’s certain that a…

Whitewater’s Local Politics 2021: Majoritarianism

This is the tenth in a series on Whitewater’s local politics of 2021. The contested April school board election has now come to a close. An animating concern of many parents was that the Whitewater public school should not have suspended face-to-face instruction for as long as it did, and that, in doing so, the…

Whitewater School Board Meeting, 2.22.21: 7 Points

Monday night’s school board meeting saw, among other items, athletic recognitions, a student report, live video from the middle school’s slot car club, a report on closing achievement gaps, outreach to homeless students, modifications to the district’s COVID-19 protocols, approval of the teachers’ contract,  and an update on the district’s budget. The full agenda for the…

The Power and Value of Open Enrollment

It’s beneficial in-and-of-itself that people should read, reflect, and commit themselves to ‘lifelong learning.’ Some years ago, the Whitewater Unified School District had a fine goal of inspiring students to become “engaged lifelong learners.” Yet in smaller communities, without the money or numbers for plentiful schooling alternatives, government taxes for a school system, establishes rules…

Whitewater School Board Legislative Breakfast, 2.15.21: 6 Points

On Monday morning, some members of the school board and administration met online with area legislators (Reps. Vruwink & Loudenbeck, Sens. Ringhand & Nass) for an audiovisual conference in place of a traditional breakfast meeting Board members and administrators recounted, among other items, lessons from schooling during the pandemic, and serious matters present before and…

The Spring Primary 2021

Yesterday’s Wisconsin Spring Primary (mid-February, windchill of about two degrees) saw local and statewide education contests. There was nothing unexpected about the results: in Whitewater more than two candidates have a good chance at one of the two available board seats, and statewide Underly and Kerr have significant backing. For Whitewater’s school board, five candidates…

Tommy Thompson @ UW-Whitewater: Day Late, Dollar Short

Former governor and current UW System president Tommy Thompson spoke at a UW-Whitewater Faculty Senate meeting on Tuesday. Thompson addressed a campus that confronts statewide funding reductions, a tuition freeze, repeated administrative scandals and failures over the last decade, a decline in the conventional student-age demographic, and competitive pressures from other universities. For all these…