Daily Bread for 4.26.23: ‘Some College, No Degree’ Isn’t Whitewater’s Problem

Good morning.

Wednesday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 52. Sunrise is 5:54 AM and sunset 7:50 PM for 13h 55m 14s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 37.6% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Park Board meets at 5:30 PM

On this day in 1986, the Soviet Chernobyl disaster occurs.

Rich Kremer reports Number of Wisconsinites with some college, no degree continues to grow:

The number of Wisconsinites who have left college without finishing their degree or certificate programs has grown to more than 746,000, according to new data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. 

Of all the residents who have yet to complete their post-secondary degree or certification in the state, 602,570, or around 80 percent, last attended a two-year college. The findings come from the Clearinghouse’s annual Some College No Credential report, which uses data from the 2021-22 academic year. 

This is not, however, Whitewater’s fundamental challenge. A thousand times over: Whitewater’s fundamental challenge is graduating students from Whitewater High School so that they remain engaged, lifelong learners.

Students must be able to read, write, and reason adequately. These skills are not deferred talents, to be acquired in trade schools, colleges, graduate or professional programs, or only after one finds a job.

This should be the mandate for our district: we are to achieve literacy, basic mathematics, and reasoning abilities in our students before they are graduated. It is impossible — impossible, damn it  — to believe that it cannot be done. There must be no letting go, no yielding, of this conviction. 

It reveals how far we have fallen that writing as much will strike some as an insult or a presumptuous challenge. 

It’s a long, hard slog. Meaningful gains will not happen overnight. They must, however, be the main topic of discussion at every public meeting of this district. An old school board, a new school board, this administrator or that administrator — it only matters if they embrace and exhibit plainly the right priorities.

Japan startup ‘likely crashed’ private moon landing

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1 year ago

Fundamentally agree with this perspective. You certainly know the city audience when you write that “It reveals how far we have fallen that writing as much will strike some as an insult or a presumptuous challenge.” It will strike more than one person in the district exactly this way. Sometimes the district dismisses critics as not educated enough or not smart enough to understand education. It’s an argument that’s defensive instead of honest. In your case, it obviously doesn’t apply anyway.

You’re also not wrong about the priority. Someone might have argued that college that makes the difference but anchoring the fundamentals in K-12 is a wiser choice. If students leave K-12 unready we are at a loss that’s hard to make up.

On campus we see this all the time. Sometimes it takes two years of assistance to bring someone to a good level for college work. When high schools achieve less everyone has to try harder to compensate later on.

1 year ago

Perhaps step one would be that clear articulation of creating lifelong learners literally anywhere in the mission/vision/values. One could note the word learning is conspicuously absent. Learning. Thinking. Literacy. Absent.

Educational environment – one could sit in an educational environment daily and not engage in learning without inspiring an appetite to learn, to be curious, to think, to wonder.
Teaching excellence – could also be all for naught if a student arrived in said educational environment ill-equipped for what an excellent educator was prepared to build upon without a solid framework. Learn to learn before you can love to learn.

Point of comparison from Green Bay Area Public School District Mission: To educate all students to be college, career and community ready inspired to succeed in our diverse world.