On Board committee advances benefit for domestic partners
Sigma, all you ever do is complain about the educational system. I have some ideas on how you can improve it to meet your high standards:1. Write your own curriculum to meet your vision of today's needs. Sell it to districts/states.2. Open your own self-funded school where you don't have to adhere to local or state standards.3. Get a job in the education field and change it from the inside--teacher, aide, administrator, board member. You could even use your vast knowledge to become a consultant.
If those seem like they'd be too much of a time investment, try one of these:
4. Actually spend some time in a school to see the 'archaic' curriculum and methods being used.5. Read Frank Schultz's year long report on a 5th grade classroom at Adams Elementary.6. Check out the district's site to see what is actually going on in a school.7. Read the superintendent's blog to get an idea of what is going on in schools in Janesville.
Please let me know which ones you will attempt and how you will positively impact the flawed education system.
Thank you,All of the Gazette readers and bloggers
On Insurance changes face vote by Janesville School Board
I'm hoping you're referring to the $463 number and not the $1426. Having decent insurance and don't pay near the monthly prices some of you are quoting!
On Janesville School District's WKCE scores exceed state averages
One more thing: the WKCE is tied to the Wisconsin state standards which JSD staff use to teach, so this is a legitimate measure of skills. Despite its flaws, the WKCE is what we have. One more queston: Why is the ITBS better? The last results sheet I saw looks a lot like the WKCE sheet students get, but maybe it's changed substantially the last couple years.
A couple of points for the previous commenter:-The WKCE is state mandated, so the SDJ must give it. It is being phased out after the next year or two.-WKCE raised the cut scores, so a student scoring proficient is doing well. To be advanced, scores are in the upper 90th percentile, which is much higher than the 60th percentile range last year.-MAP is used through 6th grade. A suite of tests developed by ACT is used for upper grades with a plan to have all high school students taking the ACT before graduation.
So before spouting off on the meaninglessness of the WCKE and its results, please take the time to learn the facts. Congrats to all the hard work by students and staff!
On News of UW surplus upsets lawmakers
An appropriate queston would be, "How much does a university system this size usually have in reserve?" and "What does the money get spent on or eventually used for?" This sounds like the Fund 10 balance the Janesville School District built up to higher than average levels a few years back.
On Janesville School District asks teachers to sign incomplete contracts
June 15 is the last day to opt out penalty free. April 15 is the day when contracts must be signed, as in the past. If you don't sign, you're basically saying I'm not coming back.
State statute says non-renewal letters must be sent out, and I believe April 30 is the state deadline, so the district it's giving itself a buffer window.
On Teachers union to school board: Negotiate or face lawsuit
The other part not in the article was the JSD plans on having something for teachers to review a week or so before the contract must be signed. Whether it's a full handbook or retirement benefits, I don't know. Check our the district site for a video the teachers saw.
On Janesville School Board could expand gifted student program
The amount of money spent on special education dwarfs that of talented and gifted. There are entire departments dedicated to special education at schools, whereas there are 2-3 teachers at a school that are talented and gifted advocates--it's an add-on responsibility. The amount of time and teacher hours put into developing IEPs, pre- and re-teaching content, and in general making sure special education students are not falling through the cracks is vast. (Yes, I know some students still fail despite teacher and parent efforts.) Go ask any teacher who the special education students are in their class, and they should be able to list them off. Ask the same about talented and gifted, and you may get some blank stares.My point is, talented and gifted services in Janesville pale in comparison to special education. The amount of training for talented and gifted is relatively small, and their needs are not always met. Imagine sitting in a math class being able to do algebra while your peers can't consistently add and subtract. TAG students need things like the challenge program to make them successful in school and beyond.Finally, think of the cost. Adding two teachers at a cost of $184,000 is nothing in comparison to a special education program. In my school, we have 10 special education teachers, 12-15 aides, and a few classrooms dedicated to special education. For the gifted students? Teachers serving as TAG advocates, at a cost of about $5000 a year. Still think those kids aren't worth it?
On Wisconsin company to appeal losing $15M contract
The main reason Skyward lost is that it was outscored by Infinite Campus on a majority of evaluated areas (something like 29 of 32 areas if I recall from a report my administrator read). Janesville has two systems (Oasys and Skyward) that track student behavior and academic records. These systems do not speak to each other. One common system that can do both will make things easier among schools and transferring students. Plus, the cost for a district paying for one system instead of two should be lower.
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