Education Reform

Dumb and Dumber: Killing the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Under an elected Superintendent of Public Instruction, Wisconsin public schools are now subject to: Act 10-Banning the human right of collective bargaining. An almost unlimited increase in the use of voucher money to fund private education. For profit Charter School expansion. Accelerated Accountability to fuel the “failing Public schools” narrative. Using student test scores to evaluate… Read more »

New Episode of BustED Pencils!

Just who is Bertis Downs? In this episode Jed and Tim talk to the man, the myth, the legend.  OK maybe that’s too much hype but check it out as Bertis Downs talks to Jed and Tim about his 30 years as manager of the mega rock band REM and how he came to be… Read more »

Who can make sense of “optout” legislation in Wisconsin?

Below you will find the specific, exact, word for word language from Wisconsin state legislator Jeremy Thiesfeldt’s opt out amendment.  Please read the excerpted passages below and feel free to read the legislation in its entirety. Once you’ve completed your reading, please conduct a thorough analysis of the language and then use the comment box to… Read more »

Social Studies and mandatory Civics testing: New Opt Out Movement!

Quick Fact. In the Spring, Representative James “Jimmy Boy” Edming slipped into the Wisconsin budget (without debate or public commentary) a provision that requires all students attending public schools to pass a Civics test in order to graduate from High School.  According to Representative Edming it seemed like a”good idea” and would “help instill the responsibilities of… Read more »


Enough! No More! Just Stop! We do not need to read one more teacher resignation letter.  They don’t work!  All they do is create a sense of pity for the quitter and shine a spot light on the success of the reformers’ ultimate plan to kill public education and the profession of teaching. In fact… Read more »

“I Wonder.” guest post by UOO’s Peggy Robertson.

Working in a district that is under “accreditation watch” while also working in one of the district’s “turnaround” schools brings intense stress and high stakes mandates everywhere you turn. I wonder if folks understand what it’s like to feel guilty about asking your school to purchase you a trashcan? Or – being told there are… Read more »

Breaking News: Wisconsin political hacks maintain status quo era of inequitable public education policy.

Announcement! Wisconsin picks a new state test. Yes, read it again if you need to, but it was announced yesterday that the state of Wisconsin has picked a new standardized test to be used this Spring to take the place of the defunded Badger exam. In other words, people with political connections helped a certain… Read more »

Why Fear Open Records—unless—You have Something to Fear.

Today in Wisconsin, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos was questioned about his intentions to pursue an attack on open records.  Yesterday the Wisconsin State Journal published law makers’ “term papers” (I want to chair this committee because…). Is there a connection?  I’ll let you be the judge. Let me present Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt’s “term paper” that was… Read more »

The Great Recession did not cause the “Teacher Shortage.” THIS IS WAR!

By now you have probably heard about the “teacher shortage.”  You may have also heard that simple supply and demand economics and the Great Recession can easily explain the “teacher shortage” phenomenon. However, let’s be honest. We don’t have a teacher shortage! We have an exceedingly high casualty rate from the War on Teachers! In… Read more »

If Every Child Achieves Student Success we’re Screwed!

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act was passed in 1965 as one of the pillars of the War on Poverty and was a major progressive victory.  It recognized that inequitable funding of our public schools created disastrous learning conditions for children and families in poverty.  Therefore this simple piece of legislation attempted to equalize school… Read more »