Education


A call for equity and sustainable systems

Man's hand standing holding growing cayenne plant.
Photo from Ron Chapple stock.Equity, the fairness with with which we treat one another, has finally become a hot topic. Sustainability, the pursuit of an environment healthy enough to ensure a livable planet for ourselves and for our children has, thankfully, become another. Together they pack a pretty explosive punch! Ignore them and we may find ourselves flat on our backs; the soul of our humanity bruised and battered by tooth and claw competition on a shriveling planet.Around the world, including here in Wisconsin, small family farmers are being forced off their ...

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The return of the dumb terminal

Photograph of DEC VT100 terminal from the 1970's.
Photograph courtesy of Wikimedia.Starting in the late 1960’s a little understood corner of the United States government began developing a means of connecting geographically separated research labs and universities. These remote computers allowed researchers to more quickly share data between projects and allowed research to work on projects without being required to be in the same room, or even the same state. The more complex this network became, the more obvious it became that system administrators needed to connect to and control computers without being on the ...

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Capella: four stars that appear to be one

Illustration of the capella constellation.
As I mentioned in the February 1st issue article about the constellation Auriga the Charioteer, the name Capella means “female goat” or “little female goat” in Latin. Like many objects visible to us in the night sky, Capella is not just a single star. It consists of two binary pairs. A binary pair is two stars revolving around a common center, somewhat like two ice skaters holding hands while they spin.

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Joint Finance Committee designates funds to in-person schools

Image from iStock of child in school holding a pencil.
Republican members of the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) announced that they will use $68.6 million (10%) of federal funds designated for K-12 schools to reward schools offering in-person instruction. This money will be awarded to school districts based on the number of hours of in-person instruction provided during the 2020-2021 school year. This does not affect the $617.5 million of federal funding earmarked for schools based on the Title I formula.

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Some thoughts on the role journalism plays in society

Unity is more than just a good idea; it is vital. That isn’t to say that we must unite to create false equivalencies and accept fiction as though it were fact. We must restore faith in an objective truth, one of the tenets of good journalism.

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Journalism, politics and the scientific method

Photo source: Art by Jennifer J. DolanI have justifiably been called tangential. It comes from my ability to make seemingly random, sometimes obscure, connections between ideas. While this allows me endless hours of amusement it does not always help me communicate well with others. Please stick with me while I introduce myself by developing the connection between politics, the scientific method and why I support independent journalism.I grew up in rural California, far away from the beaches that many people associate with that state. Instead I grew up in the dry ...

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POLITICS OR THE PEOPLE’S PRIORITIES?

My role representing the 31st Senate District didn’t just start when I was sworn into office on January 7 this year. It began last year when I started talking to voters in the 31st Senate District. I heard over and over from voters that they want lawmakers to work together to support our rural schools and to fix our roads.The people’s budget presented by Governor Tony Evers provided a $1.4 billion increase for K-12 education. The Governor’s plan included sparsity aid for rural districts and a start for restoring dramatic cuts made in the past eight years.Just ...

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COMMUNITY SCHOOLS PART II

III. Strategies for Community Schools A. “A strong and proven curriculum, engaging students with culturally relevant and challenging material, and offering a robust selection of classes, AP and honors courses, as well as after-school programs in the arts, languages, and ethnic studies, ELL, Special Ed, GED preparation, and job training.”The curriculum in Community Schools emphasizes real-world learning and community problem-solving skills. These opportunities would be provided by partners in the community--environmental groups, businesses, community gardens, ...

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COMMUNITY SCHOOLS – PART I

Senator Chris Larson and Representative Mandela Barnes both from Milwaukee unveiled the Community Schools Act on April, 15, 2015.“The aim of the legislation is to provide start-up funding for community schools, which are defined by their focus on improving student learning, strengthening families, and developing healthier communities. To accomplish these goals, the community school model synthesizes academic, health, and social services with community partner collaboration to provide additional services to the greater surrounding communities.”Senator Chris ...

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WISCONSIN TAXPAYERS CONTINUE TO SUPPORT PUBLIC SCHOOLS

According to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, 286 public school referendums have been passed (out of 421 districts that went to referendum) since January 1, 2010. This means people in these districts have voted to raise their property taxes because of the cuts to education under the Walker Administration. (I spoke to Tom McCarthy at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction on 9/24/2018.)On April 3, 2018, voters in the D.C. Everest School District overwhelmingly passed a referendum to update the buildings along with other necessary improvements ...

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