Janesville teachers applaud school board vote to scrap teacher ‘merit pay’ system linked to Educator Effectiveness program

The Janesville Education Association applauded a unanimous decision by the school board this week to scrap a system that tied teacher compensation to the state’s Educator Effectiveness program. Janesville Education Association President Dave Groth, a science teacher at Janesville Parker High School, said the JEA looks forward to working collaboratively with school district administrators and board members “to create a teacher compensation system that is fair, predictable and rewards loyalty to the district and professional development to ensure the children in Janesville school district have the best professional educators.”

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Why have they taken the fun out of kindergarten?

Kindergarten was designed as an introduction to schooling, and one that should help children discover that learning can be fun. But many believe that kindergarten has become the new first grade, and that pressure on schools to demonstrate student progress, even at the kindergarten level, has led schools to take the playfulness out of kindergarten. This week, Wisconsin Public Radio examined this issue by interviewing Christopher Brown, an associate professor of curriculum and instruction in early childhood education at the University of Texas at Austin, who says that heightened standards have pushed some teachers to forgo the emphasis on play and spend much more time on structured learning, a trend that is exhausting both children and teachers.

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Legislative Update – August 9

A kindergartener today will be about 37 years old by the time the state would possibly break even on tax breaks and government incentives for Foxconn, the foreign corporation proposing to set up shop in southeastern Wisconsin. Critics are asking whether some of those incentives could instead be used to strengthen community infrastructure across the state, including public schools.

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Racine educators win key school board vote on handbook

Racine educators won a key battle Monday night when the school board voted to delay action on changes to the employee handbook until after the administration meets and confers with the elected union leadership of the district’s educators. “Great news from last night!” the Racine Education Association-Racine Educational Assistants Association declared on its Facebook page. “We take our profession seriously and we will collectively stand to make sure we have a voice in how our schools are run.”

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Legislative Update – August 4

The Foxconn special session bill (AU7 AB1) has been introduced, and Assembly Republicans held a hearing Thursday on legislation that could provide massive incentives for a planned Wisconsin plant. The Washington Post reports that the tax deal/incentives could cost the state $230,700 per worker. 

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