Teachers spend $468 of their own money on classroom supplies, survey finds

On average, teachers spend $468 of their own money on classroom expenses such as classroom supplies and instructional materials, according to a new survey from SheerID and Agile Education Marketing. Of those surveyed, 77% said they spent at least $200 annually. This number is just $20 less than in 2016, and some teachers reported spending as much as $5,000, up almost $1,000 from last year. The survey data included responses from 674 teachers who shared insights from the 2016-2017 school year.

Read More...

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.

Read More...

WEAC Legislative Update – March 21

This week, the child labor bill is likely to get some attention by the Senate, after the Assembly has already taken action. The press is paying attention to the fact that, under the governor’s budget, voucher operators will receive at least $1,000 more PER STUDENT than neighborhood public schools. Given that – and more – public school advocates across Wisconsin are gearing up for Joint Finance Committee hearings in April (#GoPublic). There’ll be plenty on the table for discussion.

Read More...

Two WEAC members helping develop new computer science standards

Two WEAC members are on a state committee overseeing development of new computer science standards for Wisconsin schools. Among the members of the State Superintendent’s Standards Review Council, which will oversee the Computer Science Standards Writing Committee, are Heather Mielke of Elkhorn, Math Teacher, Burlington High School; and Lisa Sanderfoot of De Pere, Computer and Information Science Teacher, Valley View Elementary School, Ashwaubenon School District.

Read More...

Report says Wisconsin ranks ‘very poorly’ for Head Start program

Wisconsin is one of 18 states that rank “very poorly” for instructional support in the federal Head Start program for children in poverty, according to a report by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER). Head Start, the report says, varies dramatically from state to state in funding, classroom hours, teacher qualifications and compensation, observed quality, and enrollment.

Read More...