State Superintendent Stanford Taylor calls achievement gap a crisis

Wisconsin’s results on the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the Nation’s Report Card, remained statistically unchanged for public school students in tested subjects and grade levels, in a year when the nation saw significant declines on three out of four measures, State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor said this week. However, the tests showed that Wisconsin has the nation’s highest black-white student achievement gap in reading and math at grades 4 and 8, which Stanford Taylor described as a crisis.

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Students need more resources and program support, WEAC President Martin says

In response to the release of new standardized test scores, WEAC President Ron Martin said, “At the start of a new school year educators welcome everyone in our communities to discuss how, together, we can address increasing barriers to learning including strapped school budgets, student poverty, trauma and mental health concerns.”

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Most schools and districts meet expectations on 2017-18 report cards

An increasing percentage of public and private schools and public school districts met expectations on report cards issued for the 2017-18 school year compared to the prior year. Overall, 83.7 percent of rated schools meet or exceed expectations as did 96.4 percent of the state’s 422 public school districts. 

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Teachers say they are overwhelmed by constant policy changes

Nearly all respondents to an Education Week survey — 86 percent — said they had experienced new changes or reforms in the past two school years, and 58 percent said the changes are “way too much” or “too much.” The teachers surveyed were most likely to say they’d had changes to their teacher-evaluation systems. Other common areas for reform were curriculum, professional development, and state testing.

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Teachers’ mental health declining due to job stress, political discourse, survey finds

The growing stresses of teaching, coupled with the coarseness of the nation’s political debate, is taking a heavy toll on the mental health of teachers, according to a survey released Monday by the American Federation of Teachers and the Badass Teachers Association, a grassroots organization focused on social justice. Well over half of the educators surveyed – 58% – said their mental health was “not good” for seven or more of the previous 30 days. That is up from 34% just two years ago. The summary of the survey – titled “2017 Educator Quality of Work Life Survey” – says safe, welcoming, healthy schools flourish when teachers and school staff are empowered by support and respect on the job.

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