Past Issues | September 15, 2014 |
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1. Evers on Report Cards, Assessments
In a video aimed at parents and community members, State Superintendent Tony Evers cautioned that the school and district report cards to be released on Tuesday are not intended to measure everything that “people value in their schools, such as extracurriculars, such as music, art, and physical education, such as career and technical education.”
While standing behind the report card as an “important” way of communicating about critical pieces relating to student achievement, growth, and the achievement gap, Evers said, “I’m encouraging parents and community members to really take a look at all the things they value in the school” when making their own judgments about how a school is doing.
“In addition,” he said, “the report card is really for one
Evers also released a video giving a heads up about the new assessments and some of the advantages they will have over previous assessments, including timeliness of results and the ability to go beyond multiple choice.
Schools are encouraged to share the videos as part of their outreach efforts.
2. Mathematics Partnership Grants
About 450 mathematics teachers across the state are gaining knowledge and skills to increase student achievement through federal Mathematics and Science Partnership grants administered by the Department of Public Instruction.
The 2014-15 grant awards to Wisconsin partnerships supported new, continuing, and renewed projects.
The partnerships bring together school districts and postsecondary institutions to provide intensive staff development. “Student achievement improves when their teachers have a deep understanding of the subject area and multiple methods to bring that content alive for their students,” said State Superintendent Tony Evers.
Each new partnership focuses on mathematics and gives districts and postsecondary institutions joint responsibility for helping teachers improve mathematics instruction.
All new partnerships will support a network to integrate Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and to establish effective ways to evaluate whether students are mastering these higher standards.
To be eligible, the lead school district had to have at least 10 percent of students from low income families; have a Rural Education Achievement Program or be a small, rural school district; or have student mathematics achievement that is less than 65 percent proficient based on 2012-13 statewide test score data.
A new website to support global education in Wisconsin, GlobalWisconsin.org, went online last week. The site is a partnership between the Department of Public Instruction and the Wisconsin Media Lab.
Currently featured on the front page is a video which spells out the requirements of the Global Education Achievement Certificate, using animations and voiceover. Created by Melody Leung of the DeForest Area School District, the video will help any high school student or teacher to understand the purposes for the certificate program as well as its academic, cultural literacy, extracurricular, and service learning requirements. More details on the program can be found under the "Global Schools Network and Certificate" section of the site.
Another page details the results of the first two Wisconsin Global Youth Summits and announces the date for the third annual event: February 28, 2015 (registration opens in November 2014).
The Global Wisconsin videos featuring successful international education programs from around the state (produced by the Wisconsin Media Lab in 2011) are included as well.
A list of FAQs, resources, examples of good global education courses and projects will continue to grow.
4. Wisconsin Bullying Documentary
“I have been called so many names off of Twitter and Facebook,” says a student named Briana in a half-hour documentary on bullying in Wisconsin, released this month by Educational Television Productions of Northeast Wisconsin (ETP-NEW) in collaboration with NEWIST/CESA 7.
If a Bully Watches This profiles Briana and two other students, Erick and Jacob. In a trailer released last month, all three appear confident as they talk about their three different stories, and what they hope will change.
Experiences of autism, ethnicity, and homosexuality are included in their stories, which bring viewers into the worlds of students bullied because they were perceived as different from the crowd.
If a Bully Watches This includes footage of one-time victims now settled happily into accepting peer groups.
“A lot of the time, it doesn’t take someone bleeding, it [only] takes a comment to make someone feel like they aren’t human, or make someone feel awful about themselves,” says Jacob.
If a Bully Watches This premieres on Wisconsin Public Television September 23rd at 9:30 p.m., with encore broadcasts during the following week. It is already viewable via the Wisconsin Media Lab website.
A teaching guide will also be available from NEWIST/CESA 7.
“Our goal is that students, faculty, and families will watch this program and open up a dialogue on this important topic,” said co-producer Dean Leisgang.
“We are thankful for the three families that shared their personal stories with us, so others can learn from their painful experiences,” said co-producer Eileen Littig.
The group is also thankful to the DPI's Steven Fernan, assistant director of Student Services / Prevention, and Wellness, who gets an acknowledgment in the credits for helping them understand the nature of bullying in today's schools. One of this year's Wisconsin Teachers of the Year, School Social Worker Andrea Pasqualucci, also gets a nod, for recommending one of the articulate youth featured.
The program comes out in time to be used by schools, students, and families for National Bullying Prevention Month in October.
5. Student Chili Throwdown
Teams of high school students are invited to compete, in partnership with a local restaurant, in the second annual Sizzling Chili Bowl Throwdown in Wisconsin Dells, October 26, 2014.
Organized by the Wisconsin Restaurant Association Education Foundation, the competition has teams craft their own chili — defined as any protein or combination of proteins (whether meat or vegetarian) cooked with chili peppers, various other spices, and other ingredients including beans and pasta. The only other requirement is that the teams’ school have a Family and Consumer Education program.
Chili will be pre-cooked prior to the event and brought “ready-to-eat” at the proper temperature. The event site will provide butane burners for warming.
The event is open to members of the public, who will judge the “people’s choice” award.
Cash prizes and trophies await the restaurants and schools associated with the judges’ top 3 picks, as well as the winner of the People’s Choice award.
Team registration is due October 3, 2014. There is a team registration fee of $50. More information is available online.
This story was submitted by a DPI-ConnectEd subscriber! We are looking for your news of exciting programs, promising practices, initiatives that could benefit from publicity, or your questions about working with Wisconsin students. E-mail just a sentence or two to firstname.lastname@example.org, with “Story Idea” in the subject line.
6. Using Educator Content at BadgerLink
Starting in September, BadgerLink offers its Fall BadgerLatté Webinar Series featuring quick, 20-minute trainings on multimedia and educator resources.
Participants will learn how to find and use lesson plans, images, videos, and other standards-aligned materials available in BadgerLink.
BadgerLink is Wisconsin’s online library, providing vaults of licensed content for free to Wisconsin residents.
The BadgerLatté series airs live on Thursdays at 3:30 p.m., September 18 through November 13.
IN THIS ISSUE:
5. Student Chili Throwdown (Subscriber Submission!)