New DPI Emergency Rules Aim to Ease School Staffing/Teacher Shortage Issues

A new DPI emergency rule promulgated this week makes numerous changes to (PI 34) rules governing the licensure of school personnel, and aims to provide additional flexibility to individuals seeking a license for the 2016-17 school year.

The rule makes the following five specific changes:

  1. It allows Wisconsin educators who are age 55 or older and who hold, or have held, a master educator or life license to apply for a 5-year nonrenewable license without having to meet professional development requirements;
  2. It increases the number of consecutive days that a short-term substitute can be employed in the same assignment from 20 to 45 days;
  3. It expands the renewal options for emergency licenses and permits
  4. When requesting the issuance of an emergency permit, a school district must state that a search for a fully-licensed candidate was conducted and that no fully-licensed individuals were acceptable for the position. (The previous standard had been that no fully-licensed individuals were available.)
  5. It expands the number of pathways already licensed teachers can use to add certain additional licenses based on passing content tests.

These changes do not require legislative action.

Read More: DPI News Release

With All Students Now Tested, Wisconsin’s ACT Scores Dip Below National Average

In standardized testing, it is often the case that scores go down when participation rises.

That is true in Wisconsin, where a noticeable drop in Wisconsin’s average score was expected this year, as for the first time 100 percent of Wisconsin’s graduating seniors took the test, including many who likely do not expect to be heading to a college or university. Last year, when the ACT was taken voluntarily by those most interested in attending college, 73 percent of graduating seniors took the test.

The average composite score on the ACT college entrance exam for Wisconsin’s 2016 class of graduating high school seniors dropped from 22.2 to 20.5, according to a report released today by ACT.  Wisconsin’s 2016 scores dipped slightly below the national average of 20.8, which was also slightly lower than last year.

In part, Wisconsin’s lower results reflect a 42 percent increase in participation in ACT testing from 2015, the result of a 2015 change in state law mandating that all Wisconsin public school juniors take the ACT test as a required statewide assessment.  Wisconsin is among seven states that have recently required all students to take the ACT. 2016 marks the first year those results have been included in reporting scores for graduating seniors.

It is worth noting that Wisconsin’s composite average score ranked fourth in the nation among the 18 states that administer the college admissions exam to all public school graduates.  When making comparisons, it should also be noted that Wisconsin requires all high school juniors to take the ACT, while in many states the ACT is given primarily to high school seniors.

The ACT is scored on a scale of 1 to 36. According to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI), the ACT had predicted a 1.3 to 1.8 score decline for the seven additional states that funded ACT testing for all 11th-graders in 2015 as part of their statewide assessments.

This year’s results include the scores of 66,564 public and private school students in Wisconsin who took the ACT during their sophomore, junior, or senior year of high school, up from 46,738 students from the 2015 graduating class who took the test.

Continue reading With All Students Now Tested, Wisconsin’s ACT Scores Dip Below National Average

Democrats Release Urban Education Task Force Minority Report

popeA year ago, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) announced the formation of several bipartisan task forces including the Speaker’s Task Force on Urban Education. According to the Speaker, the goal of each task force was to explore possible solutions and recommend legislation to the full Assembly.

The Urban Education Task Force chair, Rep. Jessie Rodriguez (R-Franklin), released her final report in June. Vice-chair Rep. Sondy Pope (D-Mt. Horeb, pictured), on behalf of the task force Democrats, released a minority report which makes the following recommendations:  Continue reading Democrats Release Urban Education Task Force Minority Report

Governor: More Money for K-12 is Top Budget Priority

scottwalkerGovernor Scott Walker on Tuesday affirmed his plans to make funding for K-12 public education his top priority in the state’s upcoming biennial budget.  As quoted in a story in the Appleton Post Crescent on Tuesday (August 23) he said: “Our No. 1 priority is going to be putting more money into K-12 public education.”

This comes on the heels of previous pledges made early this year by Gov. Walker during his state of the state address as well as during his keynote at the state education convention. Specifics have been light to this point but potential savings from a state healthcare system overhaul have been mentioned.  State agencies will submit budget requests this fall with the Governor’s 2017-19 budget being released in February 2017.

 

U.S. Judge Blocks Obama Administration Transgender Guidance to Schools

From Reuters: A U.S. judge blocked Obama administration guidance that transgender public school students must be allowed to use bathrooms of their choice, granting a nationwide injunction sought by a group of 13 states led by Texas (and including Wisconsin). Continue reading U.S. Judge Blocks Obama Administration Transgender Guidance to Schools

Online Resolution Submission Now Available at WASB.org

Delegate_AssemblyBoards may now submit resolutions online through the “Delegate Assembly” page at wasb.org. Each resolution must be adopted by the school board before submission and the deadline to submit resolutions is Sept. 15. Here are the links you can use to submit your resolutions online:

 

Continue reading Online Resolution Submission Now Available at WASB.org