State Senate Closes Session with Anti-Freedom Legislation

In the waning days of this legislative session, the Wisconsin State Senate under GOP leadership is poised to pass some of the most anti-freedom legislation this state has seen in a generation. One of the fundamental freedoms that Wisconsin has always expanded for its citizens is the vote. The first State Constitution proposed in 1846 would have granted the right …

Letter to Senate Education Committee – Education Standards

Dear Chairman Olsen and Education Committee Members,  Today, the Senate Education Committee will hold a public hearing pertaining to SB 619, which would create a “model academic standards board” in Wisconsin – shifting responsibility for the creation of academic standards from a non-partisan group of education experts to an assemblage of political appointees. I am writing this letter to voice …

“Habitual Truancy and School Report Cards in Milwaukee Schools”

The latest Forward Institute study has been released, titled “Habitual Truancy and School Report Cards in Milwaukee Schools” (full study in pdf at link). The full raw data set will be posted in the coming days. The following is the text of remarks from Scott Wittkopf, lead author of the study, at the press conference this morning in Spring Green with State …

New Forward Institute study to be released

The Forward Institute will be releasing a new study next week in public press events which will be announced soon. The latest research began in August, 2013 and examines School Report Card scores in MPS, MPS charter, and 2R charter schools. The report will have significant implications for education policy both in Milwaukee and statewide. It is also the first …

CAFO Settlement after Decade of Violations

A factory farm in Wisconsin has agreed to pay a $100,000 settlement after a decade of violations. The hazards of concentrated livestock operations to public health are becoming well documented, as evidenced in recent Forward Institute posts on this website. Forward Institute statement on this settlement follows (Press Release): Wisconsin Factory Farm to pay Six Figure Settlement to State                 …

New Messaging Campaign Unveiled at Fighting Bob Fest

You are invited to visit us at Fighting Bob Fest 2013 this weekend, where we are unveiling the Wisconsin Progressive Freedom Campaign… “We CAN win the messaging war!”  Forward Institute is spearheading a new, collaborative effort with progressive organizations and grassroots groups to take back Freedom for Progressives. “What is this campaign all about?”             The Wisconsin Progressive …

Forward Institute Statement on Budget Passage

The Forward Institute Board of Directors issued this statement regarding legislative passage of the budget: The Wisconsin Legislature has passed a budget which will do long-term damage to education in Wisconsin. In expanding the private voucher program statewide, failing to keep up with inflation in funding public schools, failing to address student poverty issues, and unfairly rewarding select schools and students, …

Report – Education Budget Places Heavier Education Funding Burden on Property Taxpayers

Based on the reported provisions of the education budget and state fiscal data, Forward Institute analysis shows that local property taxpayers will shoulder an increasing share of public education funding. This is potentially a violation of Wisconsin State Statutes regarding school finance. Wisconsin Statute 121.01 regarding school finance, general aid: “It is declared to be the policy of this state …

Forward Institute Chair Testimony against Election Omnibus Bill

The following is the testimony of Scott Wittkopf, Chair, Forward Institute, registering against AB225:  Madame Chair and Members, Upon review of AB225, the full scope and nature of this egregious bill can be found in the provisions which seek to revise the current Recall Statutes. The recall is provided for in the State Constitution under Article XIII, Section 12. It is …

Letter to Joint Finance Committee Concerning Education Budget

Forward Institute Chair Scott Wittkopf submitted the following letter to the Joint Finance Committee today, Tuesday, May 28 (JFC Letter 2013): Dear Senator Darling, Representative Nygren, and Members of the Joint Finance Committee, The Forward Institute’s recent study; “Wisconsin Budget Policy and Poverty in Education” has received bi-partisan support and addresses critical issues regarding education funding, state budget, and student outcomes. …