Critical workshops now scheduled…progressive change must start now!

In collaboration with two grassroots partners, Forward Institute’s Scott Wittkopf will conduct two hands-on, post-election framing and messaging workshops in Southern Wisconsin. After the recent election, everyone is looking for a new strategy and unifying message. Forward Institute is recognized by Dr. George Lakoff as the ONLY think tank in the nation devoted to moving progressive values into public discourse through …

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 …

More than one in five wells tested “unsafe” in Kewaunee County recently

Results of recent private well-testing in Kewaunee County show over one in five wells are unsafe, testing positive for E Coli, Coliform, and Nitrates. The tests were conducted by a state-certified lab at the Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Department, and demonstrate a failure on the part of the DNR to protect the people of Kewaunee County and their …

Forward Institute Releases Review of Voucher Student Attainment Study

Study analysis shows voucher schools have no significant effect on high school, college attainment – Parental factors are more important. In February 2012, the School Choice Demonstration Project (SCDP) at the University of Arkansas released a study aimed at discerning whether Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP; voucher) school students in Milwaukee, who were enrolled in 8th and 9th grade in …

How much of a health risk are “Animal Factories”…aka CAFOs?

Wisconsin has seen unprecedented growth in the number of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) since 2000, with the vast majority of the growth being in the dairy cattle populations.     WPDES CAFO Permits 1985 – January 2010 Note: Beginning July 1, 2002, a single permit issued to Jennie–O Turkey Store (JTS) covered 55 of their operations. Previously, there were …

Forward Institute joins DPI in Jefferson County Education Forum

Forward Institute Board Members Scott Wittkopf and Julie Wells participated in an American Association of University Women (AAUW) discussion on the Walker Education Budget proposals on Monday, March 11 in Fort Atkinson. Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction policy advisor Jeff Pertl presented current budget information on school evaluations and proposed voucher expansion. Forward Institute contributed Report Card study findings and …

Forward Institute Chair Interview Previews Upcoming Poverty and Education Study

. Forward Institute Chair Scott Wittkopf was interviewed on “Drive Home with Sly” (93.7 FM WEKZ) on Tuesday, March 5. The interview discussed the impact of poverty on education in Wisconsin and Governor Scott Walker’s recent education budget proposal. The interview previewed some of the findings which are due to be released later this month in a full report, “Wisconsin …

Milwaukee and Racine DPI Report Card scores and poverty – and about those “growth scores”

In the weeks since Forward Institute released our Wisconsin Report Card Study 2012, charter school advocates and school privatization advocates have pointed to Milwaukee and Racine as examples of charter schools outperforming traditional public schools. The data for both districts show the overwhelming impact of poverty on Report Card scores. The need for public policy that effectively addresses poverty and education …

Wisconsin Report Card Study 2012

In advance of this morning’s press conference at the State Capitol in Madison hosted by State Senator Kathleen Vinehout, the Forward Institute’s 2012 Report Card Study is now posted here, as well as on the “Wisconsin Report Card Study 2012″ page of this website. Wisconsin Report Card Study 2012 Press Conference statement and Executive Summary 2012 Report Card Study Data …