Forward Institute research documentation for its messaging strategies will continue to be updated on the “Research” page. Recent updates are included on Education, Wisconsin Retirement System, and Election Day Registration policies.


Education Research

Fall 2013 – “Habitual Truancy and School Report Cards in Milwaukee Schools”

A study of multivariable effects on public and private charter schools in Milwaukee shows the effects of truancy cuts across school and student demographics. Truancy data also has implications for school and student selection bias in “opt out” education programs. Raw data available here.

May 2013 – Wisconsin Budget Policy and Poverty in Education 2013

This report demonstrates in detail that the resources being afforded schools and students of poverty are insufficient, and indeed are facing further reduction. Moreover, the resources being diverted from schools of poverty into “choice” and non-traditional alternative education programs are producing questionable (at best) results with little to no accountability for the funding they receive.

2011-12 Report Card Study data Charter – Public Report Card Data Complete Math Data Complete Reading Data
Complete Science Data Complete test scores grade 10 2002-2011 District Level Report Card Data Enrollment_by_Economic_Status
Free Reduced Lunch Data Report card SAS output 1 Revenue Per Member (1) Spending-Scores
Test Scores 2002-2012 graphed

November 2012 – Wisconsin Report Card Study 2012

This report documents findings in our analysis of the school performance data released through the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Report Cards. The data show:

  • Higher enrollments of economically disadvantaged students are a very significant factor in the school Report Card scores.
  • Public schools have outperformed charter schools in serving economically disadvantaged students.
  • This link is even more pronounced for schools serving the poorest students.
  • Even when adjusting for poverty (e.g. ED enrollment) in the analysis, public schools performed better on the Report Cards than charter schools.

Links:  Press Conference statement and Executive Summary / 2012 Report Card Study Data final / Statistical Analysis System (SAS) output

December 5, 2012 Press Conference photos:

Senate Parlor; front of room from R to L - Kirstie K Danielson PhD, Meg Turville-Heitz, Nathaniel Haack, Scott Wittkopf, Mary Bell

Senate Parlor. Front of room from right to left:  Kirstie K Danielson PhD, Meg Turville-Heitz, Nathaniel Haack, Scott Wittkopf, Mary Bell.

From R to L - Nathaniel Haack, Julie Wells, Scott Wittkopf, Mary Bell

From right to left: Nathaniel Haack, Julie Wells, Scott Wittkopf, Mary Bell.

Chair Scott Wittkopf announces Report Card study findings

Chair Scott Wittkopf announces Report Card study findings.


The Forward Institute review of the School Choice Demonstration Project’s updated study on Milwaukee Voucher program student attainment is now available. The study is a revised version of the February 2012 published study, and appeared in the Policy Studies Journal February 2013 edition. The full MPCP attainment study analysis can be found here. A voucher study analysis press release is available here.


Wisconsin Retirement System

Forward Institute is working with a bi-partisan coalition on expansion of the Wisconsin Retirement System to afford access to private employers and employees. Our “WRS Policy Statement” can be found here. We also have a media statement available here.


Election Day Registration

Forward Institute is working with a broad coalition in support of voter registration modernization in Wisconsin.

Election Day Registration Policy Memo

Wisconsin Election History

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