Conservatives and “Right to Work” – It’s a trap!

Conservatives have set a linguistic trap for progressives – and they are taking the bait. The trap is the metaphor “right to work,” which even progressives are using again and again. As we know from cognitive science research, even negating the “right to work” metaphor will reinforce the conservative message and entire frame, thereby strenghtening it in public discourse. Here’s …

Critical to Public Education – define the frame, communicate the vision

Public education advocates have shied away from taking sides in the political battle for the future of education. “We shouldn’t be mixing our kids’ education with politics ….. it’s unseemly,” the theory goes. “Besides, we don’t want to make the other side angry.” Get over it, folks. That boat has sailed. It doesn’t matter whether you are Republican or Democrat, …

New Study Shows Wisconsin School Funding System Broken; Opportunity Gaps Increasing Over Time

The Forward Institute is releasing an important new study on Monday, September 8, commissioned by the Association for Equity in Funding (AEF). The study, “Segregation of Opportunity: A Longitudinal Study of Wisconsin Education Funding” used 8 years of school finance and tax data to examine the statewide impact of the current funding formula on Wisconsin community schools. The study provides …

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 …

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. …

A New Way of Messaging

The Forward Institute is going to change the way public policy messaging and strategy in Wisconsin is developed. The Wisconsin Retirement System is a current issue we are developing research and messaging around. The facts come first. Unlike some “think tanks,” we don’t create the message and cherry pick the facts to suit our informational campaigns. We don’t consider the media to …