K-12 Education

DPI Report on Teacher Shortage Misses the Mark

Recently, Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction released a report on the teacher shortage in the state.  The report claims that nearly 40% of teachers leave the profession within the first five years, and blames declines in teacher compensation over the past decade for the shift.  While ...

Breaking the Chain: Decoupling School Choice Funding in Wisconsin

School choice in Wisconsin is undergoing some exciting changes. With the passage of increased funding for the state’s voucher programs, participating schools will be on firmer financial footing going forward. In this policy brief, we explore how private schools in the choice program are currently funded, and why decoupling would be an important improvement.

REPORT: Outdated Reading Curricula Impedes Wisconsin Students

WILL’s research provides—for the first time—a statewide look at what curricula districts are using for reading, and whether this choice has improved or lowered reading proficiency levels. “The Science of Reading” is a “back to the basics” approach that is focused on learning phonics, increasing vocabulary, and sounding out words rather than the context-clue based “guessing” techniques that characterize the popular “Whole Language” approach.

Leftward Leaning Teacher Donations Play Large Role in School Choice & Curriculum Transparency Debate

Politicians at every level must listen to their voters; but to get reelected, elected leaders think that they must make trade-offs between the desires of parents and wants of educators in their community. Political donations are an important measure of political engagement, ideology, and interest. WILL’s report found that the vast majority of donors who identified themselves as teachers have contributed to Democratic candidates and Democratic-affiliated organizations.

Blog Post: School Choice 101

It’s School Choice Week! Across the nation, people are celebrating the notion that families ought to be able to choose the educational options that work best for them regardless of how much money they make. Here in Wisconsin, we have a lot to be proud of, but also a long way to go to ensure ...