Obama’s education speech & Wisconsin upping their chances for stimulus money

I meant to post this over the weekend, but got caught up in things. Either way, I thought I’d post Obama’s speech that he gave this week in Madison, Wisconsin at the James C. Wright Middle School.

Speaking of Wisconsin, the governor, Jim Doyle recently passed a list of reform bills in order to be able to compete with other states for stimulus money. The whole story can be viewed here.

There were a couple of bills that were signed that caught my attention. One being the one where teachers can be evaluated for their performance, but not be disciplined or dismissed for a poor performance. Now I know teachers are not totally to blame for a student’s performance; some students don’t take the time to study when they get home, or if they don’t understand the material, the parents have a hard time helping them with it. I also understand teachers are harder to come by, but there are teachers that have the knowledge of the material their teaching, but don’t necessarily know how to teach it to kids.  I know I had teachers, especially in math and english that knew the material really well, but weren’t great at teaching it.

Another one I’m not too sure about is the bill that requires that Wisconsin universities and the Technical School System have access to student data from back in preschool. If it’s referring to what I think it is, it sounds strange. They’re going to judge whether you’ll be accepted to a university or tech school based on how you did from back to preschool?

Require the University of Wisconsin System, the Wisconsin Technical College System and the Department of Public Instruction to establish a system to track student data from preschool programs through postsecondary education.

Talk about added pressure to kids!

As far as them passing the bills to be eligible to compete with other states, I understand states are in need of money, but I hope Doyle is doing this not just to get stimulus money but to benefit the school system as a whole. He does plan on holding a special session with legislature to pass two other bills so they have more of a chance to win money, so we’ll see if they approve of the bills or not.

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