News

Right after scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, came out, Wisconsin’s chief public school regulator, state Superintendent Jill Underly, issued a press release headlined, “Wisconsin elementary school students buck national trends in ‘National Report Card’ release.”

This is not true: Wisconsin’s scores fell by every measure since the last time children took the test, in 2019, just as scores fell for every other state.

Flummoxed by a staggering amount of money and by guidelines for how to spend it, Wisconsin counties and cities are spending tens of millions of dollars of American Rescue Plan Act funds to try to administer American Rescue Plan Act funds.

For the people who need it most — poor residents of Milwaukee, families and victims of particularly violent crimes like homicide and aggravated assault throughout the state, children in schools where politicians won’t allow police, and almost anyone awaiting a verdict — Wisconsin’s criminal justice system is failing.

Chershanta Smith can’t imagine her daughter, Gabrielle, attending school anywhere other than St. Marcus Lutheran School in Milwaukee’s Brewer’s Hill neighborhood. And that’s not only because she believes her daughter is receiving an excellent education at St. Marcus through the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, but because the school’s community has embraced and supported her entire family.

At the start of the pandemic in 2020, Wishkub Kinepoway faced two family crises with some crying, some praying and a lot of determination. A member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians and a Shawano County transplant, Kinepoway knew she needed to make a change for her children. She also knew that change wouldn’t come without school choice.