Tag Archives: Wisconsin

Wisconsin ESA Bill to Help Low-income Gifted Students

To start off the New Year, Wisconsin legislators have introduced an education saving account (ESA) bill for gifted and talented, low-income families in an effort to aid gifted students who are less likely to receive recognition and support. Two-thousand low-income students will have access to an ESA, with a limit of $1,000 that can be used for additional education services. While I fill my piggy bank up with money for candy and Legos, these families will be able to fill their account with tax-exempt funding for AP testing and college courses. There are an estimated three million K-12 students in the U.S. who are considered gifted. While we have a federal savings fund for students with learning disabilities, we lack a savings option for our gifted students. I think it’s time we acknowledge that there are students whose promise is being overlooked and potential underutilized and give them the opportunity to reach their best–Wisconsin’s proposal may prove to be a critical step in doing so. In a recent op-ed published in the Washington Examiner titled Is school choice 2.0 coming?, the authors clearly define how our education system undermines gifted students’ education: “Mass education presents a difficult balance for teachers, […]


Sneaky Anti-School Choice Empire Strikes Back at Milwaukee

When it comes to school choice, have no fear: if given a chance, the Empire will strike back. Most recently they have honed their targets on Milwaukee, the granddaddy of modern voucher programs. The threat looms large. As the editors of the Wall Street Journal explain, Wisconsin lawmakers have hit participating private schools with a double whammy: funding cuts (they already receive less than half as much per student as do traditional public schools) and new bureaucratic mandates. The best news that can be said, at least according to the Education Gadfly, is that the regulations could have been worse. Those nasty Wisconsin lawmakers must have figured that if it’s too risky to try to cut back vouchers outright, they might as well play around with the money and the rules. Very sneaky of them.


Milwaukee School Choice Research Yields a Lot of Interesting Results

School choice doesn’t provide all the answers to our education challenges, but it’s becoming very hard to deny that choice in itself yields some positive results. Look at the new results (PDF) from the University of Arkansas’s School Choice Demonstration Project for the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP). Milwaukee isn’t just famous for that show about two women who work as brewery bottlecappers. The Wisconsin city is the granddaddy of school choice programs, and probably the best place for in-depth studies of all sorts of issues surrounding choice. And the School Choice Demonstration Project has brought together some of the best and most experienced education researchers – including Patrick Wolf, John Witte, and Jay Greene – to do just that. The series of studies released this week focus on everything from fiscal impacts to parental satisfaction to academic growth and real estate prices. Some of the more interesting findings: