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Wednesday, October 1, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 69.0° F  Mostly Cloudy


Creative spaces

While winter can be crowded with school and extracurricular commitments, summer offers kids a little more time and space to get creative. This summer there are many hands-on visual art options available for Madison kids. Some studios even offer drop-in sessions, so kiddos can dabble -- without their parents making a big time or money commitment. >More
 John Matthews rips MTI contract concessions

A dispute has developed between Madison teachers and the school district over changes to contracts secured during quickie negotiations in March. John Matthews, executive director of Madison Teachers Inc., is upset about what he calls an "unfair and unreasonable" process. >More
 Dane County area school districts brace for downsizing

How exactly will Wisconsin classrooms be affected by the hundreds of millions in cuts to education funding proposed in Gov. Scott Walker's biennial budget? No one seems to know for sure, but educators in Dane County say they have some pretty good guesses. Larger classes. Fewer veteran teachers. Decreased supplies. Less professional development. A demoralized workforce. >More
 Gardening with kids is a win-win activity

Gardening of all types has seen a true renaissance in recent years as a pastime and a way to grow food. For kids, the focus is on helping them get active and eat healthier. But if you want to make it a family activity, it's worthwhile to take a little time to think about goals before heading into the patch or patio. >More
 A rebellion at Madison West High School over new curriculum

When Paul Radspinner's 15-year-old son Mitchell wanted to participate in a student sit-in last October outside West High School, he called his dad to ask permission. "He said he was going to protest, and wanted to make sure I had no problem with it. I thought, 'It's not the '60s anymore,'" recalls Radspinner. The students, he learned, were upset about planned curriculum changes, which they fear will eliminate elective class choices, a big part of the West culture. >More
 Save the bats

Some of the more common questions kids ask Ken and Barb Bowman about bats demonstrate how urban legend has influenced the way children as well as their parents perceive these nocturnal flying mammals. >More
 UW-pioneered approach is helping identify better ways to teach

In education today, data is king. It's used to prove school effectiveness, track student achievement and even, in some cases, set teacher pay. The trick for schools is getting quality metrics and using them to assess individuals and effect positive change in the classroom. >More
 Chef Ann Cooper is a fighter in the movement to improve school food

Ann Cooper has been concocting the recipe for school-lunch change for about a decade. Inside schools across the country, the self-proclaimed "Renegade Lunch Lady" works through her Lunch Lessons consulting firm and, more recently, the Food Family Farming Foundation, to reform the way schools feed kids and change how we all think of children's relationship to food. >More
 Salsa saves the day

Mo Banks and Raphael Ragland admit that urban farming wasn't really their idea of the ideal summer job. "At first, it sounded crazy. I thought, 'Farming? Whoa,'" says Banks, 17, of his reaction to an idea to create salsa from city-grown vegetables. "After we learned about what was going to be happening, I thought I'd try it." >More
 Skepticism grows over Madison school district upkeep report

Kevin Eipperle delivers a math lesson, facility-engineer style: If the Madison school district has 50 buildings, over 30 years it would cost about $60,000 per building per year to maintain them, according to a recent assessment. >More
 Another Chicken Little budget for Madison schools

It's a good thing Madison is a full of certified smarty-pants. It takes a high level of smarts just to comprehend the complex and shifting budget situation faced by the Madison school district. Even some school board members have a hard time making sense of it. >More
 Test time for Madison school board candidates James Howard and Tom Farley

Madison voters will soon be put to a test, perhaps one of the more important ones they've faced in recent years. On April 6, they'll get to decide who will fill an open seat on the Madison Metropolitan School District Board of Education during its biggest financial crisis. >More
 What happens to Madison's bad teachers?

It's absurd to believe anyone wants ineffective teachers in any classroom. So when President Barack Obama, in a speech last fall at Madison's Wright Middle School, called for "moving bad teachers out of the classroom, once they've been given an opportunity to do it right," the remark drew enormous applause. Such a pledge is integral to the president's commitment to strengthen public education. >More
 Madison school board rivals Tom Farley and James Howard square off at forum

Following a brief presentation from uncontested candidates Maya Cole and Beth Moss, James Howard and Tom Farley answered questions posed by forum organizers from Progressive Dane and submitted questions from an audience of about 50 at Wright Middle School. >More
 Online groups push to improve food at Madison schools

While the national discussion over children's nutrition has heated up recently, Madison parents have long tried to get healthier food to kids at school. "My son came home one day and said the lunch at school is gross," recounts Susanne Swift, parent of two school-age children. >More
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