By Alison Dirr
We talk a lot in journalism about including more diversity of perspectives in our reporting. We also emphasize the concept, ‘do no harm.’ In writing this article, I think I landed on the exact spot where those two cross.
I chose the topic of diversity in K-12 education because writing this article would force me to discuss issues that I have shied away from for fear of offending – “do no harm” – and for fear of revealing my own ignorance.
Julie Frentz, principal of Frank Allis Elementary School, on which the story focused, summed up the dilemma succinctly: “For us white people, we’re not used to talking about color.” Read More
By Adam Wollner
The future of race-based university admissions policies may lie in the hands of one man this fall: Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.
With the Supreme Court scheduled to rule on its first case regarding affirmative action in the university setting since 2003 later in the year, many supporters fear the end of the policy may be near. Read More
By Jake Wolter
For the theme of edUtopia, I undertook the challenge of determining who deserves an education in Wisconsin. While some decided to look at the traditional K-12 or University aged students, I thought the notion of expanding early childhood education seemed interesting. I wanted to know if the new 4-year-old kindergarten program in Madison was actually teaching something to kids, or if it was simply childcare funded by taxpayers.
The story had some inherent difficulties that many up-and-coming reporters might carelessly overlook. Read More
By Leah Linscheid
The goal of a charter school initiative is to provide an alternative strategy to bring learning to a classroom. This learning isn’t through the pages of a book, or through memorizing mathematical equations, but instead it’s through hands-on projects, student collaboration and working in an independent environment. Or at least this is how Highland Middle School Teacher Julie explained her experience with charter school learning. Read More
By Brock Fritz
My contribution to this website included discussing referendums within Wisconsin school districts. This article originally seemed outside of my interests, I understood the importance of improving educational facilities, but I originally did not know what the story would be.
The first step in the process was to put a name and location to the story, give people a reason to care about what they are reading. Since it is a Wisconsin focused website, I selected two area school districts that had recently gone through the referendum process, Beloit and Oregon. Read More
By Ana Will
Writing about a topic as controversial as Madison Prep was definitely an eye-opening experience. With each person I spoke to, the tension between the two sides of the debate became clearer. I learned a lot about not only the issue at hand, but also deeper issues in regard to the achievement gap in Madison. Read More
By Stefanie Schmidbauer
All journalists – from the most experienced reporter to the burgeoning young student writer – are continuously learning, learning how to hone techniques, how to converse with sources, and how to apply journalistic ethics to foster credibility in the field. As a student just beginning this line of work, I have learned a plethora about the theoretical aspects of journalism from countless handbooks, style guides and works of great writers; however, over the course of the past semester, and especially over the last few weeks working on my story for this website, I have learned that the best way to become more skilled in the field is to practice, to apply the theoretical. Read More
By Alex Rodriquez
I never anticipated how confusing and vague the language of education could be. While writing my feature on teacher evaluations, the research I had to do for the subject was tedious and confusing. Just on the DPI website there were contradicting forms and papers that made sorting out what had passed through the system, what was being implemented and what was still being developed really mixed up. The language is very legalese. It was vague and confusing enough to sound good without really giving the public much information. It’s probably intentional, especially with such a sensitive topic as teacher evaluations where the system really has to be right or else it can backfire on the education administration in Wisconsin. Read More