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Inside the Beaver's Dam

The Dam Insider is keeping an eye out for you, tracking the elected leaders of Beaver Dam, Dodge County, Wisconsin and beyond. Email your thoughts or tips. Emails may be published unless otherwise requested. Requests will be honored.

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Location: Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, United States

Monday, June 12, 2006

"Money for nothing, and your summers free"

The Beaver Dam Unified School District may promote "Learning for a Lifetime," but the way things are headed, it's going to take the students a lifetime to learn what they need to know.

According to the most recent WKCE (Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination) scores, Beaver Dam is a below average district. Worse, it seems the longer the students are in the district, the worse they perform compared to their neighbors in the dairyland.

A look at the numbers:

Reading
3rd Grade
Proficient or Advanced Skills (State) 79%
Proficient or Advanced Skills (BDUSD) 77%

7th Grade
Proficient or Advanced Skills (State) 83%
Proficient or Advanced Skills (BDUSD) 80%

10th Grade
Proficient or Advanced Skills (State) 74%
Proficient or Advanced Skills (BDUSD) 65% (65%)

Mathematics
3rd Grade
Proficient or Advanced Skills (State) 71%
Proficient or Advanced Skills (BDUSD) 80%

7th Grade
Proficient or Advanced Skills (State) 73%
Proficient or Advanced Skills (BDUSD) 76%

10th Grade
Proficient or Advanced Skills (State) 70%
Proficient or Advanced Skills (BDUSD) 66% (67%)

Science (data only available for 8th and 10th grades)
8th Grade
Proficient or Advanced Skills (State) 73%
Proficient or Advanced Skills (BDUSD) 77%

10th Grade
Proficient or Advanced Skills (State) 70%
Proficient or Advanced Skills (BDUSD) 61% (64%)

Some might argue, "You can't count the numbers from the Charter School students!" Ok, we'll exclude those.
Now take another look at the data above. The number in parentheses shows 10th grade students only at BDHS.

"Houston, we have a problem."

Contrary to this post's title, no, I don't entirely blame the teachers for the problem. It's partly their fault, but the blame also has to go to district administration for failing to creating a solid 12+ year educational system in Beaver Dam, and to parents for failing to support their child's education enough.

Still, given the recent approval of another round of teacher raises, it makes you wonder, "how good are these guys?"

18 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not surprised at the numbers that are shown in this blog. One of the things I would like to bring to your attention is that once the youth hits the middle school age and through high school, there seems to be higher rates of truancy and the kids just not going to school. To top it off, the parents in these cases are not supportive of their kids getting to school, much less supporting that they get a meaningful education. While the numbers are low, I think we have to look at the parents and what they are doing to reinforce that their children go to school, complete their assignments, and are working to their ability. The teachers can only do so much. It is up to the students, and their parents need to follow through. Like the old saying goes, you can lead a horse to water but can't make them drink. Parents need to me more proactive in their children's education. I truly believe if this would happen, we would have less truancy and unexcused absences, and maybe get some higher scores!

The blame for this can't be put on the shoulders of the teachers. If they teach, but receive no cooperation, it is not their fault!

Tue Jun 13, 10:54:00 PM  
Anonymous unbelievable said...

Parents are most concerned with the letter grade on the report card so they can adorn their vehicle with the prized...Parent Of A Beaver Dam Honor Student.

Teachers are bogged down daily with parents calling to ask, "Why can't my student do an assignment that was due a month ago?" "We had football practice last night so Johnny couldn't get his homework done." "We're going on vacation and Donny Knownothing won't be in school for the next week, please excuse him." etc. etc. etc. It is never ending.

Parents continually put the emphasis on the "grade" and not the learning.

Perhaps they might want to actually wake up and open a granola bar, pour some milk, and say good morning to their child before sending them off to school.

Perhaps the parent might stay home from bowling league to help the child with homework.

Perhaps the parent would read a school newspaper, go to teacher conferences, return teacher phone calls, and show up for scheduled meetings.

It is an UP HILL battle to help families understand the importance of education, and we're losing! Education and learning should be a PRIORITY, not a shiny honor roll sticker on your bumper!

Wed Jun 14, 04:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You get what you pay for people.

Wed Jun 14, 04:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your in depth analysis of the BDUSD testing data is mind boggling!! You frick'n moron. Did you glean out the data for students who were not in the district for a whole year? I.E. students that weren't taught by BDUSD teachers. No, of course you didn't. You would rather trash talk than spend some time asking yourself what the scores might say about the changing dynamics of our city population. By the way, I'm checking anonymous just to piss you off.

Wed Jun 14, 09:46:00 PM  
Anonymous I hate you! said...

Find a teacher that has a "free" summer...good luck. Teachers spend their summers taking classes, advancing their degrees, planning curriculum for the coming year, working with children in summer school and other programs, and lastly...working second jobs because of morons like you that act as if teachers are rats that are being fed lobster.

Come September, please, join a class at the middle school or high school that is in the process of preparing to take these tests...it's intense...and more than a tad bit pathetic.

Better yet, I'd love to give you a copy of the test...Mr. Minimal. Surely, you'd score poorly on the math analysis section.

Want to see the test scores go up? Start passing out birth control downtown on the doorsteps of all the finest local bars.

Perhaps you would like to sit through a night of parent conferences with our city's finest parenting skills on display...the parent scolds the child, who holds his/her head low, knowing (s)he dare not say that Mom or Dad isn't home at night to help with homework, make a meal, get them to bed, or care for their emotional needs.

The parents of our fine free and reduced lunch students are checking out your lazy ass in the local convenience store, shoving food throught the drive through window at your decayed smart mouth, and the likes of other unskilled jobs.

Support the parents. Support the teachers. Support the kids. If you can't do all three of these things...shut 'yo damn mouth.

Wed Jun 14, 10:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope you and your laptop get run over by a bus...ooops...I mean a fire truck.

Wed Jun 14, 10:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who will you rip on next? Lets address the 5,000 hours of farm reports on your radio station.

Wed Jun 14, 10:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Damn Insider genius, you may think you are a wiz at economics, but you sure cannot read the WKCE data worth a damn. Your figures are incorrect as interpeted by the No Child Left Behind standards. I suggest you find someone who can interpret the statistics for you before you start shooting off your mouth.

Thu Jun 15, 08:40:00 PM  
Anonymous AZOR Exposer said...

Hey AZOR,

Oh yeah, I forgot,(Mr. Brian Cigelske,(in real name), why haven't you responded to all of the posted comments from the fine staff of educators from our, oh I mean my, (since you don't live here), community. You have seemed to be very vocal in the past about this school district and it's employees which you do not contribute dollar one to in tax dollars. What's the the matter; no snide, learned on your own, english grammer text based comments to throw at good, honest, hard working teachers. Oh yeah, by the way, these are the same people that fostered your intelectual start in life, whether or not you are man enough to admit it. Now that your identity is known have you become a little reserved in your aggressive nature to comment. If you want to take a shot at someone them pull your Kentucky pistol, not that it will have any credibiltiy, but take your best shot!!!

A friend of Education, A Taxpayer, (and Product of), the BDUSD.

Fri Jun 16, 12:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Now that your identity is known have you become a little reserved in your aggressive nature to comment? If you want to take a shot at someone them pull your Kentucky pistol, not that it will have any credibility, but take your best shot!!!"

His credibility doesn’t change once you know who he is. His comments remain important to discussion and just a relevant. That’s more than I can say about the author of this blog who still hides his identity. (although not well)

NOTE: I decided to correct your spelling error and misuse of punctuation prior to quoting you in my post. (I guess a BD education isn’t so great after all)

Fri Jun 16, 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger Azor said...

Hi Azor Exposer. It doesn't take a genius to figure out my identity since I have never hid it. I would have told you my first and last names if you had asked. Azor is my middle name and the name I go by in informal conversation, which is what I consider this forum. (Also, pease note that "Azor" is not spelled with all caps).

I am perplexed that you expected me to come out firing with my Kentucky pistol against BDSD teachers. I tend to come out firing against poor arguments and bad rhetoric (which this thread has such an overabundance of that I am too overwhelmed to address). I would dispute the statement that I have been vocal about the school district. What statements are you referring to? And I've already admitted that I've gone to Beaver Dam schools, so if it makes you feel better I'd be happy to admit that their teachers gave me my "intellectual start."

Also, I am pretty certain that our "good honest hard working teachers" aren't the ones who have posted the comments you are asking me to attack. I refuse to believe it.

Fri Jun 16, 11:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Lifer said...

The world of standardized testing is complex to say the least. It is a snapshot in time of a child's ability at that moment. Posting scores and asking about teachers' ability to teach is a bit of a stretch. When you look at the schools from around the state that did not make AYP (Annual Yearly Progress; in accordance to NCLB legislation), ask yourself why 33 of the 45 schools in AYP trouble are in Milwaukee? Why is Mequone (sp?) not on the list? Why is Neenah absent or how about Brookfield schools? Because whether we want to admit it or not, achievement is directly linked to socio-economic status. I am a life long resident of BD and like it or not, our population is changing. We have a significant special education population (about 13%). Our English as a second language students are about 5%. Some of our school's free and reduced lunch population is as high as 60% (SBD)! Please don't put all your judgement eggs in one basket (test scores). Talk to a parent and ask what he/she thinks of the school his/her son or daughter attends. What about South Beaver Dam's Blue Ribbon Award, the Junior High's academic celebration that included over 450 kids with 3.0 GPA and higher? How about the national achievements of our FFA kids or our ACT and SAT scores that are some of the highest scores in the state?

Seek information before judging. "Money for nothing and your summers free," pure ignorance. Teachers are paid what the economic climate will allow. They work hard and are paid for their time. Why take shots at the three months they don't work? Do you understand they ARE NOT paid for that time? They are paid based on a 180 day contract...not a whole year. Their time off in the summer is unpaid. Get educated; then use that knowledge to take shots at people if you must.

Fri Jun 16, 03:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Homer said...

The last post is clearly an informed individual. Finally, a post that is in opposition to our author's ignorant assertions that is based in sound information. I smell an administrator in that last post. Too much data and jargon for a lay person. Steve Vessey, are you lurking around the blog again??

Fri Jun 16, 08:29:00 PM  
Anonymous I Spy said...

Brush up on your detective skills...meant in the most friendly way or course. Mr. Vessey or any other administrator or teacher would never refer to the middle school as a junior high. Whomever wrote that is an intelligent non-district employee that truly is a lifer when calling it the Junior High. Thanks for the excellent post! By the way, Mr. Vessey would only post under his own name...it's an ego thing I imagine.

Fri Jun 16, 09:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would pay money to see the videotape of the person who wrote "Money for nothing..." in an elementary classroom for one week!! My spouse is an elementary teacher. It is unbelievable what passes for parenting today. Wow! If the blogger didn't drink, I guarantee the blogger would be drinking after dealing with a classroom of elementary children. To be fair, my spouse has alot of good kids, however, the number that need special attention, are totally unorganized, or just don't care are many more in number than 30 years ago. That is a fact! I wouldn't have thought of it myself until my spouse became a teacher. Too many parents send their children to school expecting the teachers to solve all the problems in that child's life...divorce, one parent in the home, working parents not home, drugs or alcohol in the home, etc...Again, these problems existed 30 years ago. But, any statistics available show that these issues are much more common today. One other point reagarding free summers. My spouse is working on curriculum development this summer and will be spending alot of time planning for next year in addition to taking courses during the summer and school year. Finally, over the past 2 years, my spouse has kept track of the hours spent on teaching related issues. The average week is 65 hours. So, the take off on the Dire Straits song is cute, but doesn't reflect what's happening in the classrooms in Beaver Dam. What the blogger did was get everybody "All Shook Up"!

Tue Jun 20, 11:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tell you all what, I am a former Beaver Dam resident and now live in Waukesha County. Waukesha County schools are ranked near the top in the nation academically speaking. Truancy is low, the curriculum is very difficult and extremely in depth for the students. It does not really matter which school your child goes to, all schools in this county are fantastic! I moved from Beaver Dam and believe me, it has been the best move I have ever made, especially since it is in the best interest of my children! This county is seeing growth that ranks at the top in the state because of the schools and quality of life here! There are many former BD residents living, working and raising their children here. There are also a potpurri of people from all over this state that have moved here just raise their kids. One thing I first noticed about Waukesha County is its high quality of life, the people here are so much more into family life than Dodge County. Thats enough said and if some of you are fortunate to relocate we here in Waukesha County would welcome you!!!!!

Sat Jun 24, 08:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel that I should caution Waukesha Anonymous that s/he shouldn't brag too much about their school until the Damn Insider does his/her scientific analysis of the state test data! S/he seems to be the official judge of whether your teachers are getting "Money for nothing..."

Sat Jun 24, 09:40:00 PM  
Blogger Dam Insider said...

Just testing to see if comments are still being accepted to this post.

Thu Jul 13, 12:03:00 AM  

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