Southeastern Wisconsin Schools Alliance (SWSA) provides position papers and links to information about educational issues and policy decisions that affect public education. SWSA also provides members with access to leading edge studies to support their work. Below you will find some of the most recent publications impacting public education.
The Wisconsin Policy Forum
The Wisconsin Policy Forum is a statewide nonpartisan independent policy research organization with offices in Milwaukee and Madison. The Wisconsin Policy Forum (WPF) provides outstanding research on the K-12 realm. SWSA partners extensively with the Wisconsin Policy Forum and appreciates the timeliness of their research. We encourage all to review the School Data Tool.
The School Data Tool is a one-stop source of information for several major education indicators, from enrollment an school spending to graduation rates and student performance.
The Wheeler Report- Series on Public Education and the Impact of COVID-19 (June-July 2020)
The Wheeler Report is currently working on a series of articles about how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting children in K-12 education. They have interviewed several of the SWSA superintendents to inform their findings. SWSA will continue to update this site with additional reports and findings.
Wisconsin Policy Forum Research Brief: Special Education Funding in Wisconsin; How it works and why it matters
"One of the foremost fiscal challenges for state government and school districts throughout Wisconsin is the cost of providing special education." The Wisconsin Policy Forum published a research brief in February 2019 thoroughly explaining these challenges as well as sharing potential policy implications.
No Time to Lose Report
The National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) conducted extensive research and developed a report titled, How to Build a World-Class Education System State by State (August 2016).
"A bipartisan group of 28 veteran legislators and legislative staff, along with several partners from the private sector began an 18-month study in 2014. They focused on the highest performing counties on PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) to discover commonalities across their policies and practices. They met with education leaders from these countries, along with national and international experts who study their systems. They also visited several countries firsthand to see the differences."
This report provides the key components to building a World Class Education System. Wisconsin's own Senator Olsen (member of the Joint Finance Committee and Chair of the Senate Education Committee) was part of this important project.
The landscape of publicly funded K-12 education policy is changing rapidly. Some of the changes are healthy and promote a stronger and more effective learning experience, adding to the rich tradition of Wisconsin as a national education leader. Still, we find some changes are politically driven, ideologically based with a focus away from developing more effective schools and school districts. This White Paper provides an outline of priorities for policy makers emphasizing the essential aspects of defining a quality education and the elements of quality we aspire to provide all children whose K-12 education or educational services are publicly funded.
School and District Assessment
SWSA school district leaders are eager to embrace new and more effective methods to assess school success, to communicate those assessments to our public, and to use those assessments to improve instruction; all in a focused effort to improve outcomes and opportunity for all students. We oppose school accountability proposals that neglect to improve outcomes for students or are imposed unevenly. We welcome the opportunity to collaboratively develop a meaningful school accountability system that matches our vision.
Leveling the Playing Field
The landscape of publically funded K-12 education policy is changing rapidly; some of the changes are healthy and promote a stronger and more effective learning experience. Still, we find some changes are politically driven, ideologically-based and fail to focus on developing more effective schools and school districts. This white paper provides an outline of priorities for policymakers emphasizing equitable requirements for all schools and school services receiving public funds.