The Science of Reading

by Leila Fletcher, age 18

Simpson Street Free Press is invested in and applies the science of reading with our students. We have for decades.

It is true, however, that debates about reading instruction continue. Teachers and reading specialists continually discuss—and dispute—what methods of reading instruction are truly most effective, and ultimately, what method should be used in our schools. [read more]

It’s Much More than Just Symbolic: Name a Madison School for Dr. Virginia Henderson

by Cristian Cruz, age 17

Virginia Henderson was a founding member of Women in Focus and soon the Madison School Board will vote on whether or not to name a school for her.

Nothing would honor the Henderson legacy more.

I was 10-years old when I first met Virginia Henderson. I was a middle school staff writer at Simpson Street Free Press and Virginia was a member of our board of directors. She always took the time to talk with us and encourage us. And she always supported our work. I still remember how she would ask us, the students, about our articles and what we were working on. Virginia would talk to us about the importance of writing and academic achievement; always with a warm and caring tone. Each year, at the Women In Focus – “I Have a Dream Ball,” Virginia would welcome us and make us feel special. For us, getting to see Virginia was always one of the highlights of the event. [read more]

AP Classes: Beneficial or Harmful?

by Virginia Quach, age 19

A growing debate in today’s education system concerns the idea of Advance Placement (AP) courses and whether they are actually beneficial to students or simply funding College Board, the organization that founded the AP system, at the expense of student learning.

During the time I was enrolled in my AP courses, I never saw their benefits. I was constantly stressed over content and preparing for exams. It was not until recently that I discovered the importance of those AP courses. They helped me improve my studying habits, prepare me for college-level work, and provide me with skills to be successful in multiple outlets of my life. [read more]

SAT To Roll Out New 'Adversity Score'

by Kadjata Bah, age 14

At a pivotal time in college admissions, when celebrities cheat their children’s way into top-tier universities and Harvard’s reputation is under siege by people calling for an end to affirmative action, the College Board, the company that created the SAT, is making a change to their exam in hopes of making things more equitable.

An ‘adversity score,’ a number measuring one’s hardships, will be added to the SAT. This score considers factors such as the quality of a student’s previous schooling and the dynamics of their neighborhood, and race is not used as a factor.[read more]

Racial Disparities in Wisconsin

by Aneciea Rucker, age 14

Being black in Wisconsin can be hard. African-Americans come across many challenges in life compared to other groups of people, who may or may not encounter the same type of events in the state.

According to a 2014 report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, there is no state worse for African-Americans than Wisconsin. From people already living here, to those looking for a better future, Wisconsin comes in last. It is ranked last in the disparity between white children and their non-white peers, in educational skills, home environments, and income, and worst in the nation for the well-being of black children. Wisconsin is ranked with Michigan and Mississippi for the worst record on African-American educational and financial achievement. [read more]

Active Shooter Drills May Do More Harm Than Good

by Michelle Chi, age 17

In elementary schools around the nation, words such as “barricade” are added to spelling lists; children are told to run in a zig-zag pattern to evade bullets; posters with lockdown instructions, sung to the tune of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” are hung on the walls of kindergarten classrooms.

The culture of fear surrounding school shootings is pervasive in every sense of the word. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 95 percent of public schools administered lockdown drills during the 2015-2016 school year. The Washington Post reported that more than 4.1 million students — one out of every four in the U.S. — experienced at least one lockdown drill in the 2017-2018 school year.[read more]

Amara Stovall Finds Success As a CEO of Tomorrow

by Amie Kabera, age 17

Amara Stovall is an eight-grade student at Wright Middle School and student writer at Simpson Street Free Press. Amara has launched a business intended to change the lives of survivors affected by police brutality. Her business dream is now a reality.

At the age of 13, Amara Stovall joined a High School program called CEOs of Tomorrow. The program helps students create businesses that solve social issues. She was able to be in the program with a little help from her grandmother. [read more]

Recent Education Articles

Madison school officials will consider hiring an Ohio-based company known for policies that some say hinder the free speech rights of student journalists. Two school board members and Interim Superintendent Jane Belmore met last month with representatives of Ohio-based NEOLA. NEOLA is a policy-writing firm often hired by school districts to write and implement policies for local boards and local administrators. [read more...]
A new group called WI-Care, or Wisconsin Call to Action for Reading Excellence, has jumped into the recent fight concerning reading instruction. [read more...]
Today, in our country, reading levels continue to decrease; only two-thirds of fourth graders can read at grade level, which leads to high school seniors still unable to meet proficiency. The numbers in Wisconsin are among the worst in the country. And reading results in Madison are at crisis level. Many experts believe this is a result of the instructional methods that teachers nationwide are instructed in and taught to use. [read more...]
Virginia Henderson was a founding member of Women in Focus and soon the Madison School Board will vote on whether or not to name a school for her. Nothing would honor the Henderson legacy more. [read more...]
In the spring of 2018, Wisconsin was one of 34 states where there was a decline in enrollment for all types of higher education institutions. This is because of the state’s declining birth rate and better post recession economy. The rate of high school graduation will be steady by 2026, and the college graduates are estimated to decrease by 15 percent between 2025 and 2029, reported Nathan Grawe, an economist at Carleton College. [read more...]
A growing debate in today’s education system concerns the idea of Advance Placement (AP) courses and whether they are actually beneficial to students or simply funding College Board, the organization that founded the AP system, at the expense of student learning. [read more...]
Wisconsin has joined a growing list of states pushing to bring cursive lessons back into elementary school classrooms. [read more...]
Madison Area Technical College (MATC) first broke ground on the South Side of Madison over a year ago. Now in this coming week, the college’s new comprehensive Goodman South campus will open, catering to the needs of MATC’s students and the surrounding community. [read more...]
After many months of construction, Madison College’s Goodman South Campus has opened for business and it is doing much better than anyone had hoped. Located in the heart of southern Madison, it seems that the future impact of the new building will far exceed the expectations of many who are involved. [read more...]
Grade inflation has been a growing concern among universities across the country, including UW-Madison’s School of Education. Traditionally, the average grade at the college level was a C, but more recently A grades have become increasingly common. Statisticians and educators have split sentiments over whether or not the higher grades correlate with higher achievement. [read more...]
Over the decades since Madison College was founded, it has provided an affordable education for thousands of people. In the process, it has become an integral part of Madison’s community. In an endeavor to broaden the availability of Madison College’s resources and classes, Madison College will expand this fall with the completion of the new Goodman South Campus. [read more...]
Have you ever wondered why periods and commas go inside quotation marks when using MLA style? [read more...]
At a pivotal time in college admissions, when celebrities cheat their children’s way into top-tier universities and Harvard’s reputation is under siege by people calling for an end to affirmative action, the College Board, the company that created the SAT, is making a change to their exam in hopes of making things more equitable. [read more...]
Being black in Wisconsin can be hard. African-Americans come across many challenges in life compared to other groups of people, who may or may not encounter the same type of events in the state. [read more...]
In elementary schools around the nation, words such as “barricade” are added to spelling lists; children are told to run in a zig-zag pattern to evade bullets; posters with lockdown instructions, sung to the tune of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” are hung on the walls of kindergarten classrooms. [read more...]
Author Min Jin Lee says, "You can hear the crackle of heat and the roar of a powerful fire burning..." through the pages of Kate Wisel's first short story collection, Driving in Cars with Homeless Men. Out of 530 applicants for the Drue Heinz Literature Prize, the Boston-born Monona writer won the honor along with $15,000 and publication by the University of Pittsburgh Press. The prize, one of the most prestigious in the country, was started by the former publisher of The Paris Review and co-founder of Ecco Press, Drue Heinz, in 1981. [read more...]
Ten out of 22 school districts in Wisconsin have been commended for providing increased access and better performance in Advanced Placement programs. [read more...]
Amara Stovall is an eight-grade student at Wright Middle School and student writer at Simpson Street Free Press. Amara has launched a business intended to change the lives of survivors affected by police brutality. Her business dream is now a reality. [read more...]
Have you ever considered the stress the average college student goes through? Or the many difficulties they face while studying for their careers and the problems these mental health issues can lead to? [read more...]
I remember the first time I entered the Capital Newspapers building next to my school. I remember seeing professional journalists at work and thinking about how I could be like them one day. At James Wright Free Press I received constructive criticism on my articles from editors and volunteers. This was hard to take at first. My ambition was to be a writer and, at the time, I thought I was fairly good at it. However, with time and effort, I was producing one or more articles every month, and this summer I produced even more. [read more...]
As a junior at La Follette High School, the majority of my school year was focused on preparing for the ACT college entrance exam. The ACT test plays a big role in determining college acceptance, in addition to GPA and other factors. As a student, it sometimes feels like it determines your entire future. Achieving a high score on the ACT greatly improves a student’s chance of being accepted to tougher universities or colleges. [read more...]
Smartphone owners and conspiracy theorists are worried that their conversations are being listened to and recorded. This is an unsettling problem that needs to be addressed. [read more...]
"Make sure your desk is shipshape!" Shipshape is an adjective that means “properly arranged.” It comes from the words "ship" and "shape". The word originated from the 1640s. At that time, sailing was common and sailors needed to be neat and efficient, making sure the ship was good shape. So, next time your mom tells you to clean your room, you can tell her “my room is shipshape!" [read more...]
The Dane County UW-Extension (UWEX) Master Gardener Volunteer program educates people in Dane County on how to grow and take care of plants and other natural resources. People who volunteer in the program use the information they learn to enable them to answer residents’ questions about gardening through face-to-face contacts, phone calls or emails. Experts within the Master Gardener Volunteer program who can answer more specific questions are also available.   [read more...]
Have you ever heard the phrase “canary in a coal mine”? The term is used as an early warning of danger, and dates back to the early 1900s. John Scott Haldane suggested using a sentinel animal to give a warning to miners about carbon monoxide leaks. The animal the miners chose was the canary, a bird more vulnerable to poison gas due to their rapid breathing rate, small size, and high metabolism. [read more...]
When comparing public and private colleges, most people assume that the private college is much more expensive; Edgewood wants to change that assumption. A newly awarded tuition grant will allow Edgewood College to challenge UW System schools with a dramatically reduced tuition of $11,400 per year, starting in the 2019-2020 school year. [read more...]
The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism recently announced it has joined the Trust Project. [read more...]
Transferring colleges is sometimes a challenge. It can be a daunting task with a lot of uncertainty, especially for students coming from under-resourced communities. A new grant and partnership between UW-Madison and Madison College (MATC) may help these students. Specifically, this new developing program aims to increase the graduation rate of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) transfer students coming from MATC to UW-Madison. [read more...]
As a junior at La Follette High School, the majority of my school year was focused on preparing for the ACT college entrance exam. The ACT test plays a big role in determining college acceptance, in addition to GPA and other factors. As a student, it sometimes feels like it determines your entire future. Achieving a high score on the ACT greatly improves a student’s chance of being accepted to tougher universities or colleges. High scores can also mean scholarships and more financial aid. For me, scoring well on the ACT would allow me to branch out, leave Madison, thrive in my potential field, and to reach my ultimate goal of becoming a lawyer representing underserved people from diverse communities. [read more...]
The Mellowhood Foundation’s Summer Initiative is a paid summer program in the southwest Madison Meadowood neighborhood that teaches a large age-range of children about independence and real-world responsibilities. The initiative draws on the knowledge students already have from school, while also teaching them skills such as independence and self-determination. Mellowhood student Amaria has learned valuable lessons through the program, such as “working hard, getting good grades, and failing from time to time.” [read more...]
Bones play a tremendous role in the body and can affect routine functions such as appetite and a person’s health. [read more...]
Electronic cigarettes (E-cigs) and other vaping devices came to the market in 2015. These products soon became popular, and the brand JUUL quickly rose to the top. JUUL, marketed as an alternative to regular cigarettes, was meant to help smokers switch to a better and "safer" way of smoking, vaping. [read more...]
In the 21st century, many businesses and industries are taking steps to encourage girls and women to pursue careers in traditionally male-dominated fields, including science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). However, women remain severely underrepresented in STEM careers. In fact, the U.S. Department of Commerce recently reported that while women hold about half of the jobs in the U.S., they fill only one-fourth of the nation’s STEM positions. [read more...]
Native plants are an important part of our ecosystem due to their many benefits, but their numbers are quickly dwindling. A new program by the Land and Water Resources Department aims to encourage more native gardens around Dane County. The program, called Plant Dane, is growing and offering free native plants to schools and community centers. Native plant gardens can be quite costly due to the high price of native plants. By offering free plants from the county, schools and communities that previously didn't have the money to create a garden now can. [read more...]
In the world of publishing, sock-puppeting does not mean what you think it might. Sock-puppeting is amplifying a perspective by impersonating someone else on the Internet. In other industries, this may be known as “review brushing.” Some use these measures to write glowing reviews of their work or to bolster massive amounts of simple, but satisfactory ratings and in turn, fool consumers into believing their products or services are reliable. [read more...]
Jay Affeldt has been principal of Madison Memorial High School for four years and has been an important part of the school community since 1999. June 30th marked Affeldt's final day as principal. He is moving on to become the director of student mental, physical, and behavioral health. He will be part of the Student Services Department at the district's central office. [read more...]
Thanks to the new “Scholars of Promise” program, 150 students at Madison Area Technical College have access to new opportunities. Created by Madison College along with University of Wisconsin-Madison, qualifying students who complete their associate degree will be admitted to UW-Madison, free of cost, to continue pursuing their education. [read more...]
Open records watchdogs and clean government advocates call responses by Madison school officials to open records inquires “ugly.” A recent report distributed by the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council and published in the Wisconsin State Journal says the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) would not fulfill a request for information about public records without payment. Responding to a specific request, filed by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL), the Madison district required a payment of more than $1,000 to provide the requested information. [read more...]
Due to its abundance of fertile land and natural resources, the United States was always destined to be a leading agricultural nation, and as time passes, the value of farming continues to increase. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, in the United States, about 15% of the workforce is employed in agriculture related careers and between 2010 and 2015, and an estimated 54,000 jobs for college graduates were created annually in the agriculture, food, and renewable resources sectors. Considering the importance of agriculture jobs - especially in Wisconsin, the dairy state - encouraging interest in agriculture at MHS could be a valuable and rewarding investment. [read more...]
Simpson Street Free Press is flourishing. Our organization contributes to civic discourse and the greater Dane County community. SSFP students turn out quality articles and explore the world around us. We also know there were many dedicated student reporters who came before us. [read more...]
After the recent events in Florida, a group of students at Ray F. Sennett Middle School decided to speak out and teach people to be mindful and understanding about gun violence and school shootings. These students created a group called “Stop the Gun Violence” or S.T.G.V Power. [read more...]
On May 12, 1820, a girl was born to affluent British parents in Florence, Italy. Growing up as a member of “respectable society”, she was expected to follow the conventional route for someone with her status at the time, which included marrying well. To her parents’ chagrin, however, she was more interested in healing the sick than courting eligible young men, and she even rejected the “respectable” boy who proposed to her. Worse than that, she loved math, which displeased her parents the most. She was Florence Nightingale: the “Lady with the Lamp,” a famous nurse in the Crimean War, and—perhaps most notably— a mathematician. [read more...]
Every year, over 800 Wisconsin parents, youth, teachers, school faculty, and community members come together to attend Urban League’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Youth Recognition Breakfast. [read more...]
During the fall semester of 2017, the students of Badger Rock Middle School made books for students in Guinea. The teacher who began this project, Maya Kadakia, is the English-Language Arts teacher at Badger Rock. [read more...]
In the 1940’s, most scientists were men. This was the case until the admiral Dr. Grace Hopper came along and flipped the script. [read more...]
The “I Have A Dream” Ball is a Madison Tradition. And it’s much more. The annual event organized by Women In Focus is an important part of our community history. [read more...]
There are dozens. The names are too many to mention in a short newspaper column. But nobody changed my life more than the Free Press volunteers who helped me learn to read and write. They sat with me and coached me and encouraged me. [read more...]
Do you have trouble getting into reading? Do you find it hard to read for fun? Well, if so, you may be more likely to live a shorter life according to a study published in the journal Social Science. [read more...]
The way people have learned to read and interpret written language is something that scientists have studied for a long time. How is it that simple marks on a mere piece of paper can convey mind-changing ideas? [read more...]
Dr. Jack Daniels recently announced in a press conference that Madison Area Technical College will open a new campus on the south side of Madison in 2019. The college also announced a new partnership with the Madison School district. The plan is to open an expanded campus able to serve as many as 5500 students. [read more...]
High school graduates looking for a trade career face a difficult decision: spend thousands of dollars on a college degree or seek jobs without the degree. Despite the fact that employers may expect a degree, there’s still hope for those planing to forgo college. Apprenticeship programs are taking the nation by storm, and allow students to get an education while also gaining valuable experience. [read more...]
Are school lunches unhealthy for kids in America? Lunch programs that offer healthy and nutritious meals must follow strict guidelines. However, students at Roosevelt High School in Chicago, Illinois feel that the food they’re being served is barely edible, let alone healthy. [read more...]
Many may have heard the name “Malala Yousafzai” before, but some might not know who this powerful young woman is. Yousafzai is a very important activist who has helped girls in Pakistan fight for their educations. [read more...]
Last Tuesday, we sat down with Seth Ebel, a thirty-something civil engineer at the Dane County Land and Water Resources Department. He has the air of a pragmatic idealist: passionate and motivated, yet down-to-earth and committed. [read more...]
Humans see light in a number of ways. Each way depends on light and wavelengths. [read more...]
You’ve probably heard of DNA—the genetic information contained in each human cell— but perhaps you haven’t heard of the person who helped discover its unique structure: Rosalind Franklin. Though her discoveries about DNA structure led to a paper that won the Nobel Prize. Franklin's accomplishments were not initially credited to her. Luckily, records of Franklin's work ultimately came to light, and her true contributions to science are now understood by the general public. [read more...]
The Simpson Street Free Press interns for the Dane County Land and Water Resources Department recently had the chance to attend a teaching workshop at the UW- Madison Arboretum. It was hosted by the Latino Earth Partnership, an organization that works to promote collaboration between educators and Latino communities. [read more...]
Have you ever wondered how baby teeth fall out? It is a normal, natural, and interesting process. [read more...]
UW-Madison recently created a new website, the STEM Diversity Network, that promotes connecting diverse people on campus in various STEM fields. The website compiles resources on science, technology, engineering, and math. [read more...]
In a whirlwind of college preparation, student loans are often a confusing element of an already stressful journey. From subsidized to unsubsidized loans and FAFSA to payment plans, there are many facets about the student loan process of which those applying should be aware. [read more...]
While white male land-owners have enjoyed the right to vote since the formation of the United States, American women protested and campaigned for the right to vote—a movement called suffrage. [read more...]
Recently, a team from Madison’s James C. Wright Middle School took home the championship in a national African American History Challenge Bowl competition in New Orleans. [read more...]
Do you love listening to music every day? So much so that you can’t stop listening to it? Even though listening to music can be a fun way to pass time, it can make concentrating on work very difficult. [read more...]
Breathing is something many people probably do without even thinking about it. But not those with asthma. Asthma is a common condition that affects the lungs and causes sufferers difficulty breathing. It affects one in every 12 people. [read more...]
Hundreds of new college students will join Madison College’s new ‘Scholars of Promise’ scholarship program this fall. The program aims to help students from low-income backgrounds succeed as they pursue higher educations. [read more...]
It is more beneficial for a man to downplay the amount of work that went into his ideas, to act as if they just popped into his head. But for a woman, it is more beneficial to explain how much effort went into nurturing her ideas and developing them over time. Researchers in a joint project from Cornell University and Columbia Teachers College recently unveiled these problematic patterns in a series of three studies. [read more...]
Madison College (MATC) has expanded its relationship with Edgewood College. Under a new plan, the private institution Edgewood College will guarantee admission to MATC graduates with associate degrees in human services, or electrical or civil engineering. [read more...]
Critiques of news organizations have been at the center of recent political and public rhetoric. Nevertheless, a recent poll yielded promising results for the news industry: over half of the population is willing to pay for news. [read more...]
In 1967, Thurgood Marshall became the first African American appointed to the United States Supreme Court. Thirteen years earlier, he changed the course of civil rights when he successfully defended Brown vs. Board of Education before the Supreme Court and struck down the doctrine of “separate but equal” in public education. [read more...]
Everything in the world is made up of one or more elements. The Periodic Table of Elements charts all the different elements and their characteristics. It is organized by each element's mass. [read more...]
Yesterday, one of the top local stories was the ‘pilot program’ to disconnect Madison students from social media applications during the school day. As high school students, we usually don’t get too hype about the news, but this was different. A full-scale ban on thirty social media apps. That meant no Snapchat, no Instagram, no Twitter, and seven long class periods. [read more...]
Simpson Street Free Press editors applaud the Wisconsin State Journal editorial published on April 5. We challenge and question the subsequent guest column written by Allen Ebert and the Madison Central Consortium Project also published in the State Journal. Both op-ed pieces address the future of the Madison College downtown site. [read more...]
New York State recently eliminated a controversial teacher-screening test due to the disproportionate failure of black and Latino candidates. [read more...]
According to Danielle Douglas of The Washington Post, parents are relying more and more on their annual income to pay for their children's college educations. [read more...]
In an effort to reach underserved young people and diversify their pool of applicants, Edgewood College recently created a program that would encourage diversity among its college students. To learn more about this program—the “Edgewood College Math Precollege Program”—Simpson Street Free Press reporters interviewed Steven Post, professor of Mathematics at Edgewood. [read more...]
Albert Einstein was a renowned physicist and remains one of the most famous scientists to this day. His findings, especially his General Theory of Relativity, completely re-shaped the way the world views the universe. [read more...]
All my life, I have left my home in America every year to fly across the Atlantic and spend my summers in Hungary. [read more...]
“Bootleggers and Baptists.” When I first heard this phrase, I thought that it must be some expression that refers to a dull topic that only middle-aged adults would understand. But as I conducted more research, I soon discovered that the phrase is actually a storied saying with a fascinating origin! [read more...]
New research shows that dyslexia is not just about language and reading, but more related to brain functions. Dyslexia is a disability that can cause confusion while reading and writing. [read more...]
In the world of technology, black Americans are at a disadvantage. According to Information is Beautiful, an online infographic text, there are significantly fewer black Americans than white Americans working in the top U.S. companies. This statistic is evident in the texts list of the racial diversity in said companies, including Instagram, YouTube, and Google. [read more...]
Imagine growing up struggling with your sexual or gender identity. Coming to terms with who you are can be difficult—especially when you find yourself battling the opinions and beliefs of the people around you. Eventually, you might figure it out. However, whether you identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, transgender—you crave acceptance from your family, friends, and society. After all this questioning, you may decide you're ready to come out. You tell your family about your identity. However, they don't accept you and kick you out, leaving you homeless. [read more...]
According to a 2003 study, more than 70,000 Dane County residents grapple with low literacy. Founded in 1974, Madison’s Literacy Network directly combats low literacy and provides free services for those hoping to improve their English language skills. [read more...]
Two well-known and talented college basketball players have withdrawn from the NBA draft and will return to school. Nigel Hayes of Wisconsin and Malik Pope of San Diego State will return to their college teams. Both players will add firepower to two of the best basketball programs in the NCAA. [read more...]
Can you imagine getting paid six million dollars to say three words? Well that’s exactly the deal Justin Timberlake made with McDonalds when he sang the catchphrase, “I'm Lovin' It.” But what effect does this advertising have on this food chain's young audience? [read more...]
Madison, Wisconsin’s very own One City Early Learning Center on the South Side of Madison will be the first US pilot site for the groundbreaking AnjiPlay curriculum. This preschool focused curriculum was developed over a 15 year period by Ms. Cheng Xuequin, Director of Preprimary Education for Anji County, China. It features minimally-structured, open-ended environments designed to allow more imaginative play and contact with the natural world. It places trust in children to take risks and to seek their own individual understanding of the world around them. [read more...]
Today's average college student spends up to $1,000 a year on textbooks. Most students also cover other expenses such as room, board, phone bill, laundry, and car payments; tuition alone can cost an additional $10,000 to $70,000 a year. So while it can be tempting not to pay for a bunch of glossy pages you may never use again, purchasing a textbook is a smart investment. It's just how you make the purchase that makes all the difference. [read more...]
Ever since World War II, all U.S. citizens have been required to pay income taxes. The income tax affects many states including Wisconsin and targets many top-earning businesses. This has led to an expansion of the national tax system over time. [read more...]
J.K. Rowling is regarded by the world as a highly successful writer due to her creation of the Harry Potter series. But before Rowling achieved fame, she went through a dark period. During this time, she faced many challenges that threatened not only her writing career but also her well-being. [read more...]
Did you know that a good apology has six different components? A new study completed by Ohio State University Fisher College of Business, revealed the ingredients of an effective apology. The study shows that those who incorporate more of these components into their apologies have a better chance of being forgiven. [read more...]
Recent data published by the Nation’s Report Card shows that our nation’s 12th-graders are declining in reading and math skills. In fact, the study indicates that only one-third of high school seniors are ready for the academic rigor of college. [read more...]
American Girl, the Middleton-based toy company and long-time friend of Simpson Street Free Press, recently signed a multi-year agreement with Scholastic, publisher and distributor of children’s books. [read more...]
For many lower income students, going to college might seem like an unreachable dream. Thankfully, a $50,000 donation from UW Health and Unity Health Insurance to Madison College will provide scholarships to under-represented youth to help them get on the right path toward a health care career. [read more...]
Does the language one think in or speak in determine how one perceived events? Does it affect how one notices things? A debate has raged on for over 70 years about whether language affects how people think. [read more...]
Completing college is a milestone that improves quality of life and future earning potential. But for many graduating high school seniors, high tuition fees are a barrier to attending college. To help bridge the gap for lower-income students, Madison College (MATC) has launched the Scholars of Promise program. [read more...]
In the 21st century, college students from low-income backgrounds often have trouble affording school and paying off student loans. Imagine adding unexpected bills to the mix. The Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates recently created the Emergency Grant Assistance Program to help these students pay for “unforeseen financial emergencies.” [read more...]
Lowell Elementary School just celebrated its 100th birthday. The building, located at 401 Maple Avenue on Madison’s east side, opened its doors on January 3, 1916. More than 400 students currently attend Lowell Elementary. [read more...]
Simpson Street Free Press staff writer and columnist, Enjoyiana Nururdin, was recently promoted to lead editor of La Follette High School’s student newspaper, The Lance. [read more...]
Madison Community Foundation (MCF) is a local charitable organization that creates grants for meaningful local initiatives. Madison College president Dr. Jack Daniels recently joined 16 other community leaders on the MCF Board of Governors. [read more...]
We've all been there. You're at the store and see something you want, but you have no money. You're impecunious. [read more...]
In a day and age where few college students can secure jobs before graduating, student loans are increasingly scary. In fact, college students average thousands of dollars in debt. And with today’s grim job market, these loans can’t help but make you question: is a college education really worth it? [read more...]
As college tuition rates continue to climb, many prospective and current college students are feeling the pressure of costly higher education. However, there are many creative ways to save for college. [read more...]
I was recently accepted to “Conserve School,” an environmentally focused semester-long boarding school in Land O’ Lakes, Wisconsin. The application process was relatively easy compared to the hard part: waiting for an answer from the school. [read more...]
Since April of this year, Jack Daniels, president of Madison Area Technical College, has been pushing to sell the university's downtown location and invest instead in the school's south Madison campus. Following weeks of debate, MATC's board of trustees voted on this controversial proposal during their May 13 meeting. [read more...]
Recently, writers and editors gathered around at Simpson Street Free Press to hear uplifting words of wisdom from Barbara Jill Thomas. Thomas is a retired biochemist from Baltimore, Maryland. [read more...]
Lafollette High School’s assistant principle, Jim Pliner, recently announced he will be leaving the school at the end of the 2014-2015 academic year. Pliner will take the position of head principle at Oregon High School (OHS) for the 2015-2016 academic year. [read more...]
En toda la Unión Europea sólo hay tres países que tienen el mismo número de mujeres que de hombres trabajando en las ciencias y en la ingeniería. Estos tres países son Letonia, Lituania y Polonia. Esto no parece justo, pero ahora, ¿es mejor que en el pasado? [read more...]
A recent Simpson Street Free Press editorial regarding student achievement and teachers’ expectations prompted a rebuttal from La Follette’s school newspaper, The Lance. In examining the arguments presented by both sides, I thought they merited further discussion. [read more...]
I recently had the opportunity to interview historical fiction author Kekla Magoon at the Madison Public Library. [read more...]
Have you ever heard the phrase “strike while the iron is hot”? Around the Simpson Street Free Press newsroom, we hear the phrase often. [read more...]
Evansville High School student and Simpson Street Free Press teen editor Sylvan Bachhuber received a $25,000 scholarship to attend Conserve School in Land O’Lakes, Wisconsin. This makes her the second Free Press student accepted by the Conserve School this year. [read more...]
Graduating college is a significant milestone in life. In most cases it marks the end of an age; scholastic education is over and a professional career begins. While many students find it exciting to be on the cusp of “adulthood,” a good portion are burdened by debt. And now, after graduation, they also face the stress that comes with debt. [read more...]
Standardized tests have traditionally been considered to be an accurate way to predict a person’s future success. But according to a study published in Psychological Science, a person’s spatial skills may be a more accurate predictor. [read more...]
In early September, Senator Glenn Grothman from West Bend, a suburb of Milwaukee, introduced a bipartisan bill that would potentially allow middle school students to take high school level classes for high school credit. These classes would be taught by certain qualified teachers. [read more...]
Amid national discussion over interest rates on federal student loans, and the mounting problem of student loan debt, University of Wisconsin System passed a tuition freeze to take place this academic year. This means that for the 2013-14 year, costs of tuition will remain the same as the previous school year. The freeze will apply to in-state and out-of-state undergraduates along with graduate students. Therefore, the change will affect all UW System students. Lawmakers wrote the tuition freeze into the 2013-15 state budget that was passed by Governor Scott Walker. [read more...]
Across the Middle East and Africa one of the great civil rights struggles of our generation is being fought. Young girls are on the front lines. [read more...]
As a recent high school graduate, I understand the importance of education. There is a clear correlation between the unemployment rate, salary earned, and the level of education a person receives. The future of our economy depends on educated people. [read more...]
A new initiative aimed at the achievement gap opened recently in Madison’s Leopold School neighborhood. It is a partnership between Dane County and the United Way of Dane County. The program intends to support learning for children from birth until they enter four-year-old kindergarten. “This investment will help make sure more kids enter four-year old kindergarten ready to succeed,” says Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. [read more...]
Developed in 1990 by Lyle Hill and Bob Heidman, the Adult Role Models in Science program, better known as ARMS, is a partnership between children and adults handled by the UW-Madison Institute for Biology Education. Their mission is to improve science education in elementary and middle schools through long-term community collaboration. [read more...]
Advancement via Individual Determination program, commonly known as AVID recently earned recognition at Madison East High School. The high school has been chosen as a National AVID Demonstration School. The program is used by 4,000 schools in 15 countries, however only the top 2 percent of these schools are designated as demonstration schools. [read more...]
Reading Education Assistance Dogs aren’t like the average dogs you would find in the nearby park. They are registered as therapy dogs in a new program at Fitchburg Public Library. [read more...]
On a recent cold evening, a group of Simpson Street Free Press reporters gathered at the Goodman South Madison Library. We were in pursuit of a very hot story. [read more...]
At one time, it was said, girls go to college to earn their “Mrs. Degree.” Today it is more common to hear the phrase, “Girls go to college to get more knowledge; boys go to Jupiter…” [read more...]
In 2011, elementary-school students in the United States scored well in math, continuing a 20-year trend of improvement. On the other hand, reading scores showed only minimal improvement. [read more...]
University of Wisconsin Colleges are attempting to make college a more accessible option for state students. Through a partnership with the Department of Public Instruction, they plan to kick off the 2013-14 school year with a dual- credits program called the Cooperative Academic Partnership Program (CAPP). This program will help prepare high school students for college. [read more...]
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) recently submitted its 2013 budget proposal. It includes plans to allow public high school students to take the ACT for free. [read more...]
Now, more than ever, it is important for high school students to plan ahead for college. Secondary education is a necessary but costly endeavor. That is why many financially savvy students choose to enroll in 2-year transfer programs. Two-year schools help you fulfill degree requirements, and then transfer to a 4-year college to receive a bachelor’s degree. [read more...]
Nichelle Nichols is a graduate of Madison’s public schools. She is also raising four sons who are attending Madison schools. As part of her professional career, she is active in the schools working for the Urban League to coordinate the Schools of Hope tutoring program. Now, Nichelle Nichols is running for Seat 1 on the Madison school board. [read more...]
“Education should be the top priority in our city.” This statement was made to us during a recent interview with Madison school board candidate Mary Burke. [read more...]
You know those simple, basic words that we use all the time but don’t think much about? Well, some of them have been around for over 10,000 years. [read more...]
The Madison School District is facing more budget cuts than ever and music programs will be among the first to go. Just in the last few years, one entire orchestra was cut from the Madison Memorial music program and more cuts will follow. For example, the music department is in need of important items such as instruments and stands, but no funds are available from the school district. [read more...]
My name is Alex Lee and I am a freshman at West High School. I am thrilled to takeover the role of Fresh Face columnist following Max Lien, who is now a sophomore. [read more...]
The results of a national reading exam administered in 2009 showed Wisconsin’s African-American fourth-grade students posted scores that trailed their racial peers in every other state. Now, there is new national data from 2011; and this new data shows only slight improvement for those Wisconsin students. [read more...]
OMG! New expressions are being added to the dictionary! [read more...]
Recently, studying has been a drag for me and tests seem harder as the school year is progressing. A mediocre score on just one test can send your grade plummeting. Getting behind in class is not good, especially near end of the school year. [read more...]
My name is Max Lien and I am a freshman at La Follette High School. [read more...]
The start of a new school year means that you will be writing essays in class. This is especially true in middle school and high school. To write a great essay you must use effective paragraphs. [read more...]
As the school year begins, many teachers bombard students with homework. This is a time when many of us are still trying to adjust to our new school routine. This is especially true for high school freshmen. [read more...]
In 2006, 49 percent of Wisconsin’s African-American seniors graduated from high school. That figure is 32 percentage points below the state average for all students. Numbers like those are saddening and make me realize that the achievement gap is still very wide, and a lot of work needs to be done. However much work there is to do on a national or state level, but to many of us, this is a personal thing. Each of us must possess a desire to not be a statistic. We should set the precedent. [read more...]
Each Summer America’s Nagging Achievement Gap Gets Wider. [read more...]
Scientists recently studied the effects of harmonics to pinpoint why music impresses some and disappoints others. Along the way, they made an interesting discovery. [read more...]
My name is Andrew Liu and I am a freshman at James Madison Memorial High School. [read more...]
My parents have owned the Oriental Food Mart on South Park Street since September, 1, 2000. It has been a long journey to get to south Madison. [read more...]
As I near the end of my sophomore year in high school, the idea of college is quickly becoming a reality. I beginning to learn more about the requirements I need to get into college. One of the key deciders of college admission is your standardized test scores. [read more...]
For the first time in decades, girls’ math test scores across the country have equaled that of boys. Some say this disproves the common stereotype that boys are better at math and science. [read more...]
Recently, a celebration of achievement was held for Spanish-speakers at a local Madison church. More than 100 people received certificates recognizing their completion of computer skills classes offered by the Vera Court and Bridge-Lake Point-Waunona neighborhood centers. Classes included basic computing, intermediate skills, Microsoft I, and Microsoft II. [read more...]
Throughout my school years, I have experienced many different types of teachers. My eighth grade history teacher loved to give lectures, tests, worksheets, and essays. My ninth grade history teacher is completely different. We almost never have any tests or lectures. Our teacher likes to teach us in a other ways, using videos, oral presentations, and collage projects. [read more...]