MADISON - A gap between the percentage of teachers of color and the percentage of students of color in Wisconsin grew over the last 10 years as student diversity increased, according to a report released Tuesday by the Wisconsin Policy Forum.
The state's teacher workforce has remained overwhelmingly white, according to the study, Wisconsin Public Radio reported. During the last decade, the number of students of color in public schools increased by 28%, while the number of teachers of color increased by just 22.5%, the study found.
Anne Chapman, the Wisconsin Policy Forum researcher who authored the report, said that pattern holds true for rural areas, suburban districts and towns, as well as the state's larger cities.
The gap between the demographics of students and their teachers vary by district, as well as by race. Black students make up just over 9% of K-12 students, compared with about 2% of teachers. Both the population of Latino teachers and students over the past decade has doubled, but the gap between them widened each year - with Latinos currently making up 12.3% of students, and 2% of teachers.
Chapman pointed to research that shows that having a more diverse teaching and administrative staff is good not just for Black and brown students, but also for white students.
"It is important for white children to see people of color as being knowledgeable and authoritative," said Gloria Ladson-Billings, a teacher educator who most recently was on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "The stuff we are seeing happening in our streets today is, I think, a direct result of young white people saying, 'I was never really taught to value these people's lives.'"
Chapman said subsequent reports will dig deeper into the reasons for the persistent racial gap between student and teacher populations.
- The U.S. headed into the Fourth of July weekend with many parades and fireworks displays canceled, beaches and bars closed, and health authorities warning that this will be a crucial test of Americans' self-control that could determine the trajectory of the surging coronavirus outbreak.
With confirmed cases climbing in 40 states, governors and local officials have ordered the wearing of masks in public, and families were urged to celebrate their independence at home. Even then, they were told to keep their backyard cookouts small.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - President Donald Trump will begin his Independence Day weekend on Friday with a patriotic display of fireworks at Mount Rushmore, an event expected to draw thousands where masks and social distancing aren't required as coronavirus cases spike across the country.
Trump is expected to speak at the event, which has issued 7,500 tickets to watch fireworks that he says will be a "display like few people have seen."
MADISON, WI - Cigarette smoking rates have dropped since Wisconsin's Smoke-Free Indoor Air Law went into effect 10 years ago.
In 2008, before the law passed, 20% of Wisconsin adults smoked cigarettes. By 2018, the rate had dropped to 16%. High school youth cigarette smoking rates dropped from nearly 21% in 2008 to nearly 5% in 2018.
State cigarette taxes were also increased during this time period and contribute to this reduction.
"Wisconsin is breathing easier today thanks to this law, but we know there are many people in our state who still smoke," said DHS Secretary-Designee Andrea Palm. "We urge smokers to take advantage of the programs available to help them to quit, especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic, as people who smoke are believed to be more susceptible to the virus, and can become severely ill with it."
CRANDON - The Forest County Humane Society works around the clock to help animals find forever homes. But taking care of those animals during their stay doesn't just take a lot of time; it takes a lot of money, too.
The shelter got a helping hand, thanks to a $35,000 grant from the ASPCA. It's part of an initiative to help brick-and-mortar shelters improve their animals' quality of life.
Shelter director Angie Schaefer says that money paid for 20 new cat-condos, fencing for two new dog yards, and several other much-needed supplies.
"We're small, we're in a small community, so to raise that kind of money to get these items would have been quite a task. For them to step in and do that for us is amazing," said Schaefer.
Schaefer said the extra yards will allow dogs to spend more time outside and socialize with each other.
If you're interested in volunteering or donating to the humane society, visit its website for more information.
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