Graduate Programs Suspended Due to Cuts in Higher Education in Wisconsin

I have been a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, off and on, for the past ten years. I earned my masters in school administration through UW-Superior in 2005. This coming May, I plan on adding a Director of Instruction license to my credentials. In addition, I was considering pursuing my Ed.S. in the same field.

This is why it saddens me to hear that due to more state budget cuts, UW-Superior will be suspending (see: cutting) the Director of Instruction program. Educators still in the program, such as myself, have three years left to complete our remaining coursework. This is but one of several graduate programs in the education department that are being suspended.

In a time when schools and districts need good administrators more than ever, these events come across as short-sighted and ignorant. Mind you, this decision has been made while Assembly Bill 1 is still being debated. This bill would slash an additional $300 million from the University of Wisconsin system. It also opens the door wider for private charter school systems to come in and take over poverty-stricken schools, siphoning off more public dollars to corporations.

I was also disappointed in the response from the University of Wisconsin System leaders. They somehow managed to describe the pros and cons of this legislation, as if it were a balanced plan. Having more autonomy to run your separate institutions only gives leaders more latitude to cut programming and staff that the state government is forcing you to do in the first place. All three perspectives shared were weak and disingenuous.

I have repeatedly invited my representatives to come for a visit to our elementary school. As of today, no one has taken us up on our offer. I will continue to extend these invitations, if for nothing else than to put a name and face with the institutions that they are so carelessly mismanaging. I encourage you to do the same in your school.

Author: Matt Renwick

Matt Renwick is an 18-year public educator who began as a 5th and 6th-grade teacher in Rudolph, WI. He now serves as an elementary principal for the Mineral Point Unified School District ( Matt also teaches online graduate courses in curriculum design and instructional leadership for the University of Wisconsin-Superior. He tweets @ReadByExample and writes for ASCD ( and Lead Literacy (

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