Madison: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

Madison was recently singled out by Money magazine as the country's "best place for education." Public, elementary, and secondary schools in Madison are part of the Madison Metropolitan School District, the third-largest system in the state of Wisconsin. The Madison Metropolitan School District serves about 25,000 students in 46 schools, including 30 elementary schools (grades K-5), 11 middle schools (6-8), four comprehensive high schools and one alternative high school. The district also has early childhood programs and alternative programs at the secondary level (6-12). The district covers approximately 65 square miles, including all or part of the cities of Madison and Fitchburg, the villages of Maple Bluff and Shorewood Hills, and the towns of Blooming Grove, Burke and Madison. A superintendent is appointed by a seven-member, nonpartisan board of education.

The following is a summary of data regarding Madison public schools as of the 2004–2005 school year.

Total enrollment: 25,000

Number of facilities

elementary schools: 30

middle schools: 11

high schools: 4

other: 1 alternative

Student/teacher ratio: 12.3:1 (2002–03)

Teacher salaries

average: $37,701 (2002–2003)

Funding per pupil: $11,118 (2002–2003)

Parochial elementary and secondary school systems are operated by the Roman Catholic and Lutheran churches; three private schools in Dane County provide a kindergarten through grade eight curriculum; and four interdenominational schools offer instruction at all grade levels. There are also services for those with special mental and physical needs.

Public Schools Information: Madison Metropolitan School District, 545 West Dayton Street, Madison, WI 53703-1967; telephone (608)266-6270

Colleges and Universities

The University of Wisconsin—Madison, chartered in 1848, is one of the country's top 10 public universities. It enrolls more than 41,000 students and grants undergraduate and graduate degrees in more than 100 disciplines, including agriculture, allied health professions, education, environmental studies, law, pharmacy, medicine, veterinary medicine, and nursing. As a major research institution, the university is known for work in a variety of fields such as agriculture, bacteriology, chemistry, engineering, forest products, genetics, land use, medicine, nuclear energy, and physics. Edgewood College is a private liberal arts college awarding associate and baccalaureate degrees; a cooperative program in medical technology with area schools and limited cross-registration with the University of Wisconsin—Madison are available. Vocational training and/or bachelors degrees are offered by Madison Area Technical College (which enrolls more than 50,000), Herzing College of Technology, and Madison Media Institute; areas of specialization include aviation, computers, cosmetology, dance, electronics, music, nursing, recreation, and television.

Libraries and Research Centers

Madison is home to 180 public, governmental, special, and academic libraries. The Madison Public Library, with a centrally located main facility, operates nine branches throughout the city. Holdings include about 1.2 million volumes, including periodicals, and compact discs, DVD and video recordings, books on tape, maps, charts, and art reproductions; the library is a partial depository for federal and city documents. In 2004 the Library had 2.2 million visitors, another 2 million hits on its online databases, and circulated 4.3 million volumes. The University of Wisconsin-Madison Memorial Library is a major research facility, housing more than 5.5 million volumes, with more than 80 special collections in a wide range of scholarly fields. The State Historical Society library specializes in Wisconsin lore and has a special African American History Collection.

As the state capital, Madison is the site for libraries affiliated with governmental agencies; among them are the Wisconsin Department of Justice Law Library, the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Library, and the Wisconsin State Law Library. Several county agencies also maintain libraries in the city. Other specialized libraries are operated by colleges, public interest groups, labor organizations, churches, hospitals, corporations, museums, and newspapers.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison ranks among the top American research universities. UW-Madison annually receives total research funding exceeding $360 million. According to recent figures available from the National Science Foundation, this makes the University of Wisconsin-Madison the third largest funded research university in the country. U.S. government research laboratories located in Madison include the U.S. Forest Products Lab, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Laboratory, the Space Science and Engineering Center, the Waisman Center on Mental Retardation and Human Development, the Enzyme Institute, the Sea Grant Institute, Air Pollution Lab, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Research Service. A number of private research and testing centers, such as Hazelton Laboratories America, Inc., are also based in Madison.

Public Library Information: Madison Public Library, 201 West Mifflin Street, Madison, WI 53703; telephone (608)266-6300