It’s a sign of the times that more and more we discuss annual enrollment numbers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and in the Madison Metropolitan School District in terms of dollars. UW Madison reports its largest freshman class ever. MMSD enrollment is up slightly. It calls the figure stable.

So state aid stays stable as well.

But look into the numbers a little deeper and you find some pretty important data.

First, the number of in-state students accepted into UW Madison increased five percent. That answers a frequent criticism of the UW.

Second, MMSD numbers show a seven percent increase in four-year-old kindergarten enrollment, giving Madison schools a real head start on closing the achievement gap.

This is all good news. It suggests some difficult discussions have paid off and Wisconsin and Madison families are the beneficiaries both in the present and in the long run.