Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Dittoing Diane on School Vouchers

Yesterday's release of Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) choice school data is ditto to what Diane Ravitch has been reporting on Wisconsin's voucher program for some time.

America's premier education historian, Diane Ravitch has been building the case that Wisconsin’s “voucher schools perform no better than public schools.”  

For the third straight year since being required to pony up test scores, Wisconsin's voucher schools trail neighboring public schools in reading and math scores and lag significantly behind the state averages in student achievement, according to DPI's reporting.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Restore Pride in Wisconsin Schools

With my teaching schedule, I am unable to attend the public hearings on this year's state budget, so I sent the following letter to Wisconsin state legislators to express my serious concerns about inadequate funding for public schools. 

Wisconsin Legislators:

As you ponder this season's state budget, you should weigh heavily this reporting out of Evansville. This story adds to the mounting accounts of how the recent state cuts to public education are not working for Evansville or Wisconsin. 

Evansville's story is Wisconsin's story. Educators and school leaders in this small community have done nearly everything asked under the state proposals of the past two years. Nevertheless, this tight-knit community is being ripped apart from the outside by the reckless state government policies of the past couple years. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Curiously, George Will Joins Demolition Crew

Curiously, George Will, the renowned political columnist, joined the demolition crew hastily trying to tear down Wisconsin’s public school system.

Over the past two years, Wisconsinites have become accustomed to outsiders trying to raze our public school system proudly built by generations of Wisconsin taxpayers, parents, students, and educators--conservatives and liberals alike.

Will joins the ranks of corporate associations (like ALEC), plutocrats (like the Koch Brothers), right wing think tanks (like Heartland Institute), and clandestine groups (like the pamphleteers in my hometown) defacing Wisconsin’s public schools.

This wrecking ball approach to public school reform is typical of those working in concert to tear down public education. Their pseudo-reforming of public schools involves destroying everything (with no regard for existing value) in public education. The demo crews claim to be reforming public education, but actually seek to raze it and rebuild with publicly-subsidized, privately-run schools.

Will’s recent op-ed attempts to bring a sledgehammer to Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction (DPI) for allegedly indoctrinating students in “consciousness-raising” about racism, recycling, and reproduction. Instead, Will practices sloppy journalism and relies on the unprofessional research of Education Action Group (EAG)--yet another right wing anti-public education group--in formulating his critique.