Removing the Walker regime is within the grasp of Wisconsin voters. Walker's policies, if allowed to continue, will make pain and suffering the order of the day for many people, while corporations and the wealthy will flourish.
As an advocate of public education, working for over 80,000 Milwaukee students, my goal is to steer education policy and funding away from privatization, and toward teaching all students with equity in funding and resources.
The past two years have seen education used as a political football to advance schemes that have nothing to do with improving the lives of all Wisconsin's children. In Milwaukee there was an attempt to take over Milwaukee Public Schools.
With the new legislature coming to office in 2011, private school vouchers have been expanded, along with a move toward universal vouchers. The charter movement is working to flood the Milwaukee education market with so-called "miracle" schools.
Democrats should support public education at all levels because:
- An educated population is the cornerstone of democracy. This nation's well-being depends on the decisions of its educated, informed citizens.
- Education reduces costs to taxpayers. For every dollar spent to keep a child in school, the future costs of welfare, prison, and intervention services are reduced. It can cost less to educate a child now than to support a teenage parent or a repeat offender in the future. Education monies help to secure the future of all citizens.
- Public schools are the only schools that must meet the needs of all students. They do not turn children or families away. Public schools serve children with physical, emotional, and mental disabilities, those who are extremely gifted and those who are learning challenged, right along with children without special needs.
- Public schools foster interactions and understanding among people of different ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
- "Education is the best provision for old age"-- Aristotle. The future support of our aging population depends on strong public schools.
- More than 95 percent of our future jobs will require at least a high school education. There is no question about the need for an educated work force.
- The nation pays a high price for poorly educated workers. When retraining and remediation are needed to prepare a worker to do even simple tasks, the cost is paid by both employers and consumers.
- The cost of dropouts affects us all. This nation loses more than $240 billion per year in earnings and taxes that dropouts would have generated over their lifetimes. Well-supported public schools can engage all students in learning and graduate productive and competent citizens.
- Children are our nation's future. Their development affects all of us. Good education is not cheap, but ignorance costs far more.
- Public education is a worthy investment for public funds. We can invest now, or we can pay later.
I think it's really sad that cuts were made to the budget for schools. I think that education should be a top priority in this country. I disagree, however, with your assertion that Walker's policies will hurt education. Breaking the hold that the teachers unions have had on the education system in this state is a huge step in the right direction. The only way to get talented educators into our schools is through a merit-based pay system that rewards excellent teachers. How about being able to get rid of poorly performing teachers? The way the unions had the contracts negotiated everyone was paid the same: Math teachers or gym teacher, good teacher or bad teacher. If Walker is voted out and his policies are reversed, you can look forward to the continued failure of our public schools.
Oh yeah, you're the guy from Rethinking Schools, the socialist outfit that sponsored Bill Ayer's public gushing over himself at the Stonefly Brewery.
Say, a while back MPS proposed a vote to dissolve themselves. Has there been any progress on that front? The absence of MPS would greatly benefit education so this really can't come fast enough. Can you give us a time frame on this?
"Support Public Education"... well there's a novel idea.
"Now here's a list of all the reasons a society benefits from having educated citizens"...talk about lobbing up a beach ball of self-righteousness.
Looking forward to next weeks headline of "We Need Affordable Healthcare For Everyone", followed by a list of why it's real nice to be healthy? Maybe a fancy quote in there too: Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food ~Hippocrates
They're fine ideas if you're playing a board game, Larry. However, I've noticed people generally like to be compensated for work/services they provide. Including those of your ilk who apparently refuse to work under any sort of system resembling what goes on in the private sector. And, you see, that's where we run into a few problems.
Any specific thoughts on how to handle that particular issue? Or are you stuck on broad, sweeping ideals akin to stating why the sun rises in the East, and how great it is to have air in the atmosphere?
3 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Larry Miller
Published Aug. 15, 2012
Tuesday's Democratic primary election in Milwaukee was a victory for public education. Who lost? Democrats who support vouchers, the Republican Party and Tea Party activists.
Published July 16, 2012
MPS is making Montessori education public; accessible to everyone. MPS has been offering Montessori education since the mid-1970s. We are expanding this year by growing MacDowell at Juneau Campus and opening a new school in the old Tippecanoe building.
Published May 30, 2012
This coming Tuesday we will decide Wisconsin's future.
Published May 8, 2012
I recently read Michelle Alexander's book, "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness." It takes head-on the "elephant in the room" concerning race in America. I feel it is a must read for anyone interested in equality and social justice.
Published March 21, 2012
Dealing with the aftermath of Walker's horrific cuts has been devastating to our public schools and to the community. And teachers have been at the forefront of the struggle to stand up and reclaim our state. But right now we have to do something to stop the flooding.
Published Feb. 29, 2012
On Feb. 28, over 400 people assembled in the Milwaukee Public Schools central office auditorium in response to a call to action following the recent shooting deaths of four young men, along with other acts of violence witnessed in Milwaukee.
Published Feb. 17, 2012
Recently I had a chance to observe some of these teachers at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School. Unannounced, I accompanied the principal into seven classrooms.
Published Jan. 16, 2012
This is reminder to those of you who follow K-12 education in Milwaukee: there's a new plan waiting in the wings that includes another attempt at the takeover of Milwaukee Public Schools.
Published Jan. 11, 2012
What's the real picture on joblessness in Milwaukee? At a conference I attended this past weekend titled OneMilwaukee and sponsored by the NAACP, Mayor Tom Barrett estimated that there are 30,000 people out of work presently and up to 20,000 jobs lost in the city since 2007. He went on to describe the dilemma he faces as mayor.
Published Dec. 24, 2011
In the spirit of the season, it's only fair to wish a happy holiday to the people on Santa's "naughty" list.