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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014

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Readers Blog

Back to School

As I start my first beginning of the school year, I wonder why the uproar about the mayor taking over? I am fully aware of the impending accountability of teaching 4th grade and the high pressure testing that my students will encounter. Yet, I am short on textbooks, I have outdated and incomplete science resources, and have spent way too much of my own money to equip my classroom.

I have a hard time seeing how a mayoral takeover can be a bad thing. At least I will know exactly who to blame rather than the circle of blame that now exists. Yes, the mayor has other social issues to deal with in the lovely segregated city of Milwaukee, but doesn't this fit right in? Creating community-centered schools that provide a vast range of services to all of our families would help to revitalized all of our communities. Returning public money to public schools would also help the overall situation. A huge change in direction back with the confidence of the community would help to stop the decreasing school enrollment.

The status quo is not cutting it and a politically elected school board is lacking the cohesive vision to accomplish what is needed to meet the federal mandates that are set. The amount of federal money that is available for making this change is well worth dumping the school board. Results around the country are favorable for this move.

And as I return to thinking about my classroom, I realize that someone new may provide at least a new ear to listen to a new teacher. Maybe he will listen to an idea as simple as paying teachers to have time to collaborate and plan lessons that are engaging and constructive. Coming from the restaurant business I believe we paid people for hours and hours of prep work in order to have a successful service. How can I have a successful service with 1/2 hour of prep time per week?

There are a million simple solutions that the qualified teachers of MPS can give once they have a solid ear to give it to. If the mayor doesn't do a good job, at least we know who to get rid of, rather than trying to dump a whole lobbyist supported pack. 

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Talkbacks

sandstorm | Aug. 31, 2009 at 10:15 a.m. (report)

oops! a typo in my own post!
thank god i'm not a "techer".

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kristin | Aug. 31, 2009 at 9:59 a.m. (report)

Hey, Christian. Welcome to MPS! I think you need to do a little research before making claims that Mayoral control works. Even the non-partisan Public Policy Forum here in Milwaukee has come out lukewarm about the idea, because the results of Mayoral control elsewhere are mixed at best.

The Mayor is responsible for many aspects of the city, and come election day, voters should judge him based on his performance in many areas. The advantage of school boards is that they're accountable for the schools, period. They will be judged based on how they do with schools.

That said, I completely agree with some of the conditions that need to be changed. Teachers need prep time, better textbooks and equipment, not to mention fewer kids in the class. I don't think the Mayor is concerned with that.

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sandstorm | Aug. 31, 2009 at 9:13 a.m. (report)

as a techer, you will probably be grading many papers this year.
start with your own.
typos are going to happen, but you're a teacher.
you should be able to do better.

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