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Jay Bullock's Articles
Now showing 1-20 of 65 results.
Milwaukee Buzz - April 21, 2015
Maybe my trolls are right; maybe I really am racist
Based on older data, MPS had the highest suspension rate in the country for African American high school students. Is it because white teachers (like me) are racist? I have been asked this before, casually in conversation with friends or acquaintances and seriously by people trying to get to the root of the problem - even by a fellow OnMilwaukee.com columnist worried that MPS teachers might be setting their expectations too low. I tend to answer no.
Milwaukee Buzz - April 14, 2015
Is Milwaukee's education marketplace killing school pride?
We're well into our second generation of students who have no sense of loyalty or school pride, our second generation of alumni who are leaving the system with no particular connection to their high schools. These young men and women will be of little use in any kind of alumni engagement scheme unless something changes in this city and district to help students -- or force students -- to be more loyal to their schools.
Milwaukee Buzz - April 7, 2015
Lack of competitive school board races hurts Milwaukee
Today is election day in Wisconsin. Non-partisan elections like today's, especially here in Milwaukee, are usually low-turnout affairs, with few candidates, few ads or debates, and few big issues on the table for argument or discussion. This year is feels like there's been even less of that than usual, since of five school board races on the ballot, three candidates -- including the citywide candidate, Terry Falk -- have no opponent at all.
Milwaukee Buzz - March 31, 2015
Indiana governor calls "April Fools!" on religious freedom law
A vocal minority of Indiana's Christian population demanded, and got, a so-called "religious freedom" law. Reality tells us that this very vocal minority of Christians in Indiana demanded the law because they wanted the freedom, as individuals, as churches, and as businesses, to discriminate against gays and lesbians.
Milwaukee Buzz - March 24, 2015
Here's to the next five years of Obamacare
This week in 2010, five years ago, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law. It has not led to a revolution - yet - but if you asked your average conservative which was worse, the oppressive taxation without representation of King George or giving 16 million Americans access to affordable health insurance, they would say Obamacare every time, I'm sure. I do not understand this.
Milwaukee Buzz - March 10, 2015
Obamacare vs. right to work
The right to work law, like Act 10, doesn't hold up to the scrutiny conservatives would apply were it a Democratic bill. Health-care reform was a major campaign item, something promised by Obama. Walker denied interest in right to work and called it a distraction, and it was never a statewide issue during the 2014 election.
Milwaukee Buzz - March 3, 2015
Finding the truth in war stories
This column begins with your periodic reminder that In Real Life, I teach high school English. I often teach Tim O'Brien's novel "The Things They Carried," as a whole or in pieces, including the chapter "How to Tell a True War Story." I've been thinking a lot about that story lately, as NBC anchor Brian Williams, Bill O'Reilly, and even Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker have all been in the news lately for telling untrue war (or "war") stories.
Milwaukee Buzz - Feb. 24, 2015
What makes "right to work" worthy of an extraordinary session?
This week, the Wisconsin legislature begins the fast-track process to pass "right-to-work" - or, as I call it, "right-to-freeload." They are doing this in a so-called "extraordinary session" of the legislature. While "extraordinary session" may well be a technical term related to the rules under which the session will operate, we all know what "extraordinary" means and, historically, such sessions have been used to address major or important or emergency issues.
Milwaukee Buzz - Feb. 17, 2015
2 reasons why it's a bad week to be an atheist
So what's making atheism tough this week? Two things. One is Scott Walker. And I don't just say that on principle, though I can see why you might think that given my history in this space. The second thing setting off my atheist alarms this last week is something that really was newsworthy. That's the murder of three observant Muslims in Chapel Hill, N.C., last Tuesday.
Milwaukee Buzz - Feb. 9, 2015
Building the streetcar doesn't hurt MPS
Last week Milwaukee Alderman Joe Davis, a streetcar opponent and announced candidate for mayor against Barrett in 2016, earned a "Mostly False" from PolitiFact Wisconsin for saying the streetcar would "take precious revenue away" from MPS.
Kids & Family - Feb. 3, 2015
Walker's never-ending quest to widen the resource gap
The dramatic budget cuts at the hands of Scott Walker would be devastating for this city and the state overall -- it would increase the resource gap.
Milwaukee Buzz - Jan. 27, 2015
Walker's teacher licensing program is a bad idea and another attack on unions
The "Scott Walker thing" in question is the plan our governor is putting in his budget to allow people with "real-life experience" to become licensed public school teachers, potentially without even a lick of training, student teaching, or other assurance that those people know a single thing about teaching. It's easy to guess why Walker is proposing such a thing -- I'll get to that in a minute -- but let me explain why I agree with my student teacher that it's a terrible idea.
Milwaukee Buzz - Jan. 20, 2015
Streetcar opposition is lousy with false dichotomies
In an ad, Nate Hamilton puts forward a textbook false dichotomy. A false dichotomy is just what it sounds like, with a speaker suggesting a false choice or saying that there are only two possible positions on an issue. Though he phrases his call for opposition almost as revenge for his brother's killing, his implication is clearly that the streetcar will proceed only at the expense of justice, or the other way around -- stopping the streetcar will bring about the justice he seeks. But that's just not true.
Kids & Family - Jan. 13, 2015
Accountability, recovery and Dave Begel
Wisconsin Republicans have unveiled their version of a "school accountability" bill; Democrats released their own bill designed to increase accountability at private schools that receive tax-funded vouchers, some students lost two pre-exam days to weather, the Packers won a playoff game, and a fellow OnMilwaukee.com columnist responded to what Jay Bullock wrote ... not necessarily in that order.
Milwaukee Buzz - Jan. 6, 2015
A "recovery district" won't be magic
Milwaukee's children, especially poor minority children, start school behind their white suburban peers, fall further behind over the years, and by the time they graduate, if they do, still end up in remedial college classes at a depressingly high rate. These are the facts, and they're true across all Milwaukee's sectors, they're true generally of urban poor children across the country, and they will be true of any Milwaukee "recovery district."
Milwaukee Buzz - Dec. 30, 2014
The surprising left-right divide in reactions to killings
By now, you've probably read and heard all you care to regarding police killings of unarmed black men and boys and the attendant protests, counter-protests, legal actions, recriminations and more. I don't have a lot to add to what has already been said, except this one thought that keeps bugging me and gets talked about at best only tangentially regarding these killings. And it's this: Why is reaction to this so divided along partisan lines?
Milwaukee Buzz - Dec. 23, 2014
The surprising and not-so-surprising moments in 2014
This year, there were some things that were surprising ... and not-so-surprising. At the end of 2013, I didn't publish anywhere a list of predictions for this year, so I don't really have a scorecard I can use to gauge my success or failure as a prognosticator and pundit. There's no way to check what I got right and wrong for 2014. But I can talk about what surprised me this year and what did not.
Milwaukee Buzz - Dec. 17, 2014
Fact-checkers ignore biggest Grothman lie: the poor are lazy
A few Sundays ago, Congressman-elect Glenn Grothman told Milwaukee TV host Mike Gousha that welfare recipients "can easily get $35,000 a year in total benefits between the healthcare and the earned income credit and the FoodShare and the low-income housing and what have you." By zeroing on the number he spat out -- and, you know, $35,000 does seem like a lot of money -- the fact-checkers miss the chance to nail Grothman for the far worse implication of his statement: that the poor are lazy, and are paid by the government to stay lazy.
Milwaukee Buzz - Dec. 9, 2014
The right to freeload
Right to work? There is not, right now, in Wisconsin or any other state a prohibition on people working. The act ought to be called the "right to freeload" bill.
Milwaukee Buzz - Dec. 2, 2014
Remember all the wars this season
It's December, we're deep into this year's War on Christmas -- you have probably been Happy Holidays-ed repeatedly in the last week -- and it's easy, under fire like that, to forget about the many other ongoing wars and the casualties inflicted in them.
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