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Jay Bullock's Articles
Now showing 1-20 of 77 results.
Kids & Family - Aug. 4, 2015
Bullock for Opportunity Schools Commissioner
Dear County Executive Abele, I am writing today to add my name to the list of candidates interested in the position of Commissioner of Milwaukee's Opportunity Schools Partnership program. You've been vested with the authority to choose that commissioner, and I say it should be me.
Living - July 28, 2015
Why don't we treat guns the same way we treat cars?
America doesn't have a gun problem, the argument goes; it has a car problem! This is perhaps my favorite of all the pro-gun defenses - favorite being in this case a relative term. But I need to be clear about this: I would give just about anything if guns could be licensed, regulated and policed the way automobiles are in this country.
Milwaukee Buzz - July 20, 2015
Scott Walker does not answer questions, does not speak the truth
Since Scott Walker's announcement that he's running for president, he and the national media have been getting to know each other. Last week, a Washington Post reporter on the Walker beat tweeted out, "In NH, Scott Walker says Wisconsin reporters weren't used to a gov who would 'actually answer questions and speak the truth.'" The reporter cheekily added "Fact check?" after the quote, but those in Wisconsin can tell you the answer to that: pants on fire.
Kids & Family - July 14, 2015
Remedial college classes: A view from the high school side
A new state law directs UW system schools to report a new set of data to the legislature and the state Department of Public Instruction. This is about remedial college classes, how many students are taking them and what high schools these students graduated from. But remedial classes at UW are not a new phenomenon, nor the result of some recent dumbing-down of high school curricula or the inevitable decline of academic quality in public schools.
Festival Guide - July 9, 2015
Milwaukee music doesn't begin and end at Summerfest
It's true. I hate Summerfest. Now that it's over for the year, I feel I can say that, and I can try to explain why.
Kids & Family - June 30, 2015
GOP's MPS takeover plan looks like a rerun of '90s school board elections
The takeover plan, Jay Bullock has realized, amounts to a rerun of the Milwaukee school board elections of the 1990s, when humdrum local off-year elections suddenly drew the spotlight of national media and the checkbooks of major conservative organizations around the country.
Milwaukee Buzz - June 16, 2015
Cheap-labor conservatism drives changes in Wisconsin
On "The Sopranos," Edie Falco's Carmela stresses about a house she helped build with cheap insufficient lumber. This happens on a fictional TV show, sure. But there's a lesson in there: Don't do things on the cheap just because you think you know better and can get away with it. That lesson is lost on Wisconsin's Republican leadership and legislators, unfortunately, as they pursue an explicit policy of doing just that: trying to do things on the cheap.
Kids & Family - May 26, 2015
Why no "opportunity" for Milwaukee's voucher schools?
Last week, Wisconsin's Joint Finance Committee passed a 29-page Republican-penned omnibus education funding package, which includes so many terrible provisions it's hard to know where to begin.
Kids & Family - May 18, 2015
Zielinski's charter school proposal: smart policy, smart politics or both?
I'm also a teacher in the Milwaukee Public Schools, so for me, the most important topic of any campaign, even for alderman, is education. You can imagine, then, that Ald. Tony Zielinski's surprise proposal last week, which would stop the City of Milwaukee from opening new charter schools, was of interest to me. I like this plan, though the timing seems suspicious.
Milwaukee Buzz - May 12, 2015
Once again, reality shows its liberal bias
There is nothing wrong with being hopeful and keeping your fingers crossed as you try something new. But when hope and magical thinking become not merely your attitude but the entire rationale behind your actions, you should be prepared to be disappointed. After all, magic is not real. Only reality is real, and as Stephen Colbert once sagely observed, reality has a well-known liberal bias.
Kids & Family - May 5, 2015
Prom stands for "promenade," not "promoting awful ideas"
I teach high school, so this time of year I hear a lot about prom. This year, in particular, I've about had it with prom. Not because of the tiresome campaigning for prom queen or the incessant classroom distraction, but because it seems now more than any time in recent memory prom has taken destructive cultural influences and turned the amplifier knob to 11.
Kids & Family - April 28, 2015
Conflicting rankings show the challenge, and danger, of school ratings
Last week, the Washington Post issued its annual ranking of the best high schools in every state around the country. The Milwaukee Public Schools, with six high schools making the cut, including the top two spots in Wisconsin and three of the top 10. But here's a thing: Two of the schools on the Washington Post's list also made a different list, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction's list of the worst schools in the state.
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.
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