Here we go again.
Scott Walker wrote an ominous op ed piece for The Des Moines Register bragging about his supposed accomplishments with Wisconsin's education system and saying he wanted to bring the same ruination to schools across the country:
Megan Sampson was named the outstanding first-year teacher by the Wisconsin Council of Teachers of English in June of 2010. A week later, she received another certificate: a layoff notice from the Milwaukee Public Schools system.
Why would they get rid of a new teacher like Sampson — especially in Milwaukee, which was one of the most troubled urban school districts in the nation? Well, under the old union contracts, the last hired was first fired.
In 2011, we changed that broken system in Wisconsin. Today, the requirements for seniority and tenure are gone. Schools can hire based on merit and pay based on performance. That means they can keep the best and the brightest in the classroom.
Best of all, the reforms are working. Schools are better. Graduation rates are up. Third grade reading scores are higher. Wisconsin students now rank 2nd best in the country for ACT scores in states where more than half the students take the exam.
Just like Walker, there's a lot of things wrong with this.
First, it should be noted that this piece is very much like one he wrote in the Wall Street Journal in 2011. What was that saying about telling a lie often enough?
Walker also fails to mention a few things, like the fact that Sampson was given a lay off notice because of the billion dollars Walker cut from the education system. Walker also failed to mention that she was offered her job back weeks later but had already gotten a new job in a different school district.
What makes this even worse is that Sampson has repeatedly asked him to stop using her name in his political pursuits. Either Walker is a stalker or just doesn't give a shit and will use anyone to advance his political aspirations. Or both.
What Walker claims about performance is true. Graduation rates are up. But then again, they were going up before he took office. They're just not going up as fast under Walker as they were before.
As for the "improvements" Walker wants to foist on the nation, well, it's nothing more than the privatization of the education system. Walker's agenda is to take so much money from the public schools that they are forced to fail. But it won't save taxpayers any money, since he is funneling that money to the education profiteers who have donated so heavily to his campaign. And since that isn't going over so well, he's ready to start forcing Milwaukee Public Schools to hand over up to five schools a year to the profiteers.
Oh, and lest I forget, when Walker talks about the brightest and best teachers, they don't even have to be teachers.
So with all these "improvements," parents must be overjoyed, right? Not so much. There have been protests and rallies all over the state. One of the more kick-ass groups are from Walker's hometown of Wauwatosa, where they are going toe-to-toe with the Republicans
On a closing note - did Walker really say "Money spent at the local and state level is more efficient, more effective and more accountable?" Really, Walker?