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Walker Keeps Telling Tales Out Of School

Walker avoids the real story of education in Wisconsin

On Sunday, Walker appeared with Chuckles the Toad on Meet the Press. Since Chuckles was letting him get away with saying about anything, Walker laid it on thick regarding his record on education in Wisconsin.

First, Walker once again ran out the story of Megan Sampson, even though she has asked Walker to stop dragging her name into his campaign. Unsurprisingly, Walker still hasn't gotten the facts of the story correct yet either.

But when Walker boasted about how good the education system in Wisconsin is, that was just too much.

Walker claimed that thanks to his Act 10 and other "reforms," schools were able to keep the best of the best and get rid of bad teacher.

But ever since he imposed that union busting law, schools in Wisconsin have been in turmoil with high turnover rates and any teacher eligible for retirement running out the door:

“It’s a buyer’s market, and (teachers) will and already have done some shopping around,” said Jeff Berkley, a 34-year teacher with the Wausau School District and president of the district teachers union, the Wausau Education Association. “There are more and more teachers leaving the profession and more and more teachers leaving the state.”

School districts across the state say they are generally seeing higher rates of teacher turnover and elevated levels of retirements since the passage of the law. Teachers and administrators say the turbulence is, in part, caused by the uncertainty and disruption they face in the wake of Act 10 and other sweeping educational reforms. If the trend continues in the long run, educators say the quality of instruction in classrooms will erode.

In the Wausau School District, the number of resignations in its teaching staff has more than doubled in the past five years. In 2010, the 15 teachers resigned from the district, 2.3 percent of its total teaching staff, said Jeff Gress, the district’s director of human resources and employee relations. In 2012, the number only increased to 18, or 2.7 percent. But in 2013, 38 teachers, 5.6 percent, left the district, and so far this year, 35 teachers have resigned, 5.1 percent. Gress expects more teachers to quit in the coming weeks.

This year, things are so bad that school districts are scrambling to even find enough teachers, regardless of their skills. So much for having only the best of the best. As another sign of just how bad things are getting, a group of principals from the most conservative area of the state have signed a joint letter to Walker bemoaning how little control they have over their own schools, their budgets and warned that things were becoming increasingly segregated by socioeconomic classes.

Furthermore, things don't bode well for the future. Walker has made a career in education so unappealing that not only are best of the best fleeing the profession and/or the state, but there is also a marked decline in the number of people studying to be teachers.

Remember when Walker talks about he took on the "special interests" of Wisconsin, he really meant he took on our children and their futures.

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