Before the next debate between Mark Green and Jim Doyle, I wanted to check into the truths and the realities of how Wisconsin schools are really performing.
One of the most frustrating parts about being a conservative is that we have let the liberals take control of our educational systems. Even worse, we have let the liberals drive conservatives out of the debate all together.
Education is a democratic issue and we as conservatives are not allowed a voice in the educational debate.
Because of the conservative’s inaction, today’s national educational system is severely damage. As a nation, we are way behind other countries in education. Countries like India are beginning to lap us now.
Well, those days are over. President George Bush brought conservatives back into the debate with the bi-partisan legislation known as “No Child Left Behind”.
One of the benefits of having Mark Green run for governor is the fact that Mark Green has no fear when it comes to talking about Wisconsin’s educational system.
Mark Green has made Wisconsin’s educational system a top priority in this election.
One of the biggest failures of this nation and the state of Wisconsin when it comes to education is the fact that education is no longer about students but about educators.
We have let the National Education Association and Wisconsin Education Association Council take over our educational systems in this country.
The problem with letting this happen is that students are no longer the top priority in our educational systems. The priority of WEAC and the NEA are the teachers, not the students.
To be perfectly fair, WEAC does not represent the students in Wisconsin. The job of WEAC is to solely represent their members, the teachers.
Wisconsin’s teachers deserve good representation and that is the goal of WEAC.
However, the problem comes in when WEAC affects policy and education in this state. WEAC’s influence has changed the top priority from Wisconsin students to given the top priority to Wisconsin teachers.
I know Governor Jim Doyle wants to be known as the “education” governor. Clearly, the evidence points to the fact that Jim Doyle’s educational priorities are wrapped around WEAC instead of Wisconsin’s students.
At the bidding of WEAC, Governor Jim Doyle vetoed legislation that would have expanded the school voucher program in Milwaukee for low income and minority children.
At the urging of the state's largest teachers union, the Wisconsin Education Association Council, Doyle blocked a move to expand the program that lets poor Milwaukee children attend private schools at state expense. WEAC endorsed Doyle and played a critical role in his election victory over then-Republican Gov. Scott McCallum in November.
Many of Milwaukee's political and civic leaders had asked Doyle to approve the removal of the limit on choice students, which is 15% of Milwaukee Public Schools children. But Doyle called for a "full and open" debate on that change.
Even as political leaders were pleading with Jim Doyle to help Milwaukee schoolchildren, Governor Jim Doyle chose to support WEAC instead of supporting Milwaukee students.
Just last week, Mark Green proposed improvements to our educational system that would actually help Wisconsin students get a better education.
Mark Green proposed:
- expanding the school choice program that would give low income children opportunity to receive a better education
- merit based pay for teachers. Teachers that do a good job teaching will get a pay raise.
- raising the percentage of state aid for public schools that must be spent on classroom programs to 70%.
- raising the math and science credits required for high school graduation and allowing any four-year University of Wisconsin System campus to establish its own independent charter school.
- giving school boards new authority to save money with competitive bidding.
- eliminating the residency requirement for Milwaukee Public Schools teachers
Each one of these proposals goes to improving the quality of our children’s public education.
What was Governor Jim Doyle’s reaction to these proposals?
Doyle’s campaign had this to say:
Anson Kaye, spokesman for the Doyle campaign, said Green's plan would "cut thousands of teachers" and "force school districts to cut things like school nurses and school buses."
As you can clearly see, Jim Doyle’s primary reaction is to protect Wisconsin teachers, school nurses, and school bus drivers.
What you do not see from Jim Doyle’s reaction is someone who puts Wisconsin’s children and their education first.
Wouldn’t it be nice if Jim Doyle would put Wisconsin’s children at the top of his priority list instead of putting WEAC at the top of his priority list?
Governor Jim Doyle has clearly shown that he is the “educator’s” governor and not the “education” governor.