Thursday, April 02, 2009

Endorsement of Rose Fernandez

I know some of you may be surprised that the Kenosha News has endorsed Rose Fernandez, but I think there may be more of these types of endorsements.

If you think the school systems in Wisconsin are just fine than vote for Tony Evers, if you want to see someone shake things up and work to improve our children's education, then vote for Rose Fernandez:

Kenosha News:

The office of Superintendent of Public Instruction probably doesn’t make much difference in the day to day life of many people, including students and teachers.

But the right candidate, a candidate who is willing to ruffle feathers and willing to say that the state needs to improve its educational performance might make a difference.
We think that candidate is Rose Fernandez.

She is the “conservative” candidate in this year’s contest, but we think she has some appeal for voters who usually don’t lean that way. Her stance on the state’s school funding formula, for example, is that the formula should continue to offer a strong equalization component so educational opportunities are not dependent so much on the wealth of the community where a school is located. She also thinks the state should continue to offer a high level of support to local schools so property taxpayers are not overburdened.

If elected, she would automatically be a member of the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents, and she said she will push for a tuition freeze at the University of
Wisconsin System for the four years of her term.

Fernandez, 51, is a pediatric nurse by profession. She became involved in educational policy as the leader of a coalition of parents interested in virtual schools. Last year she helped push through legislation that kept the state’s virtual schools open. Among her priorities are charter schools and merit pay for teachers.

The other candidate, Tony Evers, 57, is currently the deputy secretary. He’s a sincere, competent man who will keep the Department of Public Instruction on a steady course. He is a career educator, one who is proud of Wisconsin’s educational legacy. He believes that education is the foundation of democracy and the driver of the state’s economic engine.

We have no quarrel with those ideas, and if you think public education in Wisconsin is on the right path, Evers is probably the candidate to support. If you think, as we do, that public education is in danger of slipping in quality, then this is a good time
to vote for an outsider to lead the Department of Public Instruction.

We think that the steady course the DPI has been on isn’t good enough. We recommend a vote for Rose Fernandez for superintendent of the Department of Public Instruction. She has shown some political skill and from the position of state
superintendent, she may be able to push for some significant improvements in
public education.

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