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Sunday, September 05, 2010

Walker cribs education plan from Duncan's failing notes

by folkbum

Here's a chunk of an article about Scott Walker, Tosa Ranger's education "plan":
Failing schools would be required to sign a contract aimed at turning them around. In exchange for receiving more resources, school boards and administrators would have to select one of several models for improvement.

In one model, administrators would be replaced; in another, administrators and half the staff would be replaced; in a third, the school would be closed and replaced with a charter school; and in another, the students would be sent to other schools.
Now, for contrast, here's a chunk of an article about current US education policy, under the Democratic appointee Arne Duncan, as applied in Wisconsin at the present moment:
At the persistently low-performing high schools, MPS must implement one of four turnaround measures to receive the money:

• Firing the principal and at least half the staff and re-opening with new staff.

• Allowing a charter management company or other educational management company to take over the school.

• Replacing the principal and taking other steps internally to improve how the school operates.

• Closing the school, and sending the children to higher-performing schools in the district.
Aside from the fact that one is in bullet-points and the other isn't, can you spot the difference? No? I couldn't either.

I am no fan of the Obama-Duncan Department of Education, and, as I have noted before, these reform models do not have a history of success. Duncan himself does not have a history as success, nor a significant background in education beyond a badly failed Chicago 2010 initiative.

So why on earth would Walker be 1) so lazy as to copy, wholesale, the Duncan master plan and think we wouldn't notice and, 2) interested in perpetuating a system doomed to keep failing schools deep in failure for years to come?

Oh, wait:
In Milwaukee, Walker would lift the cap on the choice program, which allows taxpayer money to be used for private schools, including religious schools. The cap is now 22,000 students.
There's the devilish detail: He is interested in driving more public dollars to prop up the financially challenged system of parochial schools and other fly-by-night voucher institutions. Got it. Keep Milwaukee's public schools in a death spiral and use tax dollars, shock-doctrine style, to enrich the private sector and his religious supporters.

FSM help us if he gets his mitts on our tax dollars.

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