I am deeply disappointed that in this morning's paper (yeah, I'm behind) not only does the Journal Sentinel's editorial "our view" push, hard, the MMAC takeover/ dismantling of the Milwaukee Public Schools, but they tossed the opposing view to George freakin' Mitchell to claim the MMAC's plan doesn't go far enough.
There's a lot of disingenuity in the MMAC's plan--like shuttling the worst 20,000 MPS students into their own district while saving the better students for MMAC's magic pony and charter school farm. But that alone is less upsetting than the Journal turning over prime op-ed real estate not to someone interested in saving MPS, but rather to one of the great architects of Milwaukee's stunningly mediocre school-voucher experiment.
Was there no one in the Journal's rolodex to the left of Milton Friedman? Terry Falk not available? (That I don't believe.) And, hey, they know where I hang out--and nothing.
The question I have for MMAC is this: Where are the jobs? They're the business folk, right? Maybe they've heard about this unemployment thing we have going on. Milwaukee has better than 8% unemployment. More than a third of African American men here are unemployed. Good family-supporting jobs are disappearing from the public and private sectors without replacement. And study (pdf) after study shows clearly that high unemployment--and prolonged unemployment--have deleterious effects on educational achievement. Poverty is the one consistent indicator of poor student performance.
Yet the MMAC twiddles its thumbs, plotting how to burn Milwaukee's public schools, and the Journal provides the kindling.