Time for Milwaukee to support MPS kids and teachers
Scott Walker is like the feudal magistrate who destroys the dam, floods the valley and then criticizes the villagers for not stockpiling enough sandbags.
Dealing with the aftermath of Walker's horrific cuts has been devastating to our public schools and to the community. And teachers have been at the forefront of the struggle to stand up and reclaim our state.
But right now we have to do something to stop the flooding. Cuts in staffing have meant growing classroom sizes in MPS – and that's putting our students' success in jeopardy.
Leaders of the Milwaukee teachers union are campaigning for members to contribute to help reduce class sizes next year in Milwaukee Public Schools.
They are calling it the MPS Children's Campaign.
The campaign is also poised to ask higher-paid MPS employees as well as community members and businesses in Milwaukee to contribute some of their wages or profits to a nonprofit district fund.
The MPS Children's Campaign, as proposed by the MTEA leadership, offers support to our classrooms and calls upon the community to do its part to save our children's future and counter the havoc of Walker's racist policies.
After teaching in MPS for nearly two decades, I ran for the school board with the desire to serve Milwaukee's children and communities. An ingredient of this task is supporting classroom teachers and the profession they represent. Like the teachers union, I want to avert a crisis and change education politics in this city.
I, as a School Board member, will donate at least one week of my pay and ask others to do the same and will work to ensure that every penny of the money raised will go directly to the classrooms.
That's right Larry, none of it is your fault. MPS' continued failure is solely because of Gov. Walker being in office for barely a year. Forget about the 8 years prior with Doyle at the helm running up deficit after deficit. It's just easier to blame the conservative-du-jour (by the way, that's French in case you didn't know). The reality is that the MPS unions rammed through contracts prior to Act 10 being law (thanks to LaFollette and Judge Sumi creating partisan delays). As a result, MPS was forced to make cuts that truly affected the students and classrooms. Go around the state and see how the districts who used Act 10 to balance cuts are doing. They're not laying off teachers en masse nor spiking classroom sizes or raising taxes. Sorry Larry, MPS has no one to blame but THEMSELVES for the position they are in right now. Lack of vision, lack of leadership, and lack of competence reigns supreme in their anyone-but-the-students focus when it comes to their union management. Do I have a solution? No. But I know what's in place now is clearly not working. Whether that means MPS is blown up and rebuilt, I don't know, but without a cultural change both in the class room and out with parents truly caring about their child's education as well as a massive structural change, MPS will continue to fail.
"OMG, what a horrific article. Before Scott Walker took office, what was the illiteracy rate among MPS students...over 60%??" -According to the WKCE (Wisconsin's test) 59% of students in MPS were Advanced or Proficient (NAEP-National- is a different story) Achievement gaps seem to be decreasing statewide. DPI reports achievement gap reductions across all racial and ethnic groups. "mps got a 25 million dollar grant to dummy down math and science to its minorities (so i guess the teachers do not know how to teach)." -The grant is not to dummy down. Have you heard of Common Core State Standards? They are new standards that around 40 states have adopted to standardize the concepts students should learn. Helping teachers train to learn about these standards and use them is not dummying down. In fact, they are more rigorous then what the state used in the past. "the union agreed to their contract ,before act 10 went into effect ,so that they would not have to conform to act 10" -Contract negotiations have always taken over a year. It was signed before Act 10, but was in the works long before Act 10 was ever mentioned. If Walkers cuts are so horrific how come the problems at MPS arent being felt across the state? Could it be poor leadership?" It has been shown that 40% of schools state wide have experienced increased class sizes since last year. Many public districts have not felt what MPS has been dealing with for years because they don't have the siphoning of public money to voucher schools that have no accountability to the public.
The reason this runs on this site is beyond me other than the fact that I would guess the vast majority of the authors are not Scott Walker fans. Larry, MPS was failing long before Scott Walker was governor. The only thing that has changed is teachers are paying for some of the cost of their healthcare and pension. Their counterparts in private education do not have the compensation package that MPS teachers do yet somehow they manage to do ok. Once you can figure out how to get people to value education perhaps you'll get better results
dukefame, what conventions of the English language allow for the capitalization of every letter in a word? Whom will all of us blame for the conditions in MPS in 14 months? I can't say. But it's 2011 and President Obama still engages in But-Bushing, so anything is possible.
Get rid of bussing kids all over the place and have the local schools like we did in the past and then you have no problem with funds or budgets. Its been a huge waste of money to bus these kids all over.
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