Thursday, September 4, 2014

Wisconsin State Journal: Gov. Walker and candidate Burke snipe about education. Who Cares?

My comment after this pathetic article.

Charters, choice, teachers, standards, blah, blah, blah.  Our achievement gap is simply a measure of the opportunities we fail to provide children living in poverty. 

The Wisconsin State Journal and other mainstream media outlets need to stop with the distractions.  Start informing us about the concerted effort to privatize WI public schools.  Ask what candidate will commit to equitably funding public schools.  Ask the candidates if they have the courage to do away with racial and socio-economic segregation. Please do your job and ask the questions that matter and demand answers.  And just in case the Wisconsin State Journal doesn't have reporters with the energy to do their job then look elsewhere. 

There are stacks of books and journal articles that document the socio-cultural and economic contributors to the "achievement" gap.  And there are plenty of people with the expertise who are more than willing to help readers understand that systemic racism, tortuous poverty, and 15 years of school reforms based on standards, tests, and punishments are the real reasons why public schools have a tough time meeting the needs of ALL children.

Stop printing petty distractions that just keep your comment section buzzing with ill-informed and ignorant bantering.

Ask our two candidates a simple question:

“Do you support Wisconsin’s promise (Please see WI Constitution) to provide for ALL children of this state an equitably funded system of public education?”

Check out Bridge to Grace's video for The Fold! Official theme music for Busted Pencils.


  1. Really? What, do you think one of them might answer "no"?

    You're on the right track to approach things at a more conceptual level, where we can avoid the tit-for-tat talking points and our unending ability to lie with statistics. But you need a little more substance than that.

  2. I agree with the above comment. You bring up some very important ideas, but the general nature of your question will let the candidates off the hook and allow them to run with their talking points. At least ask them something penetrating to try and evade.

    1. I understand what you are both saying but the simplicity of the question and the need for a "yes" or "no" answer speaks volumes. If you say yes then we know... If you say no then we know... If you can't answer with a simple yes or no then we know your answer is NO.

  3. Nuance is key here. One could look at statements and actions of both where each candidate supports as well as shoots holes through the constitution. Both will no doubt say yes for political expediency and then go onto soundbites, but its a lot more complicated than that.

    Even more so, I think its entirely possible to argue that saying no to the question is a more WI constitutionally correct answer than yes. The WI supreme court in Vincent v Voight presents much background on this including references to arguments of the framers in their ruling against equality in school funding.

    I'm not sure what the answer is. I'd hate to think we need a generation of privatization and its associated collateral damage before the errors of inequality become blatant enough for the public to change course.