Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sickness Weekend - Short Takes

Having an enraged ear infection is not fun. Hence, the lack of posts this weekend, not lack of things to discuss.

I'm off to bed again, but short takes:

- It was amazing seeing everyone on Saturday in Madison who came out to protest the Wage Theft bills. It was truly wonderful to see so many people whom I've had the absolute privilege of interacting with over the last four years both in person and online There WILL be a much more long-form piece on this. (Tomorrow and this whole week look to be MIGHTY busy, so we'll see when.)

- "Up Front w/Mike Gousha" had an epic episode this weekend. First, Rep. Peter Barca actually managed to take down Rep. "Boss" Vos on so many point he was attempting to make on Wage Theft. It was truly magical. You can watch it HERE. 

- Also on "Up Front," was a conversation about a topic I've been preaching about since the biennial budget came out - the UW Colleges. Chancellor Cathy Sandeen was a guest on the show, and you can watch her interview HERE. 

- The committee hearing on "Wage Theft" happening Monday should be mighty interesting. Rep. Jacques? Need I say anything more?

- Thursday's Assembly session should be one of note as well. It will be interesting to see what, if any Republicans vote against it. Who's this term's Dean Kaufert? With that in mind, how to Democrats effectively leverage this for 2016, but 2018 and beyond? (Much more on my thoughts of how this all ties in as well.)

Friday, February 27, 2015

Twice in a Lifetime

Based on the most excellent suggestion from Twitter Wednesday evening, this week's song is going to be The Talking Heads' "Once In A Lifetime." Except, really, it's twice.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

MPS Joins In Calling For Restoration Of Funds

The Milwaukee Public Schools Board of Directors tonight joined in several other districts around the state in calling out Gov. Walker's biennial budget for being detrimental to K-12 education. (Among other things.)

You can read the full one page resolution HERE, but the closing is worth posting:
RESOLVED, That the Milwaukee Board of School Directors join with other school districts in the State of Wisconsin to strongly encourage the Governor and the State Legislature to revise the Governor’s proposed budget to restore school funding in 2015-17 to levels adequate to fund public education in Wisconsin and to reject any decrease in anticipated revenue in the first year of the biennium, while also providing for inflationary revenue increases in both years; and be it 
FURTHER RESOLVED, That this Resolution be spread upon the permanent Record of this Board, and that the Board direct the Board Clerk to prepare and to present engrossed copies of this Resolution, suitably signed and sealed, to the Governor and to the State Legislature.
Thank heavens we are finally starting to stand up for ourselves as a school district. For too long we've tip-toed around trying to not upset the apple-cart because we worried having our knees chopped off. Well, I'm here to say it again, they're going to do in Madison whatever they want. If we do nothing, we have no chance.

Thank you MPS Board of Directors!

18th Senate District Senator Rick Gudex on WFDL's "Between the Lines"

So, if you're a State Senator who's background is in a metal manufacturing business, and someone who represents both the cities of Oshkosh and Fond du Lac, where Oshkosh Truck and Mercury Marine are both chalk full of union members who are more than likely also Gov. Walker/Republican voters, you'd think the whole "Right to Work" bill would be a little more nuanced.

Nope... This is Sen. Rick Gudex we're talking about here. You know, the person who was so quiet yesterday that you probably forgot his name, didn't recognize him, and completely forgot that he even exists.

Well, today he was on the radio in Fond du Lac and as usual, had a grand ole' time.

You can listen to the interview HERE until it gets wiped from the server. WFDL's website is in the process of being rebuilt, and it does look like downloading will soon be available, which most CERTAINLY will be utilized on this site.

The interview starts with Wage Theft naturally. He says that the Democrats statements that several Republican Senators having to take a long look at the bill was true, and claims he was one of them. He says though that what it came down to for him was that the bill did nothing to strip unions to function. (You know, except their ability to finance what they are legally required to do.) He then went on to say that he didn't buy any of the numbers that were "flying around" about how this would hurt families.

Apparently, those numbers were flying just a touch too fast for Sen. Gudex to comprehend. Hey, at least he's better than being truly inebriated like one of his predecessors was on the floor. I normally wouldn't levy such a charge, but I witnessed it in person, and it was a very sad moment for both that person and Wisconsin.

But back to Sen. Gudex, when asked about a list of businesses in the district that are all opposed to SB 44, he says that those businesses may have had some valid points, but that the "nuts and bolts" are more about the change of business than loss of skilled workers.

Oh vei, what to even say to that?! The man clearly wasn't listening at all...

When asked what he ultimately thinks the impact will be of the bill, Sen. Gudex says that if unions are doing "what they are supposed to be doing" there won't be much change. In fact, he cites Indiana about having more union members now than before. But really, what I can't stand, is that he again repeats the lie about people finally being able to "opt out" of the union.

AGAIN, people have ALWAYS been able to not be a member of the union. What this bill does is takes away the "fair share" payment that unions took from non-members for services they are LEGALLY required to provide. So what this bill does, is creates an incentive for people to become free-riders. And when you have enough free-riders, you break the financial structure of the union and break it.

It's that simple.

The middle of the interview is pretty 'blah' in terms of having anything new or exciting to say. Lots of talk about where beliefs come from, and how he believes in one side and not the other. Nothing of real note.

The last part of the discussion shifts away from Wage Theft to the Governor's budget proposal to eliminate third shift tower guards at prisons. Seeing as the City of Waupun is in Sen. Gudex's district, and several guards live in the 18th District with Waupun, Fox Lake, Oshkosh, Taycheedah, Redgranite, and Kettle Moraine correctional facilities being nearby, this is an important topic.

Sen. Gudex says that both him and 53rd District Rep. Schraa are actively working on this topic. It sounds like there will be some changes suggested with this, and that Sen. Gudex does not want tower guards cut, especially at the Waupun prison, which is located right in the middle of the city.

USA Today Goes After Walker, He Responds, We All Watch

The USA Today and Gov. Walker are in a bit of a feud. It's fun to read actually, but also scary because Gov. Walker is a master at trying to reinforce his "victim" status by replying.

You can read the paper's Op-Ed HERE: 
When it comes to taking on the indulged special interests of the Democratic Party, Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wis., is one tough hombre. In 2011, he slashed pensions for unionized government workers, freeing up billions of dollars for tax cuts and other spending priorities. The move made Walker a darling among conservatives and helped position him as an early front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.
Mind you, that's a DRAMATIC over-simplification of what happened in 2011 Act 10. That was separate from the 2011-13 Biennial budget, but the message they are sending is pretty much accurate.
But when it comes to taking on the indulged interests in his own party — including people who question President Obama's patriotism and religion, or who deny established science — Walker is positioning himself as a panderer of the first order:
At a Republican dinner in New York, Walker was unwilling to distance himself from former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, who proclaimed to those present: "I do not believe that the president loves America." Given an opportunity to rebuke Giuliani's distasteful comment, Walker said that "I love America," that Obama "can speak for himself," and that he's used to New Yorkers "saying things that are aggressive." 
In a Washington Post interview, Walker refused to acknowledge that Obama is a Christian. "I've actually never talked about it, or I haven't read about that," Walker said. Oh really? He hasn't read about Jeremiah Wright, the Chicago preacher who married Barack and Michelle, baptized their two daughters, and almost derailed Obama's 2008 campaign with his fiery sermons? He hadn't noticed that Obama often speaks about his Christian faith at public events, and sometimes attends services at the Episcopal church near the White House? 
During a recent trip to Europe, Walker wouldn't divulge his thoughts about evolution. Apparently, the governor is unwilling to acknowledge established science if it would mean offending another key constituency, the creationists. 
Mind you, this was written before Gov. Walker had his little flap over comparing protesters to ISI(S/L).
Walker says these are nothing but minor "gotcha" tempests ginned up by news organizations. His responses, however, suggest a disturbing unwillingness to stand up to extreme elements within the GOP. Walker, trying to position himself as the leading conservative alternative to former Florida governor Jeb Bush, has already sent out fundraising appeals based on his being attacked by a liberal press. 
But really, if those are what he terms as "gotcha" questions, he's going to be playing victim a whole heck of a lot more. Those are mere paper-cuts compared to the C4 explosives he will face further down the line.
So far, at least, things seem to be going Walker's way. A Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday shows him leading the field by 12 percentage points in Iowa, home to the first-in-the-nation Republican caucuses early next year. 
I'm not going to make comments about the news story that almost 25% of people don't know Earth revolves around the Sun. 
Even so, courting the most rabid primary and caucus voters can make oneself toxic in a general election. Just ask Mitt Romney, whose harsh language on "self deportations" hurt him mightily with immigrant voters in 2012. 
Or John McCain who was viewed as more moderate in the 2008 GOP Primary.
Most important, Walker's deference to hardcore Obama haters is just plain bad form. In 2008, Sen. John McCain had the decency to correct a supporter at a town hall who told him that Obama is an Arab. "No ma'am," McCain said. "He's a decent family man, citizen, that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues." 
That's the classy way to conduct a presidential campaign.
So, HERE is the Governor's reply, which based on how it's written, generally looks like it was penned by the Governor himself. I don't mean to sound pompous saying that, but being a blogger, you do begin to recognize writer's "voice" and Walker's shines through. His short, choppy sentences are generally hallmarks of how he crafts speeches and other replies I have seen in the past. In fact, it's almost too easy to tell when one of his staffers writes for him.
Americans believe our nation is facing some substantial challenges. Government spending is out of control. Terrorists seek to destroy our way of life. Our economic recovery has been slow. Our borders aren't secure. The federal government has usurped powers that rightly belong to our states. 
Sigh... Look, I'm just saying, you can really tighten that opening up a bit. Or... A lot.
And every day across Wisconsin, and as I travel the nation, I hear from people who share with me their worries about — and their hopes for — our country. 
Sans those who turn out in droves who don't agree with his views.
They worry about whether their children in college will be able to find a good job after graduation. And as a dad with two sons in college, I worry right along with them.
They talk to me about the rise of terrorist attacks and ISIS, and what it means for our security at home, and for Americans and our allies abroad. We all pray for American sons and daughters in the military and their safe return home.

You mean, like the good jobs that you've been gutting in Wisconsin since 2011 Act 10? I went to school to work in the public sector, and you annihilated the pay structure of that sector.
I hear from people who lost their jobs and are back in the workforce but who still have not quite made it back to where they were before the recession — and they wonder when, or if, they'll ever get there.
Not under your policies of gutting take-home pay of teachers and utterly destroying the wage structure we had in place. Does this man realize how damn condescending he sounds to people who teach that now make less than they did six or more years ago? Or better yet, UW Colleges employees who make less than what they did 10 years ago sometimes?

YOUR POLICIES Governor are the reason why MANY Wisconsinites know they will never get back there again. Because you purposefully knocked them down instead of built others up.
Across party lines and state lines, Americans want America to be secure and prosperous again. And they're looking for leaders who can focus on that goal and who will get results. 
Dude, getting results by ramming through legislation is a whole hell of a lot different than getting results in international diplomacy. I'm not for a second going to pretend that every President has always been aloof on some topics, hence why they have cabinet secretaries and members of the Kitchen Cabinet. But seriously, linking the two?
One thing we've learned in Wisconsin through all our challenges and successes over the past four years, is when we keep our focus on what matters to the people, we earn their respect, if not always their agreement. And, in a purple state that hasn't gone to a Republican presidential candidate in 30 years, our approach has translated into three wins in four years. 
False equivalency! Your state didn't go Republican in the MIDDLE of the time you won three elections in four years! You flipping are pointing out that it's all about turnout in midterms in Wisconsin. GAHHHH!!!!
There has been much discussion about a media double standard where Republicans are covered differently than Democrats, asked to weigh in on issues the Democrats don't face. As a result, when we refuse to take the media's bait, we suffer. 
No... There really isn't. You've just been too insulated in the Wisconsin media where you have been able to run to your conservative AM radio if you say something #batshitcrazy, and they can help reset the narrative via You're not used to seeing REAL media who ask follow-up questions, don't give a crap what you say because they know you have to see them again at another campaign stop, and know that they hold the power over you with their Sunday shows.

You've had kid gloves. Get used to finally seeing a few punches. This is politics man.
I felt it this week when I was asked to weigh in on what other people said and did and what others' beliefs are. If you are looking for answers to those questions, ask those people. 
For the love of Pete, you're running for President of the United States of America. You NEED to be able to answer those questions. The President's religious beliefs are a pretty common matter of public record, especially considering the ginned up controversy over them for the last six years. As President, it's your job to understand other's beliefs and consider them.

That's what TRUE leadership looks like. Not ramming through things because it can be done. It's eliciting buy-in.
I will always choose to focus on what matters to the American people, not what matters to the media.
Oh man... You are so playing with fire.

Do you think he even realizes it? I sure don't. But then again, he's back to that whole "victim" narrative.

Umm, Hey Guys, While Wage Theft Is Damn Important, Other Bills Are Being Introduced

In the midst of the well-deserved hoopla over Wage Theft, the Assembly today introduced AB64, the bill I referenced HERE about how Technical Colleges could soon be allowed to authorize Independent Charter Schools.

AB64's Analysis: 
Under current law, school boards may enter into contracts to establish charter
schools, which operate with fewer constraints than traditional public schools.
Current law also permits the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Milwaukee,
UW-Parkside, Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC), and the city of
Milwaukee to establish charter schools directly or to contract for the operation of
charter schools. A charter school established by an entity other than a school board
is known as an independent charter school.
This bill allows each technical college district board, including the MATC
district board, to authorize independent charter high schools that provide a
curriculum focused on occupational education and training or science, technology,
engineering, and math (independent charter technical schools). An independent
charter technical school must be located within the boundaries of the authorizer's
technical college district or in a county adjacent to the district. This bill does not
otherwise affect MATC's authority under current law to authorize independent
charter schools.
The Wisconsin State Assembly is flipping trying to kill open public education. I swear...

The Fiscal Bureau Released Their Analysis Of The Budget

Just in case you want to keep score at home, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau today released their analysis of the Governor's proposed budget as submitted.

You can view the entire contents HERE, which are broken down nicely by the bureau.

This will take a LOT of sorting through, so let the media go through it, go through it yourself, and continue to find nuggets that we all know are hidden in it.

Be forewarned, you will go down a rabbit hole.

Statements Like This Are Why Gov. Walker Won't Be President

It's not his lack of a degree, nor his short choppy sentences when he writes rebuttals in newspapers. (More on that in a different post.) Nope, why Gov. Walker won't be President is because of statements like this:

That's right, apparently I'm the comparison Gov. Walker uses when standing up to ISI(S/L).

From Wisconsin Public Radio: 
Gov. Scott Walker is causing a stir on social media for a remark regarding the Islamic State group he made while answering questions at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. 
Walker took the stage at CPAC late on Thursday afternoon. At one point, he was asked about how he would handle the threat posed by the Islamic State group were he president. He responded by saying that the country needs a commander in chief who will do anything in their power to stop "radical Islamic terrorists." 
He wrapped up by saying: "If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world." 
The comment promptly elicited a strong reaction on social media, with many Twitter users asserting it was ridiculous to compare pro-union activists with Islamic terrorists:

According to Time political reporter Zeke Miller, the Democratic Party's communications director responded to Walker's remarks by saying: "If Scott Walker thinks that it's appropriate to compare working people speaking up for their rights to brutal terrorists, then he is even less qualified to be president than I thought. Maybe he should go back to punting."

While Walker's comments seem to have mostly drawn ire from the left, they also prompted some criticism from conservatives. National Review blogger Jim Geraghty, for example, wrote in a post shortly following Walker's address that the response was "terrible," and a "genuine unforced error."

So, this is supposed to make it better?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Rep. Barnes Nails It

Rep. Barnes comments on Twitter, immediately after the Wisconsin State Senate approved SB 44 are worth spreading and preserving:
It's true... It's so sadly true.

You shouldn't have to come home every day from work feeling both mentally and physically spent. You should come home feeling gratified, feeling energized to see family, feeling accomplished, and feeling like you can go in tomorrow and do it again.

One would've thought we had moved beyond the Lowell-Mill's era idea of work and workers in 2015.

Some Day's Others Say It Better - Bloomberg on Gov. Walker's Wisconsin Economy

I can't add much to THIS story from Bloomberg yesterday. It concludes with the following, which when accompanied with lots of fancy graphs and numbers, provides some real data to back-up what many of us feel has been happening since 2011: 
Maybe the most interesting thing about Walker's economic record is the absence of any noticeable impact on his as-yet-unannounced presidential campaign. That suggests that party leaders are more interested in Walker's actions than their consequences. Walker has built his profile by going after big conservative targets -- collective bargaining for public-sector unions, school spending, university professors. 
Those fights are interesting, but they don't reveal much about Walker's ability to improve the living standards of the people he represents. The data does, and it shows that measured by relative economic outcomes, Walker's tenure falls somewhere between lackluster and a failure. The next few months will reveal whether that matters to his 2016 presidential aspirations.

So, Potentially Good-Ish News?

With the Wage Theft Bill being debated, it looks like there is some school news of note breaking.

The report comes from the Wisconsin State Journal:
Test scores from this year's new Common Core-aligned exam that students are set to take next month would not be used in state report cards under legislation circulating among lawmakers this week.
Wow, that's a big deal. There have been a lot of questions with the K-8 schools about how exactly they would be measured, especially if the Smarter Balanced/Badger Exam goes away after one year.
Sen. Paul Farrow, R-Pewaukee, has drafted a bill that would prohibit the state Department of Public Instruction from issuing a school accountability report using test scores from this school year, and would delay for one year a new evaluation method for teachers and principals that incorporates student test scores. 
So, why exactly are we taking this test again?

I know, I know. But really, you're going to have us give a test that doesn't really count for anything and costs a boat load of money? Well, that makes it a ton easier for schools like mine that fight, claw, and pull it's collective hair out for 95% attendance, which is damn near impossible.
The legislation is in response to concerns over the Smarter Balanced exam, which is aligned to the Common Core State Standards, that students in Wisconsin will take next month. 
The exam has proven to be much more costly than originally expected, and a key feature allowing the test to adapt to a student's abilities has not worked correctly. 
Not worked for this year, let's make that point. And as for cost, well, we tried to do things on the cheap and not account for the fact that these things are expensive. It's not been rolled out the smoothest, I'll wholly agree, but it's not like it's crash and burn.
In an email seeking cosponsorship for the bill from Farrow and Rep. Joel Kitchens, R-Sturgeon Bay, both said they were informed the test would not be used after this school year. 
Well, now wait. Is that based on the proposed legislation that's out there, or is that from DPI? If that's DPI, that's some important news.
"Therefore, a majority of our educational systems are now supposed to be held accountable based on the results from an assessment they have never administered before and never will again," the email said explaining the need for the bill. 
Sen. Farrow doesn't sound so insane here. I'm scared... Very, very scared.
State Superintendent Tony Evers sent a letter to school districts on Feb. 17 saying he supported "hitting the pause button" with such legislation.
There was also THIS report from the AP newswire, which had the following:
Results of tests given to Wisconsin public school students this year would not be used on the state's report cards and teacher evaluations would be delayed a year under a bill that's been put forward in the Senate.
Farrow has said that it's not right to hold teachers and schools accountable based on a test that's only going to be used for one year. 
So, this is somewhat good news actually! Having my evaluation tied to a test that isn't understood, nor will likely not be used next year makes sense.

Every now and again I guess one of these things may sneak through. Well, it DOES still have to get through the Assembly I suppose.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Banana Republic Wisconsin Returns

Banana Republic Wisconsin returned.

THIS was posted online at 3:58pm by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: 
Madison -- Labor supporters are planning to peacefully disrupt a committee vote later Tuesday evening to protest Republican plans to shut off public testimony on a right to work bill. 
Bruce Colburn of the Service Employees International Union State State Council said volunteers would stand up to object when a Senate committee cuts off testimony at 7 p.m. and would not be silent until police lead them away. 
“We’re going to demand that they keep the hearing open and do it publicly and vocally,” Colburn said. “(This bill) is about silencing workers. That’s what right to work is about.” 
Colburn said volunteers from SEIU, other unions and community groups such as Voces de la Frontera would participate.
With that information, Sen. Steve Nass cut-off debate on SB 44 at 6:30pm and in a chaotic scene that resembled 2011 (or a rankerous 2013 June day with former Sen. President Mike Ellis), called the roll of votes on the Wage Theft bill.

From the Journal-Sentinel again: 
Sen. Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) said he called the Senate Labor Committee vote early on the right-to-work bill Tuesday after he read protesters planned to peacefully disrupt the meeting once he cut off testimony. 
Nass had planned to call the vote at 7 p.m., and opponents of the legislation planned to disrupt the proceedings at that point because there was a large group of people waiting to speak on the bill. 
Nass abruptly called the bill a little before 6:30 p.m. 
"When the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article (on potential disruption of the meeting) came back, that's credible to me or they wouldn't be reporting that," Nass said of his decision to call the vote early. 
He said he feared Democrats and protesters would push the committee meeting late, which in turn would delay the start of Wednesday's Senate session. 
"I think the whole objective on the other side was delay, delay, delay," he said.
I couldn't believe what I was watching. He actually used the phrase "credible threat"? Just like the Dept. of Homeland Security? Yep, that he did. I mean, even when he started I thought he was about to say there was a "credible threat" of some type of attack. But nope, just a threat from hours earlier of people standing up.

Democrats were furious.

From WisPolitics: 
Sen. Chris Larson, D-Milwaukee, said Republicans have been looking for a way to shut down the hearing early and used a newspaper report of a planned protest as an excuse. 
Sen. Bob Wirch, D-Kenosha, noted the heavy police presence in the hearing room throughout the day. 
“I never felt as safe as I was up there. It was a con job,” Wirch said. “They delivered for the Koch brothers.” 
Wirch said he voted no as the chaotic roll was taken, while Larson said he was still trying to figure out what was going on as his name was called and did not vote. 
Larson predicted Republicans would try to ram the bill through during Wednesday’s floor debate as well. 
“If it goes like this, it’s going to be one-sided,” Larson predicted as he did a media availability outside the Senate chamber with protesters around him chanting.

Monday, February 23, 2015

More On Why Letter Grades Are A Bad Idea In School "Accountability"

So, in case the whole Wage Theft stuff has gotten you enamored, you may have forgotten there is a whole state budget and crazy school "accountability" legislation still waiting in the wings.

Today, the Green Bay Press-Gazette put out THIS story about how one educational policy institute is recognizing what the proposed Accountability measures are all about:
Wisconsin's school accountability system has a "narrow vision" of quality teaching, and Gov. Scott Walker's proposed changes could make it even worse, according to a national education think tank.

Accountability systems like Wisconsin's, which rate the performance of individual schools using report cards, "deserve a failing grade," concludes a recently published policy brief by the National Education Policy Center, based in Colorado.
The center's study of 16 such systems determined they give "crude and imprecise" ratings that aren't based on sound research and are easily skewed by demographics. 
Umm, wasn't it that whole "drafting error" that eliminated the search for truth? So, really, sound research is pretty far outside the realm of what Gov. Walker cares about.
The report particularly criticized the practice of giving schools a letter grade on a scale of "A" to "F," a model that is currently being pushed by state Republicans and inserted by Gov. Walker in his proposed 2015-17 budget. 
Walker's proposal also would require schools that earn a "D" or "F" grade to send a list of alternative options, such as charter or voucher schools, to parents. 
It's a scary, scary time in public education when Sen. Paul Farrow is your ally.
Separate measures in the state Legislature would go even further by putting sanctions on failing schools. 
Walker believes his changes would make report cards more transparent and useable for the average person, according to his spokeswoman, Laurel Patrick. 
"He trusts parents to make the best decisions for their children based on the facts," Patrick said. "Providing the A-F scale makes it more understandable for families." 
Because the phrases "Exceed Expectations", "Meets Expectations", and "Fails to Meet Expectations" is not understandable? I mean wow...
The accountability measures have drawn pushback from educators, who warn against using the report cards to label schools as good or bad. They argue that ratings don't take into account social challenges, such as poverty, that many schools face. 
"If you look at the so-called 'D' and 'F' schools, they have the highest poverty and the highest numbers of students whose English is not their first language," said Green Bay School board member Mike Blecha. 
Letter grades "reflect poorly on a community and don't really reflect what's going on in those schools," he said. 
As someone who teaches in a comprehensive MPS north-side high school, you're preaching to the choir on that one.
Brown County's 10 lowest-performing schools all are in the city of Green Bay and have poverty rates averaging 87 percent, according to a Press-Gazette Media analysis of report card results for 70 schools in the area. 
Three in four students at those schools are minorities and almost half speak limited English. 
In contrast, the 10 highest-performing schools are in Green Bay's suburbs. They have poverty rates below 23 percent, and fewer than 13 percent of their students are minorities. 
OBVIOUSLY lack of independent charter schools and vouchers are the problem! Not family sustaining jobs where parents and students work on similar schedules has NOTHING to do with that disparity at all...
Assigning letter grades can oversimplify a school's challenges and produce "patently invalid representations of school quality," said Kevin Murray, co-author of the NEPC policy brief. 
"They risk holding schools and teachers accountable for outcomes they had limited power to produce and, in consequence, risk failing to validly measure and express the causes of school performance," he said. 
You mean, like how our school is consistently dinged for our student attendance? I mean honestly, sixteen year olds have a mind of their own. Trying to get them to school is difficult as it is, yet alone when they have to take care of younger siblings, their own kid(s), parents, or themselves.
Wisconsin's report cards currently rate schools on a five-point scale that ranges from "fails to meet expectations" to "significantly exceeds expectations." 
Murray said that rating method "very much resembles" the "sort of single overall score on a five-point scale that we criticize in the policy brief." 
Quality ratings "are too often imposed from above by policymakers with a narrow vision of schooling. Just whose expectations are being exceeded, met, not met, and so on here?" Murray said. 
Walker's office did not comment on the NEPC report, which was shared with them in a request for comment on this story. 
"Overall, the reforms in Governor Walker's budget proposal includes accountability for all schools receiving state funds and provides more education options to parents and students in Wisconsin to help ensure every child, regardless of ZIP code, has access to a great education," Patrick said.
Good ole' Gov. Walker's office. So, so good at the talking points.

Governor Walker In 2012 On Right To Work For Less

In the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's "4th and State" series of interviews, the editorial board and various columnists, sit in and interview politicians and other state personalities.

Despite what is written often times in the paper, the discussions are great to get a sense of where candidates/officials stand on issues and what they think. So, when Gov. Walker visited the Journal-Sentinel in December 2012 right after Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed that states Wage Theft bill, he likely had to know it would be brought up sometime later when the same thing would happen in Wisconsin.

Gov. Walker's type of lying by omission is so deceitful. Yet, somehow, he's considered a frontrunner for the highest office in the land?

SB 44 & AB 61 - Wage Theft Bills

Just so you know, it's SB 44, and AB 61. Those are the two Wage Theft Bills that were introduced today into the Wisconsin State Legislature. 

The analysis from the Fiscal Bureau is as follows:
This bill creates a state right to work law. This bill generally prohibits a person from requiring, as a condition of obtaining or continuing employment, an individual to refrain or resign from membership in a labor organization, to become or remain a member of a labor organization, to pay dues or other charges to a labor organization, or to pay any other person an amount that is in place of dues or charges required of members of a labor organization. Any person who violates this prohibition is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.