Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Republican Road Map to Privatized Education, Free from Public Interference. Go Charter Schools...

One of the most incompetent elected officials in our state, Sen. Alberta Darling, is about to present the “Big Government Republican” solution to our public education "nightmare." 

Although many of the changes directly contradict the conservative mantra of local control, accountability, and watchdogging wasteful government spending, the road map to a one party system of pay to play politicians is just too tempting. The article is here.

You might remember when Darling was asked what would happen if the tax cuts didn’t result in new jobs or a balanced budget; without hesitation she said she would call for more tax cuts. Never mind if the policy itself was a failure.   

Here’s what the critics, and a little common sense, would tell you about Darlings take over of public schools. Senate Bill 22 would:
  • De-emphasizes local control in favor of a new, politically motivated bureaucracy.
  • (Put in place) nine political appointees, by the governor and the leaders of the state Senate and Assembly, would get to authorize public charter schools while local school districts foot the bill.
  • Siphon general aid away from all of Wisconsin's 424 public school districts in favor of charters.
  • This board would have the power to authorize independent charter schools, even in communities where the locally elected school board opposed such a school.  
  • Reduce the certification requirements for teachers in charter schools … create a charter school teaching license that allows teachers to teach multiple subjects in their schools … demonstrate competence in their subject areas … including relevant work experience … it will mean less qualified teachers in the classroom.
  • Remove the cap on virtual charter school enrollment (where) small districts, in particular, could suffer if significant numbers of students enroll in virtual schools and take their state aid with them.
  • The bill also would eliminate a cap on the amount of state aid provided to charter schools. This likely means less state aid for all districts to share.
  • The proposed new Charter School Authorizing Board (would) not (be) accountable to any local elected officials, there will be nowhere to turn to protest.

And that’s the Big Government Republican solution to pesky local government roadblocks to a business takeover of education. Oh, and what happened to the conservative revulsion of appointing unelected Czars? 

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