Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Walker's Tools for Schools Scraps System for "Anything Goes" in Oconomowoc.

I thought schools were doing great now? They are I guess, thanks to Scott Walker. They've been deregulated.

Public schools no longer consult with, or serve the public, parents are finding out. And teaching models have been swept in the trash bin for cost saving ideas that restructure public education in a way that holds the bottom line. And every year after, when budgets get even tighter, who knows what adventures await. So let’s experiment with the only 12 years our kids have in school. 12 years they can't repeat or get back.

The unintended consequence of losing the structural underpinnings of public education is not a good option. And as a parent, I'm really pissed.
jsonline: In a move sure to capture the attention of school districts across the state grappling with how to reallocate resources in a time of reduced funding, the Oconomowoc Area School District administration on Tuesday proposed a profound restructuring of its high school, cutting staff by 20% and demanding the remaining educators take on more teaching duties … the district would save $500,000 annually under the new plan. The kicker: Those remaining staffers would each get a $14,000 annual stipend, or bonus.

Oconomowoc's dramatic step reflects a district responding to reduced resources … without having to bargain with unions.

The high school's remaining teaching staff would shift from teaching three 90-minute blocks per day, with one block of planning time, to teaching four 90-minute blocks each day. It's unclear how or where planning time will fit in.

The average salary would increase from $57,000 annually to about $71,000. And a starting teacher in one of the core subjects would receive about $50,000 instead of the current starting salary of about $36,000. "My hope down the road is that this is a place where everyone wants to work because teachers are well paid," Joseph Moylan, Oconomowoc High School principal said.
The schools that used to serve the community heard from their bosses; parents that pay taxes.
At least 100 … An overflow crowd watched the meeting on a monitor in a room next door. Many were skeptical and denounced the plan for not including input from teachers or families and for putting extra pressure on remaining teachers at the school. "We believe these proposals are unsupported by research and ill-conceived," said Steven Cupery, the Lakewood Uni Serv director and a Brookfield resident. "These changes are a recipe for burnout, turnover and poor morale."
Here's a link to the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice and their conclusion about Milwaukee's School Choice program.


  1. Really? Is that what it's all about. Being paid well? Let me tell you Mr. Principal- it's more than that. It's about being an effective teacher. It's about having the time to meet with students during planning time. It's about having time to plan effective lesson plans. What you have set up Mr. Principal is an educational sweat shop with robots teaching your students. I hope the parents of this district shout this down loud and clear. As a principal this is a disgrace to your profession. 1/2 hour planning time. Seriously? That's enough time to piss and wash your hands. Is this really happening?

  2. 4 blocks a day is quite a bit, unless they are teaching the same sections over and over again. Even then, there is the question of grading work and returning it in a reasonably quick fashion.

    They will have to have to put in at least 3-4 hours daily to keep up this pace. I wonder why they are considering planning time to be optional? Perhaps that will be a part of the "extra" pay.

    Will class size go up as well? Or is that to stay the same since they have eliminated planning time?

  3. The problem is going to come in when kids need extra help from a teacher. Or will that be scheduled in as part of a study hall? How will the kids get individual help it the teachers are teaching classes all day?

  4. We are going to see a variety of solutions to the tools. Some may be innovative and others will be goofy. This is going to create a mishmash of educational methods and styles around the state. Let's hope the administrations and school boards are up to the job.

    This Oconomowoc thing could work if the teachers have one or two courses that they are repeating. The trouble comes in with giving individual help to kids, and if they are teaching more than two subjects, then it won't work. Even two is hard, because that is 4 hours of coursework to prepare for each day.

    Wisconsin: the petri dish