It started out in a not so innocent way when Republicans dropped this little bomb on Milwaukee:
County exec would oversee turnaround of MPS schools in GOP plan: The Milwaukee County executive would oversee the turnover of up to five struggling Milwaukee Public Schools per year to operators of successful public charter or private voucher schools.
That's privatizing up to 5 schools a year. That seems dramatic and pretty much over the top, all the while ignoring the real reason some schools are failing; economic status and poverty.
And that's a big clue. How do you know republicans wrote the plan as part of their attempt to privatize the state’s largest population center (the rest of the state would be a piece of cake)?
Staff at the public schools run by new operators — or directly by the commissioner — would have to re-apply for their jobs and, if hired, would waive their right to be represented by a union. The "Opportunity Schools and Partnership Program" is a proposal by Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and Rep. Dale Kooyenga (Brookfield).This is a plan to turn our brick and mortor schools, paid for by taxpayers, over to the for profit privateers. That didn't go over well with the superintendent, and she said so on Upfront with Mike Gousha:
Milwaukee Public Schools superintendent Darienne Driver said a proposal to pull the worst schools from the district and put them into a charter program would be devastating. She said that the state needs to realize high rates in poverty and crime are large factors in poor academic performance. She said that both public and private schools are struggling, and this proposal won’t fix issues in the classroom.So in a preemptive move, the school board got very creative:
"I think that having choice schools becoming the method of choice, when they're performing lower than MPS is currently, is a mistake," Driver said.
jsonline: The Milwaukee School Board on Thursday will consider limiting its own authority and giving full power to Superintendent Darienne Driver to make the changes at up to three low-performing schools a year without board approval, according to a new proposal. "Our plan calls for less disruption," School Board President Michael Bonds said.
The superintendent to have control over the facilities that house the low-performing schools getting alternate treatment. Under the GOP plan, MPS would likely lose that ability.
The superintendent to be able to reintegrate the low-performing schools back into MPS if they showed improvement. There was no plan for that under the plan from Republicans.