Monday, September 21, 2015

Rep. Sanfelippo blames Superintendent Evers for using the Constitution as his crutch.

When I put this story together, I realized Republican Rep. Joe Sanfelippo gave us all a gift that should keep on giving. Even though these misinformed protectors of  the Constitution can't stop throwing out their weird interpretations, the following takes a different approach.

Sanfelippo unknowingly gave us the best response to his own blithering belligerence; "they rely on the Constitution as their crutch?" Well, yea.

WKOW's Greg Neumann peppered GOP State Rep. Joe Sanfelippo with facts and questions about the unintended consequences of his attempts to take away, even disparage, the voters choice of electing an accountable state schools superintendent. For big government types, a subordinate appointee controlled by the governor and legislature sounds like "representative democracy" to them.

Oddly, Sanfelippo said this would put local school districts back in control.

Lie vs Lie: After Sanfelippo claimed test scores and graduation rates were down to make his phony case, Nuemann couldn't help but mention...:
Neumann: "The governor, what he's saying on the campaign trail...he talks all the time about how the graduation rates are up; ACT scores are up. Are you saying that isn't true?"

Sanfelippo: "No I think that's true if you look at...within the last one or two school years, they're up slightly..."
Yea, right. Gotcha.

Here's what stood out in the video clip:

1. Like the governor, the DPI superintendent is elected and accountable to every voter in the state. If Sanfelippo thinks we can streamline government by getting rid of the electoral process, them maybe the governor can simply appoint senators and representatives too. The money we save on elections could go to educate students.

2. Did Sanfelippo really say the Superintendent is using the Constitution as a "crutch" to "prop up his department...?" Projection much? Sanfelippo repeated this line over and over, shamelessly.

3. Sanfelippo officially discounted economic status as a reason why minorities districts have lower test scores and a wider achievement gap.

4. Legislative grandstanding and "demanding results" in reading and math is should be met with tough talk.

5. DPI's Tony Evers isn't interested in reducing the racial achievement gap? Sure, that's why he was reelected with 61% of the vote against a Republican legislator who believe it or not, promised to protect kids from the UN backed Common Core conspiracy.

6. His idea to break up pubic schools by race baiting, classy.

The Big Fumble: Neumann caught Sanfelippo off guard and it stumped him:
Neumann: "In 1848, they made a conscious decision in the Constitution to say, this should be a separately elected office, does this speak at all to checks and balances...where I know you're saying the  legislature doesn't have as much  control, but is that a necessarily bad thing? Does this not provide more of a checks and balance, that you have a separate balance?
How do you mix common sense into a word salad of nonsense?
Sanfelippo: "Well I don't know how you get checks and balances when you have the legislature that clearly has the authority to set education policy, the Constitution says that the superintendent is in an supervisory role, so he's suppose to be carry out the statutes and rules set by the legislature and the governor, but he tends not to do that. And again, he relies on the Constitution as his crutch to do so. Every time something comes along that the superintendent or the DPI folks don't like, they right away, run to the Constitution and say oh my gosh, you can't tell us what to do, we're in charge of our own agency.

Yet the citizens of this state depend on the legislature and governor for all of the other services that are provide. And I think for a more cohesive form of government we are better off treating this as a cabinet."
It's almost like that now, frustrating State Superintendent Tony Evers and district superintendents statewide:
jsonline: The superintendents, who predominantly hailed from high-income suburban schools and many districts that voted Republican in the last election, gathered ... to urge lawmakers to amend the budget changes for K-12 schools approved by the powerful Joint Finance Committee in recent days. "We're asking them to reconsider (amendments) and reinvest in public schools," said Mequon Superintendent Demond Means, flanked by superintendents from districts such as Kettle Moraine, Glendale-River Hills, Wauwatosa, South Milwaukee, Elmbrook, Greendale, West Allis-West Milwaukee, Hamilton and Northern Ozaukee.
Oh  look, there's Sanfelippo's own district of West Allis, unhappy with the legislatures current list of big government mandates. Since Evers isn't a miracle worker, he hasn't been able to stop every bad idea:
Gov. Scott Walker's proposed budget wasn't kind to public schools, but the committee's amendments had made things worse by adding items such as a significant expansion of the statewide voucher program, a special-needs voucher program, a new civics test graduation requirement and teacher-licensing changes. Mequon Superintendent Demond Means (said) "There's been so much dialogue between public officials about the Bucks and what's best for that building, but limited dialogue between elected officials and education leaders about what's best for schools."

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