Tuesday, January 26, 2016

GOP trick to make Public Schools sound like Private Schools fails.

Republican lawmaker and former teacher Jeremy Thiesfeldt must think we’re stupid, and after taking a look at his plans for public education, he apparently wants to make our kids that way too.

Public Profit Bad, Private Profit Good: Thiesfeldt complained in his press release that the Fond du Lac School Districts made up for lost funding by increasing taxes and then having a surplus, what he oddly called “profit.” That’s rich coming from a guy pushing profit driven private schools:
Former disgruntled teacher!!!
The Fond du Lac School District (FDLSD) “increased its tax levy $379,407 due to private school voucher students.” A Fond du Lac Reporter article took advantage of that complexity to mislead the readers, whether intentional or not, to put the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program (WPCP) in a negative light. The districts levied beyond the costs of the WPCP, profiting from students that are no longer enrolled, or never were enrolled in district schools.
Profit is usually paid out to someone or something. The districts money will stay with the district and pay for schools. 

Below I’ve interpreted Thiesfeldt’s nonsensical list of talking points, with my comments in parenthesis:  

“Students are educated at a lower cost (education will be driven by cost, not outcomes) and access to more educational choices (the magical thinking that more choices makes things better) yields greater parent satisfaction (playing on the insecurities and fears of parents who want to do what's best for their kids) and improved outcomes (simply not factually true). 
Thiesfeldt closes with meaningless, nonsensical assumptions:
In America today, people are demanding choices (no, Republican privateers are demanding choices). In order to efficiently provide for more educational choices, we must conclude all good schools are worthy of some level of public financial support ("we must? ... 'these aren't the droids you're looking for...sorry, just more insane claptrap beyond any Jedi mind trick). 

Good schools need adequate funding as they assist parents in educating their children (but not public schools, right?); dedicated teachers need fair compensation, good training and parental support; good parents need to be actively engaged in school governance; students need parents to hold them to high standards (yes, for public schools. Try "governance" of a private school sometime)

Cooperation amongst all these entities (just give-in to profit driven private schools) will yield students that possess the skills our workforce requires, but, more importantly will sustain and advance the American tradition by passing the keys of freedom to coming generations (dripping nationalism, since when are private for profit schools traditional?).
Isn't it a little suspicious that a 21 year former religious school teacher wants to expand vouchers? Thiesfeldt's ultimate goal is like so many others in his party; a mass conversion to religious indoctrination and ultimately a more socially conservative society. Let's call it what it is, taxpayer supported Sunday school, 5 days a week.

Kewaskum’s Rep. Jesse Kremer came right out and said it, when he dragged his 3 Biblically named daughters into the debate:
An unapologetic social conservative with a deep Christian faith, Kremer enrolled his three daughters — Keturah, 12, Miriam, 10, and Michaiah, 6 — in a Lutheran school in West Bend. “I tell people who send their kids to public schools that I send my kids there because I know they are getting the beliefs that I want them to have.”
And since you don't have to test "beliefs," Thiesfeldt's opt out bill is starting to make sense:
Rep. Thiesfeldt's Test "Opt Out" Bill Passes Assembly: Rep. Thiesfeldt’s bill, guarantees parents of students in grades 3-12 the ability to receive, upon formal request, an exemption for their child from the statewide standardized test...
And magically, vouchers schools are as good as they say they are.


Anonymous said...

I doubt if Thiesfeldt ever spent a day in a public school but he claims to be an expert on education. Having gone to a parochial school with some of his relatives I can tell you they were not the sharpest knives in the drawer when it came to school work. Parochial schools have insulated themselves from many of the problems facing public schools.

Richard Whaley said...

I live in Thiesfeldt's assembly district. He has been active in local politics for some time, and has never been open to any ideas but his own. He is all in for private religious schools and refuses to entertain any other ideas. The goal for which he advocates is clearly one that substitutes religious indoctrination for the more cosmopolitan views inherent in the public schools. He is the classic example of why Jefferson advocated for the separation of church and state.

Further, it is time to start taxing the property owned by church-supported institutions that have crossed the line from spirituality to politics and advocacy for theocracy in America. There is no accountability for parochial schools who can select the students they want, while the public schools must take all comers. Tax payers,as a result,have no voice in how religious schools operate and thereby have no right to hold them accountable. Some deal!

If you use tax payers' dollars, you should be fully accountable to the public. Perhaps the public interest would be best served by having private schools receiving public funds required to have public school boards supervise their operation.

Religious institutions should be free to advocate for their beliefs. But when, like Thiesfeldt, they cross the line and start taking public funds, they need to be subject to the same regulations that govern our public institutions. Remember Jefferson's reasoning: Religion will be corrupted when it enters the secular sphere.

Meanwhile, vote out the Thiesfeldtian idiots who would plunge us into an era of inquisition and darkness.