Saturday, September 24, 2022

Michels ushers in the End of Education as we know it.

The shockingly clueless nature of Tim Michels may just be what MAGA Republicans want, an incompetent beginner. Exhibit A: 
"The tired, old Evers approach has not worked. He's spent his career in education and our schools keep getting worse, especially (Milwaukee). I will get Wisconsin headed in the right direction. I will empower parents with greater access to information and more options for their kids." 

Parents are already "empowered," that's if they choose to be involved, and as for "more options," yea, more of...that? 

Uh, "Especially Milwaukee," birthplace of the Parental Choice Program, where it's Failing? I'll bet Michels is unaware of Milwaukee's "choice" history, which isn't a great starting point for him. Vouchers were designed by Republicans to kill public schools, leaving it devoid of good government planning (on purpose). That's basically what charter backer the Fordham Institute reported:
In 1991, Milwaukee began a bold experiment in market-based education reform. Twenty-seven years later, those reforms are something less than dramatic. The original voucher coalition was a clumsy alliance of free-market reformers, social justice warriors, urban Democrats, and suburban and rural Republicans. 

A program design encouraging the creation of new schools simultaneously led to frequent school failures that hurt the program’s reputation. Between 1991 and 2015, 102 participating schools shut their doors. For many years, opening a voucher school was as simple as filing a one-page form with the state, finding a building, and convincing parents to enroll their children. Some of these schools were of shockingly low quality, creating a public narrative that millions of dollars were being sent to storefront scam-artists running schools in name only. 

At one point in the early 2000s, voucher supporters’ longstanding resistance to standardized testing of MPCP pupils. To put it mildly, student performance was not driving legislative decision-making during this period. The result was a clumsy regulatory structure that changed frequently, failed to adequately target problem schools, and was divorced from the goal of improving academic achievement.

The fragmented structure ensures that positive reform in any one of the city’s three sectors will fail to improve the lot of a sizable slice of Milwaukee’s K–12 population.

None of these successes mask the MPCP’s failure to deliver substantive academic gains for K–12 pupils in Milwaukee.

But until a mechanism exists for creating funding and regulatory equity, outcomes-oriented accountability across sectors, and an arena to resolve issues impacting students across Milwaukee’s diverse school spectrum, we should expect to see more of the same. For now, Milwaukee’s voucher experience stands as a cautionary tale on the consequences of governance fragmentation.
Republicans at the Heart of School Problems: Remember in 2008, The Great Recession, a free-market failure Republicans oddly missed. Scott Walker constantly points to that time of high unemployment and deficits as Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle fault. 
A September 2013 item from PolitiFact Wisconsin, we rated Mostly False a Walker claim that Doyle’s policies cost the state 133,000 jobs. Walker, we noted, got the number right. But experts said the national economic crash (Great Recession) had far more to do with Wisconsin’s job losses during that period than any state policies. 
Again, this was a major Republican failure that would reverberate for decades, especially in education. For fun, here's Alan Greenspan admitting point blank the free market failure.
The Republicans Great Recession: Throughout recent history, major events took its toll on education. Most damning was this from The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a major charter school backer: 
I’ve argued before that the Great Recession had a negative impact on the achievement of our poor and working-class students. That impact came directly in the form of the difficult years for families when these students were infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Income plummeted. Poverty rates rose. Food insecurity grew. All of this would make a difference with these tykes’ later achievement. Consider, for example, findings from NWEA that showed declining test scores at kindergarten entry in the early 2010s. I suspect this also explains why so many of our social indicators were heading in the wrong direction even before the pandemic—such as the murder rate, auto accidents, and more. The downstream effects of early-childhood hardship can take years or even decades to become clear.

The impact of the Great Recession also happened indirectly, in the form of the dramatic K–12 spending cuts that happened from 2011 to 2014. Kirabo Jackson showed convincingly that these cuts had a negative impact on achievement.

They could have been talking about Scott Walker:

Walker’s first five years, schools received a total of $1.17 billion less in state aid than if the funding had remained at the base level.
The Pandemic: Thanks to Trump's bumbling chaotic mishandling of the pandemic, and Republican claims that it was never a problem, The Fordham Institute reported this unsettling reality:
In Washington, D.C., one figure stands out: 9 percent. That’s how many Black boys met expectations in math on the recently released 2022 student achievement results in the city’s district schools. On the eve of the pandemic in 2019, 17 percent of Black boys in district schools met those same expectations. The word “disaster” is used a lot lately, but it is absolutely the right fit here.

But what about the other half of D.C.’s schools, the charter sector? Sadly, 9 percent is also the percentage of Black boys in D.C. charter schools who met math expectations in 2022. That’s down from 22 percent in 2019, an even sharper decline than in Washington’s district-operated schools ... some of D.C.’s most prominent charter schools dropped by previously unimaginable amounts.

The charter school sector in D.C., seems to have had a particularly difficult transition to an all-virtual environment. This shouldn’t be a total surprise, considering that virtual charter schools across the country have displayed weak results over the years.

WI Maga Republicans picked this time to NOT fund Education, when Students need to catch-up most:  Here's what they did instead:

Students, elected officials, education, community and business leaders from around south-central Wisconsin held a press conference on the steps of the State Capitol to kick off a statewide “Day of Action” protesting the Legislature’s proposed K-12 funding.
"A $0 per student increase on K-12 funding for the 2021-2023 Biennium State Budget, as was recently passed by the Joint Finance Committee, is not sufficient to support pre-K-12 education.” 

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Can Democrats govern or is everything they do a "Political Stunt," like Vos Republicans claim?

 Ah, Democratic political stunts never get old. 

Referendum on Abortion, take it slow says Johnson: Again, I have a complaint about media reporters, who are more than willing to accept "desperate political stunt" and "election year gimmick" as an answer to questions about why they oppose to anything Gov. Evers does. The answer should be, "No, really, what's your objection?" 

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers is calling lawmakers into session to take up a constitutional amendment allowing statewide referendums, citing support from Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson for a public vote on the issue of abortion. Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, the legislative leaders called the proposal a "desperate political stunt"
Vos and LeMahieu did not claim Ron Johnson's call for a referendum a "desperate political stunt" did they? 

Realizing he wants the same thing as a Democrat, Johnson's horrified response came instantly:

GOP Grip on Power vs State Referendums, and Dems Govern through Political Stunts?: WI MAGA Republicans, all of them, have use "political stunt" stupidity before, and it worked, no one asked them for their real opposition to Evers ideas:
Empower Wisconsin June 24, 2022: Republicans made quick work of ending Gov. Tony Evers’ “special session” on Wisconsin’s abortion law, calling it what it was: a political stunt. Republican leadership gaveled in and gaveled out, consigning another of Evers’ political charades to the circular file.


While Republicans' rewritten budget boosted state funding for schools, schools did not actually see more money as a result. Evers blasted the Republican-controlled Legislature for stripping out much of the education funding he proposed in his 2019-20 and 2021-22 budgets. Rep. Mark Born (R-Beaver Dam) dismissed Tuesday's announcement as a political stunt.

Gov. Tony Evers announced he was directing the state’s Departments of Justice and Administration to pursue taxpayer-funded lawsuits against employers who process PFAS – in their production.

“Today’s announcement is an unfortunate political stunt,” said WMC President & CEO Kurt Bauer.


Evers' plan calls for a $150 refund to every Wisconsin taxpayer, along with tax breaks for child care and family caregiving … Republicans have called the plan an election-year gimmick.
Of course, our WI MAGA Republicans would never think of a political stunt...oh wait, there was the Gableman "investigation" that jazzed up MAGA voters. Hmm, I was forced to help pay for that fiasco, but MAGA's think it's unfair to be forced to pay for college loan forgiveness.   

Monday, September 19, 2022

Public Schools, Real and Imagined!

This is so good and covers so much ground that I just had to pass this along.

Cody, the host, as usual does an amazing analysis that should be watch in its entirety, even if it takes a few days. It is, after all, 2 hours long. For me, I had to pause it a number of times to absorb and allow myself to cool down.

The MAGA attack on education has nothing to do with what is taught in schools. Remember, MAGA parents were only mad that their kids were home, not in public daycare facilities we call schools. And when they found out their kids were actually learning something, after checking out their online subject matter, they went crazy. Imagine education getting better and covering broader topic many parents were never exposed to. Outrageous.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Johnson says Liberals "infiltrated" everything, and should be pushed out of Universities, Law, Religion...

Well, this was a big miss by media reporters. Is there just too much trash talk coming from Dumb Ron Johnson that reporters can't keep up?

A Great Liberal Purge makes Ron Johnson's To-do List: I guess you could say he's not everyone's Senator at this point. Johnson's comments should take your breath away. But radio host Mark Levin, who's anything but critical thinker, wasn't disagreeing. Johnson: "We've got to push them (liberals) out of these institutions and return some normalcy."
This priceless Sept. 11th gift to Mandela Barnes has not been mentioned yet. Short of genocide, what's Johnson's plan, or was this just another act of incitement to commit violence and more mass shootings? Both? 

Force Them to Be Like Us! Johnson is not alone either, there are others fantasizing similar scenarios, like the one shown below from Kurt Schlichter. Once "ideas" like this make the MAGA arounds, they're adopt quickly. This list is just an extension of Ron Johnson's rant: 

Johnson Denial over Mass Pandemic Deaths a Problem? It should be. Should Barnes tear this grotesque twisted opinion apart? Is he?

Barnes should condense the list below into one sentence:

Again, just for review, here's what conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin wrote, and that Barnes should be repeating. 
Democrats could not ask for a “better” opponent than the MAGA conspiratorialist and forced-birth zealot whose economic views sound like a parody of Republicans’ plutocratic outlook. These positions project a distinctly anti-populist, anti-worker message.
1. In February, he declared that Wisconsin had enough jobs and therefore shouldn’t make a pitch to manufacture new postal vehicles, which would create 1,000 jobs.

2. He has declared repeatedly his intent to shift Social Security from an entitlement to a discretionary program, putting at risk the benefits of more than 5.8 million Wisconsinites, including more than 1 million seniors. The report quotes Johnson saying Social Security “was set up improperly” and should have been invested in the stock market. 

3. He also opposed extending Affordable Care Act subsidies that save more than 200,000 Wisconsinites roughly $800 per month.

4. Johnson has made a series of dismissive, insulting statements in favor of forced birth, suggesting women can just move from Wisconsin if they don’t like the state’s 19th century ban (1849).

5. Johnson voted against a $35 cap on insulin.

6. Against granting the Department of Health and Human Services the power to negotiate with drug companies.

7. And against a $2,000 limit for seniors’ out of pocket drug costs. 

8. He reversed his stance on the gay marriage bill.

9. He has also encouraged seniors to return to the workplace.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Barnes' soft criticism of Johnson's incredibly careless record!

Mandela Barnes isn't injecting any urgency into his simple message, Ron Johnson is lying about him. Hey, that casual look of a regular guy is not impressing anyone. Barnes just lost seven percentage points, HUGE...

WPR: Of likely voters, 49 percent said they will support Johnson and 48 percent said they'd support Barnes. That's a shift from Marquette's Aug. 17 poll, which showed Barnes ahead by seven percentage points among voters likely or certain to vote in November.

It's hard to imagine anyone not being able to capitalize on Johnson endlessly brutal policy suggestions.  Johnson spews panic and confusion in every breath, while Barnes just smiles, oozing positivity. Who's consulting this campaign? Just type Ron Johnson's name into the upper left corner search bar of this blog if you want to have your research laid out in front of your very eyes. It's a miracle. "Wacky stuff" just doesn't cut it... 

More:Mandela Barnes proclaims Ron Johnson says 'wacky stuff' while the U.S. senator accuses his challenger of having a short résumé

Not mentioned ever...

Social Security is a pay-as-you-go system, self-funded safety net program. It has nothing to do with discretionary spending. Johnson's real intention could be to invest SS in Wall Street, raise age limits, etc...and send it to the Senate, what Mitch McConnell calls the "place where bills go to die." Let that sink in. 
AARP: The facts: The two trust funds that pay out Social Security benefits — one for retirees and their survivors, the other for people with disabilities — have never been part of the federal government's general fund. Social Security is a separate, self-funded program. The federal government does, however, borrow from Social Security.

Johnson is constantly handing him campaign gold everyday:

Heck, Barnes even has Biden directly referring to Johnson's not so innocent plans to save SS:

Is Barnes Waiting for something? Just today, the headline supposes Johnson does "not" have a position on a federal abortion ban...

...yet in the same article we're shown how Johnson is NOT unclear. The media again muddies what is a clear history of Johnson's support of a national ban. Hell, he's co-sponsored bills for god's sake:
Johnson has supported national abortion bans before, co-sponsoring six, 20 week abortion bans between 2013 and 2021. In late August, Johnson said states should decide the issue but added that Congress could eventually set the limit, according to the Washington County Daily News.

The measures Johnson supported all preceded the U.S. Supreme Court decision that “returned the issue to the states,” Henning said.

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Michels will win fight against CRT, that's not in our schools, and believes universal school choice will solve Milwaukee's gun violence... eventually?

MAGA Republicans bought into the CRT myth. It's a done deal. 

Imagine the victory lap Republican candidates like Tim Michels will make for killing CRT that's not in our schools. That was easy. Promise kept. 

MAGA's Shift failed lazy Parenting to Schools and Teachers: They want a limited vision of the world taught to their children, a vision free from ideas and subjects they would rather not have to debate at home. 

Seriously, what parent wouldn't be bursting with pride listening to their kid discuss a controversial topic they learned in the classroom, asking us what we thought?

Republican Rep. Joel Kitchens agrees with me, pretty much discrediting the nonsensical "parents bill of rights":

My youngest son is just 2 years out of high school, my oldest is 4 years out. I'm very familiar with today's teachers and administrators. I don't recognize the issues angry MAGA parents are complaining about. Have they never contacted the teacher. Hate to say it again, but it might be that these are bad parents guided by their delusional MAGA mentality. 

MAGA Michels, Bullsh*t Artist (really, he is): The look on Tim Michels reminds me of a playground bully who's surprised anyone is taking him seriously. He's now just tying divisive talking points together, like the mind-numbing idea of universal school choice, packaged here as, wait for it.... a solution to gun violence in Milwaukee? I wish I was kidding:

Michels is clueless on universal school choice. Rep. Kitchens could have told him Republicans didn't know it would be $500 million cost to taxpayers, and were glad Gov. Evers vetoed the idea:

Michels claims Evers (who was the former Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction) doesn't support teachers??? Oh god he's an idiot. I seriously think Michels didn't know. Michels certainly didn't know how Scott Walker's Act 10 vilified teachers for the next 10 years, creating teacher burnout and the shortage we have today. Heck, he was in another state. And that was followed up by MAGA's calling teachers "groomers" pushing CRT and gay sex. Pretending MAGA's aren't threatening teachers out of the classroom, and then blaming the former Democratic State Superintendent of schools, is breathtaking:

MAGA Republican say Transforming the nation is bad, while Michels and Ron Johnson say they want to "Transform" the nation and Wisconsin for generations to come, which is good?

Remember, Michels never heard of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) either, no matter how he might deny it. 

Here's the Here and Now full story: