Head 'em up, move 'em out!
School reform: There are two kinds of politicians. Those who run to be somebody and those who run to do something. I opined, on a recent Wisconsin Public Radio Week in Review program, that Jim E. Doyle was one of the former.
But he can take a prominent place in the history books if he can turn around Milwaukee's failed public school system. Indeed, if anyone can take on the intransigent and greedy teachers union, it is Doyle. It's a Nixon goes to China kind of thing.
By the same token, has there ever been a more determined advocate for failure than Ed Garvey? I mean, outside the teachers union? Mayor Tom Barrett and Doyle outline how Milwaukee's public schools have failed:
- More than 70% of MPS 10th graders are not proficient in Math.
- More than 60% of MPS 10th graders are not proficient in Reading.
- Graduation rates are improving but still lag behind the statewide average.
- 4 of every 5 graduates who go on to UW-Milwaukee from MPS require remedial classes
- Of MPS graduates from 2005-2007, only 39% enrolled in a post-secondary program within a year of graduation, compared to 48% of Chicago Public School graduates in 2006.
The mayor runs the schools in Chicago, New York City, and Washington D.C. All are places where that recent change in leadership has produced results. So much so that Chicago's school superintendent, Arne Duncan, appointed by Mayor Daley II, is now President Obama's Education Secretary.
DNR Secretary: Congrats to the Wisconsin State Journal for opposing the headlong rush to "free" the DNR from "political influence" by taking away the governor's ability to appoint its secretary. Yes, that will "free" the DNR from the governor's influence and therefore, from the influence of the people who elected him - aka, the people.
Instead, the Department of Natural Resources will be exposed to takeover by State Rep. Spencer Black, the Sierra Club, Environmental Decade, et al.
State Rep. Donald Friske represents a northeast Wisconsin district. He aptly describes the so-called "non-partisan" DNR head as "snake oil."
Free speech: My liberal friends like to wave the banner of free speech every time some sandalista disrupts a conservative speaker. But they're not too good with the speech with which they disagree. (See Deke Rivers attempt to oust Lou Dobbs of CNN.) If corporations cannot advocate for or against an elected representative of the people within 30 days of an election then would someone please tap John Nichols on the shoulder? That would be John Nichols of The Capital Times, incorporated.
ACORN shelled: Hooray to the U.S. House for cutting off funding for the voter fraud purveyors, ACORN, by a vote of 345-75. BTW: the 75 nay votes were all Democrats. Even so, a majority of that party's adherents voted against ACORN, following revelations that two ACORN staffers were caught on tape apparently offering tax advice on how to set about a youth prostitution ring. See the video. Even Nancy Pelosi headed for the hills. Sadly, our 2nd District Rep. Tammy Baldwin, voted to keep funding ACORN. So did the flakey Gwen Moore of Milwaukee.