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Feb 26, 201301:28 PMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Blaska debates an opponent of parental school choice

Blaska debates an opponent of parental school choice

(page 1 of 2)

Over the past week, I have been debating one Jeff Simpson over at Forward Lookout, the Progressive Dane-inspired blog site he shares with Madame Brenda and Lukas Diaz. Jeff is an appointed member of the Monona Grove School Board, a defender of teachers unions, an opponent of parental school choice, and a reliable messenger for ever-higher school spending. (Last spring Simpson testified during MG school budget hearings in favor of a $13 million hike in MG school district property taxes.)

I highlight this discourse as an example of the “one-size-fits-all” mentality that controls the education establishment, which is resistant to educational reform. It is a command-control philosophy one would have thought discredited at the fall of the Berlin Wall.

What follows is my “call and response” to Simpson’s Spring Primary blog, which you don’t really need to read to get the drift. You may notice his predilection for conjuring dark and sinister motives for people with whom he disagrees, including (toward the end) veiled accusations of racism most foul. (Spelling and punctuation unaltered.)

David Blaska  6 days ago

You referenced Scott Jensen as “convicted felon Scott (Scooter) Jensen.” On top of that mistake (if that is what it was) you now add dishonesty. Jensen’s felony conviction was overturned over 2 years ago, which means (by law) the convictions never happened.

I wrote “heaven forbid” public schools should have competition as a sardonic description of the typical Madison “progressive” attitude. Yes, open enrollment exists. As I’ve written elsewhere, over 1,000 Madison school district students are taking advantage of it. Which means their tax-support goes with them -- to another public school. Would you join me in working to expand that program, Jeff? No? Even so, in order to take advantage of open enrollment, the student has to travel out of town.

How about an in-town alternative? How about letting the people decide -- not the Green Party or Progressive Dane or MTI or the Dane County Democratic Party -- but each parent?

And yes, another alternative exists: private schools. Over 4,000 students in the Madison district take advantage of that choice. But first their parents have to pay the public school district. Old Daddy Warbucks could only dream of a business model that sweet!

Jeff Simpson  6 days ago

Jensen was convicted, unfortunately for the people of WI he never served his well deserved time in prison since he was able to delay until he found a right wing judge willing to compromise his values and let scooter off. As i pointed out in the story, despite the fact that he spent tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money he was still found guilty and became a convicted felon.

I would love to join with you to increase school choice. In Monona Grove I think we get the most kids who leave from Madison. Would like to expand that. Will you join with me to get us an extra 20 million dollars to build a new school so we can fit them? what if we promise to keep all jobs in WI(i know that goes against Walker policy)? Just think if the state were to give us $20 million to build a new school of all of the jobs we could create, and unlike the WEDC money you could see right where it was everyday.

Anyone can feel free to send their kids to any private school they want. I hear Madison Edgewood is top notch, just dont use taxpayer money to do it! Public money for public education. Its that simple of a concept.

As long as whoever takes the money is accountable to a locally elected school board thats fine, but once they are not accountable to a locally elected school board then they should stop asking for education money.

The current republican party has taken local control and choice away from everyone in the state so dont whine to me about to your buddies at the Capitol!

David Blaska  6 days ago

Cliff’s Notes for the slow learner: You wrote in the present tense about Scott Jensen being a convicted felon, not in the past tense. That is dishonest. If MG can attract enough Madison students, their state dollars will follow them to MG and you can build your school. The locally elected school board runs the public schools but now you want them to run the private schools, too? How about if the school chosen by the parent is accountable to the customer? Why are you afraid of school choice? Afraid parents won't choose the tax-coerced monopoly? That is the ultimate LOCAL CONTROL.

Now, Jesse Jackson Jr. -- THERE is a convicted felon.

Jeff Simpson  6 days ago

Happy to see JJ Jr going to prison, Was very happy to see Chuck Chvala going to prison, and would have been equally as happy to see Scooter spend some well deserved time in prison. He is a convicted felon, the same way someone would address Scott Mccallum as governor.

The money follows the students but nowhere near enough to educate them correctly much less build buildings.

I just want the ability to have accountability. if you take a nickel of public money then you have to have the transparency of a local school board. The customer is We The People. Education is part of the commons.

Like I said there IS choice, if you dont want to do open enrollment, you can CHOOSE to help out in the classroom, Volunteer to help with fundraisers the school get more funding so that they can offer many more learning options to the kids! Need more choices let me know....when was the last time you spent a day in a local school?

David Blaska  5 days ago

Simpson: see me after school. Your dishonesty on the convicted felon issue taints everything you say. By your logic, once convicted, the lethal injection should proceed regardless of exculpatory evidence that exonerates him. A higher court ruled that Scott Jensen did not commit a felony.

As for judge shopping, the state supreme court ruled, unanimously, that the retrial should be held in Waukesha County so the man could be judged by a jury of his peers. That you need to make your point by falsely denigrating others is telling. Your guilt by association libels all the little minority children in Milwaukee taking advantage of school choice as “criminal.”

As for your “choice,” it’s very much like Henry Ford’s Model T: any color as long as it is black (i.e. the public schools). Understand this, Simpson: the end goal, the purpose, the prize is NOT public schools. It is educated children. Let a thousand flowers bloom.

Jeff Simpson  5 days ago

NO the end prize is privatized schools so you can profit off of them. I know it and everyone else knows it. Do you think anyone really believes that you or scott Jensen or brian schimming care if [CAUTION, readers: CHARGE OF RACISM AHEAD] the kids on Allied drive get an education or not??? we all know the answer.

There is a reason that scott jensen gets paid $400,000/ yr to lobby for privatization, there is a reason the devos and the walton family spend millions of dollars lobbying in WI to privatize schools, there is a reason every ex legislator that can, has registered as a lobbyists for school choice. It is not because they “care too much” its because they want in on the looting.

We know your motives Dave, its plain for the world to see which is why there is such strong push back!

David Blaska  4 days ago

You elevate paranoia into an art form, Simpson. Jeff, you don’t have any answers, only hobgoblins haunting your imagination.

Do I care if the kids on Allied Drive get an education? YER DAMN RIGHT I DO (if I may channel Ms. Tammy Baldwin). But they aren’t now, are they, Jeff? Or is Kaleem Caire of the Madison Urban League a liar? If those children were getting a good education, they could escape poverty and contribute to the community and lead satisfying, happy lives instead of being generational victims dependent on the good graces of liberal handout programs. BTW: In your list of villains, you forgot that rapist and pillager Bill Gates, who is spending billions of his fortune on school choice because he wants to assure functionally illiterate customers for his high-tech products.

Finally, you don't know anyone’s motives, Jeff. But if you want to play that game, I must caution you that I can give as good as I get.

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About This Blog

Raised on a farm near Sun Prairie, David Blaska is a recovering liberal who spent 18 years in daily newspapers, including 12 at The Capital Times in Madison as a reporter and editor. He served Gov. Tommy Thompson as acting press secretary in 1998 and is a veteran and survivor of 19 years in state government. He served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. From December 2007 to November 2011 he wrote the consistently popular "Blaska's Blog" for Isthmus online's "The Daily Page" until, he says, the intolerant liberals ran him off. He blogs from Madison.

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