Barry Alvarez for Madison school boss

Or someone equally brash.

Time to throw long. Time for a revolutionary school superintendent in Madison to succeed the departing Dan Nerad. No more faceless career educrats. No more processed School of Education products. No more fearful union toadies.

That’s a tall order for a school board that, for the last 30 or more years, has padlocked its head to the teachers union railing. But Gov. Walker has freed education from the tyranny of the organized labor cartel and more Madison citizens are starting to get it. They just need to be shown how the dots connect.

The game plan: bypass the tremulous school board and appeal directly to the people. Campaign like Scott Walker facing recall. Do talk shows, write op-eds, buy TV time, get the WI State Journal to take a stand. Persuade Mayor Paul to use his bully pulpit on your behalf. Get the (Greater) Madison Chamber of Commerce to go all in. New school board member Mary Burke, spend more Trek money to get the message across. It’s time to put courage in our public classrooms.

Fire the public imagination as to what is possible: a balanced budget without raising taxes and short-changing maintenance, closing the achievement gap, discipline in the classrooms, performance standards for teachers and administrators, treating teachers as professionals and not as industrial assembly line workers.

Think a proven, no-nonsense, results-oriented leader like Donna Shalala or Tommy Thompson or Barry Alvarez. Think Kaleem Caire.

And quit blaming a guy who hasn’t been in office two years yet! Thank you very much to the Wisconsin State Journal, which, ever so often, shows flashes of lightning amidst its editorial borborygmos, as it did in its July 5 editorial, “Great news for Madison schools.”

“Our city schools are not ‘crumbling,’ as Madison School Board member Maya Cole oddly insisted last month, before approving a … budget that increases spending by 0.8 percent. … Similarly, cuts to last year's local school budget were not ‘just the tip of the iceberg,’ as Madison board member Marj Passman had ominously suggested.”

Not after a 25% increase in state aid amounting to $11 million!

In the print edition of this month’s In Business magazine, the Squire of the Stately Manor explains how Gov. Walker did school districts everywhere a favor.

The growing list of school reformers

Speaking of courage, add yet another voice to the growing list of reformers taking on the reactionary teachers unions.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s James Causey reports: “Educator says unions don't help kids.”

“Author and educator Steve Perry pushes the envelope when it comes to modern education. … Perry believes that Gov. Scott Walker's move to break up unions – including the state teachers union – will improve educational outcomes for all children.”

Perry wrote the book Push Has Come to Shove: Getting Our Kids the Education They Deserve – Even if It Means Picking a Fight. And yes, Mr. Perry is a registered Democrat, age 42, and well endowed with a Godly amount of melanin.

“When we ask our kids, ‘What’d you do in school today?’ and they mumble, ‘Nothin’,’ they’re telling the truth.”

More here from The Root: “Failing schools boils down to one thing: teachers unions.” Here’s an idea: hire Steve Perry and for God’s sake, pay him!

And arrest teachers union boss John Matthews for trespassing next time he steps foot on school district property.

Landlords of the nanny state

More evidence of the business community’s absence from the tables of local governance: landlords may be required to provide voter registration forms when tenants move into a residence. It’s sponsored by nine of the 20 members of the Madison Politburo … um, Common Council, led by Bridget “the Maniac” Maniaci.

Hers is the kind of legislation that makes the doe-eyed dreamers feel yummy in the tummy: a new mandate, ostensibly for a good purpose, that someone else pays for. It’s only the latest indignity heaped upon the accursed housing provider.

“Are we going to require landlords to offer packets of oatmeal in the morning, too?” asks Nancy Jensen, head of the association representing landlords. Read it and weep.

Which suggests a car travel game: what else should landlords be required to provide? Application forms for their concealed carry weapon permits? A copy of F.A. Hayek’s Road to Serfdom? (Paperback suffices.) Citizenship naturalization papers?

The landlords should, of course, inform Madison’s Common Council that they have no intention of kowtowing to such an unrelated intrusion into their business and will happily accept the citation that will allow a court of law to slap the meddling hand of this governmental overreach.

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