Madison liberals are making the case for school choice

Can you blame parents for wanting out of our public schools? Taxpayers for balking at more spending? Republican legislators for promoting alternatives to the public school monopoly?

Madison’s public schools have degenerated into a dystopia run by feral youth, as described in the novel Lord of the Flies. Pat Schneider recounts in The Capital Times why one veteran teacher is giving up:

“I’m seeing behaviors on a regular basis that I haven’t seen in 20 years of teaching,” Bush said. Some of this alarming conduct included students swearing at teachers, kicking trash cans, walking out of class, and kids wandering the hallways and in and out of classrooms, she said.

… The lack of consistent response and consequences for violating rules has taught students there are no real consequences, Bush adds.

“This is basically ‘Bad Parenting 101,’” she said.

The chaos is the result of the all-liberal Madison school board’s “Behavior Education Plan,” the euphemism for a school discipline policy that does not require discipline. Seems the problem, if such it was, was that too many children of color were being suspended and expelled. Sound familiar? Isn’t that what Young and Foolish are claiming about the population of jail inmates?

In neither example has the case been made that the school suspensions or the jail incarcerations are disproportionate to the offenses committed.

In the case of the schools, reporter Schneider tells us, “The new code has sharply reduced the number of out-of-school suspensions, although the racial disparity persists.” Now, there is a surprise!

Yes to the teacher’s call on bad parenting. Do you think Young and Foolish would be marching in downtown Madison in the wake of good parenting? That the southwest side of Madison would resemble a shooting gallery if parents actually parented? (And yes, that applies to the motorcycle gangs of Waco.)

It’s not about race; it’s about behavior

Bad enough parents don’t enforce boundaries on behavior. Now our schools must follow suit? How does such moral relativism help the young miscreant, never mind other students trying to learn? How is that not damnably racist?



Discipline has always been the drawing card for Catholic and other private schools. Can’t shoot a free throw, cook a meal, plow a furrow, or weld a seam without it. Discipline was at the core of the Madison Urban League’s proposed charter school, shot down by the teachers-unionized school board.

Every available school voucher (in which the state financial aid merely follows the student) is snapped up in Milwaukee and Racine, which is why the Legislature is lifting those artificial ceilings. Don’t trot out the spending argument. Baltimore public schools have the third highest per pupil spending, yet only 16% of eight graders can read with proficiency.

(“The education system has failed them,” said the lawyer representing the family of Freddie Gray, who died while in police custody, according to this essay at CBS

The facts on the ground prompt ever more desperate attacks from the embattled status quo. Of course The Progressive magazine sides with failure. Wisconsin Republicans are “destroying” public schools, it says here. Please, name the Republicans on the Madison school board. Or Milwaukee, where failure is district wide, according to the DPI?

Typical of the over-wrought language is this screed by State Rep. Chris Taylor, a Democrat who represents Madison’s isthmus. Providing alternatives to the failure of public schools is “selling out our public schools to the highest bidder.” (Koch Brothers! They’re everywhere!)

Even accepting her perfervid hyperbole, why would anyone bid if no one was buying?

Obamacare is working!

Obamacare is in full swing, which means Wisconsin state government employees will pay twice as much out of pocket for their health care. The cost increase “could help the state avoid an Affordable Care Act ‘Cadillac tax’ beginning in 2018,” according to managers quoted by the Wisconsin State Journal.

Same story in New Mexico, where the biggest private health insurer is seeking a 52% rate increase; in Tennessee, where Blue Cross is asking 36% more; in Maryland, 30%; in Oregon, 25%.

Oh, and those “death panels”? They’re ba-a-ack!

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