Dear Wisconsin Democrats: 


I am desperate and have a simple request. As the November elections slowly approach please do not to put forth another status quo education agenda that just bitches about funding and then promotes ESSA (new Federal law Every Student Succeeds Act) with it’s new round of state level accountability and testing.

The coming of ESSA (despite what Superintendent Evers and Senator Baldwin say) spells disaster for public schools, and dismantles college and university level teacher preparation in favor of fast track “teacher prep academies.”  Dr. Ken Zeichner (the leading researcher in teacher education and former UWM professor of education) has strongly warned us about this “deregulation” of teacher preparation.   My own sense is that the repressive zealots currently in charge will use ESSA to authoritatively justify the death of teacher education and aggressively incentivize deregulated fast-track teacher credentialing mills.  This of course will result in a deprofessionalized population of classroom technicians that will teach “other people’s children.”  In other words, really shitty teachers for our state’s neediest children.

Wisconsin needs a vision of public education that LIBERATES children, parents, communities and their schools.

  • There is an achievement gap!
  • There is a race gap!
  • There is an income gap!
  • There is an opportunity gap!

All of these combined create toxic conditions that torture our most vulnerable children and their communities.

Therefore we must listen! What the most desperate among us want for their children and communities is what the most powerful and privileged already provide for their children. “Other people’s children” are not too expensive!

I know you’ve heard me say it before, but accountability mandated by politicians (whether they be hell bent on dismantling a powerful and liberating PUBLIC education or simply believing that public education just needs to get more efficient and rigorous) is not an empowering position and does little to motivate voters.

No more rhetoric of compromise and capitulation! Fight and reclaim the promise of Wisconsin’s public schools.