Blaska answers 30 questions from Madison Teachers Inc.
with some straight talk
- Why are you running for the MMSD Board of Education?
Because Safe Schools = a Safe Community
Because we can close the achievement gap only by restoring discipline and high expectations to Madison education regardless of race, income, or other identity politics.
Yes, there is a racial disparity in achievement in Madison and Dane County. No, our teachers are not institutionally racist.
The kids hijacking cars and shooting up the school bus are not being turned away at the schoolhouse door. David Blaska did not eat their homework. Madison wants to help them but we cannot as long as we keep telling those kids they are victims incapable of making a better future. Or when a candidate for mayor blames racism for failing to meet the basic threshold to get on the ballot. Or when too many current school board members treat Madison police as hostile interlopers requiring more supervision than cafeteria brawlers.
- Because good teachers are quitting in frustration. Teachers with high expectations for their students, who do not make excuses, ought to be honored — not vilified.
- Because the district’s overall achievement score has declined in the last five years — to 58.2 from 63.5 points, according to the Department of Public Instruction.
- Because when parents are intimidated at school board meetings, imagine the chaos in the classroom! None of the other candidates have called out the harassment visited by Freedom Inc., the International Socialists, the Community Response Team, and their allies on Progressive Dane. On 07-19-18, Police Chief Mike Koval described it this way:
“If you saw some of the dynamic that unfolded, what you saw was a choreographed and orchestrated show of force. It is daunting, it is meant to intimidate, it is meant to marginalize and for those who otherwise want to express some civic opinion that is counter to [the terrorists] own, you are literally leaving the hallway in fear.” …
- Because Madison residents are fleeing our schools; MMSD suffered a net loss of 804 students through the open enrollment program this school year.
- Because reformers like Dr. Michael McCabe are applying to Scott Walker’s Office of Educational Opportunity for charter schools instead of to MMSD.
- Because Madison’s public schools are in trouble.
- Because school discipline is Job #1.
2. Please describe what quality public education looks like to you?
High standards. No excuses. Stand and Deliver. Challenge the student to grow. Instill responsibility. Parental involvement. Color-blind. Community-minded. Proud of themselves because they have achieved. One thousand points of light.
3. Name three things you believe the MMSD does well.
Make excuses. Blame state government. Dumb down deviancy. Feed the culture of victimization. Lower expectations. Monger guilt.
BUT ALSO: Hire great teachers. Pay them well. Welcome every student.
4. Name three things you believe the MMSD needs to improve.
- Classroom Discipline. Return control of the classrooms to teachers.
- More charters (call it “one thousand points of light”) One size does not fit all.
- Lose the fixation on identity politics.
5. How do you think the MMSD should address these challenges?
- Abolish the aggregation of performance statistics based on race, gender, and national identity (subject to legislative approval).
- Open up to district charters or lose education to outside charters and suburban school districts.
- Trust teachers to control their classrooms. They are the captains of their ship. (Start by restoring civility to school board meetings. No profanity, no disruptions, no intimidation.)
- Each student participates in school maintenance; from at least middle school on up, one hour a week pushing broom, shoveling snow, cleaning whiteboards, etc.
6. Name three things you believe the State of Wisconsin could do better to support public schools.
Wrong question. The question is “What can the State of Wisconsin do to improve student outcomes?” Eyes on the prize, people! Public schools are not the purpose, they are a means to an end. The goal is an educated citizenry — not insulating the silo. Therefore:
- Close down all failing schools receiving taxpayer dollars: that means public and voucher. Take over the entire Milwaukee public school system, which has received failing grades for years and is, in fact, failing generations of young people.
- Make the Department of Public Instruction a cabinet-level department whose secretary is appointed by the governor. (Requires constitutional change.) Education should sit at the same table with natural resources, transportation, veterans affairs, revenue, workforce development, etc.
- Set up residential, secure-campus schools for at-risk youth — both court-ordered and voluntary admissions to save young people from troubled home environments. Replaces Lincoln Hills with regional schools, including one in Dane County on a dedicated campus. Contract education to most qualified bidder, including MMSD.
7. How would you advocate for these needs as a Board member?
I’m not shy. I know how to harness public opinion. You need one member who gets along with (and knows) Republican legislators. Maybe one member who represents the Great Unwashed.
8. What do you believe are the three greatest external challenges facing the MMSD.
- Progressive Dane. (Ali Muldrow, T.J. Mertz, Dean Loumos, Anna Moffit, Nikki Vander Meulen are a members), Freedom Inc., and their terribly “woke” allies.
- Better alternatives: suburban school districts, non-district charters, vouchers. MMSD must compete.
- The general cult of victimhood promoted by identity politics. (The urban myth of “school-to-prison pipeline.”)
9. How do you think the MMSD can best meet these challenges?
Elect David Blaska.
MORE TO COME!