Blaska supports district charter schools; part #2 of 3

‘One thousand points of light’

Second part of the Madison Teachers Inc. questionnaire
for the Tuesday, February 19 school board primary election

10. What ideas do you have to support the recruitment and retention of teachers of color so that our work force is more representative of our student population?

The Chicago charter school seniors came to Madison to support the Urban League’s Madison Preparatory Academy

10. What ideas do you have to support the recruitment and retention of teachers of color so that our work force is more representative of our student population?

While it is important to have teachers of color as mentors and examples, having “great teachers” is not dependent on one’s race or ethnicity. This question implies yet another ‘excuse’ for the failure to close the achievement gap. 

11. What do you view as the underlying issues involving the achievement gap? How would you address those?

Parents who don’t read to their children. Absent, neglectful, or abusive parents. Contact with substance abuse, crime, and physical abuse. Chaos in the classroom. Lowered expectations. The cult of victimhood, which robs the individual of agency over their own lives. NOT RACISM!

12. What are your thoughts about public charter schools governed by the Board of Education?

The more the better. Set up a drive-through window at the Doyle Administration Bldg. to approve more. It is a scandal that the Urban League’s proposed Madison Preparatory Academy was never approved. Paved the way for the Office of Educational Opportunity to bypass MMSD’s closed shop mindset. Now, even former school district spokesman Mike McCabe has filed with the OEO instead of applying at MMSD. For shame!

13. What are your thoughts about private charter schools governed by others?

A reaction to the failure of public schools. It’s called competition in the marketplace of ideas. No parent is forced to send their children to a voucher school — yet the parents of 28,000 children in the Milwaukee district (alone) choose to do so. Name the failing public school (mainly in Milwaukee) that has been shut down (not consolidated). 

14. What are your thoughts about vouchers (using public funds to pay for private schools)?

Taxpayer dollars follow the kids. MMSD must meet and beat the competition instead of outlawing it, Soviet style. The goal is an educated citizenry — not closing down the marketplace of ideas. Folks, this argument is over; it has been decided in favor of consumer choice, not government monopoly.

15. Non-incumbents only: Have you ever attended a PTO, PTA meeting or a school board meeting? If so, what issues motivated your attendance?  

Many. School safety. Performance, Madison Urban League’s Madison Preparatory Academy ….. many others. My son graduated Memorial high school.

16. Describe which of the following issues you believe teachers and other employees should have a voice in and what that would look like?

  • Their pay and benefits  
  • Their working conditions
  • Their students’ learning conditions (e.g. class size, use of technology, building conditions, behavior response)
  • Curriculum and assessment selection and decisions

A voice, yes, of course. Teacher input is critical, especially for curriculum. A vote, no. We elect a school board. 

17. Would you support the reinstatement of collective bargaining rights for all public employees (currently prohibited by Act 10)?

No and it’s not going to happen any time soon. Let’s move on. Without the right to strike (which MTI never had) collective bargaining was always ephemeral, at best.  

18. School staff experienced a reduction in take home pay after Act 10 was passed and salary increases have not kept pace with the cost-of-living. The District is experiencing increasing difficulties in attracting and retaining qualified employees. If elected to the Board of Education, what is your plan to increase pay for school staff?  

Everyone experienced a reduction in take home pay after the Great Recession of 2008-09. Even pensioners invested in the WI Retirement System. But sure, increase pay as can be afforded. But pay is not the primary reason in staff recruitment & retention. Restore control of the classroom to teachers.

One teacher said:

“I, too, left MMSD after teaching here for 25 years. Many of the same circumstances at my middle school caused me to leave as well. I took a job with substantially less pay and worse benefits, but could no longer stay in a district that did not support teachers …  I felt guilty leaving knowing what my students were going to be left facing in classrooms often in chaos.” 

In the last MMSD budget, Madison teachers received an average total compensation increase of 4.13%, including steps and lanes in a zero-inflation economy. What’s more, the district absorbed all health care costs increases (3.85%) from being passed onto employees. Nice!

19. Are you aware of the MMSD’s collaborative employee handbook process with employee representatives? If so, do you support the continuation of that process?

  • 1) Yes, I am aware of it.
  • 2) Yes. See #16 and #17.

20. If you had to identify $10 million in necessary cuts, what would you prioritize cutting? If you could identify $10 million in additional investments what would you invest in?

Save money by cutting the Behavior Education Plan bureaucracy. ($15 million in five years.) Invest money in more counsellors and more school security, including school resource officers in the middle schools (perhaps on a shared basis). Consider residential school.

21. How do you think the MMSD could improve in providing parents and students greater voice on issues that impact them?

By electing one out of the seven Board of Education members who actually represents parents and taxpayers, not the Madison’s political/education establishment. ME!

First batch of answers here.

Final answers coming!

Help spread my message!

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About David Blaska

Madison WI
This entry was posted in Cops in schools, School Board Election 2019 and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Blaska supports district charter schools; part #2 of 3

  1. Jeff says:

    Today’s Wall Street Journal interview with Andrew Pollack, father of student killed in Fl school shooting, is must reading, Dave! Keep up you fight!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 10. What ideas do you have to support the recruitment and retention of teachers of color so that our work force is more representative of our student population?

    The question implies that the policies of recruitment are racist and that needs to change now.

    This question is clearly talking about the affirmative action. Race based affirmative action is intentionally racist and it should not be part of any policy, period!

    The question that should have been asked is as follows:

    10. What ideas do you have to support the recruitment and retention of quality teachers?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cornelius Gotchberg says:

      Affirmative Action /əˈfərmədiv ˈakSH(ə)n/ noun:

      *(in the context of the allocation of resources or employment) the practice or policy of favoring individuals belonging (or claiming to belong [see: Elizabeth Warren, Rachel Dolezal, Shawn White, et al]) to racial/ethnic/gender/sexual preference groups known to have been discriminated against previously.

      *Using, the use of, or factoring in of, criteria completely unrelated to fitness for a position of employment.

      synonyms: discrimination, unfairness, inequity, favoritism

      The Gotch

      Like

      • Cornelius Gotchberg says:

        Erratum:

        “…to racial/ethnic/gender/sexual preference groups known or perceived to have been discriminated against previously.

        Like

  3. 11. What do you view as the underlying issues involving the achievement gap? How would you address those?

    Dave wrote, “Parents who don’t read to their children. Absent, neglectful, or abusive parents. Contact with substance abuse, crime, and physical abuse. Chaos in the classroom. Lowered expectations. The cult of victimhood, which robs the individual of agency over their own lives. NOT RACISM!”

    Clear and concise; that’s an absolutely fabulous reponse!

    Like

  4. Questions 12, 13, 14: Excellent answers!

    Like

  5. 16. Describe which of the following issues you believe teachers and other employees should have a voice in and what that would look like?

    Dave wrote, “A voice, yes, of course. Teacher input is critical, especially for curriculum. A vote, no. We elect a school board.”

    You nailed that one! Good job!

    Like

  6. Question 17: I completely agree with your opinion Dave.

    Like

  7. 18. School staff experienced a reduction in take home pay after Act 10 was passed and salary increases have not kept pace with the cost-of-living. The District is experiencing increasing difficulties in attracting and retaining qualified employees. If elected to the Board of Education, what is your plan to increase pay for school staff?

    It all boils down to dollars for Madison Teachers Inc., go figure.

    We can’t pay teachers enough money to walk into chaotic classrooms situations where teachers know that their hands are tied, the administration does not support the teachers, discipline is dictated by “politically correct” social justice warrior idiots that pat violent students on the hand and send them back to the classroom and unethically rationalize it because the students’ home life is rough. The students know they can get away with just about anything and they are taking advantage of this and the inmates are in control of the asylum. What’s worse is the administration continues to do the same things over and over again and expect different results, that my friends is one of the clearest measures of STUPIDITY the you can find.

    Please delete the previous post with the bad bold tags.

    Like

  8. Question 21: Your answer is spot on!

    Like

  9. Lynn Mason says:

    I don’t know David – this much common sense might be dangerous to the health the SJW’s and their cohorts. I can practically see the gears turning faster and faster until they burn out. (I’m good with that.) Great answers, and in all seriousness, the common sense is refreshing!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. madisonexpat says:

    How much of an increase in take home pay get teachers enjoy when they weren’t forced to pay union dues?

    Like

  11. Gary L. Kriewald says:

    Here’s a question I would have asked every candidate: “List 10 books you believe all children should have read by the time they graduate from one of Madison’s public high schools.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cornelius Gotchberg says:

      @Gary L. Kriewald;

      Excellent question! Why? Because THAT would separate the wheat from the chaff!

      Whaddya bet the Lefty candidates (READ: Every candidate but Blaska) would say Dreams Of My Father by William Ayers, and the other 9 by the Greatest Author EVAH Maya Angelou?

      The Gotch

      Like

  12. Pingback: Bad behavior increases while school suspensions are down? Ya’ think?! Part #3 of 3 | Blaska Policy Werkes

  13. White Hills says:

    The correct answer to 10 and 11 is:

    In the US we have guaranteed seperation of church and state (at least we used to). That includes the leftist/progressive religion of mandated racial quotas and race signaling.

    Like

  14. Batman says:

    But how to properly compensate for historic institutional racism and disenfranchisement?

    Like

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