Good schools mold character

‘Discipline’ is the Latin word for ‘success’

Spot quiz: What word will not be spoken by any of Madison’s candidates for school board? Time’s up! Groucho Marx’s secret word is “discipline.” Discipline is defined as “training to act in accordance with rules; activity, exercise or a regimen that develops or improves a skill.”

Discipline is the sine qua non (more Latin) of education. Mathematics, language, music, athletics — they’re all disciplines. All have rules that require mastery. All require effort — showing up, paying attention, listening to the one who teaches, doing the work.

Here’s the math: Discipline = Education = Success — never more so in our knowledge-based economy. If Madison’s growing cadre of car thieves has one thing in common, it is they are functionally illiterate. Doing crime is the surest way to fail, but Madison’s Woke progressives would rather play identity politics and guilt-trip history than demand performance.

Which is why the Werkes reminds parents that you do have a choice — if not at the ballot box, you can vote with your feet. The Wisconsin School Choice program (as opposed to the Milwaukee and Racine versions) is open for business until April 21 for enrollment next school year. We count 12 eligible non-public schools here in Dane and Columbia counties. Your child may qualify based on family income. Apply here.

If your family does not qualify, consider a more successful public school. Open Enrollment continues until 4:00 pm April 29.

St. Ambrose academy proposed campus in Fitchburg

Treated like the bishop

St. Ambrose Academy qualifies for neither of the two programs but it does offer generous scholarships and all the fixin’s missing in Madison’s public schools. Like something called “core values — another concept unspoken in the Metropolitan Madison School District. For starters, boys and girls wear school uniforms at St. Ambrose. That allows students to concentrate on studies rather than on fashion, the school advises. “It promotes a stronger sense of community and school spirit, discourages potential peer pressure, and keeps school-year clothing more affordable for parents.”

St. Ambrose Academy is the only Catholic junior high and high school in the Diocese of Madison with an accredited classical curriculum concentrating “in the critical academic disciplines of math, science, history, literature, logic, rhetoric, composition, and Latin – all crowned by regular study of and growth in the Catholic Faith.” The school enrolls 130 students in grades 6 through 12. Tuition is pretty steep: $9,300 for grades 9-12 and $8,500 for grades 6-8 but half the students get financial assistance averaging $5,000.

Patrick O’Loughlin of Madison taught economics. “It was a privilege to teach there. At the end of each class, the students always thank the teacher as they exit the classroom. The first day, I thought they had mistaken me for somebody else. Maybe a bishop or something. Never had a problem of any kind, in terms of discipline or anything else, for five years. Total respect and cooperation. I enjoyed it so much, I would have done it for free.”

Now in its 18th year, St. Ambrose is trying to raise $17 million to build a permanent, 5-acre campus just west of McGaw Park in Fitchburg. If you’d like to help, contact Joe Draves at

Blaska’s Bottom Line: If the ballot box won’t fix Madison schools, the marketplace will.

Should school choice be universal?

About David Blaska

Madison WI
This entry was posted in Crime, Critical Race Theory / Identity politics, Madison schools and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Good schools mold character

  1. Mike says:

    I fear the marketplace will not change Madison public schools. Liberalism, and now “wokeism”, is so entrenched in the city that far too many have succumbed to the perils of such ideological destruction that they will never make the necessary changes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gary L. Kriewald says:

      To say nothing of the laughable notion that “discipline” is racist. We’ve seen how that works in the criminal justice system, now we’re seeing it at work in public schools. The reason it’s not welcome in Catholic schools is that the Church is all about discipline, and unapologetically so. And the wisdom of that stance can be seen in the products of its educational system. Meanwhile, the ethically and intellectually bankrupt “leadership” of the MMSD continues to promote a system that deprives kids of the opportunity to learn anything of value or to prepare for life as a functioning adult.

      Liked by 2 people

    • AdamC says:

      Dem legislative leader from Appleton (!) just told Wisconsin Parents to get lost!

      She deserves to lose badly this November along with her Dem ideologue buddies.

      I want to see the new Governor and legislature take IMMEDIATE action to remove critical race craziness and transgender activism from our government schools, restore and strengthen parental rights and academic discipline, and these 3 words:


      These actions must happen ASAP under the next administration.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. richard lesiak says:

    the answer is simple; pass concealed carry for 18 yr olds.


  3. Bob says:

    It won’t happen but if the money for k-12 schools was given to the parents to pick the school THEY want for their children things would change. Public schools and teachers would have to show that they could do better than 20% to 30% at level reading and math. Parents who care no matter what income could get the best education for their children. Too bad we have gotten to this.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. David asked, “Should school choice be universal?”


    What should also be universal is actually teaching (not babysitting) and requiring students to actually meet basic grading standards (not bastardized curves to pass the least common dominator) throughout their school years in all K-12 schools whether they are private, charter, or public. Students graduating (I’m using that word rather loosely) from High School and not being able to properly read & comprehend what they read, do basic math competently, or communicate beyond a middle school level is a complete travesty in the 21st century.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Gary L. Kriewald says:

    If I were running for a seat on the MMSD board against the trans/non-binary/activist/freak who’s bound to win given its comic-book-level “identity,” here’s one practical policy I’d endorse: equip every classroom with video/audio surveillance that records every word spoken by every teacher every school day and make the tape available (free) to every parent who requests it.
    There are plenty of employees whose daily routines are videotaped, why not teachers? A practical measure to insure that every parent knows exactly what his or her kid is being taught without the interference of school boards or teachers’ unions. And a sure-fire way to determine whether CRT (or CRT-lite) is or isn’t being taught.

    Liked by 2 people

    • georgessson says:

      Gary, A sound, common-sense solution to all the whiz-bangin’ BS inside -AND outside the classroom. Which is precisely why a truly “practical measure” like this would never be put in place. SMH…

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Nancy Germann says:

    Not responding to current discussion. But thought you might like to know Mr. Tavion Flowers has already bonded out. No surprise there.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.