July 17, 2012
Education? Who needs it?
Wisconsin has always been special. We had a higher minimum wage than the federal one; we honored academic freedom (a/k/a/free speech); we had the lowest tuition in the Big 10; we were as enthused about the marching band as we were about the football team; no scandals to embarrass us; we welcomed out-of-state students. Joe McCarthy intimidated many elsewhere but not at our great state University of Wisconsin where the president of the UW stood up to the demagogues and threatended to resign if the Young Communists were not permitted to meet at the student union.
We enjoyed civil service not political-hack service; we were first to have publicly financed elections; we outlawed corporate involvement in politics a hundred years ago. The Public Service Commission controlled the utilities. Our publlic schools were the best in the nation. But, alas, no more!
It turns out our once proud public schools are dropping like a stone compared with other states. Thanks to the GOP we will have fewer teachers every year. We now welcome corporate interference in our elections and we oppose publicly financed elections. We are, to borrow a phrase from our best pal Jim Hightower, "in a world of hurt." Wisconsin had two great newspapers, the Milwaukee Journal and Madison's Capital Times. Now we have none.
The Democratic Party was a bastion of progressive thought but now the party sends out surveys asking what went wrong and asking us to name the issues that we care most about. We had two great Senators--Gaylord Nelson and Bill Proxmire--now we have know-nothing Ron Johnson.
post a letter about this blog »
Educate people and teach them how to think critically and they will soon realize the emperor has no clothes.
-Pietr Haikuu | Hurley, Wis | July 17, 2012
Wisconsin has become a laughingstock and that is just the way the rich want it. They want to be free to rape and pillage our land and waters, have access to cheap labor, to have no liability for the damage they cause - all the while being able to do anything they want with no repercussions. Our state has been bought lock, stock and barrel by con-men and women whose only interest is in themselves.
-Steve | Fredonia, WI | July 17, 2012
This is what the Republicans have in mind for public education in Wisconsin:
-Rebecca Kemble | Madison, WI | July 17, 2012
Usually think you are spot on -- all the posters here, really. I am disappointed that you would jump on the bandwagon that public schools in WI are somehow victims here.
You cannot point to any evidence that suggests WI schools were better than others except for lies that SAT/ACT are achievement tests.
I won't provide links - won't take time and you can use the google -- here's some facts anyone can verify if they choose:
*WI schools are some of the most racist in the nation -- have been for generations.
*WI schools literally don't teach African American boys to read
*Not suprisingly, WI locks up a higher percentage of African Americans than any other state.
Please be more careful -- we will not move Wisconsin forward hiding behind lies from the past. There are real issues that the state and national democratic party has culpability for.
Please be part of the solution -- real change, and not part of the problem.
-BadgerBadger | Madison WI | July 17, 2012
I think the reasons for WI early (ie; late 1800s thru 1960s) occasional flashes of progressivism that you mentioned were several, which I would posit to be (in no particular order):
1.) Natural resources in abundance. Early fur trapping,
logging, shipping, & agriculture gave residents a
relatively wealthy base
2.) A semi-challenging climate tended to keep more people
3.) An influx of socialistic Germans (the 48ers) into an
established ethnic enclave which provided a greenhouse
for progressive ideas. Milwaukee remains the only large
city in the US to ever have had two socialist mayors who
ran on (and carried-through) an anti-corruption platform.
I think that this last reason made the key
difference between WI and most other states.
I suspect, unfortunately, that what we're seeing is (in statistical parlance) a 'regression to the mean' - - - we're losing most of the special political characteristics we historically had and are moving closer to the theoretical 'norm', becoming 'Wississippi' in the process.
-Big Em | Milwaukee, WI | July 17, 2012
Will the Wisconsin GOP go the way of Texas?
Texas GOP Declares: "No More Teaching of 'Critical Thinking Skills' in Texas Public Schools"
Check out Truth-out.org or go directly to the
Texas GOP 2012 platform.
How could any parent approve?
An appalling thought!
-Pat | Reedsburg, WI | July 18, 2012
Look at the bright side. Eliminate a good education and you don't have to waste money paying good teachers. Dumb down society and the entire country is there for the wealthy to steal from us.
-Maria Caliente | Middleton WI | July 18, 2012