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View Diary: Scott Walkers Epic Fail! It's STILL Not Working. (Fail pix) (Update #2) (130 comments)

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  •  Don Pridemore has picked up newspaper endorsements (9+ / 0-)

    ...from Sun Prairie and Fort Atkinson-based newspapers (and Fort Atkinson usually votes close to the statewide percentages in Wisconsin). That's despite the fact that he is an overt right-wing extremist who is running for state superintendent on a platform to give teachers firearms and expand school vouchers in Wisconsin.

    The Daily Jefferson County Union, a Fort Atkinson-based newspaper, effectively endorsed Pridemore without explicitly doing so. Thomas Beebe, a Fort Atkinson resident, explained the roundabout way DJCU endorsed Pridemore by non-endorsement:

    The Daily Jefferson County Union, my hometown paper in Fort Atkinson, ran an editorial today that stumped me. It said that the race for state school superintendent of public schools was between two men equally qualified. Fighting through my disbelief I found that most of the editorial was a justification of the voucher program. Unfortunately, the editorial isn't online but I want as many people as possible, especially those in Milwaukee, to at least see what I wrote .... if only to add some thoughts of their own. Sorry for the length, but the time for endorsement letters is past and I wanted to at least reach folks through Facebook.
    The endorsement by non-endorsement of Rep. Don Pridemore for state superintendent of schools was ludicrous (March 28). You're right, they didn't say to put an X by Pridemore's name but they labeled it a pick'em race and said "do your homework."

    What is even more bizarre is that the editorial wasn't really about either candidate and his accomplishments -- perhaps because Evers' actually has a resume beyond being a parent -- but rather about the DU's thinly veiled support of taking your tax dollars and mine away from Fort Atkinson and other public school districts and giving them to unaccountable private schools in the voucher program. As an aside, does anyone else think it strange that the poll -- complete with a heart-touching picture of a private school child just begging for a chance -- is about voucher support and magically appeared in the same issue (a poll, by the way, folks are opposing vouchers by a wide margin).

    A couple of specifics:
    The editorial writers comments about Milwaukee Public Schools .... oops, I mean schools that "exist in cultural areas where families are weaker and educational advancement isn't as ingrained" ... are obscene. More educational innovation happens in MPS than in most state districts. Two of the top 10 high schools in Wisconsin (according to Newsweek) are in MPS. MPS schools outperform voucher schools on almost all measures where they can be compared. How many language and arts immersion schools do your find around the state? Not too many and most are in Milwaukee. And, my God, MPS parents -- even the "poor ones" -- value their kids, their families, and their education.
    * Also silly is the claim that the voucher program "appears to have been positive both for the youngsters who went into it and from the pressure it put on the public schools to improve." There is no factual, reviewed data I know of that says that is true. The vast majority of sources say vouchers do not improve student achievement; vouchers eliminate public accountability while giving away tax dollars; and voucher expansion, as proposed by Gov. Walker, raises local property taxes and takes desperately need resources away from local public school students. Additionally, voucher schools have no obligation to accept any specific student, including those with disabilities. All of that with few results.
    "Neither candidate," the editorial says, "has commented on the one large area of student success in the state, which is homeschooling." What? In 2012-13 there are 16,793 students being homeschooled, about 3,000 less that two years ago. There are 872,000 public school kids in a system the state of Wisconsin has systematically underfunded. Tony Evers is the head of the Department of Public Instruction, with the key word being public. When did homeschooling become "the one large area of student success" that needs so much attention.

    Here's what we need to do: Oppose the Governor's budget because it is obviously designed to continue to whack away at public schools. Then, fix the school-funding system to make sure all local school districts have the resources they need to give every child in the public school system the opportunities they need to learn in school and succeed in life. It is really that simple. Evers has introduced into two budgets a plan that starts us on that path, called "Fair Funding for Our Future." Pridemore wants to arm teachers.

    If you can't make an endorsement based on those credentials, then you need to "do your homework."

    I don't live in Wisconsin, but I'll endorse a candidate in the Wisconsin state superintendent race: Tony Evers!

    Polls don't vote, statistics don't vote, history doesn't vote, yard signs don't vote...PEOPLE VOTE!!!

    by DownstateDemocrat on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 04:27:08 PM PDT

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