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Forum Post: A Win for Public Education in Wisconsin

Posted 11 years ago on April 6, 2013, 12:35 p.m. EST by GirlFriday (17435)
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Recently, the Koch brothers-funded Americans For Prosperity has been conducting a bus tour of the state, holding town hall meetings to promote the idea of vouchers and independent charter schools that use public funds to pay for private education.

In Green Bay, a parent who attended one of the Americans for Prosperity events told me that a film touted charter and voucher programs in Louisiana and Florida. "It's weird. This is Wisconsin," she said. "Do we really want our schools to be more like Louisiana and Florida?"

Despite rhetoric about "failing schools" that require private intervention, Wisconsin has the top high-school graduation rate in the nation. Wisconsin students also consistently place in the top three states for ACT scores. And Wisconsin teachers are among the most highly educated and most qualified in the country.

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[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 11 years ago

Learning to bargain, when bargaining is illegal.

When management refuses to go along, direct action can be another kind of informal bargaining.

Graduate assistants are exploited workers who teach as many classes as full-time faculty—but make a fraction of the pay. They have less prestige than faculty and thus often have to use different tactics.

The Milwaukee Graduate Assistants Association at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee waged a campaign of escalating direct action in fall 2012, after a dean tried to cancel a benefit.

MGAA’s contract had expired. A dean announced that a specific type of summer tuition waiver would no longer be available, violating his previous pledge not to change the terms that had existed in MGAA’s contract.

MGAA members first emailed the dean to declare their objections, get more information, and attempt to move him. When it became clear he wasn’t going to budge, they launched a “campaign of annoyance.”

They used fliers to educate graduate students and faculty about the reversal, then organized members and allies to take escalating actions over a couple weeks.

The idea was to decrease the amount of work that could get done in the dean’s office. Members and supporters flooded the office with emails, then phone calls.


[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 11 years ago

Thanks, Shooz.

They don’t just react to problems as they arise, but focus on what they want to gain and create new strategies to win it.

Unions existed before legislation enabled collective bargaining rights. Politicians can alter the landscape, but they can’t bestow—or take away—the power of collective action.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 11 years ago

It's a positive sign that Wisconsinites won't back down easily.....

In other observations from the cheddarsphere.


[-] 0 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 11 years ago

Trust me, you dont want them to be like Florida. If they utter the phrase FCAT run like hell....

That being said, the parents here dont really value it too much, and Ive talked to enough teachers now that I think, and this is just me, that it can be narrowed down to two things....

  1. Can the teachers teach? Can they do what they think is right, and really get involved with the kids.

  2. Do the parents care? Are the kids simply being dumped off at an 8 hour baby sitter, or do the parents actually take the time to do what is needed.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 11 years ago

They are replacing FCAT aren't they? Millions of dollars to replace a jacked up test that will be just as horrific.

[-] -1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 11 years ago

Ya, they are replacing it with "common core"... same shit, different pile.

Commone core comes with a bunch of other monitor shit. One of my teacher friends was irate the other day because in the back of the classroom is some dweeb checking off things on a list that she did/didnt cover that day.

Its insane. We are literally raising a nation of braindead consumers.