Tuesday, June 26, 2012

On Walker's Act 10, New Berlin Flunks The Math

Walker's punitive Act 10, as implemented by the deeply-red City of New Berlin in Waukesha County, will cost it one-third of its teachers including some who are leaving career positions for less pay but more respect.

Can you think of another academic situation where a 66% score is something to tout?


Anonymous said...

I've seen schools do dramatically better after they fired their entire teaching staff. It's not the loss that brings the grade, it's the result. Will New Berlin be a better school after the change. How were the students ranked before and after the change?

Ron R said...

Yes, if only MPS's graduation rate was that good.

Reagan's Disciple said...

Seriously how ignorant.

What does Act 10 have to do with respect?

Are the New Berlin teachers leaving for districts that do not fall under Act 10 in Wisconsin? Your post makes little sense because wherever the teachers go to they will still be subject to Act 10 if they remain teachers. Maybe they just don't like their jobs or think the grass is greener...

My prediction is that there will still be great teachers in New Berlin and schools will still be open in fall with kids attending classes.

It won't be long and you guys will realize that "the sky is falling" mentality no longer works. Wisconsinites are smarter than you think and they proved it by re-electing Walker/Kleefisch.

Anonymous said...

New Berlin is a cesspool of ignorant bigots.


@anon1 - please share the school you were referring to.


@REAGAN: respect has much to do with HOW ACT 10 is implemented.

Reagan. Dig a little deeper. Talk to a teacher.

Reagan's Disciple said...

@New Berlin Resident.

My wife is a teacher, so I know and speak with many.

Reagan's Disciple said...

@Anon 10:18,

I hope your comments cause you to look in the mirror.

Anonymous said...

Anytime a third of a staff leaves a school district, it is a sign that something is wrong. The district would be wise to pay attention to the teachers who are leaving, since they are more likely to be honest and give their opinions that teachers who stay.

I do not believe that there are many schools that fire their entire staffs and then do dramatically better, unless they cheat.

Anonymous said...

Let's help RD with this.

Act 10 allows each school district's administrators to use Walker's "tools" -- all power to the admins, no need to confer with employees -- to rewrite policy, handbooks, etc.

NB admins seized upon the Act 10 "tools" to rewrite policy, handbooks, etc., differently than did other districts, which did confer with employees, as NB did not.

NB is an extreme case, therefore -- but a case of the use of Walker's Act 10 "tools," NB remains.

Bottom line: Without Walker's Act 10 "tools," the petty tyrants in NB would have been restrained by the previous, reasonable, and respectful process.

Go back to school, RD, for lessons of the past -- say, back to the Magna Carta -- as to why a wise government, unlike what we have under Walker, provides "tools" to restrain petty tyranny, not to unleash it as Act 10 has done.

So the basis of the problem remains: Act 10. I.e., Walker.

RD said...

No thank you, I don't need to be helped with anything here. That is just some more of your liberal mantra.

Perhaps the teachers there are still upset they can't wear jeans and sweatshirts to work. Maybe they should act professionally if they want to be treated such.

Again, they will find good teachers to replace those that choose to leave. Schools will open in fall, and kids will attend class.

Act 10 is the solution to the problem, and 53% of Wisconsinites just confirmed it.

Move along...

mikeutzinger said...

I don’t think many commentators to this post actually read the JS piece. For me the critical quote was this one:
Dale Destache, a veteran math teacher of 23 years who taught AP Calculus and Pre-Calculus at West, resigned not only because of his concerns with management, but also because he sees the district continuing to trim quality programs for students in its effort to save money.
Destache interviewed at Arrowhead High School, and learned on his first visit that the school still offers elective classes in woods and metals, he said.
They told him their schools were precious to them. It stuck.
"They made me feel better in two interviews than I had at New Berlin all year," Destache said.
Last time I checked Arrowhead school district was deep in Waukesha County. Dale Destache is leaving one Republican school district to go to another Republican school district because of differences in attitudes toward educational policy in those two districts. While I took AP calculus as a high school student in Illinois and my daughters took AP calculus in Whitefish Bay, I have no knowledge of Dale Destache’s skills as a teacher. However, the fact that he would state elective classes in wood and metals as important in high school education indicates to me a clear understanding of the importance of broad educational offerings for students in high school. I would be willing to bet he is an excellent teacher. Would you like to call me on this “Regan’s Disciple”?
For a number of years Wisconsin has been reducing or eliminating arts, library, music, drama, shop, and other specialty teachers in there programs. According to the US census data on school spending Wisconsin spent 12.15% more per student in public schools than the national average in 2002/2003 ($8,993 per student in WI vs $8,019 in US). By 2007/2008 Wisconsin per capita student spending was only 4.10% greater than the national average ($10,680 vs $10,259). During that time Wisconsin fell from first on the ACT among states with more than 20% of high school students taking the ACT exam in 2004 to third in 2008. All of this is before Scott Walker became governor. Act 10 reduced per student spending in Wisconsin by roughly 15% (second largest reduction in state per student spending in the country this year). On the basis of 2008 spending, that reduction would mean Wisconsin is spending 88% per student compared to the national average. No wonder Wisconsin school districts are reducing hours or eliminating positions in arts, music, shop (woods and metal), and librarians. How far down are the test scores going to plummet? Well, it will vary in part by how local communities support their education. We should watch New Berlin and Arrowhead.
Finally, I would challenge Regan’s Disciple to drop his Guy Fawkes mask and have the guts to argue as a real citizen. John Hancock, James Madison, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson would never argue under a pseudonym, have the guts to use your real name. We are all citizens and should have the respect for differences in points of view. Hiding behind anonymity is cowardly. You have sometimes made arguments on this blog that I agree with. Have the guts to argue as a citizen.
Michael Utzinger
Whitefish Bay, WI