Governor Jim Doyle (or his reps) , Mayor Tom Barrett (or his reps), and others (maybe Arne Duncan’s reps) are holding secret meetings to hijack the MPS Innovation and Improvement Advisory Committee for a Mayoral Control proposal. MPS Board President Michael Bonds has resigned from the Committee in Protest.
Lisa Kaiser has the full story, including excerpts from Bonds’ letter and reactions from the Mayor’s office. Milwaukee Talkee is looking for action to stop this and there is an online petition here.
Jim Doyle likes his secret meetings, Arne Duncan likes his Mayoral control, lots of elections to be considered with the expectation that an MPS shakeup would buy Doyle and Barrett some time; the Race to the Top beauty contest is part of this too.
Notice how none of this has to do with educating the students. Notice also that allowing Doyle and Barrett to say, “give the reforms a chance” and the Race to the Top funding are only short term remedies. At some point the chickens do come home to roost.
In a related note, The New Teacher Project gave Wisconsin’s chances for Race to the Top funding a very low rating. Mayoral control could change that. That said, I’m more than wary of making big changes in order to buy a lottery ticket in what is likely a rigged game (that goes for the use of bad student tests for teacher compensation decisions too).
Update: The Journal-Sentinel has more this morning, including an endorsement of the Doyle/Barrett plan from State Superintendent Tony Evers. Mayoral control was not included in the “Milwaukee Public Schools – An Agenda for Transformation” Evers campaigned on; his opponent — Rose Fernandez — pushed for dissolving the Milwaukee Board of Education and replacing it with a team appointed by the Mayor, the County Executive and the State Superintendent.
Thomas J. Mertz