January 25, 2012
Long-term, we hope the education reforms Governor Walker rolled out last Thursday accomplish their objectives on behalf of Wisconsin school children, especially through improved reading skills and evaluation of the performance of teachers and schools.
Short-term, we’re all getting an education from the reform plans—or more accurately from Democrats trying create clouds of suspicion over them.
Here’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers, as quoted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “I have not been involved in the drafting of the education proposals that have been announced.”
Evidently the “nonpartisan” Superintendent forgot he put together one of the three task forces that generated recommendations for the reforms. And that the specifics of legislation in drafting are always held in confidence between legislative sponsors and the Legislative Reference Bureau. That’s one way the Bureau stays nonpartisan.
Another task force participant—who doesn’t even pretend to be nonpartisan—detected evil intent in bills she hasn’t even read. State Rep. Sondy Pope-Roberts (D-Middleton) just knows it’s all bad: “I have not yet seen the legislation being drafted by the Governor and the Republican leaders and am very concerned that the bipartisan efforts that have come from this group’s work thus far are being hijacked for political gain.”
If anybody’s seeking political gain, it looks to us like the people who participated in putting together the reform proposals and are now denouncing them before they’re even introduced. Pope-Roberts went so far as to accuse the Governor of mandating programs without funding them, something he specifically said was important not to do. Even the Journal Sentinel managed to report that much.
So in one sense, the reforms are already adding to our store of knowledge: We now have a better understanding of Madison Liberals’ concept of integrity.