Karen Quick reads a book during reading time inside Jessica Boettcher's second grade class at St. Thomas More School in Green Bay on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013. Photo by Evan Siegle/Press-Gazette Media
EDITOR: It seems that Gov. Scott Walker's No. 1 goal for education is privatization. The quality of education is apparently not his concern.
Deceiving Wisconsinites into believing our schools are failing was the first step. Wisconsin is tied for No. 2 in the nation on ACT scores and No. 1 on graduation rates. Wisconsin schools are not failing.
Demonizing teachers was the second step. We pay our teachers just below the national average. Yes, teachers have a lot to do with how well kids succeed, and they're excelling. The few districts that are struggling have something in common. It's poverty, a leading factor in how well students do in school.
In a 2011 New York Times op-ed, Helen F. Ladd of Duke University wrote, "Yes, we need to make sure that all children, and particularly disadvantaged children, have access to good schools. ... But let's not pretend that family background does not matter and can be overlooked. Let's agree that we know a lot about how to address the ways in which poverty undermines student learning. Whether we choose to face up to that reality is ultimately a moral question."
Defunding schools was the third step. Walker has yet to explain how this will help Wisconsin schools and students do better. Where's the parental outcry for school choice if 9 out of 10 voucher students at Newman Catholic High School are returning students? Where is the separation of church and state if we give Catholic institutions money above and beyond what they charge to students already enrolled?