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Walker's Act 10 mistake: Treating School Districts like Private Companies.

Friday, October 14, 2016 11:07
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Scott Walker’s lack of business experience is showing.

And yet, he continues to pretend he’s just like a “small business owner.” That’s what he said when he became governor…

B4INREMOTE-aHR0cHM6Ly8xLmJwLmJsb2dzcG90LmNvbS8tZW1peGVZUDZUUUEvV0FFYXJaSUtGU0kvQUFBQUFBQUFidjgvQ3Jma3hxZUNkd0VFWmh3TEdUMkdfZ050bFZ2eWkyN1V3Q0xjQi9zMjAwL1Njb3R0dCUyQldhbGtlciUyQkhpbGxhcnklMkJVVyUyQmN1dHMucG5n“I just came in trying to…like a small business owner, I saw a problem, saw a solution, I tried to fix it.”

“Tried,” and as we have all sadly seen, failed.

But Walker’s delusional “small business owner” self image is at the heart of Act 10 and the public education system he’s slowly destroying.

School Districts not like Businesses: Unlike businesses that can try “new ways to operate,” move, or even go-out-of-business, school districts…CAN’T. From the JS article “Act 10 at Five:”

Scott Walker said it’s up to school districts to get creative. Just as private companies do, small school districts need to find new ways to operate efficiently and be attractive, Walker said. 

Treating schools and their districts like “small businesses,” has turned school house doors into revolving doors for teachers:

1. Once anchored in communities, teachers are moving from district to district, creating a year-round cycle of vacancies and turnover as fewer people enter the profession.

2. It all may sound familiar to private-sector workers.(Its) undermined some districts’ ability to fend off the poaching of their teachers. Claudia Felske, a 2010 state teacher of the year working in East Troy, thinks the analogy inapt. “We are not an NFL team. We are not corporate America. We still have to answer to the taxpayer. How can we have superstars come in and pay them an extra $20,000 when it has massive effects in the district?”

3. Teacher free agency, the zero-sum contest: Exactly 75% of districts are losing their teachers more often after Act 10 because a competitor offered a better salary or benefits, the survey found. Nearly one-fourth of the teaching staff in Dodgeville, in southwest Wisconsin, departed this summer, mostly to job-hopping.

4. By a 10-point margin, school superintendents see a negative rather than positive effect on teaching quality from “free agency,” retirements and other turnover.

5. Teacher retirements surged when protections on benefits fell: the largest rate of retirements in two decades — some 5,100 teachers in 2011 alone, with most districts seeing an increase. 

6. Two-thirds of districts report trimming or ending post-employment benefits for some or all future retirees.

Get a load of this little deception that keeps Walker’s approval rating chugging along:

Gov. Scott Walker highlighted improved third-grade reading scores for one year. Unmentioned: The scores went down two other years. When they did, he pointed to rising fourth-grade scores instead. raises have cut into the size of pay increases for teachers who stay put, many districts report. That makes discrepancies worse and can fuel more desire to move.

A former liberal radio talk host who likes to ask the “follow-up question” at


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