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This Just In ...

Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Education in Wisconsin: A guest perspective


By guest blogger
Bob Dohnal, Publisher

The Conservative Digest


Our family is very proud of the fact that five of the seven of us graduated from the University of Wisconsin system and the other two attended for some time.  We all attended public schools in our youth.  We are very pro-education.  My wife, Jean, was a teacher for many years.

But
times have changed.  In the last 20 years or so, spending on education has skyrocketed; the quality of education has gone down; kids are forced to mortgage half of their lives to graduate from college and that college education now takes five years.  MPS is a total disaster with only a small number of kids in it being able to read in the 10th grade.  Many businessmen consider high school degrees worthless.

Schools are heavy-laden with administrators sticking their noses into everything to justify their paychecks and not making changes for the better. School salaries and benefits far exceed what the average taxpayer earns. The interested unions have little interest beyond themselves.  If left to these circumstances, kids will continue to come out dumber per national average than when they went into the system
. All of the advertising on the Packers games will not change that.

University of Wisconsin system

When the then extant systems were merged under Gov. Pat Lucey
we were supposed to save millions in administrative costs. Hasn't happened. The University system is bloated with worthless subjects that serve no purpose in the real world and more worthless administration.  We need an audit by one of the toughest auditing companies in the world on how to streamline this mess, reduce costs, shorten the time it takes to complete college and help the kids.  The system is to exist for the benefit of the kids, not the educrats.  The presence of the student loan system has distorted attendant markets and allowed the University system costs to rise interminably for the benefit of those involved in the system at the expense of the kids.  This must stop.

Technical College System

When the technical colleges of this state were merged, many of us argued that the governing system would make these college groups impossibly expensive.  Lack of any intelligent oversight has led to huge salary and benefit for the teachers and a fat and happy administration.  We need to reform the system.  Electing the board will not change things, as the unions, and educrats will control the boards with their money and their votes.  Most citizens do not use the system so they will pay little attention to the system.

Merge the whole group into one system. Make it into a cabinet level program run by the governor with responsibility over the system.
The governor can control costs and the process, so that he/she will be responsible up or down and this will make the process directly answerable to those who fund it, the taxpayers.

State Department of Education

Abolish it.

Local Education

We have as many administrators now as we did 40 years ago with only half the students in the system.  The state needs to adopt a ratio of administrators per thousand kids and cut off funding for the fat programs.  Eliminate the WEA Trust Health plans.  Adopt HMO programs or other suitable plans that use some market regulation of costs.

Milwaukee Public Schools

This has been a disaster since Federal Judge John Reynolds upheld Lloyd Barbee’s legal suit to radically change the system to equalize racial groups. Even though that system was finally tossed out, the damage is still there and kids are suffering for it.

Many families moved from the city to get away from the mess.  The administration of the schools is a disaster and foils any attempts to adopt new programs or programs that actually work.  It is hopeless.

In 1974 I designed a proposal for Bill Dyke, candidate for governor, that would blow up the system and then reconstruct it sensibly; making 18 different districts that answered to the neighborhoods and the parents.  It was the right idea then and it is now. Continuing down the current road commits hundreds of thousands of kids to little or no future. 

If the parents have control through the local school boards, they then have to produce or take the responsibility for their kids never improving.

If they don't produce, then they do not have any complaint.

Virtual Schools, charter Schools and CHOICE

Improve and enlarge these programs.   Parents are happy with them and the kids are learning, plus they save money.

Bob and Jean Dohnal, Publisher/Editors

The Conservative Digest 



KF NOTE: The Conservative Digest, published every 2-3 months with articles from Wisconsin conservative elected officials and analysts, needs financial help. If you can offer assistance toward the publication and distribution of this outstanding periodical, please contact me. Thank you, fellow freedom fighters!

 

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