Monday, April 25, 2011

Journal Sentinel Policy Discussion

A Sunday editorial by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel laments "that teachers have been singled out for much venom these days." A better idea according to the MJS: "Lets debate policy. There is plenty of it to debate. Let's not dump on teachers."

So this intro was followed by a robust policy discussion, right? Uh, no. Instead, we heard about the commanding presence of Ricardo Pimentel's teacher who scared him into college, and about the feared and stern Mrs. Peer recalled by board member Mabel Wong and so on and so forth.

It is true that singling out teachers for venom is one way to avoid a substantive policy discussion, but then again, so is anecdotal praise. How about that policy debate then MJS?

There is plenty to debate as the MJS noted. Do our current policies allow us to efficiently identify and remove subpar teachers while rewarding the best ones? Does tenure create the incentive to improve as a teacher? Does a backloaded compensation arrangement discourage people from becoming teachers? Can we afford the amount we are paying for public education? Would competition in education reduce the cost and improve performance?

Oh, I almsot forgot. Mrs. Peer was actually a softy and "her sternness gave way to smiles."

Monday, April 18, 2011

Uncivil Warfare

Recently I was having a conversation with a long time and very liberal acquaintance. We were discussing his difficulty, indeed the near impossibility, of maintaining positive relationships with conservative/Republican/Walker supporters. After it was essentially established that he now socializes entirely with liberals, he noted that he has had multiple conversations comparing our current divisive political climate with the Civil War.

When all your friends agree that a policy that raises the meager public employee contributions towards their health insurance and pensions is like a fight over slavery, well.... I can't think of a better argument for broadening your circle of friends.

In one sense he is right. A civil war will start brewing with uncivil behavior.

What Rude Looks Like

I have to admit that Sean's (at Kay's Blue racine) post announcing the Palin rally didn't really register with me. He wrote "More cowbell, less Palin."

Of course now I know that the protester class used cowbells and other noisemaking devices to drown out Sarah Palin's speech.

Misbehaving in a crowd can be kind of fun for the immature I suppose, but how exactly will this behavior win over the all important moderate voter?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mysterious Activity Downtown

The Journal Times has a story today concerning an alleged fight outside a downtown bar. The owner of the bar claims that there was not a fight while sworn officers claim otherwise.

Perhaps it was urban kinetic activity.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Liberals Please Think

It is such a simple concept and life would be much easier if liberals understood.

The money that is spent on public sector employees is good for them insofar as they can afford their mortgage, groceries etc.... but simultaneously bad for the rest of us who then have less money to pay for their own mortgage, groceries etc...

It baffles me that so many liberals can't seem to understand this.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Quibbling with the JT

Generally speaking I think the Racine Journal Times has improved of late insofar as they are not as blatantly political as they had been. That said, I have to quibble a bit.

Yesterday the JT had an otherwise excellent story about the AFSCME union threatening Union Grove businesses with boycotts if they didn't put a "We Support Workers Rights" poster in their windows. The print addition headline was "Businesses asked to pick sides." Asked? How about forced?

Today they ran a short story about one charming Katherine Windels who threatened the lives of Republican lawmakers by "putting a nice little bullet" in the head, along with a couple of bomb threats. They forgot to mention that Windels is a teacher. Unimportant detail? I hardly think so. One mitigating factor in the JT's favor is that it was an AP story.