Commentary on the 2022 Wisconsin Gubernatorial Candidates, K-12 Education and prospects

Libby Sobic:

Gov. Tony Evers’s recent vetoes put him at a historic rate of total vetoes compared to previous governors. Of the more than 100 vetoes he executed a week ago Friday, about a quarter were related to education. In many veto messages, the governor cited his previous role as state schools superintendent. Yet his vetoes demonstrate a bias towards the public school establishment and how out of touch the current administration is with Wisconsin parents.

The pandemic created a great awakening for parents across the country. Many families, who were happy with their local public school, were thrown into a difficult dynamic when their district placed the interests of adults over their students in returning to the classroom. In Wisconsin, families fled their local districts and enrolled their children in alternative options. But some parents became determined to hold their local district accountable for their decisions and are trying to change the public school status quo.

In our latest cover story, Cap Times reporters Scott Girard and Jack Kelly describe the GOP’s focus on K-12 education issues as the core Republican strategy against Evers.

They reported: “The party’s two top candidates for governor, former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and businessman Kevin Nicholson, both list education as their No. 1 issue on their campaign websites.

“State Rep. Timothy Ramthun, who is also running for governor, says he wants to give ‘power to the parents.’ Construction magnate Tim Michels, a late addition to the Republican gubernatorial primary …. has also made education a top issue, saying Wisconsin needs ‘to get back to teaching more ABCs and less CRT (critical race theory).’ ”

Evers vetoed 21 education-related GOP bills over the past two years. The governor told Cap Times reporters that the Republican ideas, which included the topics of teaching about race, mask policy and school choice, among others, would have “obliterated” K-12 education in the state.

“The Republican bills were going to make life in our public schools very, very difficult,” he said. “They were going to essentially replace what happens now with a radical agenda that, frankly, no one in the school world wants.”

The governor also said the GOP is being hypocritical about wanting local control.

“Local control for the Republicans is only if it advances their agenda,” Evers said. “Time and time again, in and outside of the school world, they’ve been (working) against local control.”

Evers added: “Division hurts kids. Honest to God, we don’t need to spend our time dividing our schools and hurting your kids with radical, intrusive, micromanaging of our schools. … I stand with those kids — (Republicans) apparently are standing against them.”


Mandates, closed schools and Dane County Madison Public Health.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

Booked, but can’t read (Madison): functional literacy, National citizenship and the new face of Dred Scott in the age of mass incarceration.

No When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?