Even in a year of notable failures-from the stimulus to health care reform-the collapse of efforts to reform the Milwaukee Public Schools stands out as an epic flop. As veteran education reporter Alan J. Borsuk writes in our cover story, the stars seemingly were aligned for a mayoral takeover of the dysfunctional system.
“[Y]ou had the president of the United States, the secretary of education, the governor of Wisconsin and the mayor of Milwaukee-all Democrats-coming down firmly for what they wanted to see happen in the Democratic-controlled Wisconsin Legislature.
“And they didn’t prevail.”
The debate over the mayoral takeover, writes Borsuk, “could have been a real chance to discuss how to energize the deeply troubled MPS system. It could have been a catalyst for re-energizing the whole subject of improving education in Milwaukee. “Instead, it became a plodding tour of why things don’t change easily in Milwaukee….”