MacIver’s Christian D’Andrea Reacts to WEAC Reform Plans

Christian D’Andrea:

“WEAC unveiled their strategy Tuesday in the form of a pre-emptive strike as Governor Scott Walker prepares his upcoming budget proposal, which most insiders agree will have a significant impact on school funding and the way our schools operate.
“The organization’s main focus is to break Wisconsin’s largest district into multiple pieces by 2015. According to WEAC leaders, this move would create a more manageable system in the schools that have become a collective albatross hanging from the neck of Wisconsin’s public education.
“[I]n its current configuration, we do not believe MPS can be fixed. It is simply too big,” said WEAC President Mary Bell. Bell later went on to say that despite the state union’s buy-in, the local Milwaukee Teachers’ Educational Association (MTEA) isn’t on board.
“While MPS is fraught with problems, a reduction of size won’t be a panacea, nor will it make things much clearer in Wisconsin’s largest city. While WEAC’s change of heart is refreshing given their recent track record on education reform, they are resorting to a drastic step without fully exploring their other options for reform that are politically more feasible. MPS is only the 33rd largest school district in the country by enrollment, and while some of the cities that are larger than Milwaukee nationally have their own problems, many operate successfully despite a glut of students.