Boots & Sabers

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1625, 07 Mar 19

Why Are Kids Fleeing MPS’ Conventional Schools?

Interesting point from Bruce Thompson at Urban Milwaukee.

For the past two decades, there has been an influential faction, including the Milwaukee teachers’ union (MTEA) and some school board members, that blames MPS’s problems on the availability of charter schools and vouchers for private schools. According to the MTEA and its close ally the Working Families Party, the solution to declining MPS enrollment is to prevent parents from choosing to send their children to charter schools or private schools.

Thus, instead of asking how MPS can better serve its customers, the children and their parents living in Milwaukee, the emphasis is on recreating a monopoly by getting rid of the competition. Ironically, charter schools chartered by MPS are among the most successful, if the state’s school report cards are used as a measure. This is particularly true if one looks at schools with a high percentage of students in poverty.

Partly this reflects the MPS competitive advantage, its ability to offer its empty space to a charter school. However, growing hostility towards charters on the board has made charter school administrators begin to wonder if they should consider switching to another charter authorizer.

Consider what happened to Wendell Harris, the only incumbent running for reelection in April election for school board. Four years ago, Harris ran and won with the support of the MTEA. This year the union is opposing his re-election. His crime? After visiting Carmen and deciding it was a very good school, he voted in favor of its sharing space in Pulaski High School. Essentially, his crime was putting the interest of the students ahead of that of MPS.

The next table lists the candidates for school board in the upcoming election. I think it is safe to say that those in the left-hand column have convinced the MTEA and the Working Families Party that they won’t make Harris’ heresy of approving a charter school application just because it does a good job of educating students.

2019 MTEA Endorsements

2019 MTEA Endorsements

To put this in perspective, conventional MPS schools currently serve around 56 percent of the Milwaukee children whose education is publicly supported, while 39 percent are in independent charter schools or private schools through the choice program. In order to get the Working Families/MTEA endorsement, the candidates in the left-hand column are committed to trying to disrupt the education of 39 percent of Milwaukee’s students.


1625, 07 March 2019


  1. Kevin Scheunemann

    Excellent point Bruce!

    Liberals will go insane and ravage him, but needed to be said.

  2. MaxwellsEQs

    It is important to understand the history.

    The failure of MPS is a result of  Neo-liberalism and integration. Well intention-ed liberal judges and activists attempted to fix the problems of racism and inequality by forcing integration in the MPS. They thought that if middle/lower class white kids went to school with poor black kids that our society would be improved for the better. Unfortunately, it did not work that way. Middle class white people decided to move or send their kids to private schools. Poor white kids and poor black kids were left in the schools. Then poor white people moved and now the net effect of forced integration is that Milwaukee is the most segregated major metropolitan area in the United States.

    Private and charter schools in Milwaukee have mixed results. Some do well by siphoning off better students from MPS others just soak up tax dollars and deliver the same or worse results as MPS.


  3. dad29

    The “Better students” that the charters/privates ‘suck up’ are students whose parents give a rip about education.  But that’s not PC, is it?

    One other thing about John Reynolds’ de-seg orders:  little black kids were bussed to schools umpty-miles from their homes, often leaving at 0630 and returning at 5:30 PM.  THAT is not conducive to learning and also not good for school-to-parent communications.

    But Reynolds was too damn stupid to see that….

  4. MaxwellsEQs

    It is definitely not PC.

    Remember there are good MPS schools siphoning off students too.

    German Immersion, Reagan, and King are better than any of those charter/private schools and they are part of MPS.





  5. Mar

    Those that oppose vouchers and charter schools are a bunch or racists and elitists. They do not want to improve the Lives of minority and poor students.
    I taught many years ago at 2 of the poorest high schools at the time, and it seems things have not improved since then.

  6. dad29

    In fact, Mar, you can find that admission in one of the JS’ articles on the topic just after Evers announced that he would be standing in the schoolhouse door next to Gov. George Wallace.

  7. jjf

    Those who support vouchers are generally looking to prop up religious schools that couldn’t attract enough students, and they’d like to use tax dollars to do it.

    Why y’all upset about schools but not upset about segregation?

  8. Paul

    Jefferson, WI is 91% white, 0.7% black.

    You might want to sit this one out, John Foust.

  9. Kevin Scheunemann


    Those not supporting vouchers are looking to prop up failing public schools.

    Why do you hate choice so much?

  10. jjf

    Are you trying to solve the problem of segregated schools and a funding model based on property, supported by a decades-old system of segregation?  Or are you just trying to help religious schools?  How do public money vouchers to a family whose kids were already going to a religious school help the public schools?

  11. Kevin Scheunemann

    I want schools to be a competitive, innovative education machine like restaurant industry.

    The 19th century public school model is long dead.

    I want schools to be free, not chained, when it comes to educating the Spirit.

    That is the current problem, the decay of the human spirit.

  12. jjf

    As I always say, if anyone had a remarkably successful model for educating children, it would spread like wildfire.  I can understand a desire that sort of competition would bring better results.  If you think it’s true, show me the facts.  Again, if anyone ever in recorded history had a remarkably successful model, it would’ve been copied.  Maybe what we have is pretty good.

    Again, are you as worried about segregation as much as you are about the Spirit?

  13. Kevin Scheunemann


    How can anyone compete in a free giveaway government monopoly to innovate without vouchers?

  14. jjf

    I suppose it depends on what you mean by “competition.”  Is it just hand-waving?  Roulette with kids as balls?  You’d think there would be some serious examination of methods if the objective was to improve the public schools.  Instead the laws seem aimed at preventing close examination of those schools receiving public dollars.

  15. Kevin Scheunemann


    Do you have that much disrespect and disdain for parental decision making?

    The arrogance.

  16. Mar

    JjF, why do you support segregation of private or charter schools? Why do want to keep minority and poor kids out of these schools? Are you afraid that the poor and minority students would hurt the education of richer white kids?

  17. jjf

    Kevin, again with the outrage.  Like it or not, our state Constitution says it’ll provide an education to all kids.  It doesn’t say anything about parental decision making.  You want to send your kids for a Noah and brimstone education?  It lets you do that.  I don’t think we should all pay for it.

    Mar, why should public dollars be used to support religious education?  If a private school wants to find a way to provide scholarships to the indigent, they have the freedom to do so.

    The voucher and charter folks chant about better methods of teaching, and claim they want to improve education, but in the laws they push for hiding the details of what’s happening.  Why is that?

  18. Kevin Scheunemann

    There it is!!!

    “Does Not day anything about parental decision making!”

    You don’t see the basic moral problem with that?

    Voucher every kid up at 1/2 current price, let public school compete for students and funding through voucher. Parents get choice, taxpayers save money and Constitution is followed.

    Everyone wins!

  19. Le Roi du Nord


    For a guy that can’t even cut and paste a simple quote, k sure likes to flaunt his fiscal prowess.  Yet he doesn’t bother to explain how a public school can survive when the voucher school folks take away half of the public school operating income (“Voucher every kid up at 1/2 current price”), nor how fixed costs are still fixed, and how the private schools can exclude high cost students.

    And he still won’t say why private schools feel the need to hide the details.  I wonder why?

  20. jjf

    Yeah, their attention stops at the money.  When you ask to see the details of their supposed success, they don’t want to share.  There’s a million reasons that come forth as to why they can’t share.  It’s not about improving the education of all kids.  It’s not about transferring success to the public schools.  It’s about delivering religious education to a few kids, including many who were already getting a religious education.

    Kevin, I did talk about parental decision-making.  Didn’t you see that?

  21. dad29

    our state Constitution says it’ll provide an education to all kids

    Yes.  Exactly what SCOWI determined when Choice was adjudicated to be constitutional.  Thanks, Jiffy!!

  22. Mar

    JjF, you do realize that public money goes to religious hospitals, nursing homes, Salvation Army, institutions for the disabled, after school programs, pay chaplains in the military and in VA hospitals and homes and more.
    Like I said before, if you find an intelligent liberal, capture it, because they are almost extinct.

  23. Jason

    Mar, don’t bother hunting for them around here.  Pat, jjf, LeRoy are all the average potato-headed liberal spinning tired tripe.

  24. dad29

    Pat, jjf, LeRoy are all the average potato-headed liberal

    Were you paid to be that complimentary?

  25. Merlin

    It is interesting to note that the suburban public schools ringing Milwaukee love poaching their share of easy MPS cash, especially when that cash comes attached to unofficially recruited athletes. You never hear any bitching about those Milwaukee kids and their tagged money being 220’d out to the ‘burbs.  Suburban schools have been siphoning off state subsidized Milwaukee butts to fill their empty seats for 40+ years. No crocodile tears from MPS or their unions. Crickets.


  26. jjf

    Yes, Mar.  Do you think all those examples are similar to a teacher pushing Jesus on a minor?

    In some cases, it’s a lot like Planned Parenthood funding.  Public money goes to the religious organization because they claim they’re doing a public service without the proselytizing.

    I know, Dad29, we’ve been around and around on that point before.  I disagree with the court.

  27. Mar

    “Yes, Mar. Do you think all those examples are similar to a teacher pushing Jesus on a minor?”
    The minors are there voluntarily. They and their families accept that religion will be taught there. No one at the schools are coerced to be at those schools.
    Obviously, you never have been to the VA, in the military, at a Catholic nursing home or hospital etc.
    jjF, why are do you have minorities and the poor so much and why do you look down at them so much so, that you think they cannot handle a religious class? Why such a racist, JjF?

  28. Mar

    JjF, why are you so patronizing to the poor and minorities, that you don’t think can decide on their children’s education? Do you think they are not smart enough to decide for themselves?
    Do you think that they are not intelligent enough to make decisions, that they need you and other liberals to decide for them?
    You realize your patronizing is a form of racism?

  29. jjf

    Mar, the parents make the choice, right?  How hard have you looked for adults who were coerced into religion by their parents when they were children?

    People in hospital and the military are rather confined, so I can have a bit of sympathy for providing access to their religion.  I don’t think the government should be pushing one religion on them, though.

    There’s a group that formed to try to prevent this, as there’s been many cases of military leaders pushing their brand of Christianity on members.

    I’m not being patronizing about the poor and minorities.  What, you’re not worried about me patronizing the rich and the majorities?  They can decide to go to religious schools, of course.  Don’t expect someone else to pay for it, though.

    Mar, since Kevin can’t answer, what’s your take on the meaning of the word “race”?

  30. Kevin Scheunemann


    More hostility toward parents, choice, and Christianity?

    Why do you constantly hate?

  31. Merlin

    Nobody is forced to attend a parochial school. Not by the state and not by the parochial sponsors themselves. Anybody attending a parochial school is attending it by parental/guardian choice.

    Nobody attends a St. Somewhere without knowing, in advance, who sponsors St. Somewhere. The argument that choice attendees at parochial schools are being force fed unwanted religious influence is laughable.



  32. dad29

    Suburban schools have been siphoning off state subsidized Milwaukee butts to fill their empty seats for 40+ years.

    IIRC, Elmbrook was terminating its 220 program around 2010.  They were running out of space for their own kids.

  33. jjf

    Kevin, why do you always accuse others of hating?

    Merlin, parents force religion on their kids all the time.  I’m not suggesting the government is forcing parents to send their kids to religious schools, unless you want to consider that vouchers might be putting a thumb on the scale because of the discount.


  34. Mar

    jjf: To me race is ethnic based. It can be a color of one’s skin or their ethnicity.
    But you still are be very paternalistic towards the poor and minorities. Why? That is the very definition of being a racist? You just want to keep the poor and minorites in their place, the place where you have decided they should be. Which is away from whites and elitists.

  35. jjf

    So Mar, are there any differences between your races?

    How am I paternalistic toward the poor and minorities?


  36. Mar

    My races? If you are talking about the world races, and I don’t like term, other than skin color, no, at the basic level.
    However, when it comes to learned behavior and traditions and values and morals, of course there are differences.
    And you are being paternalistic by saying that those in school choice are too stupid to know what they are getting into. You think you know better for the school choice kids than their parents.

  37. Mar

    I guess, jjf, your lack of response shows to me you are paternalistic and more than a bit racist.
    So, let’s try this.
    I used to teach at Vincent and the old North Division high schools. North, I think I’d closed and Vincent was a hell hole back then.
    So, you are a minority and you were forced to send your kids to these 2 hell holes.
    Are you telling me that you would rather send your kids to those hell holes or to Marquette or DSHA under school choice or vouchers, if those schools are taking them?

  38. jjf

    I can understand why a parent wants to send their kid to the best school possible.  Or I should say, that’s the common-sense feel-good take…  give every parent the benefit of the doubt, everyone’s as smart and careful as me.

    But our Constitution doesn’t set up a competition.  It urges schools that are as similar as possible to each other.  So when you say one school is obviously better than another…  you bet.  Unfortunately that’s the case.  Our system of funding for schools depends to a great degree on property values.

    I don’t think it’s right to use tax dollars to fund religious education.  I don’t think it’s right to use the idea of competition to sway people into sending their kids to religious schools.  You want what you think is a better private school education?  Pay for it.  You think our public schools are uneven?  Fix them.

    Yes, I didn’t use the word ‘minority” here.

  39. Kevin Scheunemann


    You don’t think it’s right to use tax dollars for finding religious education?

    Then you need to defund liberal public schools now!

    Do you know how many liberal PC, evolution, global warming commandments thought in public school I break every single day? I constantly sin against the church of liberalism.

    If de-funding religion is your goal, let’s start with the biggest funded religion of them all: the demonic church of liberalism!

    I’m game, are you?

  40. jjf

    Kevin, you mean all I need to do is declare something a religion, and you’ll oppose it?

  41. Mar

    jjf, thank you response, but where in the Constitution does it mention schools and school equality?
    Fine, you oppose sending poor children to religious schools. But that exposes your racism and elitism. But don’t worry, most liberals are racists and elitists. Most are too stupid to realize that. Hopefully, you will see the errors in your beliefs. I don’t know if you ever worked with the poor and minorities, I have. Actually,I hope you don’t work with them because if you put your beliefs into action, it would cause tremendous harm to them.

  42. Jason

    >I don’t think it’s right to use tax dollars to fund religious education.

    Funny how on the recent discussion about West Bend classes that demonstrably favor liberalism over conservatism – you didn’t come anywhere close to making such a strong statement against.  Hypocrisy and Potato Headed.  You’re a double whammy.

  43. jjf

    Mar, I think if any parents, poor or not, want to send their kids to religious schools, it’s their choice.  The churches can give them scholarships if they can’t afford it.  It’s not for the public to do.  I do not see how this is a racist or elitist position.

    Here’s the Constitution passage:

    ARTICLE X. Section 3. [As amended April 1972] The legislature shall provide by law for the establishment of district schools, which shall be as nearly uniform as practicable; and such schools shall be free and without charge for tuition to all children between the ages of 4 and 20 years; and no sectarian instruction shall be allowed therein; but the legislature by law may, for the purpose of religious instruction outside the district schools, authorize the release of students during regular school hours. 

  44. Kevin Scheunemann


    Public schools ARE RELIGIOUS.

    What don’t you get?

    Global warming.


    Church of intersectional liberalsim.

    You jneed to call for defunding of public schools if that is your rigid position.   Are you trying to tell me, these 3 things do not have there owngods, cosmology, commandments and sacraments?

    In church of liberalsim, teaching, encouraging, and performing abortions is its most important sacrament with all 3 of these liberal sects.


  45. jjf

    Oh, the all-caps really gets your point across.  Let me guess, everyone who doesn’t agree with you is clearly deluded?  All those dictionaries and judges and professors are out to get you, they’re on the take from Big Liberalism?

    If only the public schools spent more than a few minutes on climate change, evolution, or explaining what intersectionalism actually is.

  46. Kevin Scheunemann


    It is insidiuously woven in to curriculum and you are expected to live by the cosmology or you are declared a heretic.

  47. jjf

    Yeah, those darn facts, they’re everywhere!  Heretic?  Nah, you’re just wrong.  But hopefully still educable.

  48. Le Roi du Nord

    “Public schools ARE RELIGIOUS”.

    Well, that may be true in your neck of the woods, but it certainly isn’t up here.  And we are certainly better off because they aren’t.

    And how would you know, “It is insidiuously woven in to curriculum and you are expected to live by the cosmology or you are declared a heretic”, since it obvious to anyone with a brain that you would never set foot in a public school, let alone one up here in the north.  You are just lying for jesus again.

  49. Mar

    jjf, if I am not mistaken both the Wisconsin and US Surpreme Courts declared it constitutional, your citation is null and void.
    To say that schools are not religious in some of the things they teach, well they are wrong. It’s sometimes the teachers and other times, it’s in the text books or curriculum. Take global warming/climate change. It is taught that there is only 1 side to the issue and it is the only side. It doesn’t mention that there are other viewpoints. It’s the omission of other viewpoints that is troubling

  50. dad29

    US Supreme Courts declared it constitutional

    So here’s a deal for Jiffy…..when the Supremes reverse Roe, we’ll give up Choice.  Wanna go there, JJF??

    See, with these Lefties, killing the children is an option.  If that doesn’t happen, then mal-educate them to death in the Publick Screwels.

  51. jjf

    Oh, is that the way politics works?  Or the courts?

    Separating children from their parents, that’s what Jesus would do?

  52. Merlin

    Minors apprehended along the southern border are separated from accompanying adults, if any, until a reliable determination can be made by law enforcement that the accompanying adults really are related to the minors. No papers, no passports makes the job of safely releasing those minors to anybody a very difficult and time consuming job. Not separating them prior to such a determination would be gross negligence in the extreme.
                                                                                                                                                                       Too bad lefties don’t show as much concern for those same children while they’re on their trek across Mexico. They would apparently prefer that human traffickers, drug mules, sexual predators, and terrorists be allowed to cross the border unimpeded as long as they have a minor in tow.
                                                                                                                                                                 What would Jesus do? Hopefully, help you yank your head out of your ass and then find something productive for you to do with your time.

  53. Le Roi du Nord

    The rwnj’s have been screaming about Soros helping them out for a long time.  Now you are wondering why “lefties”don’t.  Some major cog dis going on there.

  54. jjf

    Come on, Le Roi.  The libruls are simultaneously all-powerful and weak and ineffectual.  You’re supposed to pull yourself up by your bootstraps!  Unless a billionaire wants to fund your campaign!  And no, AOC and Beto aren’t supposed to pull themselves up by any means, not like that!

  55. Le Roi du Nord


    I guess you are right.  Just like liberals are both communists AND fascists.  Or so I’ve been told on this site.

    Or is it more like they want to be judgemental and play identity politics with anybody that is of a different philosophy than they are?

  56. jjf

    And then there’s “No, you’re the racist.”  No one here can identify any racist idea or racist policy anywhere that they had anything to do with.  It’s only everyone else.

  57. Kevin Scheunemann


    The parents are criminals by entering USA illegally other than at a port of entry.

    If parents are unrepentant criminals, Jesus would support separation of children from ongoing evil doing parents. Jesus does not want children to be led astray by evil.

    Why don’t you ever ask WWJD when it comes to abortion, marriage under God’s design, and other liberal immorality advocacy?

  58. Jason

    Well Merlin, I think it’s the ultimate hypocrisy that the left has glommed onto these “poor, poor, traumatized children” – while so devotedly fighting for “Choice”.

    So these children that are lucky enough to survive pre-birth, and then survive poverty conditions, then survive an arduous trek through some inhospitable regions of world, while traveling with someone who might or might not be their biological relative, and who might or might not have their best interests in mind.  Suddenly, the instant they are captured by “Americans” then they need additional protections and Trump deserves outrage and hatred.

    Fucking hypocrites one and all .

  59. Mar

    No one here can identify any racist idea or racist policy anywhere that they had anything to do with.
    Darn, dude, I already pointed out the racism about the opposition to school choice and vouchers.
    How about these: Support for racists like Al Sharpton and racist organizations like Black Lives Matter
    How about the support of Planned Parenthood even their founder favored genocide of Blacks.
    How about the lack good policing in the inner cities, where there is death of Innocents and gangsters.
    The support of illegals who take jobs at a lower wage, driving down wages, especially for Blacks.
    How about the horrible education systems in minority neighborhoods, where mostly bad or inexperienced teachers teach.
    Want me to go on?

  60. jjf

    Mar, read more closely.

    Have you ever seen anyone here on B&S admit to believing racist ideas or supporting racist policies?

  61. jjf

    Jason, don’t pretend.  If they wanted to keep families together because that was a goal, how could they determine parentage?  If someone is in the US,  legal or not, what protections do we give them?

  62. Mar

    jjf, you support racist ideas and policies. You just don’t want to admit you have racism in your beliefs.

  63. jjf

    Kevin, you’re so good at finding racism elsewhere.  Have you ever supported a racist policy or had a racist idea, but changed?

  64. Kevin Scheunemann


    I’ve fought against racism my whole life.   this means I constantly fight against the racist liberal intersectional lexicon that seeks to filter everyone by race, fluid gender or carnal choices.

    So, no, I have never been a racist or supported racist policies.

    Liberals, by their support of abortion, are defacto racists of the worst kind.

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