Now before I go on a rant, I want to say I don’t really fully understand what is going on with the Wisconsin budget since Scott Walker took office because in general this is a pretty messed up situation and I never really thought state politics were going to be intense enough to be ahead of the times and know my stuff before all this drama happened. I now find I was very very wrong and I need to catch up on my game because I am realizing that these changes are going to affect the world Wisconsinites live in in crazy and drastic ways. I do however have some what of an opinion formed since the UWM walk out protest I attended a week and a half ago really inspired me to get informed.
Some of the changes Scott Walker is making that amaze me the most are the cuts to teachers in schools all over Wisconsin and the impact these budget reform tactics are going to have on the UW college system. Teachers are already being told that their contracts may not be renewed for next year which means that students all across Wisconsin are going to be forced to be in much larger classes when they really need more individual attention and improvement because the school systems, especially MPS, are already breaking down fast.
Former student Jeff Overholt had quite the comment when asked about the quality of the school district he came out of, “with his new bill class sizes could reach 70+ students and the already underfunded school district will have to cut all art and gym programs. [Also] all of the security guards are friends with the kids who skip class and talk to them and have them buy them food from McDonalds but hassle the smart kids who are in the hallway during class to use the rest room and make go back to class for skipping without letting them use the bathroom.”
Students for a Democratic Society [SDS] leading protests in the UW-Milwaukee Union on March 2nd, 2011.
What does this say about the environment that is supposed to help our children grow and become decent, educated human beings when instead of learning world history they are learning that being bad may actually get you ahead in life and if you try to enhance your mind you may be criticized and even harassed? And how are they supposed to learn the value of education when their governor is blasting all over the media that the first thing to receive budget cuts are our schools? If we do not turn our attention and effort back into the education system these beliefs will carry over into future generations and then we will have greater issues then what many across Wisconsin are protesting against now. We will not even have people that are willing to protest because their minds will be so tarnished from loosing the teachers they so badly needed to inform them that expanding your mind and standing up for your opinions is the smart, democratic thing we seem to say we value so much in this country. Without education we will never see the change we so badly need in this country and WORLD so that we can all coexist together and further conflicts and possible wars do not develop out of the population that would be ignorant and intolerant after coming out of a overworked, under paid school system.
Students walk into Spaights Plaza at UW-Milwaukee on March 2nd, 2011 after a march around the block in response to the proposed bill.
Not to mention statistics have shown that states without collective bargaining are the 5 states with the lowest ACT/SAT scores in the country, with Wisconsin currently sitting at number 3. I know that correlation does not lead to causation and there are many other third variables that make these schools have the lowest test scores in the nation, but good teachers will be less likely to want to work in a school system where their rights are not top priority. I just really have to wonder why there are even advisors in the government that would want to make this move after shown such scary data that while may be some what of a tool for the left to use to make their point seem much stronger, still does show evidence of the impact these changes will have on our schools.
This is just not a smart move for the economy in the long run seeing how if the students do not get the education they need because their teachers are not as strong as they should be or to overworked from having college lecture sized classrooms and no ability to provide the one-on-one attention they should be able to give, the students will not be able to move on to college and then not be able to get the good jobs Wisconsin needs people to have in order to keep the economy growing and stop us from the repetitive borrowing cycle that got us to this point. They will be forced to work at grocery stores, fast food restaurants, or honestly just hustle. For the long term, those are not jobs that will keep Wisconsin out of the debt we are now in.
Another reason why this is a mistake for the long-term success of the economy is the division of the UW-System already in the works. If Madison pulls out on the UW-System that will mean that UW-Milwaukee will be the only doctoral school in the University of Wisconsin system, which in no way will be able to house all of the prospective students. Also, the price of college will have to go up making it even harder for people to access a college education.
If people are uneducated they will not be able to go anywhere in life, but I guess that’s a viewpoint hard for a person who dropped out of college then became a governor to understand.
UW-Milwaukee students join state-wide walkouts on February 20, 2011, protesting Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s plans to cut benefits for state employees, including teachers.