Archive for ‘Education’

June 13, 2011

Tim Sullivan sure sounds like he’s running for something.

by thoughtfulconservative

In an address to civic leaders last Wednesday, Sullivan revealed that he had more success finding trained workers in Texas than Wisconsin.

A delegation of senior Texas government authorities met Sullivan at the airport, including the mayor of the town of Kilgore. In a one-hour lunch, they matched Bucyrus with a ready-to-occupy factory with every possible amenity.

More important, they asked Sullivan exactly what sort of workers he needed. Sullivan said 80 with specific skill. The state gave Sullivan a guarantee that the workers would be waiting when the doors opened at the expansion site in Kilgore. State officials customized a recruitment, training and certification program. One year later, when the expansion site in Kilgore opened its doors, the 80 welders were waiting. [Emphasis mine]

Impressive. He then contrasted that to what he found in Milwaukee:

What pained Sullivan most, the CEO said, was that the Milwaukee Area Technical College also said it would customize a welder training program for Bucyrus. But MATC never gave a guarantee as Texas did, Sullivan said. Nor did MATC deliver. Some didn’t finish training. Others were certified but failed a drug test.

But he didn’t blame MATC alone:

About 50,000 working-age residents in the city of Milwaukee cannot read beyond the third grade, Sullivan told M-7. In Wisconsin, meanwhile, some 710,000 working-age people did not finish high school.

Milwaukee is not alone in this:

According to federal data cited by the M-7, 32% of manufacturers nationally report unfilled jobs because they cannot find qualified workers. The nation has nearly 300,000 open positions in manufacturing.

So is he running?

On the subject of politics, Sullivan continues to hold open the option that he will run for the U.S. Senate seat that long-serving Democrat Herb Kohl now occupies, following Kohl’s announcement that he won’t seek re-election. Asked for his political affiliation, Sullivan replied: “I have none.”

We’ll just have to wait and see, I guess. But Sullivan is clearly eager to work on education reform:

Sullivan disclosed his investment in Texas, he said, to build his case for wholesale reform of Wisconsin’s job training and education system. Radical action is needed, he warned the M-7.

As chairman of the Governor’s Council on Workforce Investment, a state advisory panel, Sullivan wants Gov. Scott Walker to change how the state spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year in federal job training funds – and in the process, link the funds to reforms of local education programs. The proposals would change how workforce investment boards – regional training entities – apply for funds. They would need to justify each allocation with commitments to reform the curricula of each region’s kindergarten-through-12th public schools as well as each region’s technical colleges.

It’s a conversation that needs to take place.

I’m not one of those, “Blame it all on the teachers,” guys. Administrators, government leaders and “professionals,” must share in the blame, but those who are to blame the most are parents who are uninvolved in their children’s education and are neither demanding nor making sure that their kids get the education they need to compete in today’s society.

The reason we have breakfasts, lunches, sex-education programs, etc., is that schools are finding that parents are not doing it. And they are trying to fill a gap, however poorly we think they are doing.

Until parent involvement changes, especially in the inner city, any other reform will fall short.


More on Tim Sullivan:

Bucyrus CEO Discusses Possible Senate Run

“…we have got to change the way we’re doing things. This is not the way to run a country.”

Other reading I’ve done on education this week:

Montgomery’s $18 million schools ‘miracle’

5 reasons to believe progress is being made to address reading crisis

Milwaukee’s schools need creative thinking

April 1, 2009

Vote April 7th.

by thoughtfulconservative

UPDATE: I voted today (April 3). The reasons I voted for these two should be obvious, but in case one is confused, let me spell it out. Their opponents are liberal whose views do not match mine.

OK, I had to come out of retirement to post my vote-getters next Tuesday.



February 17, 2009

Vote tomorrow [today]

by thoughtfulconservative

Yeah, if you’re like me, you’ve only got one race, but it’s an important one, the primary for the position of Superintendent of the Department of Public Instruction.

I’m endorsing and voting for Rose Fernandez. James Wigderson has some background.

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January 5, 2009

Why run for DPI superintendent?

by thoughtfulconservative

From the Waukesha Freeman,

The state superintendent is largely an administrative post, with little actual power over setting policy, but able to use the position to advocate for their priorities across the state.

The superintendent is responsible for governing Wisconsin’s public schools, administering state and federal aid, and offering guidance to teachers and administrators. The superintendent also crafts a spending request every two years to run the agency and provide state aid to public schools, which is subject to approval by the Legislature. [Emphasis mine]

So they have little power, except what’s enumerated in the second paragraph in the quoted part?

So why would anyone want to run?

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January 2, 2009

Two fine candidates

by thoughtfulconservative

Our friend capper at Cognitive Dissidence lets us know of two bloggers, one definitely and the other most likely, who will be running for public office.

Zach Wisniewski announces that he is in the race for the South Milwaukee school board. I can certainly recommend Zach, as even though he’s somewhat to the left of me, this is less important on a local level. According to capper’s post, Zach has a passion for children and a commitment to fiscal restraint. These are  two good qualities for a school board member.

Here’s his campaign site.

capper also tells us about Janet Evans running for school board in Franklin. Janet posts at In the Race (a CommunityNOW blog) and Righty Blog.

Janet would certainly be a good addition to the Franklin school board.

Best of luck to Zach and Janet.

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June 9, 2008

Too sad

by thoughtfulconservative

James and Doreen will be putting their kids in private school next year and he tells us why.

Sad because I realize this may even be isolated, but it only takes one or two to muck things up.

(H/T Real Debate Wisconsin)