Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Jensen Deception

BY Jeff Simpson

 In Monona Grove, like many other public school districts in Wisconsin, we have a code of conduct that students have to sign and we expect them to live up to.   In this code of conduct this line is prominent:
Honesty (Students will be trustworthy and truthful, no matter what the consequence.)
The Elmbrook School District hasa special policy on Academic Honesty:  
Policy 5131.2 - Academic Honesty
The District regards academic honesty as vital to the academic, social and emotional development of all students. Honest and ethical behavior is an essential component in the learning process. Academic honesty requires that all academic work is the legitimate, truthful effort and product of the student. In contrast, academic dishonesty is an attempt by students to claim and show possession of effort, knowledge and/or skills that are not their own. Academic dishonesty in any form shall not be permitted.
Which brings us to the issue of the day, public education, and the recent November elections.  
We will see an expansion of "school choice" and the head of the "school choice" movement in Wisconsin is formerly convicted felon, Scott Jensen.  Jensen was basically given a "get out of jail free' card from his good friend and fellow Republican, Attorney General elect Brad Schimel.    
After Jensen left in disgrace, he went right to be head lobbyist for American Federation for Children(AFC). AFC is funded by the Walton and DeVos family and their main goal is to privatize our public education.   
AFC's visions is defined as(emphasis mine):
The American Federation for Children envisions an education system where parents are empowered to choose the best educational environment for their child, where innovation and entrepreneurism revolutionizes our education system, ensuring all children, especially low-income children, are provided with the opportunity to receive the finest education possible, whether it be in a traditional public school, public charter school, virtual learning, private school, home school or blended learning.
Doesn't there seem to be a disconnect that the organization that just wants parents to be "empowered to choose the best educational environment for their child" hired as its point person someone who has a proven history of not being able to be trusted to help serve the public?  

To make matters worse, they give the ethically challenged Jensen lots of money to buy elections.  As Bill Lueders recently pointed out:
School choice proponents, many from out of state, funneled $64,000 directly into candidates’ coffers in 2014, through AFC and another group. (The AFC-affiliated funder, Wisconsin Federation for Children Political Fund, filed its last report Nov. 26, a month late, risking a penalty of up to $500. Its Washington, D.C.-based administrator did not respond to an emailed question about the late filing.)In addition, AFC made independent expenditures of $866,000 to boost or oppose candidates. This adds to the nearly $10 million in state electoral spending by school choice proponents between 2003 and 2012, as tallied by the nonpartisan Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.
AFC’s spending in the Nov. 4 elections included $148,000 to help narrowly defeat Democrat Rep. Mandy Wright, a former teacher and school choice critic. It spent $123,000 to help Republican Todd Novak score a razor-thin win over Democrat Dick Cates. And it poured $240,000 into GOP choice proponent Howard Marklein’s successful bid for an open Senate seat.**
** To put things in perspective, while they are spending tens of millions of dollars on elections, our annual budget(approximately 3200 kids, 250 staff, six buildings is $32 Million).   Also average teacher pay in WI is approaximately $47,000/yr, while Scott Jensen makes a over $200,000/yr.   
 When you give Scott Jensen that kind of money to play with, he uses it just as you would expect!    
Yet, in its electioneering, AFC commonly doesn’t even mention school choice. It attacked Wright for allegedly using sick leave to attend a protest, which she insists is not true. It went after Cates for his vote on the local school board concerning the Pledge of Allegiance. And it ripped Democratic Rep. Gordon Hintz for threatening a female colleague and being cited in a massage parlor sting operation, both in 2011.
Now let's sum it all up, we have a disgraced former elected rep, who is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in small time races, to attack certain candidates disgracefully and dishonestly, late in the game, about every issue BUT school choice, and then AFC wins by razor thin margins.   Then Mr. Jensen declares:
Jensen is proud of these victories, which he says give it “a school choice majority in both houses.” He attributes this success to public support for school choice.
How Jensen sleeps at night is something he will have to answer, but why we continually reward this behavior in our political system is something that we have to take a long look at.  
Mr. Jensens behaviors, if he were a student in our district, would result in probably suspension and possible explusion(depending on the behavior plan we would work out between the principal, his teachers and parents).   
Is the person who would not be able to be hired into our schools, the person we want entrusted with millions of public education dollars?   
Do you feel safe knowing that YOUR children's future is in Scott Jensen's hands?    

Images from public profiles!  


  1. This academic honesty thing, does it cover plagiarism?

    1. As in what blaska ????

      anything you write,

    2. Ask Scott Walker. He has such academic honesty, he won't release his Marquette transcripts. I suspect MUCH worse than plagiarism.

    3. I just have to are you so blind Blaska? How do you defend Scott Walker? How do you defend his constant lying? His obvious pay for play governance? His inaugural ball donations to himself? His relentless blabbing about entitlements, when he has been sucking the government teat since the beginning of his career in politics? Last, how can you seriously defend a guy who writes molotov instead of Mazel tov? Or who confuses Chinese proverbs with Biblical verses? Lol...Blaska you fools are in good company.

  2. just for the record, jensen is scum.

    just what you want education associated with.

  3. Jensen...scuzzy as chuck chavala was, at least he knew when to stay on the canvas. Jensen, on the other hand proves that felons can unfelonate themselves if they try hard enough and go back to runin-ating the world as if nothing ever happened. No surprise Blaska has a hard on for can only assume he's commited a few himself.

  4. Follow the money...

    The billionaires reigning propaganda onto Wisconsin voters became rich through businesses that exploit their workers just like the Robber Barons. The Waltons are filthy rich by paying its retail workers poverty level wages while being the largest importer of products from Communist China. DeVos is a billionaire using a "get rich" multilevel marketing scheme in which the average Amway sales rep makes less than the minimum wage.

    You need an ignorant workforce to make the Waltons and Devos business models work. That's why they want to undermine public education.

    1. What you say is very true. The neoliberal reforms pushed upon the U.S. began on a small scale under the latter 1970s Jimmy Carter administration, only full-scale exploding under 1980s Reagan. The Walton and DeVos phenomenons are a symptom of that change.
      Attacking businesses needing organized labor, as well as privatizing government functions are part of this, including dismantling public education.

      Ordinary people, whether you are a (non) high school grad, or the idealized college grad professional, all need living wage employment for themselves, let alone supporting a family.
      Real wages (spending power) paid to ordinary workers has remained stagnant since the latter 1970s.

      Corporate productivity has gone way up in the same period, with the difference of wages-compensation (an expense that reduces profit margins) and income (which could not have happened without the power of labor) expanding to record highs. Thus you see corporations making record profits, as well as being given huge tax breaks.

      Yes, DO follow the money, whether it's spent on political officeholders, or the corporate booty. Our democracy needs a check to balance the awful influence corporations are having on this state and country. We will not have a country left if is run by corporate thinking.