Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Meet The GOP Education Czar


By Jeff Simpson 

I am not sure how I missed this story earlier but its time to catch up.  The Republicans passed a law stating that they can make a charter school in any district that has more than 25000 students(Milwaukee and Madison).    
The BIG Government Republicans in our state decided the best way to improve our public educational system is by hiring some young kid from out of state, who  has never taught in our schools or probably even stepped foot in a public school in Madison or Milwaukee. to run a NEW Government agency

The chief of staff for state Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, has been hired by the University of Wisconsin System to oversee the creation of independent charter schools in Madison and Milwaukee.
Gary Bennett, a former public school teacher, will begin April 1, according to the UW System.
Not only did they increase the Government, they made him a  "special assistant to the President" of UW further stretching their resources because they also are going to pay him $95,000(with Cadillac Benefits).   Its amazing how the Repubs, keep putting their otherwise unemployable party members in high paying state jobs.   

In his new role, Bennett will earn $95,000 and report to UW System President Ray Cross as a special assistant to the president. 

For those of you scoring at home, the 7 members of the Madison School Board get paid $8000/yr with NO medical insurance.    That means the 7 members make $56000 a year while Mr. Bennett makes this plus an extra $40k and benefits.  Or about the cost of TWO classroom teachers and Mr. Bennett is not accountable to anyone and has no contact with children.

The taxpayers are very generous wth Mr. Bennett, especially when no one knows what he does all day.  Let's go to Mr. Bennett for his explanation.

Bennett declined comment Thursday.
$95,000 does not buy as much as it used too.

Because I am late with this story, we have the benefit of some hindsight to see how it is working so far.  

Thanks to Rep. Sondy Pope we know. 

The private voucher and charter school lobby spends millions every year padding Republicans’ campaigns, and this session they were gifted with another big return on investment in the Office of Educational Opportunity and its newly appointed "czar."
A partisan "czar" was appointed to oversee the newly created OEO. This individual can authorize charter schools in Wisconsin’s two largest districts, Madison and Milwaukee. Students can live in any district and still attend these new charter schools.
This “czar” will have vast power over schools in Wisconsin. His authority overrides that of locally elected school boards in Milwaukee and Madison. His salary and benefits, and those of his staff and office, will be paid by the already cash-strapped UW System.
In Summary, the Wisconsin Republicans passed a non fiscal, policy in the budget(to avoid debate), where they increased the size of Government and created a new "czar". interviewed in private, hired a former staffer(cronyism to the extreme) who has never even taught in WI, who makes double the taxpayer funded salary or what a teacher does, who will be completely unaccountable to anyone but the Republican party and his sole job is to take away local control from democratically elected school boards in Madison and Milwaukee.  

Sounds about par for the course under the Walker regime.


  1. The move was caught when it was made. I point out:
    While Abele was playing checkers, GOP insider Alberta Darling was playing chess. While he and his appointed representative, Demond Means, were assuring the voters they will do nothing to interfere with MPS, along comes Darling’s former chief of staff, Gary Bennett, hired by the UW system to oversee OEO with power to bypass local school boards and establish charter schools in both Madison and Milwaukee. Bennett, whose educational background from long ago is three years teaching second graders in Las Vegas, can run rings around two school districts led by women with Harvard doctorates in education. http://tinyurl.com/h2oaraj

  2. Thanks DOm and excellent insight. I didnt say everyone missed it, I said I missed it....so much bad everyday, especially in terms of education that its hard to keep track.

  3. Please look closely at the new ESSA. This type of "takeover agenda" is a hallmark. I have not heard anyone in the WI Dem party denounce this. In fact all I see is over the top support for Hillary. Hillary supports school take overs, unaccountable charters, fast track teacher certification.

  4. No one is required to attend school choice schools. Hence, the word "choice." The Madison public schools had a chance to adopt a charter school proposed by the Madison Urban League aimed at the under-served black population. The school district, beholden to the teachers union, turned it down. Now (most likely) that school will be revived. But not under Madison school district auspices. They had their chance.

  5. They did have their chance and studied and listened to their constituents and voted it down. That's what happens when you have good representatives they bite down the horrible ideas.

    1. They listened to the teachers union. How is a school aimed at improving black performance "a horrible idea"?

    2. Why is it okay to pay black teachers less? That's what would have happened with that school, because they wouldn't receive union pay. Seems like discrimination.

  6. David why are you always so simple??? So the teachers unions dont want to improve black performance? think maybe people who deviote their whole life to education would know more than some one who doesnt? Im sure he had good intentions, but he also had intentions of profiting greatly off of the students....like Gary Bennett

    There is alot of money to be made "reforming"education

    1. One would think Waaaaska’s simplemindedness was tactical in nature...but perhaps he’s truly simple?

  7. If there is money to be made off reforming education it is money well earned. Apple is very profitable because it produces great products that people want. BTW: Kaleem Caire's history in education is second to none. And no, teachers unions do not exist to improve student achievement; they exist to benefit its teacher members. John Matthews of Madison Teachers Inc. has said so many times.

  8. more money to be made, along with control for those who hope to have the public schools privatized...but you knew that. BTW, what does it mean when you say “Caire’s history in education is second to none”? While it certainly appears to be meaningless, perhaps you could support your statement with some sort of ....facts? I think this would include some comparison and contrast where other seemingly more experienced educators among his peers are concerned. In short, Waaaska...for once in your miserable life, prove what you’re saying is true, or STFU.