Voucher group to invest $1-million in Green
A school choice group based in Michigan, but with Wisconsin connections, has bought three weeks of television time in Wisconsin at a cost estimated at close to a million dollars to help Congressman Mark Green in the governor's race.
It begins on Sept. 26, the day after the current negative commercial from the Republican Governors Assn. ends. No coincidence.
Also, it's no coincidence that Green released his education plan, including a call to expand school choice, Tuesday, a couple of days after the buy was placed.
Is that pay to play, or just politics? Is this different from Green accepting more than $100,000 from real estate interests just before announcing his housing plan, which benefited them?
(I let the news media know about the buy yesterday, but they showed no interest. Too busy combing through candidate finance reports, looking for $1000 from somebody with a state contract, I guess.)
All Children Matter is the group which did the opposition research and filed the complaint about Dem State Senate candidate Donovan Riley double-voting in Illinois and Wisconsin. Riley, who dropped out of the race, was a school choice opponent running against Jeff Plale, a school choice supporter. All Children Matter crowed about that, and said that would free up money for other races, including the gov's race, describing Green as a "champion of school choice."
An affiliate, Alliance for Choices in Education, ran radio commercials attacking Doyle on the school choice issue in February during a dispute over raising the cap on school choice enrollment in Milwaukee. Doyle agreed to a compromise, but apparently will get no credit for that.
The new million-dollar buy is bound to be negative, and may never mention school choice (especially since it only benefits Milwaukee. I don't think I'd be advertising that in Green Bay.)
So, what does Green's education "plan" have in common with his other "plans?" The Journal Sentinel:
Brookfield - U.S. Rep. Mark Green of Green Bay, the Republican candidate for governor, endorsed a broad set of education initiatives Tuesday, including expansion of Milwaukee's voucher program and merit pay for teachers, but fell short on providing some critical details.I will leave the analysis to Jay Bullock, who does a thorough job and concludes:
All told, then, the Mark Green "plan" for education in Wisconsin is at best a collection of stale conservative ideas backed by clearly flawed studies or anti-union ideology. At worst, it's a cynical and empty pile of rhetorical sugar that the yeast that are his supporters can gorge on--and, predictably, they're already blowing gas...
Without any actual examination of what's in these proposals or an understanding of the underlying issues, Green's supporters have just jerked their knees with joy that Green wants to expand choice and weaken or eliminate the collective bargaining power of that evil union. They don't give any thought for whether these proposals would do thing one to improve teaching and learning or save taxpayers any real money.
And these proposals won't: What Greens's got is a collection of empty rhetoric and promises to help private schools, not public ones. You've got the end of collective bargaining with no promise of reward (except a commission to study merit pay) for teachers who lose their protections. You've got gimmicky one-size-fits-all solutions imposed on the hundreds of widely varying Wisconsin school districts. There is nothing about addressing, for example, the achievement gap or, as Doyle has done, providing students an incentive to take accelerated classes. How anyone can call that awesome or ambitious or significant is beyond me.