Lost in the shuffle of higher profile elections yesterday was yet another giant step in MPS’s slog to oblivion with the election of union hacks Tatiana Joseph and Claire Zautke. To be perfectly honest, the opponents these two defeated – Angel Sanchez and incumbent David Voeltner – were hardly giants of reform; but by the Lilliputian standards of the MPS they stuck out like islands of reason in a vast sea of knee-jerk unionista idiocy.
Naturally, that modicum of independence and reason put a target on their electoral backs and the still-powerful MTEA machine rose up to take them out.
With the militant wing of teacher’s union now in even more secure control of the MPS Board look for a few new developments soon:
*First, look for timid change agent Michael Bonds to be ousted as MPS Board President and be replaced with the unapologetically strident Larry Miller.
*Second, under Miller’s leadership, look for the MPS Board to quickly jam through an extension of the current MTEA contract, putting off the district’s ability to achieve savings afforded to them by Act 10 and hastening the district’s descent into the fiscal abyss.
*Finally, look for a moment of truth from MPS Superintendent Gregory Thornton. With a strong anti-reform bloc in charge of the Board, Thornton will be forced to choose whether staying at MPS and even pretending to support change is worth it in the face of a Board that is even further entrenched in the failed status quo.
Last night was a big night for the MTEA political machine. In an ironic sense, however, the biggest winners from yesterday’s MPS school board elections may end up being Milwaukee’s Choice and Independent Charter schools. As MPS’s resistance to reform moves the district further and further down the path to financial ruin and educational dysfunction, they also move further down the path to political irrelevance with policy makers in Madison.
As that happens and the MPS Board becomes the strongest argument against itself, alternative education systems like Choice and Charter will continue to grow more and more attractive to parents and policy makers alike as the only real hopes for education reform in Milwaukee.