Wednesday, May 13, 2015

MPS Takeover: A Big Red Flag

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The talk of the week has been the proposed privatization of Milwaukee Public Schools.  State Senator Alberta Darling and State Representative Dale Kooyenga are pushing for taking away public control of MPS schools and handing them over to Milwaukee County Emperor Chris Abele so that he could proceed in privatizing them.  Abele is absolutely giddy about the prospect.

But why Abele?

Sources have said that Darling and Kooyenga had originally approached Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett to do it.  They probably figured that Barrett would be the best choice because he is the mayor and because he had already proposed taking over the school system himself.  The backlash from parents, voters and teachers was so great that Barrett quickly dropped the idea.

Barrett, remembering the sting of the strong rebuke, wisely passed up on the Republicans' offer to be their stooge.

So then they went to Abele, even though his jurisdiction is Milwaukee County and not the city.  Abele was a better fit for them because he's more like a Republican.  Abele also embraces the pro-poverty agenda of plantation economics.  And heck, Abele even made campaign donations to Kooyenga.  On top of this, Abele is good friends with - and heavily influenced by - Michael Grebe, the head of the Bradley Foundation, which has been pushing for school privatization for decades.

As noted above, when the Republicans came to Abele, being the dimwitted and pompous ass that he is, he gladly took up the offer.

SIDE NOTE:  Abele's apologists are saying that it was either Abele or Walker leading this and Abele felt he was the better choice.  This is, of course, utter bullshit.  Abele is just as incompetent and maleficent as Walker.  Politically, it would have been better to make Walker own this, especially as Walker is spending all his time and our money running for president.

Claire Zautke
But with Abele being the proposed education privatization czar, there is a big red flag and a potential scandal.

That red flag is Claire Zautke.

Zautke is a member of the Milwaukee school board.  Her track record is less than stellar.  She has voted in favor of charter schools.

Besides being a Milwaukee School Director, Zautke is also Abele's Principal Executive Assistant at Milwaukee County.  Per her Linked In profile, she does Abele's scheduling, liaising, organizing, internal communications and employee relations.  She is also in charge of Abele's internship program.

Obviously, she works very closely with Abele.

Think about it for a minute.  A school board member, who is less than friendly to the public schools and has voted for charter schools, working for and closely with the guy that has been tagged to privatize the schools.

What could possibly go wrong?

I'm sure that they have both maintained a strictly professional attitude at work, focusing only on county business.  I'm  sure that there were no communication between them about information of the school system, its budget, its staffing levels or anything like that.  Even though Abele has never displayed that kind of professionalism or ethics before, there is no reason not to believe there is a first time for something like this.

By the way, don't expect the Democrats to do anything about any of this.  They are too afraid that if they criticize Abele for his role in selling out our children and their futures, he might stop writing them the occasional check - not that all of his money has helped them win any races for the past several years.


  1. Heard someone on the radio yestrerday say, "If you hear that Wisconsin public schools are failing it's a myth." I was thinking it would be more truthful to say, it's lie.

    U.S. News: Milwaukee region’s 2 best high schools are in MPS
    Published: April 22, 2014

    Rankings show MPS is home to 3 of the state’s top 10 high schools

    MILWAUKEE – Two MPS high schools – Ronald Reagan College Preparatory High School and Rufus King International High School – ranked highest in the Milwaukee region in U.S. News and World Report’s Best High Schools list released Tuesday.
    140422 reagan trumpet

    A student at Milwaukee Public Schools’ Ronald Reagan College Preparatory High School, ranked the best high school in the region and the #2 high school in the state by U.S. News and World Report

    The rankings put 3 MPS high schools among the state’s 10 best: Reagan at #2, King at #3 and Carmen High School of Science and Technology at #7. MPS’ Milwaukee School of Languages was ranked #12.

  2. I do not know Claire Zautke well, but I obviously know her far better that you do. Your unsubstantiated and inaccurate characterization of her as "less than friendly to the public schools" is a load of steaming crap. Claire is a proud product of MPS, and is a true believer in the value of public schools and of the value of public employees in general. I don't think i can say the same About Mr Abele.
    There is a nefarious plot to continue the dismantling of MPS being conducted by the Walker administration and the Republican legislature, and possibly with Abeles help. To connect Claire Zautke to this plan strictly because of where she works is character assassination more worthy of right wing trolls like Alex Jones than of a progressive.
    I think you owe Claire Zautke an apology.
    Btw, I am a proud AFSCME member and a delegate to the Milwaukee Labor Council.