An Open Letter to Governor Walker

Dear Governor Walker:

I was both surprised and bewildered last week when I saw a news clip of you stumping in Iowa about Megan Sampson, whom you called “The [2010] Outstanding Teacher of the Year in my State.” This was baffling to me since in 2010, I was named Wisconsin High School Teacher of the Year (Maureen Look-Ainsworth, Middle School Teacher of the Year; Peggy Wuenstel, Special Services Teacher of the Year; and Michael Brinnen, Elementary Teacher of the Year). In a most humbling ceremony, we were each surprised at our respective schools by State Superintendent Tony Evers and later honored at the State Capital as the Wisconsin Teachers of the Year.

And so, as one of the bonafide 2010-2011 Wisconsin Teachers of the Year, I feel the need to engage in one of the most valuable skills we teach our students, critical analysis.

Verified by multiple news sources, it turns out that Megan Sampson did win an award in 2010, but it was the Nancy Hoefs Memorial Award given by a relatively small organization of Wisconsin English teachers (WCTE) for “an outstanding first year teacher of language arts.” She was one of fewer than a dozen teachers across the state nominated for the award.

You failed to mention these details as you used Sampson’s lay-off from her first year teaching position as an opportunity to bash Wisconsin schools on the national stage. You blamed the seniority system for Sampson’s lay-off when, in good conscience, you should have done some serious soul searching and placed the blame squarely on your systematic defunding of public education to the tune of $2.6 billion that you cut from school districts, state aid to localities, the UW-System and technical colleges.*

This Wisconsin Teacher of the Year would like to clarify precisely what you’ve done for education.

2010-2011 was a surreal school year to be named Teacher of the Year as that was the year your passage of Act 10 marked the exodus of thousands of outstanding veteran teachers from the profession they love and marked the beginning of an extreme strain on our ability to continue providing the excellent public education Wisconsin has always been known for.

And what have you done lately?  In just the past month, it seems you have once again actively declared war on education in your own state:

  1. You’ve directed the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction to devise content exams that would certify anyone with a degree to become a licensed teacher. The ramifications of this move are nothing short of catastrophic and would grossly diminish what data has repeatedly shown to be the single most important factor in student learning: the quality of the classroom teacher. Allowing someone to teach without any training in HOW to teach, in effective pedagogy, in student behavior, brain research, motivation, and classroom management is akin to allowing someone who says  “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on t.v.” to give you a heart transplant.
  2. Continuing your bellicose streak (war is war, right?) you cut to the jugular by proposing a 13% across-the-board budget cut from the Wisconsin University System, our cornerstone of higher education, the source of much of our skilled and educated workforce, the center for research and development for our state. Aside from clearly being anti-education, this move is clearly anti-growth.
  3. Psychological warfare has been your most recent tactic when you attempted to (and later tried to blame it on a clerical error) revise “The Wisconsin Idea” the sacred credo of the UW system articulated over a century ago. You sought to omit mention of public service and improving the human condition (you do realize that as Governor, you are considered a public servant?) You also tried to delete the phrase: “Basic to every purpose of the system is the search for truth.”  Truth. Hmm…I guess I shouldn’t be surprised about that one.

Your tenure as Governor has demonstrated nothing less than a systematic attempt to dismantle public education, the cornerstone of democracy and the ladder of social mobility for any society.

How our paths have diverged from that August afternoon in 1986. True story: it was freshman orientation just outside Memorial Union. We were two of a couple thousand new Marquette University freshman wistful about what our futures held. Four years later, I graduated from Marquette and later became Wisconsin High School Teacher of the Year. You never graduated, and you became the Governor of the State of Wisconsin bent on dismantling public education. Ironic, isn’t it? Situational irony at its best. I’d laugh if its ramifications weren’t so utterly destructive for the state of Wisconsin.


Claudia Klein Felske
2010-2011 Wisconsin High School Teacher of the Year
Marquette University Class of 1990


*Regarding the chronology of Sampson’s layoff notice and Governor Walker’s term in office, I stand corrected [2/17/15].

375 Responses to “An Open Letter to Governor Walker”

  1. 1 pwuenstel February 9, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    A post worthy of your passion, intellect, and good sense – and wonderful evidence of the wisdom of your selection as 2010 TOY. Write On!

    Liked by 6 people

    • 2 loumic February 13, 2015 at 11:45 pm

      Thank you for your honesty and passion. I just wish the 51% would understand!

      Liked by 1 person

    • 3 Laura Gellott July 23, 2015 at 11:40 pm

      The Marquette Magazine / alumni magazine has just published a profile of Walker: “Oval Office Aspiration: He is Marquette’s First Alum to Explore a Run for President of the United States.”

      Here, in reply, is my open letter to MU President Michael Lovell:

      Dear President Lovell:

      I was dismayed, upon receiving the latest edition of the Marquette University alumni magazine, to see that it features an article on Governor Scott Walker – “Oval Office Aspiration: He is Marquette’s First Alum to Explore a Run for President of the United States.”

      Let’s pass over the qualified use of the term “alum” to describe Scott Walker’s standing vis-à-vis Marquette University, or any of the questions that surround his time at the university and his early departure. Let’s also pass over the hollow, sound-bite character of Walker’s answers to questions posed to him in this interview, wherein he appears unable to offer the example of a single faculty member, a single class, a single idea that motivated or inspired him during his years at Marquette.

      On one level what is striking about the Marquette Magazine article is the way that the interviewer fails to engage with any of Walker’s responses. “My time at Marquette . . . gave me a hunger for knowledge.” This from a person whose administration has banned discussion of climate change at the Public Land Trust and whose budget eliminated 18 scientist positions at the state’s Department of Natural Resources. To the question: “What is the most essential lesson you’ve learned?” Walker replies: “To make decisions based on what’s best for the next generation, not the next election.” In view of Walker’s record does this response not warrant a follow-up?

      This leads to a further question: What in Scott Walker’s tenure as governor evinces his embrace of the values for which Marquette University claims to stand such that Marquette now appears to so eagerly claim him as one of its own?

      Walker’s self-proclaimed signature accomplishment is Act 10, the elimination of collective bargaining rights for public workers, closely followed by “right to work” legislation weakening private sector unions. You should know, President Lovell, that this runs counter to a century and more of Catholic social teaching which proclaims the right of workers to organize and collectively bargain – a right endorsed in 2011 at the height of the Act 10 controversy by the Wisconsin Council of Churches and Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki.

      Governor Walker denies the existence of climate change. This in contrast to the words of Pope Francis in his recent encyclical “On Care for Our Common Home,” which states:

      “A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system. . . . Humanity is called to recognize the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption, in order to combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it.”

      Governor Walker has put up obstacles to food stamp eligibility and refused federal Medicaid funds, denying health coverage to tens of thousands of Wisconsinites. So much for the simple Gospel mandate to feed the poor and care for the sick.

      President Lovell, many of us here in Milwaukee first knew you as the chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Where were you, and where was Marquette University, these past few months as the state’s public university system saw its funding slashed, and the fundamental principles of tenure, shared governance, and academic freedom weakened? When Governor Walker attempted to delete the words “pursuit of truth” and “betterment of the human condition” from the mission statement of the University of Wisconsin System? Are all these not goals and values for which Marquette University also stands? Did you, as a former chancellor of UWM and now president of Marquette University, not see that a statement of solidarity for the University of Wisconsin from the state’s leading private institution of higher education might have constituted a moral stance?

      Marquette should be embarrassed by Scott Walker’s connection to the university. Marquette University’s embrace of Walker makes me embarrassed for and ashamed of my alma mater.

      Laura Gellott
      Racine WI
      MU Liberal Arts ’74
      Grad ’76


  2. 4 Connie February 9, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    please send this excellent letter to the Milwaukee journal sentinel, the Wall Street journal, and every other major newspaper’s editor.

    Liked by 7 people

  3. 10 dan w. February 9, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    Excellent letter. Governor Walker has become a master at stretching the truth in front of cameras, to the point where the words can be defined as nothing but lies. Thankfully, more than a few Wisconsinites are on to his deceptions and are willing to call him out, including the sparkling Ms Felske.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. 11 Parry Lustgarten February 10, 2015 at 9:01 am

    Ms. Felske’s articulate and intelligent letter to Gov. Walker puts the lie to his gas-bag pronouncements of recent years and clearly demonstrates Mr. Walker fabricates and distorts his positions for political gain from those in the State of Wisconsin, and now in his attempt to gain national prominence so he can run for President. As a resident of Wisconsin for decades and a life-long supportter of the excellent educational system Wisconsin for always known for – and the thousands of teachers who made up the cornerstone of that exceptional educational system – I am now ashamed to admit my history with Wisconsin. Walker and those who voted for him ought to be ashamed although I suspect that emotion is not in his character. Shame on you Walker!

    Liked by 5 people

  5. 12 Aaron February 10, 2015 at 9:38 am

    Wrong, he didn’t cut the UW Budget by 13%. His budget proposed cutting it by 2.5%. Fact checking too difficult for a Teacher of the Year??

    Liked by 3 people

    • 13 Ricardo Galliano Court February 10, 2015 at 11:40 am

      $300,000,000. The figures are all over the press. They are not disputed by the governor.

      Liked by 1 person

    • 14 Andrea February 10, 2015 at 11:43 am

      The $300 million cut amounts to 2.5% of the total UW budget. The State is cutting its aid by 13%. However you slice it, $300 million is too much to cut.

      Liked by 4 people

      • 15 thaddeus2015a February 10, 2015 at 9:09 pm

        The cut to the total revenue is actually greater than that, for the UW System double counts federal student aid — once as that and then again as tuition. From an accounting standpoint that might make sense, but from an operating budget standpoint it makes the system seem far more endowed than it is.


    • 16 Will Behun February 10, 2015 at 11:44 am

      It would have been more accurate to say that he has proposed cutting funding by 13%, which is accurate. Since the UW System does not rely exclusively on funding from the state, this constitutes 2.5% of the overall budget.

      Liked by 1 person

    • 17 Deborah February 10, 2015 at 2:24 pm

      I think you’re talking about this cut constituting 2.5% of the STATE budget, aren’t you? Nice try misusing statistics.


      • 18 Joanne King February 11, 2015 at 7:55 am

        The $300 million cut amounts to 2.5% of the total UW budget. The State is cutting its aid by 13%. However you slice it, $300 million is too much to cut.


    • 19 LORI February 10, 2015 at 2:25 pm

      That was snarky Aaron. The State is cutting aid by 13% and the amount is 2.5% of the total UW budget…which is a lot. And speaking of fact checking, seems like Walker could have done a little himself before he announced Ms Sampson the 2010 teacher of the year.

      Liked by 4 people

    • 20 Eric Mattson February 10, 2015 at 4:11 pm

      Aaron, you are a moron. Your smug comment, based of course on an incorrect interpretation of the data, clearly indicates [ironically] that you and Governor Walker are kindred incompetent spirits.

      Liked by 2 people

      • 21 Jim Norland February 11, 2015 at 9:42 am

        Eric, I don’t agree with you or Aaron. I suspect the correct answer when you take into account changes is revenue etc. is someplace in the middle. My comment to you is how do you further this discussion by calling Aaron a moron? The problem is not people that distort the facts, correct facts are available and can be found. The problem is that civil discourse is a thing of the past something you have clearly demonstrated. In her original open letter Ms. Klien Felske was critical but attacked the policy not the person. Her comment about Mr. Walker not completing his education is on the edge but warranted considering the office Walker now seeks. Someone who does not agree with you is not a moron they simply have a different view. Thanks to the reaction of people like you they probably always will. Anything you write after moron is immediately discounted no matter how valid your argument is. When checking facts it is always important to consider the source. In your case all facts are immediately impeached because you start with an immediate criticism of the person rather than the view of the person.

        Liked by 1 person

      • 22 wjm980 February 17, 2015 at 1:52 pm

        Resorting to name calling negates anything you have to say.


    • 23 Dave Fields February 10, 2015 at 6:41 pm

      You are using talking points the governor has fed his followers on his facebook page and elsewhere. 13 percent is accurate. You do have the teacher of the year accurate, however, whereas Walker did not.


    • 24 Eric February 10, 2015 at 8:07 pm

      Aaron, it’s 13% of the state allocation. An allocation that has decreased substantially over time in both real dollars controlled for inflation and percentage of the UW System Budget in total. In a forum of good will and learning I would encourage you to embrace a more civil tone. If you lack a value for education, that’s ok. Just own that you prioritize other things and as a result wish to take your tax dollars out of funding K-12 education and our great state University System. For me, education has always been, and will always be a cornerstone of our society and our state. On Wisconsin!


    • 26 Kelsey February 10, 2015 at 8:34 pm

      Aaron, that is simply not accurate.. it is 13% over two years. This number is widely accepted by a number of sources


    • 27 Gen Gee McBee February 10, 2015 at 8:40 pm

      It is a 13 percent cut to the UW proposed by Walker, because it is a 13 percent in state funding to the UW, and he proposes state funding. (I do agree this could be more clear in the letter, but the wording is not wrong.)


    • 28 James T Devine III February 10, 2015 at 9:06 pm

      Oooohh. I hope you keep looking at facts. Or are you being selective in who you choose to fact check. There’ s a documented Pants on Fire liar in the Governor’s office you could check some facts about too.

      Or, are you a paid executive branch worker on a hidden WIFI network on level B Room 426 in the Capitol building?


    • 30 The well-tempered atheist February 10, 2015 at 9:25 pm

      Citation, please.


    • 31 martina23232013 February 10, 2015 at 10:02 pm

      I think he cut it by 13% of the State’s contribution to the UW’s overall budget. Thank God there are other income sources, but this is still a huge hit, and I am deeply grieved.


    • 32 Heidi February 10, 2015 at 10:19 pm

      The fact that the education budget was cut at all is a discrase and so are you for marginalizing a national crisis of governors trying to destroy public education.


    • 33 sts49721 February 10, 2015 at 10:30 pm

      Just the unions still trying to get back at him!!


    • 34 Steven glass February 11, 2015 at 1:51 am

      As a UW student since 2011 , I can definitely tell you that yes it was 13%. Do your own fact checking and realize it was 2.6 billion from public education across the board. Your lack of research shows very deliberately sir. Take an economics class maybe ?


    • 35 Joanne King February 11, 2015 at 7:54 am

      The $300 million cut amounts to 2.5% of the total UW budget. The State is cutting its aid by 13%. However you slice it, $300 million is too much to cut.


    • 36 Daniel Williams February 18, 2015 at 4:07 pm

      You are so ridiculous Aaron. Your wrong anyways and I am over joyed by this. It doesn’t matter if the numbers are wrong, what does matter has a higher rule regardless. She was TEACHER OF THE YEAR. You, seeing you horrible choice for words, will never be anything near that.


    • 37 Kraig March 21, 2015 at 5:48 pm

      Aaron – your logic is a few prayers short of a church service, bud. Do your own homework before you start trying to urinate on someone else.


  6. 38 Carol Kroll February 10, 2015 at 9:55 am

    Bravo! I’ve just shared this excellent letter on Facebook. Your letter was spot on.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 39 Gary Noren February 10, 2015 at 10:00 am

    How do we get this sad, but wonderfully written letter to the national press?

    Liked by 2 people

  8. 42 Kathy Harbaugh February 10, 2015 at 10:36 am

    Every Wisc resident should be forced to read this! Great letter!

    Liked by 2 people

    • 43 Mary Barlament February 10, 2015 at 4:05 pm

      Yes. Every young person should read it. They’ll find that if they don’t go to college and they don’t get a degree they won’t really be able to do anything important. Must have a college degree. Think about the message you are sending to the young people. And you are educators. Yikes!!!!


      • 44 KG February 10, 2015 at 7:52 pm

        Please point me to where that is stated in this letter.


      • 45 Sue Johnson February 10, 2015 at 10:45 pm

        You do know you’re reading The Marquette Educator from the College of Education at Marquette University, don’t you Mary?? I’m not sure how you decided that this letter is telling everyone they need a college degree unless you think it’s implied from it’s origin. Perhaps you should go back and reread it for content and understanding.


      • 46 Camille February 10, 2015 at 11:28 pm

        I don’t agree with this statement, and this is why- going to college, you are earning a degree, in whatever that may be. This education can therefore lead you into different career paths. By saying that every kid should go to college is hopefull, but very unreal, and unlikely, but every teacher should encourage their students to do so. Because “education is the most powerful tool which you can use to change the world” (Nelson Mandela). To give a student hope that they can still become a doctor, for example, without going to college is a big stretch… Very impossible to do so without further education.
        So to say that someone who graduated from high school, which is about 70-80% of Wisconsin citizens, Scott Walker has enough knowledge to govern this state? Dang.


      • 47 Peter Bissen February 11, 2015 at 9:59 am

        See response below to your repeat of your flawed statement.


  9. 48 Rebecca February 10, 2015 at 10:44 am

    Every Kid Deserves a Great School – and a great teacher! So, at least the children you’ve taught previously, and will teach in the future, will get a great education, even in the face of these tremendously difficult times for educators and students alike.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 49 Mary Barlament February 10, 2015 at 4:09 pm

      But, if you don’t graduate from college you really can’t become anything important. Nice!! What a great message to all of those kids that don’t/won’t go to college.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 50 JB February 10, 2015 at 7:02 pm

        Mary, I think you’re missing the message here. There is no mention of anything you are alluding to. Of course secondary education isn’t mandatory nor a prerequisite for “doing important things.” But education IS important. Knowledge is freedom. For those who want to further their education, the quality of such should not be harmed just because some don’t want to attend. I’m more afraid of the message you appear to be spreading: that education is not important.


      • 51 Mary Daniels February 10, 2015 at 7:31 pm

        Would some of you savvy computer people like to check on how many past presidents didn’t finish (or start) college? How many current millionaires? I graduated myself, but you’d be surprised how many bright and motivated people didn’t find it entirely necessary.


      • 52 Barb February 10, 2015 at 8:20 pm

        I just re-read the above letter, and still can’t find where she said that if you don’t go to college, you can’t become anything important. Can you point out the paragraph where I might find that statement?


      • 53 McKenzie February 10, 2015 at 10:58 pm

        Can’t become anything important? As this teacher said in her letter, Go Walker did not graduate for college. And regardless if you agree with his decisions or not he’s still an important person. Think about what you post.


      • 54 Peter Bissen February 11, 2015 at 9:58 am

        Mary, you make no sense whatsoever. The message you claim this letter sends is that you can’t accomplish anything without a college degree, yet it clearly states that Walker didn’t finish college and became the GOVERNOR of WISCONSIN. Are you saying that’s not something important? The criticism is what he’s done with that accomplishment.


  10. 55 Alicia Oleson February 10, 2015 at 10:44 am

    Damn, my old HS English teacher is a bad ass!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. 56 Jennifer Handeland February 10, 2015 at 11:22 am

    Well said Claudia!! His values and standards are NOT what Wisconsin needs. This whole “Moving Wisconsin Forward”…..campaign is a joke. Moving forward forces one to believe in positive changes. Well….my OPINON is children are the Future!! Taking education away from them is ludacris. As many working families……I believe that a good education is essential for OUR FUTURE!!! Our children deserve to be taught by WELL EDUCATED TEACHERS!! Meaning no disrespect to you Mr Walker… are not a graduate of any college….therefore I believe you are NOT qualified to make decisions on behalf of Wisconsin teachers and their classes. Looking back as a child…..I may not have always been the best student…..but I sure did hold a great respect for the teachers….and to this day…I still do. I was both a private and public student. Both were great schools with loving and caring teachers.

    Liked by 2 people

    • 57 Dave February 10, 2015 at 2:07 pm

      Saying Mr Walker can’t make decisions about education because he didn’t complete college makes about as much sense as me saying i can’t vote because I’m not a politician! I went to college. I have no problem with some of his proposals.
      And as far as the proposed rule allowing degree holders with life experience to teach. ABSOLUTELY GREAT! Not everyone learns the same way. Maybe some of these people can bring a new perspective to teaching. My favorite thought about this whole issue is, look what you learned from your parents! They may have taught you more than anybody else, with no teaching degree!

      Liked by 2 people

      • 58 Rich February 10, 2015 at 4:11 pm

        Yea, put your mom and dad down as your total education and see if even mr Walker hires you.

        Liked by 2 people

      • 59 joydox February 10, 2015 at 10:50 pm

        Not everyone learns the same way. It’s right there in your post, and it’s the reason not everyone can teach.


      • 60 brewmac February 10, 2015 at 11:51 pm

        Do you have kids? Do you want your children learning from someone who has “life experience”? Because, who doesn’t? Does that mean everyone is qualified to be a teacher? Because I climbed a mountain, swam the English Channel and competed in Wheel of Fortune, is that enough for me to teach your child English?


      • 61 Brian February 11, 2015 at 7:19 am

        So Dave, If my girlfriend has a headache and I give her some asprin to clear it away, this means I suitable to be a Dr?


  12. 62 tim February 10, 2015 at 11:38 am

    I’ll stand with Governor Walker. PROUDLY!
    But I’d go one step further. Dismantle Public Education entirely, and rebuild it into something better, where NO unions are controlling teachers, No Islamic, Pro LGBT, anti-Christian, anti-Constitutional agendas are pushed. Now that would be some worthy reformation! Just watch: Those so-called “open-minded intellectuals” will slam me for my FREE SPEECH & opinions. So much for tolerance!

    Liked by 3 people

    • 63 tom February 10, 2015 at 12:43 pm

      tim, I agree in your rights and would fight to protect them. Those who wish to attend schools such as those you described already have that opportunity…private, parochial schools

      Liked by 7 people

    • 64 Pat February 10, 2015 at 12:45 pm

      Not going to say whether I am a pro or con Walker, but you do realize that free speech or the first amendment doesn’t protect you from getting slammed by anybody except the government (ie, getting arrested). Plus think of it this way. If there are any responses to your post, they are just opinions as well…

      Liked by 3 people

    • 65 Davis Oldham February 10, 2015 at 12:58 pm

      Tim, are you really willing to trade educational quality for your morals?

      Liked by 1 person

    • 66 TJ February 10, 2015 at 3:05 pm

      Ooooooh, that is 2edgy4me, Tim! I’m sure that a cutting-edge thinker such as yourself already knows that being open-minded means carefully considering opposing viewpoints. So, let’s carefully consider your proposal and see if it holds up.

      You’re all for dismantling public education in general. I imagine you support all schools being privately run, which would necessitate each family paying tuition to those schools. There are many families that don’t have the extra money to afford sending their children to school, so what are they to do? Should those children not receive an education because their parents are poor? I mean, setting aside for the moment the egregious moral issues that raises, ask yourself this: if we are increasingly moving toward a digital information economy where skilled labor requires massive amounts of education to perform…how do you propose we keep that economy going when large swathes of our population are uneducated?

      I’m also really curious about your claims regarding your wish for a “No Islamic, Pro LGBT, anti-Christian, anti-Constitutional agendas” public education system. What anti-Constitutional movements/agendas are coming out of our school system exactly? How is our school system anti-Christian? (or do you define “anti-Christian” to mean “does not promote and encourage Christianity above all other religions,” in which case you’re arguing for the current public school system to adopt an anti-Constitutional agenda. So that’s confusing to me.)

      Honestly, your arguments are all over the place and I’m having a really hard time understanding what you actually want—unless, of course, you just wanted to use a bunch of buzzwords that you hope will insult this nebulous “intellectual” boogieman that you seem to hate so very much, with the hope that someone will argue against you so you can scream “I’m being oppressed! My rights are being violated because someone disagrees with me!” I’d like to believe that you have some sort of valid argument for your beliefs, but man, I’d be hard pressed to think of any.

      But please, if you actually believe what you write, I’d encourage you to expand your arguments in a way that fosters critical engagement with your ideas. You seem to think that “intellectuals” are closed-minded and don’t want to listen to the other side of the argument. And maybe that’s been your experience. But if this post is indicative of the way you try to engage in conversation about tough topics, then maybe your experience says more about your approach to these conversations than it does about “open-minded intellectuals.”

      Liked by 7 people

    • 68 Josh Berg February 10, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      I wont bash you, I guess I just dont understand how you basically are saying our schools should be pro-christian because isnt that pushing an agenda? A christian based plan? We in america have freedom of religion and there is whats called separation of Church and State. So what are you really proposing? I mean your No Islamic, Pro LGBT makes you sound like a bigot, not saying you are or even calling you one…the statement says that. I agree, free speech, which includes Islamic, LGBT, anti-christian, anti constitutional agendas. Do I think we should be pushing ANY agenda in schools? no, no church, no race, creed, etc should be pushed in public education. But to then turn around and basically say it should be christian based is doing exactly what you are arguing against. So should we dismantle a system that educates our children? NO! Does it need reforms? Sure…all systems can be reformed at some point. But your pro-christian – basically white power/anti-sematic way was tried and that turned into what was called the Holocaust. A system was dismantled and regenerated with only white, christian people allowed. The “christian” agenda was pushed and all those who opposed were forced out. So be careful what you say, because your words have made you sound very racist and like a bigot. Change comes when we all embrace the fact that we are not the only ones out there and that we all have to be willing to accept what is different and allow all people to have their say. We dont have to like or even agree with it, but we have to allow it and work together to make that change happen. Your post is the reverse of change. While your ideals are there and I can see by your post you believe that change is needed, your method is one that if imposed would set this country back one hundred years!

      Liked by 2 people

    • 69 Bill February 10, 2015 at 3:31 pm

      As a fellow graduate of MU 1990, the type of schooling you are describing already exist. They are called Catholic Private schools. I was subjected to that for my 16 years of education. And while I didn’t buy in to all their intolerance and hate, they do a very good job promoting what you see fit as a “proper” education. Just a guess, but I bet you aren’t too happy with the new Pope. And just an FYI, Free Speech protects you from government persecution, not people on the internet pointing out how ignorant you sound.

      Liked by 3 people

    • 70 Max February 10, 2015 at 3:53 pm

      Why should I tolerate vast stupidity?

      Rebuild it better how, Tim? Because walker and his Koch masters have already shown exactly what they want to do with education. They have already altered teaching programs to push only the books and information they support, in order to further their own political and economic gains and most likely simply to keep the masses too stupid to figure out that they are stealing our money, jobs, intelligence, and environmental wealth and safety.

      Schools are about higher learning to find yourself a skill or a craft. They are NOT propaganda machines (or LGBT brainwashing centers, you bigot) to spread misinformation and Bad Economics. I just don’t understand how anyone can so blindly have the wool pulled over their eyes with the horse manure and outright lies that come from Walkers thin, wooden puppet lips.

      Tim, basically what I’m getting from your response is that you don’t value learning or education, and your spouting of the “abolish public schools” rhetoric only displays how clearly you lack the understanding of what’s really going on here. Anyone with a shred of intelligence can study both sides of the field here and see what’s wrong with the picture.

      Why can’t you?

      Liked by 2 people

    • 72 Rich February 10, 2015 at 4:14 pm

      Sad day when you are the only model for our youth, don’t slam you for your free speech, just lack of understanding of others in the world, happy that yours in not the main stream thought in this country.

      Liked by 1 person

    • 73 colleen lace February 10, 2015 at 6:05 pm

      I was raised in a parochial school until high school. A flipping laugh! I’m not even sure the teachers were certified. I think they just had to recite the books of the Bible. Ye Gods!


    • 74 JB February 10, 2015 at 7:27 pm

      Tim, I was immediately inclined to respond to the absurdity and self-contradiction of your statement. But it appears everyone else already said it quite well, especially TJ!


    • 75 sts49721 February 10, 2015 at 10:40 pm

      Amen!!! But you will get slammed by the unions!! All the liberals will have a stroke!! Lol!!! Kids/adults have no respect for authority because of all this liberal BS!!!!!


    • 76 Mick February 10, 2015 at 10:54 pm

      Hey Everybody.. It’s “Dey Took er Jobs” Tim!


    • 77 Camille February 10, 2015 at 11:37 pm

      Tim- I would love to see the research into how that would “rebuild [the school system] into something better”?
      I’d just like to know what your goals are for education. Whether that be higher standardized test scores, a higher percentage of high school graduates, etc. I would LOVE to hear your options as well as supporting research on how doing any of those reforms will make a better education system.
      I am not trying to bash your FREE SPEECH and options, just questioning them and asking you to back up what your saying.


    • 78 Bill February 11, 2015 at 6:00 am

      You left out manditory abortons.


    • 79 J Powers February 11, 2015 at 6:34 am

      I went to war to protect your right to free speech. Too bad you use it in an attempt to deny others their constitutional rights.


    • 80 Brian February 11, 2015 at 7:22 am

      Tim, freedom of religion, ever hear of it?


    • 81 Carol Wacek February 11, 2015 at 11:14 am

      Tom, you are what wrong with our country — no tolerance for anyone with difference views than you and I’ll bet you describe yourself as a “christian.” You reek of today’s brand of conservatism which is decidedly unchristian in its thoughts and actions. Schools, with the exception of parochial schools, should have no curriculum associated with religion of any kind. The unions, Islamic Americans, LGBT, and all religions (including NO religion) are entitled to the same rights. Of course you have a right to free speech and your opinions, but SO DO I! It seems by your comments that you are the intolerant one.


      • 82 sts49721 February 11, 2015 at 11:37 am

        You liberals are the one’s intolerant!!! If anyone don’t agree with you you all cry racism, intolerance ect… Maybe you are the one’s who are wrong!!! The unions are behind all this crying!! They do not care about the kids education all they care about is their dues and the liberal agenda!!! Get a clue!!!


    • 83 Joaquin February 14, 2015 at 11:42 am

      Tim you are 100% right… The left doesn’t care about those that are the most important, the children, all they car about is the unions having their claws in the education system of our country sucking up as much money as they can. A great teacher is a great teacher with or with out certification… I have know some great teachers who were never ” teachers of the year” yet year after year students who were graduating let them them know how grateful they were to have been in their class. I agree that the current system has to be dismantled and the federal government needs to get out of our schools… Let the communities set up their programs and go back to teaching without interference from the Feds. I was never teacher of the month or teacher of the year I was a teacher every day of the year. God bless.


  13. 85 One Guy February 10, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Tim, you have every right to your opinion. And, of course, we must recognize that some opinions are more well-founded than others. After 16+ years in the classroom, I can think of no instance where my union controlled me. I can think of no colleagues who bashed Christianity, or promoted Islam. I can think of no one who was anti-Constitution. However, I have encountered lots and lots of people outside of education who have shared similar opinions to yours. Perhaps you would consider working in one of your local schools to get a more “in-the-trenches” view of education. Your experience may reenforce your opinions, or it may show you where reality differs from your perception of education.

    I think it’s safe to say, though, that the opinions of a recognized teacher of the year in our state ought to hold a bit more weight than the opinion of someone with less experience in the field.

    Liked by 10 people

    • 86 RichGuy February 10, 2015 at 12:56 pm

      One Guy, no sense trying to hold a common sense debate with someone who speaks in ridiculous right wing talking points. He won’t get it. The only words he knows are union, Muslin, Behghazi, bible, and gun.


    • 87 Carla church February 10, 2015 at 10:43 pm

      I worked schools in wisconsin and my understanding was you had no choice about joining the union. This was several years ago…before the walker thing. I think you could refuse to join but they still took out a huge percentage of the dues anyway from your paycheck. That is not the way unions should do business. Teachers should be allowed to have a choice and join other groups if that is what they want to do. In iowa teachers are allowed to pick and chose and they are not osterzised by other teachers if they chose not to join the nea like they were in wisconsin. Just food for thought.


      • 88 Judy March 24, 2015 at 11:12 am

        You don’t want to pay the dues, but are certainly ready and willing to take the raises and benefits that the unions negotiate.


    • 89 Gj February 10, 2015 at 10:50 pm

      Just a thought … you are basing you defense on a position on the person’s job, then wouldn’t you also logically put a governor above a teacher?
      And, if all these highly trained teachers (trained by one another) are so infallible, why has school performance declined over the past three plus decades?


      • 90 Rhett February 16, 2015 at 10:05 am

        I hope you understand the incredible amount of variables that are involved in student and school success. Teachers control what happens in their classrooms. Teachers cannot control the lack of parental support, poverty, students suffering from mental illness, drug addiction, abuse and neglect. Nor do teachers write the top-down standards or the standardized tests which they are beholden to. Teaching is a difficult profession because everyone blames the teachers. When will we begin to share the blame and the burden of educating our children.
        We in America have been so concerned about attacking each other over small issues that we have lost sight of what is truly important. Our children, our country, our democracy. We must prepare our children for a world which we cannot predict. They must be engaged, be able to think using facts, be creative, problem-solve and collaborate for a better world for all, not a select few. Stop the political bickering. John F. Kennedy said, “Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us. “


      • 91 bejugo February 16, 2015 at 2:48 pm

        Gj, school performance hasn’t declined over the past 3+ decades. We (the U.S.) have just one authoritative measure of academic achievement over the decades: The NAEP (N’tl. Assessment Governing Board.) The “main NAEP” began testing every other year since 1992, and both reading and math scores have trended upward from ’92 to 2011. The “Long-Term Trend Assessment NAEP” began in the 1970’s, and, again, it shows a trend up improvement to the present.

        And all this when there are more student with special needs, more single-parent families, and more ESL students.

        Nice job teachers!



      • 92 bejugo February 16, 2015 at 2:50 pm

        correction: NAEP ==> National Assessment of Educational Progress.


      • 93 bejugo February 16, 2015 at 2:52 pm

        Correction: “…trended upward, or stayed steady…”


  14. 94 Rick February 10, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    As the Health Physics Society’s National Science Teacher of the Year at that time, I was one of the veteran teachers pushed toward the door by Act 10. I’m now running a small analytical chemistry lab in south-central Wisconsin.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. 95 Steve Gelder February 10, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    “Those so-called “open-minded intellectuals” will slam me for my FREE SPEECH & opinions. So much for tolerance!”

    Where did you get the idea that people have to tolerate whatever idiotic thing you say as a part of free speech? Free speech, as protected by the Constitution, guarantees your right to speak out against the government without penalty or repercussions. It doesn’t say you get to make a declaration that schools are anti-Christian and anti-Constitutional without intelligent people being able to point and you and laugh, which is, by the way, what all of us are doing.

    Liked by 5 people

  16. 96 jf64 February 10, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    “You failed to mention these details as you used Sampson’s lay-off from her first year teaching position as an opportunity to bash Wisconsin schools on the national stage. You blamed the seniority system for Sampson’s lay-off when, in good conscience, you should have done some serious soul searching and placed the blame squarely on your systematic defunding of public education to the tune of $2.6 billion that you cut from school districts, state aid to localities, the UW-System and technical colleges.”

    What YOU fail to recognize is that while there were cuts, there were also tools supplied to the local school boards to more than make up for these cuts if they chose to use them wisely.

    Can you answer the question “Why the seniority system is was not reason for her layoff?” Your argument seems to deflect from that point. So you are saying that in the event of the need to downsize then it is ok to keep a poorer performing person over a “teacher of the year”. Finish that argument and then we can discuss if the layoffs were even necessary.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. 99 David Falk February 10, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    Everyone is looking at the here and now. Let’s look to the future. If by some strange alignment of the planets Governor Walker moves to a national position, Wisconsin’s version of Sarah Palin will be the leader of our state. Words cannot begin to describe the level of destruction she would impart on this great state.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. 100 Jay Antani February 10, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    Tim is a troll. Ignore him.


  19. 101 Mary Barlament February 10, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    I am so tired of hearing about Governor Walker not having a college degree. It’s insulting to anyone that didn’t go to college. The implication that’s being made is that if you don’t have a college degree you aren’t capable of a certain type of job. What kind of message are you sending to young adults that won’t or don’t want to college. That they’re stupid and won’t ever be able to accomplish something. Think about what message you are sending these young people. I didn’t go to college and neither did my husband. We are far from stupid and have ran a very successful business for 40 years. Get over it people.

    Liked by 2 people

    • 102 CJ February 10, 2015 at 4:45 pm

      If all you got out of this “open letter” was that Governor Walker did not receive a college degree, I feel very sorry for you Mary Barlament. It is fairly clear that Miss Felske was pointing out how ironic the whole situation is.
      For anyone to think that Wisconsin in now on the correct track, as for as our education system is concerned, is mistaken. Ranking say it all. Before Walker Wisconsin was perennially at the top. Since his tenure and the changes he has made, our system as sank further and further down the list.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 103 Mary Barlament February 10, 2015 at 5:39 pm

        I have many friends that our teachers or work for the schools. I don’t hear that the kids aren’t getting an education as much as the teachers aren’t getting all the benefits they are used too. Who’s really suffering. The kids or the teachers? And I haven’t seen any of the sports programs suffering at all. As far as ranking, the entire US ranks 27th in the world. We’ve got bigger problems than just what’s happening in Wisconsin


    • 104 patti February 10, 2015 at 7:47 pm

      Personally, I don’t care if he didn’t finish college; but if he was asked to leave because he was cheating, good for the school to get rid of him and bad for Wisconsin to elect him…..and keep electing him. I pray, yes PRAY our country isn’t naive enough to vote him in as president and think he won’t cheat this country every chance he gets.


    • 105 Eric February 10, 2015 at 8:25 pm


      There are some careers and jobs that require specific training to instill knowledge and skills. In our society there are many ways to receive this training from apprenticeships that lead often to careers in the trades as well as professions that often necessitate certifications, etc. A college education, has, since 1636 with the founding of Harvard by the Massachusetts Bay Company, been one of the tools of our democratic society to provide a learning experience that prepares Americans with a broad education that increases their ability to communicate, think critically, operate effectively in a diverse workforce, etc, etc, etc. While there are many ways to learn – all valid – a college education has been a key cog in preparing an educated citizenry and a workforce for upwards of 400 years. I hope that folks are saying to young adults that they are stupid for not going to college. They aren’t, it may not be right for them. On the other hand, the data indicates that a 2 or 4 year college degree is likely to lead to higher income and an overall quality of life along many, many, many indicators of well being from health to happiness. The issue that tweeks a lot in higher education is that a governor that seems to have little understanding OF education is in the eyes of many educators doing substantial harm to a career and profession they love and have devoted their lives to. That’s hard to get over.


    • 106 Elizabeth February 10, 2015 at 8:55 pm

      “The implication that’s being made is that if you don’t have a college degree you aren’t capable of a certain type of job.”

      Um, duh??? Do you think anyone should be able to become a doctor without a college degree? A lawyer? A chemical engineer?

      Liked by 1 person

    • 107 JJ February 10, 2015 at 9:23 pm

      Mary-you are correct that’s college education is not for everyone and yes, not having one does not mean an individual is stupid or cannot be successful. But I also feel you are undermining the importance of pursuing and having an education by saying it isn’t that big of a deal. What message are you sending to kids? And the world is a large, complex place. To be in the position of president in this country, one needs more than just experience and common sense.


    • 108 MMA February 10, 2015 at 9:50 pm

      “Have ran” is incorrect grammar. It should say either “have run” or “ran.” Far from stupid?


    • 109 Jack February 11, 2015 at 2:06 am

      Mary, I know many people who did not get a college degree, and are successful contributors to society. However, think about how your situation differs from that of a politician. If at any time your lack of college education hindered your business capabilities, it would be your own business that suffered (I am happy to hear that it isn’t the case, and wish you continued success). With professions like doctors, lawyers, accountants, army generals, social service workers, etc., any lack of knowledge and training could have effects on others. We don’t allow people to become public defense lawyers without passing the bar because doing so wouldn’t just affect the lawyer, but those they are supposed to defend.

      Going off your own words, “The implication that’s being made is that if you don’t have a college degree you aren’t capable of a certain type of job”, I would reply that it isn’t an implication, it is a simple fact. “Certain types of jobs” require certain types of qualifications, and in many cases that includes a college education.

      In the case of Scott walker and his status as governor and his potential run at the White House, it is true that there are no laws requiring a degree, nor should their be. The people should be free to nominate/ elect whoever they see fit. What I am saying is that we should think twice about doing so, ESPECIALLY in the case of Scott Walker. If his lack of a college degree was a standalone fact, it would perhaps be less of an issue. However, he has proven that this issue does NOT exist in a vacuum. Deemphasizing the importance of education is a large part of his political platform.

      At this point in time, when American politics are more convoluted than ever before, I would argue that a college education, and even further education towards a masters or PHD would be nearly essential in a presidential candidate. I want to know that whoever I am voting for has displayed exemplary knowledge in a field that relates to political processes. I also would want to know that the person I vote for values education not only in their own qualifications, but in their policies as well. Walker meets none of the qualifications listed in this last paragraph


  20. 110 Nancy February 10, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    I have a teaching degree. The education classes I took were the biggest waste of time and were my “easy A” courses. I agree with Walker….if you have a degree, can pass the content exams, then you should be able to teach. There are a lot of people out there with teaching degrees that shouldn’t be let anywhere near a classroom…and I know a lot of them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • 111 Mary Barlament February 10, 2015 at 5:35 pm

      I agree with you Nancy.

      Liked by 2 people

      • 112 Ron Amundson February 10, 2015 at 10:49 pm

        Content knowledge, the ability to teach that content, and classroom management are 3 vastly different things. If you don’t have all 3, you as well as your students are hosed until you gain proficiency in all of them. Content knowledge, no matter how expansive, will never make up for deficiencies in the other two.

        Granted, a 4 yr edu degree and board exams are no guarantee of the ability to teach and/or classroom management skill… but totally ignoring their critical importance of these skills by exclusive focus on content isn’t the answer either. Ideally teaching certification would be via a highly supervised apprenticeship (like a physicians residency), but the stakeholders, (other than the students) would be screaming bloody murder.


    • 113 JJ February 10, 2015 at 9:34 pm

      I have an education degree as well, Nancy but I don’t feel they were the biggest waste of time. As an educator, this was disheartening to read from someone else in the education field.


    • 114 Sherry February 10, 2015 at 11:16 pm

      Nancy, too bad you didn’t attend a college that had a more rigorous teacher education program. I never worked harder or longer in college than my education classes. Learning how to plan challenging lessons, employing multiple learning strategies, identifying learning styles, and assessing students in multiple ways are essential components for learning to be an effective teacher.


    • 115 Brian February 11, 2015 at 7:29 am

      So if I were to give you an asprin for your headache, I could be a Dr. and perform heart surgery on you?


  21. 116 Lori (ADMIN) February 10, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    Just a quick reminder to please be respectful in your dialog.

    Thoughtful conversation from all sides is welcomed, but we’d like everyone to feel comfortable expressing their opinions without repercussions. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. 117 Theron P. Snell February 10, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    • ANOTHER Drafting error? This most recent half-truth again shows how Walker thinks and illustrates just how far he is willing to go in his attack on education in Wisconsin.

    While he has backed off his FIRST error, he has still proposed a budget cut of 13% (a continuation of a previous series of cuts), tried to break UW-Madison from the System and has effectively reduced the power to organize employees of the system against his political agenda.

    As I have tried to point out in other venues, Walker’s budgets in the past/present have also affected public education in other ways. By cutting and now keeping lower levels of funding to municipalities, he has targeted public libraries and museums; Act 10 stripped WI of the statue that guaranteed a three-year funding average to libraries. The result; strapped for cash (to the point of threatening police and fire service) municipalities immediately cut library and museum funding.

    Since Walker’s budgets have cut and now flattens spending to K-12 Education, the cuts have also affected school libraries and to public libraries (and museums and community centers) and have thus weakened the public educational tools available to residents, especially those who have used libraries for access to computers and information necessary in the 21st Century.

    The greater impact of Walker’s budgets and anti-education policies, therefore, hits exactly at the existence of an educated, informed and engaged public.

    Liked by 2 people

    • 118 Kim February 11, 2015 at 6:59 am

      What I found appalling was in the same day’s newspaper that announced the proposed $300 million cuts to the UW system on page 1, page 3 carried an article about his proposed $250 million support for a new Bucks arena in Milwaukee. This was to be paid back to the state via taxes on the players salaries. This assumes that their salaries would continue to go up during the payback period in order to pay off the bonds in the required timeframe. Otherwise the Wisconsin tax payers get to pick up the bill. How is a basketball team more important that educating the doctors, teachers, and other citizens of tomorrow?


  23. 119 nowheresville1 February 10, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    And open letter to Claudia Klein Felske:

    Congratulations on winning your Teacher of the Year award in 2011. The problem is, you didn’t win your award in 2010, and you are not the 2010 Teacher of the Year.

    Ms. Sampson actually won her award in 2010, a year before you won your award, and a year before Scott Walker took the oath of office as Governor. Ms. Sampson lost her job the summer following that school year she won her award, so in the summer of 2010. Again, that is when Gov. Doyle was still in office.

    So please tell me, again why Gov. Walker should be “doing some soul searching” and blaming his own “systematic defunding of public education” for an award winning teacher losing her job, before he even took office?


  24. 120 Sarah February 10, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    And this letter is why you are teacher of the year! From one teacher to another, Brava! Beautifully done!


  25. 121 Lisa February 10, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    Yes, bravo Imperial Walker drones! Let’s crunch numbers and not address the fact that he looks like a complete idiot for getting the Teacher of the Year in his own state completely wrong. I’m not going to come right out and say the man is a total douche hammer, but something is rotten in Denmark. On second thought…yes, yes I am going to come right out and say that he is a total douche hammer. Wake up people. Please.


  26. 122 kenyattayamel February 10, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    Reblogged this on A Little Local Color.


  27. 123 Jill Westerholm February 10, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    Bravo! Great example of how he stretches truth for his soundbites. Like the $5 property tax cut so he can say “i cut taxes” ($10 per homeowner in 2 years adds up to 200 million dollar cost makes zero economic sense) I’ll send this to national press salon, huffpo college, usa today, and tweet it to journal sentinel, green bay gazette and wausau paper as well


  28. 124 Carol Jacobs February 10, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for setting the record straight.!


  29. 125 Mary February 10, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    I was smart before I went to college to be a teacher. I had a lot of life experiences before I went to college to be a teacher. Does that make me capable of teaching at any grade level? NO! I have been teaching second grade for 22 years and am still learning. I challenge anyone to walk into my classroom and do my job as I do it. I have a masters degree and 22 years of experience….Gov. Walker tells me that is worth nothing. Gov. Walker come on in and do my job. I’d like to see how long you would last.


  30. 126 Anonymous February 10, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Almost all of the teachers at the WI public high school where I teach are discussing what they will soon be doing instead of teaching: too much testing, too little teaching, very little job protection and respect.


  31. 127 JJ February 10, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    I’m still back on BILL’s comment that private, catholic schools preach “intolerance and hate.” That is the most offensive thing on this board to me. “Hate”, Bill? Really? And then he concludes by calling another poster “ignorant”? Sad.


  32. 128 Dee February 10, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    First of all, I do not have a college education. Secondly, I think teachers should be among the highest paid professionals. Aren’t our children our most precious commodity, our future? Don’t we want to attract the best teachers?

    And yet we pay sports players, entertainers, and politicians much more. Teachers have a much more difficult job than politicians and deserve their benefits as well.


  33. 129 Terry Murphy February 10, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    Once again, the “divide and conquer” attitude is emerging, as expressed by Mr. Walker in the early days of his term. Now it seems as if his ongoing ploy will polarize the state’s populace on sensitive issues, thus distracting some from his maneuvers to push a special interest agenda. For example, let’s pit the “college degreed” folks against the “non college degreed” crew. How’s that for a wonderfully orchestrated mosh pit of ripe and multigenerational name calling. Let’s not forget, his policies have cut the tech system, long seen as the lynch pin for economic development. One is hopeful, a parent or mentor, will encourage an adolescent/adult to seek post secondary learning, if not for intellectual curiosity, but for the means to become somewhat independent enough to move out of the house and get on with life. Education is life long…and comes from multiple sources, not ONLY from a university or tech school. But really, the whole “education” card is as much about state certifications, and established industry standards as much as personal choice. It boils down to some economic or societal expectations.
    It reminds me of the old tale about wrestling with a pig in the mud, both get dirty, but the pig is the only one happy. I generally counsel those to show character…rise above…stay clear of the mud.
    I applaud Ms. Felske for her outspoken and articulate plea to Mr. Walker in hopes he will reconsider the future negative implications of his budget, not his personal political (economic) aspirations.


  34. 130 James February 10, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    I am a teacher and I am pro-Walker. Some good teachers may have lost their job to Walker’s reforms and that is unfortunate, but many more needed to be shoveled out the door. Tenure was holding lots of fat onto the bones of our state’s school system. Lots was broken and needed to change. In addition, schools do not need the money they’re used to in order to be effective. Talent, care, passion are all what feed our future, which can all exist and thrive with the budgets being laid out.


  35. 131 David Wollangk February 10, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    These are my thoughts exactly! Our current state government, along with Mr. Walker, are complicit in degrading one of the jewels in Wisconsin’s crown, our higher education. Look a little further. He’s recommending that our DNR should be robbed of its’ power to enforce environmental laws & become an advisory panel. YIKES! Another jewel in the crown threatened.


  36. 132 Gina February 10, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful letter. I agree with others above, please send this as many publications as possible.


  37. 133 amy.novak@ February 10, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    Oh Walker, coming from Virginia a RIGHT TO WORK STATE… you have no idea, you under educated piece of work… people like you make the people that work their butts off to help children figure out how to piece together their lives and find the best way forward, tired of the horseshit that has become government. Good, bad, blue, red, green, orange…. take a flipping step back and make it better for everyone. That is what we all want!


  38. 134 Tall Boy February 10, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    However you slice these cuts, the slashing of public education and the university’s budget, they will all amount to huge middle class tax increase. The goal for the university is to take away public support and allow the university ultimately to raise tuition. There is nothing left to cut in the UW-System. Tuition for our kids and our families, debt, will go up by thousands. But that’s okay, the wealthiest get tax breaks and we all get a few dollars relief in property taxes. Walker is destroying working and poor families. Let those who can afford it, pay hefty tuition. The plebs can work for ever-lower wages.


  39. 135 Roy O'KANE February 10, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    Boy you are so right on about everything you wrote in here about Governor Walk he is all that and a lot more to. I thank you very much for sharing that I see I’m not the only one. Thanks for the true.


  40. 137 Franklin February 10, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    Nicely written; poorly researched.

    Lie: “…marked the beginning of an extreme strain on our ability to continue providing the excellent public education Wisconsin has always been known for.”
    Truth: Wisconsin is not known for an excellent public education. Private school have been providing better education for less money (per student and available resources) for years. The voucher system popularity speaks for the vast numbers of people who know this to be true.

    Lie: “proposing a 13% across-the-board budget cut from the Wisconsin University System”
    Truth: This number has already been debunked and is completely false. Furthermore, the truth is that the UW system needs reform. “Teachers” are only teaching and average of 1.8 classes per semester. Students pay a great deal of money to be taught. Taxpayers pay teachers to teach, not be full-time political activists with a class or two on the side.

    Lie: Walker is responsible for thousands of excellent educators losing their jobs.
    Truth: Unions have been protecting lousy (and lazy) teachers for decades. School Districts had the opportunities to keep their best teachers. If they didn’t protect someone, maybe you should ask some questions…

    Lie: Wisconsin needs money, money, and more money to provide better education.
    Truth: This is a uniquely liberal American failure of an idea — the idea that the more we spend the better education will be provided. We already shock the nations around us with how much we spend per student — and the gap is getting wider! We are throwing more and more and more money at the problem as our world ranking continues to slip… and still we do not learn. It’s not money! Many social ills of liberal society are contributing to the demise, but other nations laugh at us thinking that spending more money will solve our problems.

    Lie: “Psychological warfare has been your most recent tactic”
    Truth: The liberal narrative has declared war on conservative values and morals long ago. They have been manipulating and warping children for decades. Any facts that don’t fit the narrative are squelched, ridiculed, suppressed, or ignored. History curriculum has being rewritten year after year, pushing the envelope each time, to fit the narrative. Science textbooks have already been rewritten, seeking to validate unproven, unsupported theories by putting it into print as fact. Our children are being taught to protest what they do not understand, be ashamed of the founders and values that made our nation the greatest in the world, that it’s cruel and bigoted and “phobic” to call girls “girls” and boys “boys,” and now to also study the greatest oxymoron on earth: “muslim civilizations.” And we wonder why homeschooling is on the rise and vouchers and popular? People are tired of being brainwashed instead of educated.


    • 138 mycos February 19, 2015 at 8:02 am

      Wow. Not planning any attacks against that Commie Muslim now holed up in the White House are you? Or taking pot-shots at professors who teach evolution? Or that none of the Founding Fathers really had any halos despite the belief by some that the Constitution is a sacred document without flaw or error?

      Something to ponder – Next to US Christians, the most people to believe in the historical accuracy of Genesis can be found among Turkish Moslems.


  41. 140 bejugo February 10, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    A comment, above, wished this letter were required reading for all Wisconsinites. I wish Diane Ravitch’s “Reign of Error” were required reading for all Americans.


  42. 141 Tiefsa February 10, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    Couldn’t have said it better myself.


  43. 142 duerstisms February 10, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    oh, and let us not forget about Scottys distaste for the poor:


  44. 143 Keith February 10, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    It’s sad that you were nominated Teacher of the Year.

    You forgot the comma before the quotes in the very first sentence of the first paragraph.

    “She was one of less than a dozen teachers across the state who self-nominated for this award.”

    You forgot the verb in this sentence.

    If I can find these errors in the first three paragraphs of your letter, why should anyone read any further? I would have thought that an educator such as yourself would publish something more polished when you are trying to make a case for teachers. I don’t have an English major either, so this is truly pathetic that you didn’t proofread your own work before posting, and should be an embarrassment to Marquette University that it was published under their banner.

    I wish I could earn $150K and only work for six hours a week. It’s time that professors actually teach classes and not leave it to some student assistant.


  45. 144 Buzz Johnstone February 10, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    What a load of garbage from your highly sophisticated, prejudiced and eloquent rant which reeked more of a personal resentment that Walker didn’t mention you and personal attack rather than a studied comparison of the merits of … Even the remote chance that an uncertified teacher JUST MIGHT do as well in the classroom. I am one such example, flourishing for years as (I might reluctantly but proudly add!) an uncertified educator in almost every grade from K-12!! The “System” IS broken and you might do well as to face this reality.


  46. 145 D Kjell February 10, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    I changed professions because of this “leader” and his masters’ policies … I now do tax returns for working, single adult families. (And have returned over $191,000 to the community!)

    I stopped being employed as a teacher. One of my “loser” students has been accepted at Johns Hopkins Medical School… waste of taxpayer money, of course, to encourage the “at-risk” students.


  47. 146 Drew February 10, 2015 at 11:31 pm

    Ms Felske is using this teacher of the year business to advence her agenda of more money, more unions and less choice in the public schools. Of course the the qulaity of the our kids education is tilted by the competence and engagement of the teacher, but it is erroneous to assert that degreed professionals (engineer teaching science, a nurse teaching biology or executive teacing busiess), without a teaching certificate are not compentent. Look a the results of the past 50 years and tell us you are proud of the product the public schools are producing. To be fair, todays teachers have little support from parents, whom has adanoned their responsibilities to assist their children with homework and be involved in the classroom. But change is needed. Your asking to fund the same failed system. Open your eyes.


  48. 147 Brent Wambold February 10, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    1) Why do so many insist on pointing out that the governor did not graduate from college? He had a family to support and was a few credits short of completion when he got a sustainable job. This fact might elude many liberals who would have stayed in school and allowed the state to pay the bills…he decided to step up to his responsibility. 2) Systematic dismantling of public education? It seems to me that saving the state from bankruptcy probably saved public education as we know it. But then so many of you would have just kept pulling out the plastic and said “charge it” 3) As a proud graduate of the UW system and a teacher for three decades in WI, I am proud that the governor saw the teachers’ union destruction of education as we know it as the major reason for the deficit. Giving control back to the local district boards allowed them to shop for insurance, allow teachers to pay their fair share of retirement & copays…more importantly, it got rid of some of the deadwood that was still in the position of collecting a paycheck over teaching…where if they did ONE more thing they demanded more pay or if it wasn’t part of their CONTRACT, they balked at it.

    Grow up and admit that giving the control back to the local district makes education the center of the day…instead of money. I teach 8 courses and host one resource a day in an 8 period day…for regular full-time pay…and I am happy, elated even. Contrary to the former union call to demand more pay for such things, I could care less if I get more money for what I am doing, as long as the students benefit. For this I have respect of the board, parents, the administration and several colleagues doing the same thing. We may not be contestants for Teacher of the Year, but we are teaching real students every day and are safe and happy.

    If the system was decimated by the governor’s guidance, why are we gaining ground, teaching every student and serving as models for so many others? Why is that NOW others want to do it the way we have? As a secondary math education major and secondary economics education minor with 197 credits to my name, I can easily state that SOME of the waste that was in education is no longer slapping me in the face. Instead, I am confronted by hope for my next twelve years and the future of the system in Wisconsin as we know it.

    Throwing money at secondary and post secondary education never ensures quality education, just wasted money. Too many people have aced brain science courses and student behavior courses and failed at teaching. Give me someone who has skill in a subject and a passion to transmit that skill to students and I will certify them in a heartbeat.

    To conclude, get off Scott Walker’s back and do your job. As long as he’s in office, I feel hope for the future of education.

    Liked by 5 people

    • 148 Peter February 11, 2015 at 12:13 pm

      Wait – you’re seriously arguing that Scott Walker was being “responsible” by never finishing college? I guess I truly have heard it all.

      Liked by 9 people

      • 149 Tim Hansen February 11, 2015 at 1:22 pm

        Peter, why does his not finishing school seem so shameful to you? Are you arguing for a college degree at any cost? Do you think that a college degree contains in it the requisite knowledge and qualification to lead? If Walker were just another guy, the head of a “working poor” family who had to quit school to work at McDonald’s, He’d be lionized by the left. Why is Governor Walker’s story so different, and so lamentable?

        Liked by 1 person

      • 150 Thomas Fazekas February 11, 2015 at 11:09 pm

        College degrees are , over-rated, most of people that attained college degrees these days and the past cheated to obtain. College teaches nothing that on the job experience can do. I get college interns every year, dumb as rocks, no work ethic at all. I went to college for 3 years, didn’t need to get a ddegree. Bet I am more successful then you.


      • 151 Donna February 12, 2015 at 4:20 pm

        Thomas Fazekas, WOW. I am speechless. Your comment “most of people that attained college degrees these days and the past cheated to obtain.” has me completely baffled.
        You seriously don’t believe that, do you? You just said that to get people to react, like me, right?


    • 152 Jim Kueht February 11, 2015 at 12:36 pm

      The real reason is he is just too stupid to earn a degree as evidenced by his ridiculous stand on education and how he acts as governor (really just a presidential candidate, fat chance BTW

      Liked by 1 person

      • 153 Opinion8d February 11, 2015 at 1:06 pm

        His stand on education?? Like freezing tuition, expanding school choice to give familes a chance to better themselves?? Giving school districts more control over their schools?? But hey, don’t let facts get in your way….

        Liked by 2 people

      • 154 Albert W February 11, 2015 at 5:17 pm

        Opinion8d……yeah, maybe you should research what is actually being done in public schools, instead of taking Walker’s campaign talking points verbatim. Freezing tuition & cutting large amounts of money create a hazardous environment for maintaining a highly-effective education system at the post-secondary level. “School choice” enables tax-payer dollars to fund students at institutions that have no oversight or consequences for not meeting state or federal guidelines for effective education. “Giving school districts more control over their schools” is political speech for, “stripping away the structures that have been responsible for Wisconsin’s place near the top of the education scaffold in this country. The evidence is well-documented & readily available, if you care enough to read it…..but hey, we wouldn’t want facts to get in your way, right?


    • 155 Mary February 11, 2015 at 12:57 pm

      He didn’t have a family to support! Just another lie to make Walker look acceptable in the national arena. He was asked to leave the university. Period. He wasn’t married. He didn’t have children. Do your research. You are defending nothing but lies and propaganda.

      Liked by 4 people

      • 156 Sue February 11, 2015 at 7:17 pm

        the word floating around the U-W insiders is that he apparently had U-W Madison as first choice but his grades weren’t good enough and he was denied admittance. Marquette was his second choice.


      • 157 rickbraun February 12, 2015 at 2:02 am

        Mary spreading lies. Walker was not asked to leave Marquette. And you know it, too, but are still spreading the lie, That says a lot about you, and none of it good.


    • 158 Rick Summers ☮ (@ThePeoriaKid) February 11, 2015 at 2:29 pm

      Say what you want about Walker, be it your “truth”, whatever.. He was appointed to rob the state for the Kochs. He’s done nothing but dismantle Wisconsin and divide the booty amongst his rich butt-buddies. The fact that he didn’t finish college is MOOT. He’s a modern-day gangster, a capo, doing what gangsters do, looting, killing, consuming the less fortunate and gullible followers. Greed has no compassion. Greed is what kills everything, including this planet. To “admire” someone like Scott Walker, one would most likely be positively smitten with Adolf Hitler, Walker’s hero. BTW, GFY cheerleader.

      Liked by 2 people

    • 162 Patrick February 11, 2015 at 3:07 pm

      He did not have a family to support, he was expelled from the school for cheating. More truths omitted by the Walker administration. It’s sad a mind like yours is responsible for educating our future. Let me guess, you’re a white and middle class? So, social mobility is a moot term in your life.

      Liked by 1 person

    • 163 Patrick February 11, 2015 at 3:10 pm

      He did not have a family to support, he was expelled from the school for cheating. More truths omitted by the Walker administration. It’s sad a mind like yours is responsible for educating our future. Let me guess, you’re a white and middle class? So, social mobility is a moot term in your life.


    • 164 Melissa February 11, 2015 at 3:54 pm

      Sorry to the grammar police on this site if I’m not perfect (because all of you must be). However, I would like to point out that after some research I found that Walker was more like 34 credits away from graduation which is much more than “a few credits”. Also, his first kid wasn’t born until 1994 which was well after he left college. He found a job and wanted to make money and didn’t value a college degree, plan and simple. Whatever argument you want to make for him, stating that he had a family to support and making him look like a hardworking family man, is totally incorrect.

      Liked by 2 people

      • 165 rickbraun February 12, 2015 at 1:45 am

        He left college in 1990, was married in 1993 and his first kid was born in 1994. In other words, he left for a job, was in that job for only a couple years before getting married and having kids. Melissa, you’re obviously bad at math — like most liberals — if you think that was “well after” he left Marquette.


    • 166 Karen February 11, 2015 at 3:54 pm

      Is privatizing education returning local control? I don’t think so. Is having the government grade schools A-F local control? I redirecting millions of dollars to voucher schools from public school funds going to help our pubic schools? Nope. You need to read his budget proposal and listen to the school administrators, teacher, and superintendent of schools. How can you have hope when this man is trying to destroy our public schools?

      Liked by 1 person

    • 167 Louise Maughan James February 11, 2015 at 4:24 pm

      I find your reasoning strange. Not everyone who married dropped out of college. In addition to other things, dropping out showed poor decision making and a lack of stick-to-it-tiveness.
      He’s not someone I’ll ever vote for for President.


    • 168 Jim Hudson February 11, 2015 at 4:55 pm

      Got it, you mindlessly hate unions, so much so that you are willing to cut off your own nose to spite your face; or rather you propose impoverishing your colleagues because “you got yours” and screw everyone else.

      I don’t know how paying workers less for more work is in any way a good thing, especially when you’re likely one of the people who will this will effect, but in any case when they come for your job (and they will) please keep the whining to yourself. If you’re not willing to work for free (and I assume you’re not) then you’re just another angry, impotent conservative looking to hurt other people to make yourself feel better. That’s just plain stupid and you should “grow up” yourself.

      You’re not a good teacher, no matter what lie you tell yourself. You hate your students and you hate your school and you hate your profession and that’s why you attack the “others” (but not special, special you or course) as being wasteful and ineffectual.

      Finally for someone who’s made his living out of the government trough for 30 years (!) your contempt here is laughable and just plain sad – if there is a problem with the public schools it can be laid directly at the feet of deadwood like YOU who have likely spent their entire careers bitching and moaning about unions and government while not doing you JOB, which is teaching your students.


    • 169 cyn February 11, 2015 at 5:00 pm

      Scott Walker didn’t finish college because he was removed from running for student body office due to a campaign ethics violation. Imagine that. He picked up his toys and went home. He didn’t leave to support a family. He is a hack re-elected by Wisconsin ignorance. I fee sorry for the many good people of Wisconsin who have had to live with the results of such idiocy.


    • 170 matt February 11, 2015 at 5:12 pm

      Wow you are the perfect drone, get your pay and benefits cut and you lap it up and ask for more. You’re the ideal Republican voter.


    • 171 Jim February 11, 2015 at 5:35 pm

      The whole family to support reason for dropping out is bogus. And despite his claims of being a few credits short of graduating, he was at least 34 credits short of a degree, a year, not a semester. He dropped out in 1990 and wasn’t married until 1993 and his first child didn’t arrive until 1994, so don’t buy into the narrative of responsible citizen like most conservatives such as yourself are more than willing to do. Never let the facts get in the way should be Walkers motto along with the “open for business” nonsense. How’s that working out? And how is it possible after Act 10 and the resulting destruction of the “major cause of the deficit”, the teacher’s union, the state now faces a 2.2 billion dollar shortfall for the next biennium? Gaining ground? Serving as a model? Unless that model is Mississippi, you’ve got to be kidding. The Governor’s run for the presidency will serve at least one useful purpose. The examination of his record of divisive politics and his exposure to the national media’s spotlight won’t let him run from the state’s dismal economic record during his tenure.


    • 172 Janice February 11, 2015 at 6:04 pm

      A FEW credits short. Try 35 credits short. He was kicked out of college for cheating.


    • 173 Kathy February 11, 2015 at 7:24 pm

      In response to your statement “Instead, I am confronted by hope for my next twelve years and the future of the system in Wisconsin as we know it.”, you may well find that the next 12 years will not be as great as you hope they will be. Walker and his ilk are using the dismantling of public education as a way to avoid increasing, and making more equitable, taxes on the wealthiest citizens and corporations in the state. Sure, you can believe that public employees, including teachers, are making money hand over fist, and that they enjoy “Cadillac” healthcare and pension benefits. That is exactly what Walker & Co. (i.e. Koch bros.) want people in the state and the country to believe. But what so many people just can’t seem to understand is how this could (and probably will) come back to bite THEM in the butt. You apparently believe you will be teaching for another 12 years, and during that time continue to earn an adequate income. But if Walker is able to change the requirements of teacher certification, so that anyone with a degree in some field can become certified as a teacher, and those people think teaching is so easy to do, and they will probably be hired at a relatively low pay rate, do you really think you’ll have the “choice” of remaining in your job? And with unions in WI being decimated, who are you going to turn to when it happens? It won’t matter how many degrees or credits you have, or how many years you’ve been a teacher. If they can hire someone for less, it’ll be “bye bye” to you”! If you can’t understand Walker & Co. are hellbent on destroying public education, maybe your degrees/197 credits haven’t made you as smart as you think they have!


    • 175 Craig Lee Otto February 11, 2015 at 7:51 pm

      Peter you are clearly a looser do you even poses a high school diploma or a GED? Are you a rock star at a minimum wage job? That is where non-educated or non skilled people end up!


    • 176 John February 11, 2015 at 8:02 pm

      “Why do so many insist on pointing out that the governor did not graduate from college? He had a family to support…”

      What’s his excuse now that he’s wealthy?


    • 177 Lisa February 12, 2015 at 2:35 am

      So, would you really be fine with someone who decided to quit college before getting their degree becoming a doctor who operates on people with scapels that could sever their arteries or make them paralyzed? Would you be fine with an engineer who didn’t bother to finish college designing the bridges that you drive over every day? Or someone who thought 2 years of college was enough before becoming a tax accountant? Education courses about how to teach, student teaching experience is extremely important to learning how to be an effective teacher. Good educators need to have more than good intentions, they need good training. Scott Walker is trying to skip that. While homeschoolers may sit behind a laptop all day and consider that education, you need teachers who can motivate, create interest in their subjects, and encourage students. Today’s students are coming to school with a lot of emotional issues and social problems – teachers have parttime social workers in addition to their teaching duties so yes — I think they need to have education classes before they are turned loose in a classroom.


    • 178 Thomas Beebe February 12, 2015 at 6:32 am

      As the old saying goes, “De-nile isn’t just a river in Egypt.” The depth of your naivete and blind obedience is breath-taking.


    • 179 Marlene February 12, 2015 at 11:00 am

      You need to get your facts straight. Walker did NOT have a family when he left Marquette. Walker was NOT JUST a few credits short. He didn’t even have enough credits to quality as a junior. After that, I stopped reading. If you cannot even get the most basic facts straight, how logical will your opinion be?


    • 180 Donna February 12, 2015 at 3:50 pm

      Check your facts Brent. He wasn’t married nor did he have kids when he left school.


    • 181 mycos February 19, 2015 at 8:41 am

      Oh, give it up! People, Walker included, don’t quit after years of effort when they’re only “a few credits short” (your words) simply because they got a sustainable(???) job. And are claiming it took his kids 4 years to realize that stomach noise meant they were hungry? I suppose….. Real “chip off the old block” there though.

      Look. It was already taking Walker an extra year to get the same number of credits as everyone else who started their freshman year together with Walker. And even then he was still unable to maintain the 3.0 min. needed to complete a degree program. So he threw in towel and quit. Period.


  49. 182 Andrew February 10, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    Sounds like another teacher who cares more about her own well being then the state. As a student of UW madison there is many ways they can cut back. Also its easier to craft a letter when you work half the year.

    Liked by 2 people

    • 183 Marty Amend February 11, 2015 at 12:10 pm

      Andrew, as a student at UW Madison you should have written your comments with better grammar and punctuation. Are you in remedial classes?

      Liked by 4 people

    • 186 Jen February 11, 2015 at 12:19 pm

      Um, no that isn’t really what it sounds like at all. I’m confused how you got into college if you think a High School teacher only works half the year- is the year magically only 6 months now? Oh plus, they actually start mid-August and go through mid-June. Before you bother to reply to a post, at least make sure your reply makes sense.

      Liked by 2 people

      • 187 Andrew February 11, 2015 at 1:11 pm

        They get every weekend off and every break the kids do. You guys can complain about Walker all you want but if you actually look at what he is doing, the state is in a much better position. Don’t get me wrong I’m all for teachers but I see lots of ways for reform in our education system


      • 188 Kathy February 11, 2015 at 8:26 pm

        Most jobs are 12 months…..parents responsibilities to have our children respect their education and the country in general. Teachers are to teach! Raise your children with integrity and respect and let the teachers teach only the subjects they are certified to teach. Someone needs to ask about the medical insurance that was much higher price tag going through the unions. Why was that?


      • 189 Donna February 12, 2015 at 4:05 pm

        Teachers spend their summers attending classes, workshops, committee meetings, working on professional development, and it is also the time when school districts provide mandatory training for new policies and curriculum such as Common Core, No-Nonsense Nurturer, Responsive Classroom, and technology advancements.

        And just so you know this ANDREW, summers are UNPAID. I know, it must be a shocker to your narrow mind but educators only get paid for the nine or ten months they “work” in the classroom.

        “No. Im in school to make a difference in this country, not bitch about how our governor” . This is your second comment. Not bitch about how our governor WHAT? Try to use complete sentences. And who better to make our country a better place and make a difference than our educators??


    • 190 Jim Kueht February 11, 2015 at 1:27 pm

      And you know this how?? Obviously you have your head up your A _ _!!


    • 191 Jeff Severson February 11, 2015 at 1:40 pm

      I honestly thought UW-Madison had stricter admission policies. How you ever got in with such horrible grammar and punctuation skills is beyond me.


    • 192 Lauren February 11, 2015 at 1:45 pm

      Sentence 2 – There ARE many ways they can cut back, not is.
      Sentence 2 – You should capitalize the M in Madison, as it is a proper noun.
      Sentence 3 – The contraction it+is needs an apostrophe – thus it’s is the correct way to spell it in this sentence. (its = possessive pronoun)
      Sentence 3 – You clearly don’t have a firm grasp on English, but Math must also be an enemy of yours. The school year is typically 9 of 12 months long, not the 6 of 12 months you allude to.

      You may be college educated, but you may not be WELL educated.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 193 Shirley February 11, 2015 at 4:46 pm

        Hate to bother y’all with a technicality but the school year is only 176-185 days long. Last I checked there were 365 (non-leap year) days or 366 (leap year) days in a year. Which means y’all have 180-189 days a year off. Whereas, every other industry (other than nursing) works 245 days a year. (Deducted days for 6 required paid holidays, weekends off and a 2 week vacation). Nursing works 365 days a year. So jealous, wish I had become a teacher now that I look at time served 🙂 Having said that I’ll bow out of this conversation.


      • 194 luvlena February 11, 2015 at 5:31 pm

        He’s a troll, obviously. They love the attention 🙂


    • 195 Natalie February 11, 2015 at 7:09 pm

      I usually hate to respond online, as I think responses such as these lose a lot of emotion and offer an avenue to complain. However…as a public school teacher, it angers – and saddens – me to read that people think they know what it takes to be a teacher. In a later post, you say, “They get every weekend off and every break the kids do.” That’s actually not the case. For the past couple weeks, students have not had school on Friday, once because of conferences, and once because of teacher professional development. I was at school both days. True, students do not have school on the weekends. But, I have been at school the past 4 Saturdays in a row – grading, preparing lesson plans, making copies, and trying to complete the work I am unable to finish during the week. Unfortunately, I don’t have the capabilities to get into my school building on Sundays…so I have to do my schoolwork at home. I figure there will be a summer argument, so here goes nothing: I’m already trying to plan the conferences I need to attend over the summer. (And that’s after completing my graduate degree in May.) Please be respectful of the work others do – I am not bashing your livelihood, so please don’t bash mine. If you ever have your own children, or if you do now, I’m assuming you hope they have a dedicated teacher. Which, by the way, is harder than most people know. Just my two cents…I can add more if you’d like.


    • 196 Kathy February 11, 2015 at 7:26 pm

      Find me a teacher who works half a year.


      • 197 tom March 9, 2015 at 1:02 pm

        My wife is a retired teacher. She got paid for 9 months of school, no unemployment when she was “layed of in the summer” and had to take so many credit each year to maintain her license Before every school year she went out and bought supplies that she knew she wouldn’t get from school. During the school year she spent an average of 3 hours a night doing school work, not counting staying after school to run off papers etc. We gave up many initations because she had work to do!


    • 198 Melissa February 11, 2015 at 8:58 pm

      *than, not then. “Madison” is a proper noun and should be capitalized. *it’s (it + is = it’s), not its.
      Work half of the year? School is now six months long?
      I am a middle school teacher, and ignorant opinions like yours make me rather irate. How many hours outside of school do you think teachers work? Do you think we leave and go home and that’s it for the evening or weekend? Clearly, you have no clue as to how many hours teachers work. Meetings and conferences outside of school hours are just a tip of the iceberg.
      Are you personally acquainted with any teachers, or you’re just assuming you know everything about education? Do a little research before you post comments like yours.
      Even with your questionable writing skills, you are still able to write. You can thank a teacher for that.


    • 199 CP February 11, 2015 at 10:05 pm

      It is “than” when you are comparing two things. “Then” signals order or sequence. Madison is a city and our Capitol, therefore it is a proper noun and is capitalized. You need the plural verb, “are”, not the singular “is”…ex: There ARE many ways… In your final sentence you need an apostrophe in it’s, because you are saying “it is” easier. To leave that out makes “its” possessive.

      Fortunately we have teachers who know all this and work diligently to teach this to our students, so when those students post, they represent themselves as knowledgable.

      Furthermore, teachers in much of WI have off mid June through mid Aug., and then is is back to work days and in-servicing. They need professional development hours and continuing ed. courses, which often are taken during this “vacation.” Yes they have time off at Christmas and Easter, as do other jobs. When teachers come home, they often put in an additional 2+ hours on homework, and more on weekends. You chose your job for your personal reasons, and I’m sure if you really believed teachers worked only half a year, you would have jumped at that chance and gotten your Bachelors and Masters in education.


    • 200 jayne steiner February 12, 2015 at 12:15 am

      Work half the year ???? You must be kidding


    • 201 Donna February 12, 2015 at 3:52 pm

      Andrew, what the hell do you mean “work half the year”??? I do hope you are not making a reference to teachers and stating they only work half the year.


  50. 202 Keith February 10, 2015 at 11:48 pm

    This was an excellent open letter and should be sent to the New York Times or Washington Post so that the rest of the country will be aware of who Walker really is. The pro Walker comments here seem to be completely off the topic and are evidence of the politics of resentment that Walker and Milwaukee’s right wing media have so skillfully created.

    Liked by 3 people

  51. 209 Gordon E Lang February 11, 2015 at 12:03 am

    You obviously continue your hatred of our outstanding Governor Scott Walker at least since you signed the Scott Walker Recall Petition on November 17, 2011. You obviously have not learned from this mistake on your part! It is unfortunate that Marquette saw fit to publish your letter but considering that other Marquette grads and professors also signed the petition it is understandable that they did.

    Your 2010 award was degraded by your signature on that petition. I hope that you are not poisoning your students with you political views

    Liked by 1 person

    • 210 Kallie February 11, 2015 at 11:37 am

      Her views aren’t any more poisonous than Walker’s!!


      • 211 Mary February 11, 2015 at 1:08 pm

        Gordon: You just sound scary. How is signing a recall petition a “mistake” she hasn’t learned from? Last I checked, petitioning for change is a part of the democratic fabric on which this country is founded. Marquette saw fit to publish her EXCELLENT letter because they believe in education, fact-based discussion, and critical thinking — something you clearly do not understand. Perhaps you would find the world more to your liking if we all just thought like you — and poisoned our students with your political vitriol.

        Liked by 2 people

    • 212 Dee Grieger February 11, 2015 at 1:18 pm

      Mrs. Felske happens to be an amazing teacher, our school system should be so lucky to have many more like her. She genuinely cares about enrichment as well as curriculum, and is passionate about her role in education.
      I am so proud to have been her student, and of her for exposing yet another fallacy created by Walker.
      Good for you Mrs. Felske and thank you for standing up for education in Wisconsin!

      Liked by 2 people

      • 213 Opinion8d February 11, 2015 at 1:40 pm

        What ‘fallacy’? And is she ‘standing up’ for education or standing up for the teacher status quo? Why not support School Choice? Was Ms. Felske protesting to freeze college tuition at UW?

        Her letter is clearly biased and misrepresents the facts -something liberals are well known for. Point 1 I addressed in an earlier post. Point 2 -it’s not a 13% cut to their budget, just to the direct State funding. In addition to cutting the funding, he is given them ‘tools’ to save money by cutting out beauracracy and giving them more control. If Walker were never elected, and a democrat was the govenor, do you honestly think we would have a tuition freeze? Do you think the $600M slush fund at Madison would have been discovered? What about the familes whose children could for the first time participate in school choice?? Where is the ‘if we can just save one child’ arguement the left is so famous for????

        And for point 3 -does it really matter what the ‘Wisconsin Idea’ is? Clearly Ms. Felske is not seaching for the ‘truth’ – maybe just a ‘convenient truth’.

        Liked by 1 person

  52. 215 gary p. novak February 11, 2015 at 6:56 am

    He continues to gain national attention due to his outrageous tactics in Wisconsin. Congratulation to those teachers who have exposed his hypocrisy! Keep up the good fight!

    Liked by 1 person

  53. 216 Kathy Pazak February 11, 2015 at 6:58 am

    Great letter, full of facts, well written. The only fact that would make it better is to include the details leading up to Gov Walker’s exit from MU.
    Gov Walker’s followers do not look at the facts, rather listen to his rhetoric and believe it to be true.
    How many times have we heard about the tools he gave to school districts? What precisely are those tools? No one elaborates. My district used increased fees for parents,cut courses, and referendums. That’s not tools, that’s having parents pick up the bill. And my property tax relief he extols ? Check your records, mine went down 3% one year! the election year. Hmmm….
    Remember his laser focus on job creation? How’d that go?
    His balanced budget? All balanced except for that pesky structural deficit.
    WEDC ? How many millions lost?
    But yet his followers don’t look at his record.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 217 WIYNOT February 12, 2015 at 10:18 pm

      and don’t forget that he gave us WI residents a tax break but didn’t deal with the $2 Billion deficit which means he borrowed the money for the tax break. The guy is a sham. One fact you cannot dispute is that he split the state so I don’t see how electing him President will change anything. Scott Walker is not the answer. He is the problem.


  54. 219 Sunomi February 11, 2015 at 7:35 am

    I think Tim has left the ignorant, hate filled message on the post and will not be returning to engage in any meaningful conversation about the topic. Too bad, because dialogue is key to resolving issues and solving problems.


  55. 220 Jim February 11, 2015 at 7:39 am

    Love how you ridicule the teacher Walker was talking about and her award, jealous? Also any cuts in funding for any department has no bearing on the unions seniority structure, I’m sure there were teachers far more deserving of a lay off than this award winning teacher, but thanks to the good ole union, just because you have aged well in the system, no matter how crappy you are, you get to keep your job. I also love how you equate money to education, when time after time it is proven spending more, does not equate to better results. You then go on to say that it is wrong for people with degrees in subject matters to be certified to teach, I don’t know, maybe we need more of that, as the kids that the system is turning out now seem to be lacking a lot of skills that “teachers of the year” should be teaching them. It’s easy to blame others, but the teachers union has had their way with the system for decades, and the results have diminished each year, maybe, just maybe its time to try a different approach, that doesn’t involve union input…

    Liked by 2 people

    • 221 Ellen February 11, 2015 at 11:50 am

      Jim, she didn’t ridicule the other teacher. She stated facts — that’s all. The award the other teacher won was one that she put herself in for. Research it. It’s true what you say, that throwing money at things doesn’t always make things better, however, taking funding away will most certainly take people off the employment rolls, and especially newly hired people who have not yet proven that they can last out the probationary period.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 222 required February 12, 2015 at 6:02 am

        Throwing humongous amounts of money at Wisconsin elections is producing superior ROI for the Koch Party.
        Throwing more money at Wisconsin elections has made thing better for the Koch Party’s apparatchiks.
        Throwing more money at Wisconsin elections has made things worse for everyone else.


    • 223 Bug February 11, 2015 at 9:31 pm

      Ad homin fallacy of reasoning.


  56. 225 Mike Johnson February 11, 2015 at 8:10 am

    When has the schools not Cried for more money? Think fire alarm salesman. Amazing that a politician would distort the facts as the other side see them. Walker must be the only one who does this. Glad you were the real teacher of the year.


  57. 226 Benjamin Abella February 11, 2015 at 8:35 am

    For those interested in the dissemination of this excellent letter, it has been posted on the blog Daily Kos:

    Liked by 1 person

  58. 228 carolbach February 11, 2015 at 8:37 am

    Reblogged this on carolbach and commented:
    pay attention to this and find out how one excellent teacher sees what’s happening to education


  59. 229 brian cunningham February 11, 2015 at 8:37 am

    It’s not just Walker. It’s Brownback also. Republican Governors slashing education budgets. Pawlenty did it here in Minnesota also. People should start realizing that a reduction in education funding leads to a reduction in education and critical thought. Makes you wonder where folks will place their ‘faith’. Business people never think twice about spending 600 billion dollars on defense spending; people unable to think with any depth need things they can see and feel.

    This is one mud-duck among many that is glad our State dumped its republican governor in favor of progress and profit. Lower taxes does not equate to more freedom. What happened to you Wisconsin?

    Liked by 1 person

  60. 230 fred schumacher February 11, 2015 at 8:52 am

    It’s interesting to compare Wisconsin to its neighbor Minnesota. The two states have much in common, but Minnesota has a better economy, lower unemployment than Wisconsin and in quality of life evaluations and life expectancy Minnesota is at the top of states. This is the case even though Minnesota is farther into the cold, more thinly inhabited interior of the continent. What’s the difference? I would say it’s due to the Minnesota Miracle, a half-century old bipartisan effort to increase funding for education. Minnesota has back-slid on education funding over the past decade, but the effect still carries on. Cutting education, especially research funding, is the acme of foolhardy policy.

    Liked by 2 people

  61. 231 SadParent February 11, 2015 at 9:19 am

    The youngest of my 4 kids graduates from a Wisconsin public high school this year, and I feel very fortunate to have my kids finished with that system before Walker permanently cripples it. We have been blessed with excellent teachers and excellent facilities in our community, but have already seen some excellent teachers leave while some fantastic programs struggle to survive Walker’s assault on public education. I worry for the kids still in the system or those who will enter it in the coming years, as they will never have it as good as my kids have.

    When the first cuts came a few years ago, on of my son’s teachers was excited that Walker was enabling the school district to get rid of the “bad” teachers (meaning the most experienced teachers who made the most) and keep the “good” teachers. I explained to my son at the time that his teacher, like most Republicans, had it all wrong: Walker hadn’t divided teachers into “good” and “bad”; he had divided them into “teachers I’ll get rid of now” and “teachers I’ll get rid of when I’m re-elected.”

    I bet that teacher isn’t laughing now.

    Liked by 2 people

  62. 233 Susan Nornhold, Ed D February 11, 2015 at 9:36 am

    Truly, an excellent letter in all respects!


  63. 234 Julie February 11, 2015 at 9:37 am

    Claudia, a well written & informative letter! Aaron, grow up!


  64. 235 Norm Christoffel February 11, 2015 at 9:40 am

    I support the teachers right to organize. I feel that the teacher should strike and get parents to realize how important the teacher are in thier daily life.


  65. 236 Deb Slaght February 11, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Oh we have a governor? He is out of the state and country more then he is here.
    Our schools are suffering so badly as are the elderly, homeless etc. if our children are not important enough to educate how are we ever to change?
    Everyone has this conversation and yet he is still a part-time govenor with his own agenda and it does not include education, or the elderly or public education. When will enough be enough? Now he has an office in Iowa? Maybe he has moved!


    • 237 Michael February 11, 2015 at 2:52 pm

      Really? Wisconsin schools are suffering? How do the schools rate nationally? Give me a break.


      • 238 Mary February 12, 2015 at 11:30 am

        Well, let’s keep cutting their funding until our schools look like Texas!!! We certainly wouldn’t want them to stay rated at the top…that would be so inconvenient for the state. But it sure would help the politicians who are raping this state. The less educated the electorate, the better it is for Scott and his friends.


  66. 239 Linda February 11, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Excellent!!! I hope you have sent this letter to newspapers around the country, especially Iowa. The only thing I would add is the addition of vouchers he has given to private schools. This takes public funds from public education and gives it to families (probably about 90%) who already attend and pay tuition at these schools.


  67. 240 Christine Walsh February 11, 2015 at 10:19 am

    Thank you for this post. I also have been commenting wherever I can. My son teaches at UW Milwaukee. He and the other professors are furious.


    • 241 mkenorthshore February 11, 2015 at 2:22 pm

      I’ll bet they’re furious. They’re going to have to spend more time in their classrooms instead of hiring TAs to do the real work of teaching.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 242 Michael February 11, 2015 at 2:50 pm

        Yeah those poor public universities. Next thing you know, we’ll be letting everyone have free community college. Oh, wait …

        Liked by 1 person

      • 243 Cathy Hastings February 11, 2015 at 7:29 pm

        Maybe in Madison and Milwaukee, they get the TA’s, but I work at UW-Platteville, and the professors here all teach their own couses, they have no teaching assistants. But we will have to endure this huge cut to funding just like the bigger schools. It looks like there will be layoffs among the “little people”, aka maintenance and support staff. We are not happy here


      • 244 required February 12, 2015 at 6:13 am

        Hiring TAs cost less per hour than hiring professors.
        your comment doesn’t clearly suggest criticism or approval, but appears to favor this increase in teaching cost.


  68. 245 Scott Pi February 11, 2015 at 10:31 am

    Educating children is way too important to leave to the government. There is NOTHING the government does well, and Government schools are no exception.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 246 luvlena February 11, 2015 at 6:06 pm

      I am so tired of you “government can do nothing right” people. For crying out loud. How did you manage to become an adult without government?The Interstate Highway System. Public Health (no more Ebola). FDIC. GI bill. Consumer Safety (good idea to get rid of dangerous toys?) Clean water and clean air. The military. The West (government programs populated the western United States). State university systems. National Weather Service. Financial Aid. You wouldn’t be where you are if not for government programs. I wish you weren’t so gullible.


    • 247 Linda February 11, 2015 at 8:36 pm

      Government does nothing well???! What about our remarkable national defense? Isn’t it the best in the world? What about our network of interstate highways (thank you, Ike)? Our state and federal laws. The list is long of what our government has done well these 200+ years.


  69. 248 Klp February 11, 2015 at 10:35 am

    So, Mary Barlament, cutting funding to our educational system will help us improve our position in the world? Most sports programs support themselves, by the way. Our kids deserve the best possible education they can get and just like any job, the employees, in this case teachers, need to feel like they are important and appreciated, in what they do.

    Liked by 1 person

  70. 249 S. D. Mueller February 11, 2015 at 11:04 am

    What about the UW’s 600 million slush fund? Meanwhile, they cry poverty and tuition has exponentially exploded compared to the rate of inflation???

    Liked by 1 person

  71. 250 Debra February 11, 2015 at 11:07 am

    And to add to Theron’s last comment, the news this am was tax collection is going well and Walker proposes to give a possible surplus back to taxpayers. Robin Voss (R) thought any surplus should offset the large cut to the UW system. It seems fairly clear, Walker’s agenda is to dismantle the public education system in WI. After all, there is a huge amount of money to be made if education is privatized.

    Liked by 1 person

  72. 251 Eloquent Kolobok February 11, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Why do people keep re-electing this douche?


  73. 256 Opinion8d February 11, 2015 at 11:19 am

    “The ramifications of this move are nothing short of catastrophic and would grossly diminish what data has repeatedly shown to be the single most important factor in student learning: the quality of the classroom teacher.”

    Oh really???? Take your ‘teacher of the year’ self and go ‘make a difference’ at MPS. Yeah, didn’t think so! Would love to see that ‘data’ you speak of. I don’t care who runs that classroom at MPS -if the kids aren’t in school or don’t have the basic necessities at home, it really doesn’t matter who is teaching the class.

    And you can continue to throw dollar after dollar at the problem and it doesn’t get any better. Democrats, like Ms. Felske, claim they know what’s best for everyone. Instead, they have simply created the mess that MPS and urban public schools are facing today.


    • 257 N. Lutzke February 11, 2015 at 6:38 pm

      Really? You are going to blame Ms. Felske for the gigantic mess MPS is in? FYI…All schools in Wisconsin are being saddled with the MPS monolith’s issues as a majority of state funding is thrown at the schools in the Milwaukee corridor. As a Wisconsin teacher, I’m tired of seeing what little money is left as a pittance in our education coffers thrown at the “problem” MPS schools. Blaming Ms. Felske for any problems in MPS is asinine. Get a grip Opinion8d!

      Oh…and for your information, don’t tell me to go and teach at MPS. The policies that this district has implemented forever has created the problems it encounters.


      • 258 Opinion8d February 12, 2015 at 11:54 am

        I was not blaming her for the problems of MPS. I was discounting her assertion that the single most important factor in student learning is the quality of the classroom teacher.


  74. 259 Julian Vasquez Heilig February 11, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Reblogged this on Cloaking Inequity and commented:
    The Real Teaxher of the year takes governor who cut 2.6 billion from education to task.


  75. 260 Alan Lee February 11, 2015 at 11:38 am

    It;s amazing how liberals can be so critical of a conservative governor while turning a blind eye to a criminal in the White House.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 261 Jen February 11, 2015 at 12:56 pm

      Governor Walker has been under multiple criminal investigations in his time in office, but you are saying other people are criminals. Learn to think for yourself instead of letting your political party do the thinking for you.


      • 262 Opinion8d February 11, 2015 at 1:11 pm

        Oh Jen, really? He’s been under multiple criminal investigations??? Maybe witch hunts?? Have they found anything? It’s been 4 years with a wide latitude of digging and still nothing???


    • 263 Linda February 11, 2015 at 8:43 pm

      A criminal in the White House? We have a criminal in the governor’s mansion.


    • 264 TW February 11, 2015 at 11:02 pm

      I wasn’t aware Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld still lived in the White House.


    • 265 required February 12, 2015 at 6:24 am

      You recall ‘liberals turning a blind eye’ to Dick Cheney’s crimes when Cheney was in the Whitehouse? You might try googling before commenting…


  76. 266 dilbywatkins February 11, 2015 at 11:40 am

    Very good letter. I similarly wrote about his new plan to allow anyone with a degree and pass the exam to teach. I do not understand the people that think he’s a great governor because he’s able to “balance the budget.” At what cost? These people are the short-term thinkers like Walker. The long-term ramifications of forcing out great veteran teachers (such as my dad who retired early instead of have his retirement cut), flooding the teaching market with unqualified candidates, and then cutting one of the best higher education systems on top of it will all lead to a dumber population. A dumber workforce. A less-educated state. Students are already struggling to learn, so why would the solution be to cut funding and resources to education? To create jobs? This would allow the people that have graduated college to possibly become teachers, and attempt to transfer knowledge to students whose learning habits have been declining. But we can afford to hire them since the wages for teachers without teaching degrees would be significantly less than the already low salaries for beginning teachers. The supporters of Walker then are the ones that will say things like, “teachers only work half the year” or that they can find other work in the summer. Newsflash: Teachers do continue to improve and work throughout the year. Yes they have summers off, but I’d like to see some of these people attempt to teach the kids these days. Oh, that’s right, they may have their chance, and then they may find out just how “easy” teaching really is.


  77. 267 Dawn Radford February 11, 2015 at 11:43 am

    I think you’re giving Walker too much credit on point #3 (psychology).

    I think he’s just that clumsy.


  78. 268 Bigbadguyable February 11, 2015 at 11:57 am

    Excellent letter. Freud would have a field day with this joker’s sick obsession with his systematic dismantling of public educations. It’s obvious from some of the responses to this letter that John Cleese was absolutely right when he said (and I’m paraphrasing) ….stupid, stupid people can’t possibly know how stupid they are because that would take a certain amount of intelligence.,


  79. 269 Todd February 11, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    What? Democrats messed up MPS? What we have here is a failure of government. The reason MPS is “failing” is not because of failing schools or bad teachers. It is because our government has failed to help the families here that need help. Poverty breeds poverty. Where are the jobs? How can homeless kids compete with suburban kids who’s schools are fully funded? Money does matter in education. I teach in MPS and have had nearly 40 students in science classes for the last 3 years. I have room for 28 to safely perform experiments. Cutting budgets are forcing larger class sizes. Class size does matter.

    Speaking of unions, no one has mentioned the fact that there are other public unions that were not affected. Why would that be? It couldn’t be that teachers tend to vote democratic? No, that would be unfair and abusing power…

    Walker is bad for our state and it the effects of his “leadership” will be felt for many years to come.


    • 270 Opinion8d February 11, 2015 at 1:03 pm

      Yes, the Democrats are the root problem. Their policies broke up black familes and created a dependency mentality. It’s great for vote getting, but bad for society.

      And you could double the spending in MPS and it’s not going to change the culture. Create an MPS orphange and maybe then you’ll have a fighting chance in about 40 years.


  80. 271 Jim February 11, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    Reblogged this on Zwinglius Redivivus and commented:
    Politicians are totally Depraved.


  81. 272 nowheresville1 February 11, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    I still can’t believe no one is noticing that the author won the Teacher of the Year award in 2011, and is claiming to be the 2010 winner. That wouldn’t be too big of a deal, except that it makes much of the rest of her article completely without basis.

    Megan Sampson won her award, and lost her job in 2010. Governor Walker wasn’t Governor in 2010, and yet the author wants to blame Sampson’s job loss “squarely on your (Walker’s) systematic defunding of public education.”

    You’d think a “Teacher of the Year” could do a better job figuring out that 2010 and 2011 were not the same year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 273 Lori (ADMIN) February 11, 2015 at 12:45 pm

      For clarity’s sake, Claudia Felske was the teacher of the year in 2010-2011.


      • 274 nowheresville1 February 11, 2015 at 12:59 pm

        Yes, and when you win an award in 2010-11, you are the 2011 winner, because the award is presented at the end of the year. You certainly can’t say, as the author did, that you were named the winner in 2010.

        Again, more to the point, Ms. Sampson actually won her award in 2010 (for the 2009-10 school year), and lost her job in 2010, a year before Ms. Felske won her award, and a year before Walker was even elected. Despite that fact, Ms. Felske says Walker and his cuts should be blamed for Sampson losing her job, before he was even in office.


      • 276 nowheresville1 February 11, 2015 at 1:32 pm

        Well, I stand corrected (I should have known in the education world, you can be awarded for your performance in a school year, before 90% of the school year has even taken place).

        However, that doesn’t change the larger point, that Ms. Sampson and Ms. Felske won their awards for different school years, and I’d still like to know why Ms. Felske thinks Gov. Walker and his cuts should be blamed for Ms. Sampson losing her job before he took office.


      • 277 Opinion8d February 11, 2015 at 1:47 pm

        Don’t bother asking for facts surrounding the left’s opinions…they just like to call names when challenged.


    • 278 TW February 11, 2015 at 11:14 pm

      nowheresville1, it’s really not that hard for those of us with a little bit of common sense to figure out. She won the award in September of 2010 and held the title until 2011. Critical thinking, when applied, is a pretty good thing.


      • 279 nowheresville1 February 13, 2015 at 8:31 am

        I already admitted that I did not originally know that Wisconsin “Teacher of the Year” was awarded to someone before they actually did any teaching that school year.

        That doesn’t change the fact that the Author and Ms. Sampson won their awards for different school years.

        It also doesn’t answer the bigger question as to why the Author thinks that Gov. Walker should blame his budget cuts for Ms. Sampson losing her job in the Summer of 2010, 6 months before he became Governor.


  82. 280 Claudia S. Andrews February 11, 2015 at 12:29 pm



  83. 282 Todd February 11, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    She is NOT saying she lost her job because of Walker. Walker was using the other “winner” as a reason for doing away with unions because they protect crappy teachers. His argument is “Make way for the newer, energetic teachers and get rid of the old worn out teachers.” The sad truth is the experience gained through the years makes a teacher more and more effective. Energy and spirit do not make a teacher great. Content Knowledge and experience is the main factor. Why don’t we apply that mentality to all professions. Out with the old – they are too expensive. We want some new, fresh, inexperienced people running our machinery, driving our trains, running our companies. See how stupid that sounds?

    Back to Milwaukee – It was the Republican’s idiotic war on drugs that put black men in jail for ridiculously long sentences for minor infractions. That had a major effect on the families in Milwaukee. Cutting money for drug rehab, homeless shelters and general welfare didn’t help the situation either. When people can’t make due, what do they do? They come for your stuff. Help them, not put them in jail. Education is the best way to help them. Walker’s cuts have hurt the minority population in Milwaukee more proportionately than any other district. His attacks on public education is bordering on unconstitutional. No wonder he wants to take words out of the “Wisconsin Way” part of our constitution.


    • 283 Opinion8d February 11, 2015 at 2:00 pm

      Todd, I’m not sure what line of work you’re in, but people do lose their jobs to younger, more energetic and ‘cheaper’ labor quite often. Middle managers deal with this threat all the time-they are generally the first to go. However, that’s not what Walker is saying about teachers, and nothing he did made that the law! Schools now have the option to keep the teachers THEY see fit -decision done at the local/community level.

      Regarding your Milwaukee comments… can’t even get them to send their kids to school, how are you going to educate them??? The war on drugs….that’s what caused this???? OMG!


  84. 284 Diana Brasher February 11, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    For such “mis-remembering” he should receive 6-months suspension without pay; for his “war on the education system” of Wisconsin, he should be given the BOOT!!!


  85. 285 Todd February 11, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Opinion – I’m not sure either. lol. Enjoy your day. I’m out.


  86. 286 davide February 11, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    I can not believe that posters are are defending him. He LIED. He continues to tell the same lie. That is the issue here. It isn’t about left vs right. He is a pathological liar. Don’t you people have moral compasses?


  87. 291 Dave Hansen February 11, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    GET over it !!!!!!


  88. 292 Judith Cirves February 11, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    Claudia Klein Felske, you are a hero! First of all for your chosen vocation as a teacher. Your care for and nurture Wisconsin’s most precious natural resource, our children and grandchildren. And also for writing this articulate and heartfelt letter to a “presidential hopeful/part-time governor(why else does he need an office in Iowa)” and trying to inform him of some home truths. I thank you and will share this with every voter I can reach in Wisconsin and with out of state people who should know who and what Scott Walker really is during this election campaign.


    • 293 Denise February 11, 2015 at 6:26 pm

      What is more sad to me after reading all of these comments is that people really are disrespectful and rude to one another. Name calling, swearing, sarcasm, bullying if you will….all in defense of their so called enlightened opinion. All of you need to take a class on how to get along with others that have an opinion different than your own. Mean spirited comments do NOTHING. They don’t change a thing. Sad state our country is in. We all have our own agendas and opinions and to hell with anyone else it appears. What ever happened to courteous dialogue? It is depressing just reading all of this. How can the political process ever work? How can one have progress with all the hatred and bitterness and sarcasm?


  89. 294 cyn February 11, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    Awesome letter, Claudia! Thank you for writing it. Teachers everywhere are behind you in the fight against this lunacy! Proud to be part of the same team.


  90. 295 luvlena February 11, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    I am in awe of your courage, Ms. Klein Felske. Not easy to go up against Scott Walker and his hugely wealthy and powerful backers, but we need so many more people like you to speak out about what is being done to education by conservative governors and legislatures. There is much support for you – stay strong and keep up the good work. I have such admiration for teachers in general and for you in particular. I have been horrified watching what this governor has done to your state and am even more horrified that 16% of registered voters in your state have foisted him upon the rest of us – we have to now watch his ridiculous performance as a presidential wannabe. I’ve always wondered how this person has come so far. Money (speech according to the kings of the Supreme Court) is very powerful.


  91. 296 Judith Liebaert February 11, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    To be that close to completing his college degree and “quitting” shows his true character. My father raised a family, worked one full and one part time job AND completed his Master’s Degree, finally receiving his diploma when I was 12 years old. He was 49 years old and had been married for 26 years. He’d served his county in World War II. After returning he served 12 years as a police officer before going to work for the Wisconsin Job Service as the Veteran’s Job Counselor. That Masters helped him rise to the position of District Director with the Wis. Job Sevc., leading five regional offices in Northern Wis. My father also served in elected civic offices and taught me what it truly means to work to improve yourself and your community. Scott Walker cannot hold a candle to my father and men like him who know what it means to give your word and stick with a job until it’s done. Walker reminds me of another renown Republican quitter, Sarah Palin. I can only hope he disappears into the same obscurity that bird brain has found. They two make a good pair.


    • 297 chad February 12, 2015 at 7:05 pm

      Typical lefty: a jealous, petty, bitter, liar.


      • 298 Judith Liebaert February 20, 2015 at 2:21 pm

        So sad that is the most intelligent rebuttal you can offer. I gave two opinions about Gov. Walker, that his actions show his true character (a pretty universal truth) and that he and Sarah Palin would make a good pair – there is nothing derogatory in that unless you, too, believe Walker’s actions reflect poorly on him and that Sara Palin is not a good leader for our country. The rest are all facts regarding my personal life, into which you have no insight (unless you know me, do you?). In that light, how do you accuse me of lying? It’s laughable . . . and dare I say, typical.


    • 299 Opinion8d February 20, 2015 at 2:56 pm

      It’s not like he didn’t do anything with his life, sat on public assistance and then decided to be govenor. He decided to take a different path, and that path was worked very well for him, and I would say for many Wisconsinites. (Although I’m sure you don’t feel that way.) Having a Master’s degree or any degree may be important for some jobs, but not at all a requirement to be successful. Would you say Steve Jobs or Bill Gates are somehow less because they ‘quit’??

      Scott Walker gave his word to the voters and delivered. I don’t know what not finishing college has to do with being a quitter or not keeping his word? When has anyone said ‘he gave his word he woud finish college’?


  92. 300 Peter Calvo February 11, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    Seems to me that logically if funding to education is cut the quality of education goes down. Therefore a much less educated society in which politicians can much more easily lead the masses to vote the way they want them to vote. They are just trying to dumb down society in order to reap the money for themselves. Cutting education would be a good start to that scenario.


    • 301 Opinion8d February 20, 2015 at 3:02 pm

      Peter, using that logic, the more that education is funded would mean the higher the quality correct?? So please tell me what’s going on at MPS??? It’s not about the amount -it’s about using the money effectively!


  93. 303 Steve Panozzo February 11, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    She signed the recall petition – why is this getting so much attention?


  94. 306 Spiny Norman (@threadtangler) February 11, 2015 at 11:10 pm

    Re. Walker’s multiple successful election campaigns, H.L. Mencken had it cold:

    “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.”

    Liked by 1 person

  95. 307 Jim February 11, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    OMG!!! Walker actually thinks people who DON’T go to teachers’ school can teach? Is he a mad man? I mean, how on EARTH can anyone teach anyone else anything unless the teacher goes to school to be a teacher? Oh, wait… mean people got great educations for millennia before teachers’ colleges were even invented? Oh yeah, I guess I kinds forgot America’s education system is a huge crap sandwich mostly because teacher schools are pooping out complete idiots like Claudia Klein Felske.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 308 Alicia February 13, 2015 at 12:20 am

      Yes, if you want someone to responsibly educate a group of 25-40 kids for that school year – you better train them well – to actually teach, to manage the complexities of the group and the aptitude of the age of kids you are working with. Definitely.


    • 309 Paul February 13, 2015 at 12:47 am

      What makes you think people used to get a GREAT (your caps) education in the past? The fact is most people didn’t get much education beyond learning their necessary survival skills; widespread literacy is a very recent phenomenon, just slightly younger than Democracy. Of course, it’s easy for a corporate shill like Walker to convince middle-class Teabaggers that the $200 a year they’re going to save on their tax bill is worth the sacrifice. After all, how else can we continue to lower the cost of labor to be competitive with the Chinese if the workforce understands that it’s happening?


    • 310 Ole February 13, 2015 at 1:11 am

      They do it here in Texas, and the Texas educational system is f***** up, and that is putting it nicely. In the Dallas area, US News rates one school #1 in the country and it recently had a 99+% graduation rate and 90+% went on to college. (I am not sure what the exact percentages are currently) So unless you are able to get your child into this magnate program move elsewhere if you want them to get a decent education. Curriculum that is centered around teaching for a standardized test (because we want the kids to do well, so we can get all that federal funding that Texans say we don’t need from the government but they always have their hands out) and fail in giving students an actual education. Meanwhile, since the hiring of teacher-hating Mike Miles as superintendent there has been an exodus of teachers and we have the “anyone with a degree” teacher program too. Funny, there is still a huge teacher shortage here. A couple of years ago it was 30% vacancy, how does a school system function if 30% of the teaching positions go unfilled? I used to make fun of home schoolers but it might be the way to go to ensure our kids are learning something.


    • 311 retired grandma/teacher February 13, 2015 at 4:24 pm

      Ya I would like to see one of these “business people” when they get told to go eff themselves or deals with a drugged up kid, or writes a simple lesson plan (objectives, goals, and rubrics), learn CPR, try and communicate with a hearing impaired or blind student, wait for the student with CP to get his thought across, go to endless meetings, go through a bomb threat. Could the list get any longer? Teachers leave to go into public sector jobs and the reverse is not true. You can hardly get them to come to career day. What a joke, but understandable when you know where it came from.


    • 312 Melissa February 13, 2015 at 8:05 pm

      Jim, your grammar is sickening. Clearly, you hate teachers because you were unable to grasp the English language in a reasonable manner.


  96. 313 rickbraun February 12, 2015 at 1:49 am

    Looks like Claudia is lying herself to accuse Walker of lying.

    The story in the JS clearly tells the story of Megan Sampson, laid off by MPS after being named a teacher of the year. Here are the first three paragraphs from the story.

    “Megan Sampson was named outstanding first-year teacher by the Wisconsin Council of Teachers of English last week.

    “Second-year social studies teacher Kevin Condon, also at Bradley Tech High School, has four licenses and can command the attention of 40 students in an open-concept classroom.

    “Both are among 482 educators – more than 12% of the full-time teachers in the district – who have received layoff notices from Milwaukee Public Schools.”


    • 314 BillMcKain February 12, 2015 at 11:50 am

      Really??? You’re as big a liar as Walker is. I wouldn’t piss on you if you were on fire you skumbag.


      • 315 pegzee February 12, 2015 at 11:14 pm

        We can tell you are one highly educated person, that is VERY apparent. I suspect that you graduated from the “University of Rude and Vulgar”. And I am sure that you were named “Most Eloquent” in your class. If you were educated in the Wisconsin school system, maybe Walker is right 😦


      • 316 Alicia February 13, 2015 at 12:25 am

        How rude you are. Have you not learned yet to communicate like an adult… Surely you are a troll.


    • 317 jrcal888 February 12, 2015 at 12:21 pm

      Sampson was NOT teacher of the year. Re-read your own post.


    • 318 Donna February 12, 2015 at 3:40 pm

      rickbraun, What is your point? He current proposal is estimated to cut 12.2 million from Milwaukee Public Schools (cited from DPI). He is talking out of both sides of his mouth. He was complaining/bashing the fact she was laid off and with this new budget, many, many more will follow. Who is he going to blame then??


    • 319 Jen February 13, 2015 at 6:02 am

      Did you read her letter at all? She described all that and what it is in her letter already. You’re late to the show.


    • 320 lwojo February 13, 2015 at 9:27 am

      How is this a lie? She clearly states from whom Ms. Sampson received the award. Sounds as if you need some of those critical evaluation skills Ms. Felske is talking about.


    • 321 Lee Hester February 13, 2015 at 3:39 pm

      If you had actually read all of this editorial, you would have seen that Ms. Felske did NOT lie. She covered your point precisely saying and I quote

      “…:it turns out that Megan Sampson did win an award in 2010, but it was the Nancy Hoefs Memorial Award given by a relatively small organization of Wisconsin English teachers (WCTE) for ‘an outstanding first year teacher of language arts.’ She was one of less than a dozen teachers across the state who self-nominated for this award.”

      Outstanding first year teacher is NOT teacher of the year, which is what Walker claimed. Though I would tend to believe Walker only misspoke and it is clear that either award would have fit in with the point he was trying to make, Ms. Felske is mainly using it as a rhetorical device to make a more engaging article.

      The flaw in Walker’s argument concerning Ms. Sampson’s layoff, as this article points out is that the layoffs were occasioned by his actions in slashing education budgets. If he hadn’t slashed the budget, Ms. Sampson would still have a job. The seniority system that Walker hates merely determined the order of the layoffs HE caused.


  97. 322 Steve February 12, 2015 at 5:56 am

    I feel sorry for Megan Sampson. Apparently her award was nothing compared to yours. Thanks for pointing that out in such a poignant fashion. I doubt her award ceremony was anywhere near as humbling as yours…


  98. 323 brenda February 12, 2015 at 6:46 am

    I dont agree with the teacher that wrote this letter. The Governor referred to a teacher who won an award for being outstanding as a teacher who won an award for being outstanding. She then was laid off due to her lack of seniority when the school addressed budget cuts. The writers attempt to spin these facts as lies are sad. And it appears the writer is fine with building a government budget deficit. Sure hope she doesnt teach Personal Finance.


    • 324 Dude February 12, 2015 at 1:33 pm

      Brenda, you miss the point “Scott Walker Lied”, he twisted the story to try & benefit politically from his lies. Walker claims that the seniority layoff system caused her to be laid off, when it really was Walkers cuts to the public education system. Yes she won a teaching award but she is not the Wisconsin “Outstanding Teacher of the Year”. Stop drinking Walker’s Kool-Aid, he can tell the simple truth & never could.

      Approximately 60,000 teachers in Wisconsin, when it comes to those who may qualify for the award, we’re talking only about English teachers, who also happen to be a member of this group, who also are a first year teacher, and who also self-nominated themselves to receive the award. According to the WCTE’s David Roloff, who is in charge of this award, each year only about two to ten people across the entire state actually apply for the award.

      Liked by 2 people

    • 325 Donna February 12, 2015 at 3:44 pm

      So Brenda, with his new budget proposal and projected cuts of 12.2 million for Milwaukee schools and 4.1 million for Madison (citing DPI) who is he going to blame for the next round of layoffs??

      Liked by 2 people

    • 326 Alicia February 13, 2015 at 12:30 am

      Why are you ok with destroying the public school system? If there a “budget deficit” then the last thing Wisconsin needs to do is take it from the teachers and students.


  99. 327 Gail February 12, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Great article! Walker is against anything that helps the middle class because they don’t vote for him. He has done the same things to unions, another middle class group. God forbid he should run for President.

    Liked by 2 people

  100. 329 Bill Doe Jr February 12, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    My faith tells me to pray for Scott. God-loving Catholics must stand up to democracy.

    Liked by 1 person

  101. 331 mark February 12, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    STOP LYING mr.walker


    • 332 Bob Abate February 12, 2015 at 2:41 pm

      Bob = What does this man have that makes him unlikeable. He destroyed a system that brought as much money to the State of Wisconsin as a lot of business also did. But he destroyed the Union not because he needed to as he outlined, rather he did because he himself had a valued reason, that he holds close to the fold to this day. Union’s were unacceptable for his State economy. In was they fact a beneficial part of his budget. His reason not given but believed to be why he opposed Unionization of workers was plan and simple,”collective bargaining”. The man ( Walker ) did not want the Workers to have any say on wages or benefits whose decision was made by the collective bargaining Union officials and to be ratified by the membership. He was and is a control freak. He needs to be in charge of everything and everybody in the State, no matter what. He’s like a human wizard standing tall in the State house waving his wand for all his servants (the people of Wisconsin) to abide by his every directive no matter what. There will be some hope coming. Walker has got his chest so pumped that now he is considering on running for President, and we welcome him because if he does you can consider that he will not ever become this country President,. And maybe then he will go away and start selling Taco’s somewhere, where it don’t matter !

      Liked by 3 people

  102. 334 KTM February 12, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    A good teacher was laid off because crappier teachers had seniority through the union. Now the left is incensed because Scott Walker dared to point out that it is wrong to allow mediocre teachers to retain a job-for-life because the unions has such a stranglehold over education.

    Some are gleefully pointing out that the teacher herself does not want Scott Walker to use her true story in his speeches. That only further proves what a stranglehold the union has over education. This teacher is now facing a hostile work environment from the union thugs at her new school, who can’t tolerate dissent.


  103. 336 Barry Burckhardt February 12, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    I would love to hear how many teachers of the year who won this award for Wisconsin, Who align themselves as Democrats. Aren’t you a featured person posing with mayor Barrett of Milwaukee . Yes it is . Is this prerequisite to win this award. Is it bias just like this letter. I went to school with her. Very bright , educated , but her political beliefs are aligned with Democratic’s She loves Obama but lives in where??? Exactly !!! She never grew up poor has no clue about the poor people. She teaches 30 miles outside of Milwaukee because she doesn’t have to courage to go, where her party fights for to make change. The inner city. She can’t fathom the thought of her holy savior party losing. This is her response. Claudia this my open letter to you. I can’t wait for your response. Mre Felske , hmmmm name sounds kinda familiar.


  104. 338 Sara Abozeid February 12, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    As a tech that works at the UW Madison, I would like to say that many folks are getting wool pulled over there eyes, because of Walkers statement regarding how much people in the UW make. If you look at the UW system as a whole, the Professors make up a small percentage of the employed. There are huge numbers that work on research of one kind or another. These folks have to work night and day just to get a few bucks to do the research that is so badly needed to find cures for so many genetic and transmitted diseases. So I say to all people in Wisconsin. Go to UW red book and see for yourself what UW people are making. I have a friend who is a Stat prof. who only makes 38K a year. I work at a lab bench and dont make much more than that. Keep in mind that is before taxes, insurance and retirement payments. So I say to all you Walker lovers and those of you on the fence, go to the link and take some time to do a little research. Dont take my word for it, and dont let someone pull the wool over your eyes. You just need to be willing to find the truth, and then make the right choices.


  105. 340 Andrea February 12, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    Thank you to the teachers of Wisconsin for carrying on in these troubled times.


  106. 342 mail February 12, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    Public education is the cornerstone of Democracy? Education may be, but not “public” education, i.e. government-controled education. How ’bout that “public” Marquette degree you received? How’s the “Gender-Fluidity” curriculum coming along? By the way, Wisconsinites need to put more tax money into the University System to advance the Club Med atmosphere our fragile teens need to prepare themselves for $100k of student loan debt and their future in their parents basement.


  107. 343 Diane February 13, 2015 at 12:09 am

    Reblogged this on confessions of a gypsy girl and commented:
    Important reading for teachers everywhere, not just in Wisconsin. This is how Republicans are destroying public education in order to have for-profit schools run by corporate boards, not the taxpayers. At taxpayer expense, of course.


  108. 344 Marinus Gesink February 13, 2015 at 2:54 am

    How can you tell if Walker is lying?His lips are moving.t


  109. 346 nowheresville1 February 13, 2015 at 8:37 am

    ” You (Walker) blamed the seniority system for Sampson’s lay-off when, in good conscience, you should have done some serious soul searching and placed the blame squarely on your systematic defunding of public education to the tune of $2.6 billion that you cut from school districts, state aid to localities, the UW-System and technical colleges.”

    I still want to know why Walker should be blamed for Ms. Sampson losing her job in the Summer of 2010, 6 months before he became Governor.


    • 347 Andy February 13, 2015 at 10:43 am

      As county executive, Mr. Walker was responsible for the tightening of the district school budget.


    • 350 Ankara Web Tasarım December 13, 2015 at 9:54 am

      I’d like to respond to Claudia Felske’s open letter to Governor Walker, published on the Marquette Educator and reported on in the February 10 Capital Times. In this letter, Felske addresses Walker’s announcement that Megan Sampson, Wisconsin’s “outstanding teacher of the year” in 2010, was laid off to make room for a teacher protected by union rules.

      In this open letter, Felske writes that “Megan Sampson did win an award in 2010, but it was the Nancy Hoefs Memorial Award given by a relatively small organization of Wisconsin English teachers (WCTE) for ‘an outstanding first year teacher of language arts.’ She was one of less than a dozen teachers across the state who self-nominated for this award.”

      WCTE is the Wisconsin Council of Teachers of English, and, as this year’s president, I’d like to correct Felske:


  110. 351 bonnie February 14, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Has anyone ever taken the time to take a true hard look at how messed up this once great country is lowering every thing that made it great. We are going to be just like all the places we protest not to send and defend. At a time this was a country that was at peace with itself, but money has turned us into a place of greed anger. Money buys who we have in government and money buys what the laws are that we live by. We cannot even express holiday greetings because it may end us up in court for offending someone. Now money is even telling us what can be taught in our schools, the very schools these people went to themselves and send their children to now. There is no real respect or moral value in anything anymore. Our beliefs are what made America the best place on earth to be, but slowly it is becoming a country where its very basic and strength must be compromised, because we have lost great leaders who say,:”This is what America believes in and these are the laws and traditions of our country”‘. No other country changes their laws because someone from another country doesn’t like the ones already in place. Walker is a boughten man and those who bought him also want to become the ones of money who run our education system, our laws and anything else they feel doesn’t suit them. Let’s be a country of strength and morals and a country where strength is shown in having a back bone and not a gun or being bought.


  111. 352 Ron February 14, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Well well well Governor Walker. What is your issue with Education in Wisconsin. Seriously do you think the 2 year educated non degreed people are our answer? You realize many people in these programs use this to gain access to the skilled labor trades. Some to continue required curriculum to meet job requirements.
    So these resources who have no formal education are going to teach the students ( by the way who are unable to meet standards required by laws) is going to fix this problem. That is why we are in the situation we are today. Under Qualified educators teaching our children and doing so because they themselves do not know.
    We keep lowering standards so we have students graduating that can not read nor write. Let alone solve a mathematical problem. For example shop a store without a register that calculates the change for them. I was bewildered they could not figure it out. Even with the help of a calculator.
    So why not cut Education money from the budget, break the Teachers Union and take away all negotiation rights. Then cut the budget, layoff, fire, force retire teachers and what remains is the sludge in the bottom of the barrel.
    Now these teachers work for low wages, I have to pay my $200,000.00 student loan. Are not committed (in some cases) and are being told they must pass the standards or lose their job. The school is considered ineffective and if it can not improve in four years will close or become a Charter School.
    I can hardly wait to sign on for that job. And of course they only work one half a year so they can get a job at (fill in the blank). Whats interesting is I can work unloading a truck, stocking shelves and make more than teaching. Being an educated person that was a easy solution.
    So I went to school to become a teacher found out just how bad it is and what II need to do for $23,000.00 a year and now I work in retail.

    No grading at night, planning, fear of losing my job because the students do not care. I get two weeks paid vacation, insurance and weekends off. Paid overtime. Hmmmmm what to do???????


  112. 353 Penny Johnson February 14, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    They said there’d be no math. Not sure I have my math correct. 300 million is 2.5% of the total budget. I think that means the budget is 75 billion? 75 billion times 0.25 = 300,000,000. I graduated from a school of a lesser god than Marquette so be patient with me. I don’t make 6 figures. I’m just thinking that 2.5% cut of 75 billion ought to leave enough to educate the few that can afford to go to maintain our democracy. I’m a little scared that the loss of this 2.5% of this behemoth budget would so seriously jeopardize our democracy and fabric of our society. Is it really that fragile? I’m seriously asking. And I’m seriously asking what percentage of that 75 billion goes for salaries and pensions. Do you think its 10, or 15 times that 2.5%? Anybody know? Cuz I know around here, in the lower grades, it’s over 50%. The number I remember is more than 50 but it’s so over 50 I think I must not be remembering it right.

    To his statement about the teacher of the year. He made this argument during the recall. Seems odd, with the extreme passion and energy of his opposition, that this teacher did not slam him back then. Just take him out then. I did a brief looksee and it would appear he described her award accurately enough back then not to demand correction but certainly forgot the words “first year” in Iowa. That is his bad foh shur. But not to worry. You don’t have to change your position, you can keep your argument. . . . . .period.


  113. 355 John Pruitt February 16, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    I’d like to respond to Claudia Felske’s open letter to Governor Walker, published on the Marquette Educator and reported on in the February 10 Capital Times. In this letter, Felske addresses Walker’s announcement that Megan Sampson, Wisconsin’s “outstanding teacher of the year” in 2010, was laid off to make room for a teacher protected by union rules.

    In this open letter, Felske writes that “Megan Sampson did win an award in 2010, but it was the Nancy Hoefs Memorial Award given by a relatively small organization of Wisconsin English teachers (WCTE) for ‘an outstanding first year teacher of language arts.’ She was one of less than a dozen teachers across the state who self-nominated for this award.”

    WCTE is the Wisconsin Council of Teachers of English, and, as this year’s president, I’d like to correct Felske:

    1. The Nancy Hoefs Memorial Award is not a “self-nominated” award. Though a cover letter is required of each application, those nominated do not write it; the colleagues, administrators, and parents who see the nominee as an outstanding first-year English educator compose this letter.

    2. Those nominated do not “have to be a member of this group” as the story says, though they must be in their first year and an English teacher in the state of Wisconsin.

    I seek to clarify those points so as to not diminish the award for those who have received it. Though being a first-year English educator in the state is a relatively small sub-set of teachers, those who win this award should still be recognized for their work and the powerful potential that they have to impact education.


  114. 357 Louise Barthel March 1, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    What an awesome letter. Great job. You laid the facts out in a straight forward way that everyone who lives in Wisconsin knows.

    Thank you for speaking up for the teachers and the hardworking people of our state. We deserve better than what Scott Walker has given to WE THE PEOPLE OF WISCONSIN.

    Your letter directly from a college graduate (you), to a college dropout (Scott Walker), who were Marquette classmates in 1990, hit the nail on the head on every point. Scott Walker thinks of no one but Scott Walker.


  115. 358 Baruch May 17, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    It is amazing to read the comments. Many of them are intelligent and thoughtful, and demonstrate understanding of the value of education and the danger of demagoguery.

    Some of the comments are so shockingly ignorant as to cause my jaw to drop. There are people posting literally white male christian supremacy…and these are the people posting in support of Walker.

    Scott Walker’s supporters come across as racist, homophobic, christofascist, poorly educated, and mean. That is the hallmark of the new fascism rising in the US…same as the old fascism of Nazi Germany…ignorant, mean, cruel.

    Scott Walker is the poster child for the new fascism and as such he will go down in ruin.


  1. 1 Wednesday Links! | Gerry Canavan Trackback on February 11, 2015 at 8:58 am
  2. 2 Scott Walker Lies About Wisconsin Teacher of the Year: Real Teacher of the Year Responds (UPDATEx2) | Local National News Trackback on February 11, 2015 at 11:33 am
  3. 3 WI teacher calls out Walker for phony story | NewsCut | Minnesota Public Radio News Trackback on February 11, 2015 at 4:52 pm
  4. 4 Why Scott Walker is a douchebag | Dumasaphobic Diatribes Trackback on February 11, 2015 at 10:27 pm
  5. 5 Latest news: Wisconsin teacher of the year calls out Scott Walker over comments - News Press Trackback on February 12, 2015 at 10:01 am
  6. 6 Wisconsin teacher of the year calls out Walker over comments | FOX 11 Online | WLUK-TV Trackback on February 12, 2015 at 10:01 am
  7. 7 Wisconsin teacher of the year calls out Scott Walker over comments | Chicago Trackback on February 12, 2015 at 10:05 am
  8. 8 Or, as Fox 'News' is likely reporting it today: Liberal justice a hopeless wino - Adventures Into the Well-Known Trackback on February 13, 2015 at 4:30 pm
  9. 9 Actually, it’s more like “Gail Collins (@nytimescollins) needs a competent editor.” – Trackback on February 14, 2015 at 11:01 am
  10. 10 Actually, it’s more like “Gail Collins (@nytimescollins) needs a competent editor.” | InTheKnow Trackback on February 14, 2015 at 11:13 am
  11. 11 Moe Lane » Actually, it’s more like “Gail Collins (@nytimescollins) needs a competent editor.” Trackback on February 14, 2015 at 12:00 pm
  12. 12 Walker Short on Education, Truth | Nel's New Day Trackback on February 14, 2015 at 11:50 pm
  13. 13 Wisconsinites Unite to Trash Scott Walker | Care2 Causes Trackback on February 15, 2015 at 11:38 am
  14. 14 Links 2/15/15 | Mike the Mad Biologist Trackback on February 15, 2015 at 3:37 pm
  15. 15 February Links | The Hyperarchival Parallax Trackback on February 20, 2015 at 11:55 am
  16. 16 Mining for Diamonds: Reevaluating the Value of Teachers | The Marquette Educator Trackback on February 23, 2015 at 9:03 am
  17. 17 P.S. Governor Walker | The Marquette Educator Trackback on March 9, 2015 at 8:00 am

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