State of Wisconsin Archives: on Education


Scott Walker: UW FlexOption: family-friendly flexible degree program

We also worked with the University of Wisconsin System on a new flexible degree program called UW FlexOption to help adult learners earn degrees in targeted fields. Nearly a quarter of all adults in this state have some college credit without a degree. For many, time and money are the barriers to finishing that degree.

I can relate. During my senior year at Marquette University, I was offered a full-time job at the American Red Cross. I thought I would squeeze in a course here or there and finish things off in a year or two, but then Tonette and I got married. Then we had Matt. And then came Alex.

Next thing you know, you're putting all your extra time and money into your kids. The UW FlexOption will provide a less time-consuming, less costly way to finish off a degree. It will help prepare more people to fill the critical needs we have in the workforce.

Source: 2013 State of the State address to Wisconsin Legislature Jan 15, 2013

Mark Neumann: School funding & mandates from states, not Feds

Question 2. Are you willing to help eliminate federal mandates and federal funding for education and reallocate those funds to the states?

Mark Neumann: Yes

Tommy Thompson: Yes

Source: 2012 Wisconsin Tea Party Senate Debate Questionnaire Aug 13, 2012

Tommy Thompson: School funding & mandates from states, not Feds

Question 2. Are you willing to help eliminate federal mandates and federal funding for education and reallocate those funds to the states?

Mark Neumann: Yes

Tommy Thompson: Yes

Source: 2012 Wisconsin Tea Party Senate Debate Questionnaire Aug 13, 2012

John Schiess: Vouchers for public, private or religious schools

Source: Wisconsin Congressional 2008 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2008

John Schiess: Supports moment of silence in public schools

Q: Do you support a moment of silence in public schools?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support voluntary prayer in public schools?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support sexual education programs that include information on abstinence, contraceptives, and HIV/STD prevention methods?

A: No.

Q: Do you support abstinence-only sexual education programs?

A: Yes.

Source: Wisconsin Congressional 2008 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2008

Tommy Thompson: End Social Promotion; establish standards instead

In order to maintain the high level of achievement we have come to expect from our students, the days of promoting students to the next grade solely because of their age - “social promotion” - is over. Gov. Thompson believes we owe it to our students, parents, schools and communities to guarantee that public education in Wisconsin has meaning.

Students should be advanced to the next grade level based on academic performance that meets local expectations, not based on their age or social skills. Under the governor’s plan, local districts would be required to adopt policies prohibiting social promotion and establish standards by which this is accomplished using the fourth- and eight-grade tests. The locally developed academic standards will allow schools to gauge student performance against a set benchmark. Students who do not meet local criteria will not be advanced to the next grade.

Source: Wisconsin Governor’s web site, “Budget” Dec 25, 2000

Tommy Thompson: Created the nation’s first private school choice program

Frustrated that low-income parents in Milwaukee had few education alternatives for their children because of their economic status, Thompson pursued a landmark school choice program that empowered those parents to determine which school their children would attend.

In 1990, Thompson created the nation’s first private school choice program. This initial program allowed low-income parents in Milwaukee to send their children to a private non-sectarian school if they chose. This program was an important first step to providing low-income families the same educational opportunities available to families with greater resources.

In 1995, Thompson expanded the private school choice program to include religious schools-another national first. The expansion gave parents a true choice in schools, including more schools in walking distance of their homes. Thompson believes it makes no sense to bus poor Milwaukee children to a failing school across town when a very good school exists down the street.

Source: Wisconsin Governor’s web site, “Budget” Dec 25, 2000

Tommy Thompson: Instituted $5,100 vouchers for religious schools

The religious school choice program gives vouchers to parents, who then choose the school for their child. The money follows the child and is not to exceed the tuition costs of the private school. The amount of the voucher in 1999-2000 will be about $5,100 per pupil. (Including those state aids and local taxes, the cost of educating each child in Milwaukee’s public schools is about $7,500.) If the actual cost at a chosen private school is less than $5,100, the voucher payment for that child is reduced accordingly.

To be eligible for the program, a student must come from a family whose income is at 175% of the poverty level or below - about $29,225 for a family of four.

After the religious school choice law passed just weeks before the start of school in 1995, about 3,000 low-income parents moved quickly to sign their children up for the religious school choice program. “Religious values are not our problem,” Gov. Thompson said. “Drop-out rates and low test scores are.”

Source: Wisconsin Governor’s web site, “Budget” Dec 25, 2000

Tommy Thompson: Instituted statewide Charter School system

Wisconsin was one of the first states to have a statewide charter school program, providing the ultimate in local control - the ability for parents, teachers and the community to literally create their own school. This gives communities remarkable flexibility to meet the unique needs of their students, a stark contrast to the one-size-fits-all education system of the past. School districts can create unlimited charter schools under the law.
Source: Wisconsin Governor’s web site, “Budget” Dec 25, 2000

  • The above quotations are from State of Wisconsin Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Education.
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2012 Presidential contenders on Education:
  Democrats:
Pres.Barack Obama(IL)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)

Republicans:
Gov.Mitt Romney(MA)
Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
Third Parties:
Green: Dr.Jill Stein(MA)
Libertarian: Gov.Gary Johnson(NM)
Justice: Mayor Rocky Anderson(UT)
Constitution: Rep.Virgil Goode(VA)
Peace+Freedom: Roseanne Barr(HI)
Reform Party: André Barnett(NY)
AmericansElect: Gov.Buddy Roemer(LA)
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Page last updated: Dec 17, 2013