The Future of MPS: Kooyenga and Teachers’ Union Clash

MacIver News Service | May 18, 2016

[Milwaukee, Wis…] Representative Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield) and the Milwaukee teachers’ union executive director Lauren Baker clashed over the future of public education in Milwaukee on Tuesday afternoon.

The debate, hosted by Marquette University’s Eckstein School of Law, revolved around the question of how to best reform the lowest performing schools in the Milwaukee Public School system.

Kooyenga passionately defended the Opportunity Schools plan he designed along with state Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), saying no one should be satisfied with the status quo.

Baker, however, countered with a plan of her own – a community schools model, which she said has been in place for 25 years and currently enrolls 6 million kids.

The change in governance of the schools that the Opportunity Schools plan requires, she said, is not necessary.

The audience was left with at least one unanswered question: if the unions and education establishment in Milwaukee can accomplish reforms within the current governance format, why haven’t they done it already?