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As I See It

Education control remains elusive for power-hungry politicians



It irks many politicians when there are things they want to control, but can’t. In Wisconsin, that is education. The politicians have tried their best to take control of how our kids are taught, so far to no avail. But don’t think they won’t keep trying. The most recent effort to politicize education in Wisconsin was denied by the state Supreme Court. The high court ruled last week that a 2011 law signed by Governor Walker allowing the governor to veto rules developed by the state superintendent was unconstitutional. After all, the position of state superintendent is elected by the people, and the person who holds that office, like the governor, is a constitutional officer. In the wake of this defeat, the power hungry politicians may try another tactic. Changing the state superintendent’s position from an elected position to one appointed by the Governor. That wouldn’t be easy. But these guys don’t give up easily. Some in Madison would like to amend the state’s constitution to change the current system. That would require approval in two consecutive terms of the legislature, and approval from voters in the form of a statewide referendum. That would be a difficult, and expensive battle. And unnecessary. Most people like the current system. A recent poll finds 84% of people think the position of Superintendent of Public Instruction should be an elected, rather than appointed position. We have a good system of education, clearly reflected in test scores. Let’s focus on how to best educate our students, not how the politicians can garner even more power.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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