An North Shore Exponent Exclusive
ARLINGTON, VA-The North Shore Exponent on Saturday interviewed well known Wall Street Journal writer John Fund. During the interview the topics of the Milwaukee Public Schools mayoral takeover and Milwaukee School Choice were talked.
On the issue of the MPS mayoral takeover, Mr. Fund suggested “it would not be good” for Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett to move towards a mayoral takeover of Milwaukee Public Schools. Mr. Fund told the North Shore Exponent that the success of mayoral control of public schools “depends on how the mayor leads.” Fund cited that the prospect of a gubernatorial primary between Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton and backlash from some Milwaukee Area elected officials on the takeover plan would work against his efforts.
Fund said that mayoral control has had mixed results in the cities it has been used. The best example of how mayoral control is used according to Fund is in Washington, DC. The worst example of mayoral control according to Mr. Fund is Chicago. So far in 2009, Chicago’s woes under new Public Schools CEO Ron Huberman who took over for now Education Secretary Arne Duncan have been evident. Chicago in 2009 has dealt with consolidation and closure plans that were not well accepted by citizens along with cash flow problems the district is facing at the local and state level.
On the issue of school choice, Mr. Fund told the North Shore Exponent that this year has been lean times for cities that have voucher school programs including Milwaukee with legislators at the state level imposing new mandates on choice and charter schools. However, Fund sees changes could happen in Wisconsin if the GOP regains control of either house of the legislature which is all-Democrat controlled. Fund said that Republicans in Wisconsin have a good shot of regaining control of the State Assembly which is currently controlled 52 to 46 with one independent.