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The Way I See It!

I am an Ultra-Conservative, Alpha-Male, True Authentic Leader, Type "C" Personality, who is very active in my community; whether it is donating time, clothes or money for Project Concern or going to Common Council meetings and voicing my opinions. As a blogger, I intend to provide a different viewpoint "The way I see it!" on various world, national and local issues with a few helpful tips & tidbits sprinkled in.

A Conversation With Two Cudahy Elementary Teachers

Cudahy, School Board, school, Teachers, South Milwaukee, St. Francis

I recently had the opportunity to sit-down and talk with two Cudahy Elementary teachers. 

 

One is new to the district the last few years while the other has been teaching for many years and they both read my blog every day.  In fact, they told me that most of the educators in Cudahy do and that I am the topic of many of debates and conversations.  Good and bad!

 

The conversation started by them telling me that they are not Scott Walker fans, but they understand why he did what he did.  They both also wanted me to know that the changes put in place because of Act 10 in the long run will help the children and after all that is truly what matters.

 

I asked what can be done to improve Cudahy’s education system.

 

They both looked at each other and oddly said that Cudahy has the right pieces in place but the order, placement and conviction gets skewed.  They both fed off each other talking to me.

 

The more experienced teacher, who we will call Teacher One, told me that I am at times too hard on Superintendent Heiden and too soft on our school board members. 

 

Teacher One told me that it is our school board members that will not embrace the changes I have asked for to restore the Gifted and Talented (GT) programs.  The school board members get an earful from parents of Special Needs (SN) children and they are afraid of them.  They are easily pushed around and many times bullied by them.

 

Teacher Two told me that as South Milwaukee and Saint Francis cut their SN programs, Cudahy has been slowly expanding ours while cutting the GT.  Now from the outside, it would be hard to see how the GT programs have been cut as it looks on paper like there are just fewer and fewer students that qualify for it.  I was told that the way to gut the GT program was to raise the expected percent to qualify from the top 97% to the 99%.  In school eligibility is a bar that can be raised and lower as others see fit I was told.  Thus making more and more children ineligible cuts the program.

 

So instead of the top 3% of students being eligible for Gifted and Talented, now only the top 1% can be and are.

 

Teacher One told me that those decisions are the result of the school board and not the Superintendent.  I was told that as the pressure has been on the school board to hold the line on taxes they have come up with this creative way to trim the budget for GT to make sure they don’t increase taxes as the SN program was expanded.

 

Teacher Two stated that if you want to make the Cudahy School District improve overall, strike a balance between the two programs and move the GT program back to the 97%.  I was told that yes that will mean cuts to the SN program and increases to the GT and for some that will not sit well.  It isn’t fair or even the right thing to do when you take the brightest and tell them they don’t matter.  I was told that while mainstreaming Special Needs students is beneficial, mainstream the Gifted and Talented students isn’t.  They went on to say that when we hold one set of children in higher regard then others, we are not doing the right things.  Special Needs doesn’t mean special treatment.

 

This is the point that the two teachers now started to feel uncomfortable and made it very clear not to divulge their names.  I am an honorable person and my word is golden.

 

They both concluded by telling me that they are sorry for how some of their fellow teachers have talked or treated me and anyone who takes their personal feelings out of the equation can clearly understand why this whole Act 10 had to happen.  They both said they didn’t like it, but they understood it.

 

I thanked them for their time and viewpoint.

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