I don’t know the answer

May 7th, 2007

I’ve been reading the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s series on violence in the Milwaukee Public School system.

Normally, best cialis mind when I read about a problem the answer seems pretty obvious to me…but not today.

I have literally no idea how to solve what’s going on at MPS.

Throw every troubled kid in jail?

Reinstute corporal punishment in schools?

Have a zero tolerance policy?

How do you deal with a child like the one described in today’s article: the daughter of a drug-addicted prostitute, health no father, no home, no hope?

A good liberal would shout “more government programs.”

But since when is the government a good substitute for a loving mother and father?

I am literally at a complete and utter loss as to how to fix the underclass in Milwaukee’s innercity. Their color is irrelevant. I think even their financial situation is irrelevant. Their real poverty is felt in the deficit of love they receive on a daily basis and no government program yet invented has been able to distribute love from the back of a truck.

So I’m open to suggestions. Lay them on me. How do we end the cycle? How do we clean up the mess? I don’t have the answer. I’m hoping someone out there does.

Entry Filed under: Milwaukee

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. BobG  |  May 7th, 2007 at 11:52 am

    I’m not so sure we can break the cycle. Almost all of the problems you mention are basically a breakdown of the family. Unless there is some way to change the subculture in which these people live, I don’t see where we will get anything more than children growing up to be like their parents. The failure of the parents, in many cases, is the lack of personal responsibility for their lives, and the lives of their dependents. You can throw money at them all day, and all they do is take advantage of the charity extended to them.
    Just my opinion.

  • 2. Casper  |  May 7th, 2007 at 12:23 pm

    One thing I read in that article that really concerned me is how the judge didn’t send the children back to Chicago to be with family, but rather placed them into the system. Of course, the article doesn’t go too far into the family that was in Chicago, so perhaps that was even a worse option.

  • 3. Tim  |  May 7th, 2007 at 2:40 pm

    I had the same reaction as you when I first read this article yesterday. I actually went to MPS schools and have personally witnessed the type of behavior that the article mentions. There is no answer to this problem. This problem is similar to a chronic disease such as cancer or diabetes. There is no cure but attempts could be made to control it.

    It is very easy for many people to blame poverty and government for problems but how can gov’t give good parents to these children. Many of these MPS children only go to school to eat lunch since this is only good meal they get in the whole day. I believe that a person could be poor and still have good parents and this could help the person succeed in life.

    People in other countries are willing to sacrifice everything to make their children go to a school in United States but these people don’t know the value of United States. When I attended MPS, I noticed that the smartest black students were those who emigrated from Africa or whose parents came from Africa. The reason these people were able to succeed was because they came from cultures where parenthood was valued and people took care of their kids. They also understood the opportunities offered to them in U.S. compared to their native countries. I could go on and on but this will make me even more hopeless and angry so I will stop here.

  • 4. folkbum  |  May 7th, 2007 at 9:39 pm

    I’ve been saying for years, to anyone who will listen, over and over: The problem with the Milwaukee Public Schools is not a schools problem per se, it’s a Milwaukee problem.

    The solution is not to shut down the schools, as some have argued.

    My off-the-wall suggestion has been, and remains, that we create a Milwaukee County Public Schools, which might finally bring the resources of suburban districts–money, facilities, know-how, creativity, parent involvment–to bear on the problems of educating the poor and challenging of our community. For too long anyone not in in the city has been happy to turn their backs on us, or lament our situation. If there were a way to make the rest of the state, or at least the region, feel responsible for what happens here, there might be more–and more tenable–solutions to be found.

  • 5. Administrator  |  May 8th, 2007 at 8:03 am

    I think you’re right, Jay. It’s a Milwaukee problem.

    But I don’t see how giving even more resources to the schools will fix the problem described in that article (which we just agreed is a Milwaukee problem not a Milwaukee schools problem).

    It seems to me that a big part of the issue is that a large number of students shouldn’t be in the schools period.

    If you don’t believe me, believe the victim of the attack:

    “D’Amato believes the student never should have been sent to her school. Instead, she should have been in a setting where she could have been better controlled.”

    Where I”m stymied is what do you do with the students who aren’t civilized enough to teach? And how do we end the cycle of drug use, crime, and illegitimacy that is perpetuating the underclass?

  • 6. Steve  |  May 8th, 2007 at 9:01 am

    I just completed my second term as President of a public school district. My parents, aunts and uncles, siblings, and cousins graduated from the same high school. My two children attended a parochial school through eight grade. My older son is graduating in 11 days from UW-Madison near the top of his class and has been accepted into UW-Madison Law School. My younger son is graduating in less than a month from our public high school as Valedictorian and just received an award as an All-State Scholar – the first one ever from our school district. Both boys received the highest all-time ACT test scores ever from our school.
    My point is that a parochial school education (combined with family values) is the best way to bring up a child today. MPS should require Christian religious training in grade and middle school because the kids aren’t learing it at home.
    I graduated from Milwaukee School of Engineering years ago and I observed the MPS system at that time. I predicted the continued fall that is now being observed.
    1. No more welfare for unweb mothers unless they get their tubes tied.
    2. Require religious training (Christian).
    3. School choice throughout Wisconsin.
    4. Put a person with Outside Milwaukee Common Sense in charge of MPS (preferably someone withOUT a PhD).
    5. I could go on and on, but it is sufficient to say that MPS problems are fixable, but it takes someone from outside the system to do it.

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Being in a wheelchair gives you a unique perspective on the world. This blog features many of my views on politics, art, science, and entertainment. My name is Elliot Stearns. More...

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