Thursday, February 13, 2014

John Huppenthal: "A Failing School Is Not Really a School”

Posted By on Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 4:00 PM

It's an oldie but a goodie, brought back from 2010 in Wednesday's article from the Capitol Times, Controversy swirls around Huppenthal’s pitch for private schools. When he was a state senator, John Huppenthal introduced legislation that would have put the subject of vouchers to a public vote. First, it would repeal language in the state constitution prohibiting the use of public money for religious instruction, then it would create a voucher program for students at schools designated as failing. If anyone had a question about where our Ed Supe stands on vouchers, this should put it to rest.

In his justification for the 2010 legislation, Hupp used a line of reasoning which is, to be polite, unbecoming a future superintendent of public instruction.

“Obviously you’re not getting an education at a failing school so it’s probably incorrect to even call it a public school. A failing school is not really a school.”

Not really a school.

All those teachers working their tails off in difficult circumstances aren't really teachers, I guess. Same with the administrators. In Huppenthal's vision, it's a building filled with losers who are beyond help. Absolutely no education going on there.

You gotta give Hupp a "C" for consistency. He's been for vouchers and he's been disparaging the work of teachers for years. The same is true of his amazingly broad definition of "public schools."

In his recent interview with Brahm Resnick about his pro-voucher robocall, Huppenthal said he embraces private schools as part of his superintendent's job, cleverly, but incorrectly, confusing two different definitions of the word "public."

I don't define some students as not being members of the public. I'm the Superintendent of Public Instruction, not the Superintendent of Public Schools.

Here's a similar statement from 2010:

[Huppenthal] said the public education system consists not only of traditional district schools and charter schools but also private schools and even parents who teach their youngsters at home.

Hupp wants to give all of them taxpayer money, even when parents opt to keep their children at home instead of sending them to school.

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