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The Tribune published a cartoon in Opinion June 24 titled, “Another lousy joke” implying that Gov. Scott Walker doesn’t care about education in Wisconsin.

First, search waka, waka which is very close to wocka wocka used by Fozzy bear from the Muppets. You will find that waka waka has at least two meanings:

  • Used by Shakira, the singer, it means "This Time for Africa.”
  • The second, urban slang meaning, coincides with a middle finger gesture of the hand.

Coincidence? Probably not. Unproductive, hateful and and misleading? Probably so.

As we forget, there are multiple sides to education:

  • Measurably advancing relevant, sustained, student success outcomes for all students (why education exists).
  • Providing a good value to those funding education.
  • Providing a good career for those employed in education.

We are doing, overall, a mediocre job, for at best, some of the students. The overlooked student balance becomes the education/achievement/skills gap.

We charge more per student than similar developing countries and get less desirable outcomes, in comparison.

If you listen to those in traditional education, the only legitimate fix to education is to roll back all the changes and plow more money into funding education/educators.

Fixing education is a collaborative effort between all parties involved to move forward, not backward, by collectively accessing, understanding and correctly implementing 21st century, research-based best practices and educationally innovative methodologies.

Nothing short of this will reform education in a way that benefits all parties concerned.

Tom McDonald, La Crosse

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