Member Since 2020

George Mitchell

George Mitchell is a public policy consultant in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Published Articles & Media

Public Education’s Looming Fiscal Train Wreck

Bruce Thompson is the sole at-large member on the Milwaukee Public Schools Board of Directors. In a commentary that appears in the February 21 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he states, "For Milwaukee Public Schools, the financial crisis that many of us have been warning about is here." What makes Thompson’s analysis significant is that it could be applied to a substantial number of public school districts today—urban and rural.

Fire Them All

One assumes this won’t stick.  But the dust-up should produce some interesting discussion and...

A True Shot Across The Bow

Here’s a story that bears watching: “Wisconsin's superintendent of public instruction took the first step Thursday toward withholding up to $175 million in federal funds from Milwaukee Public Schools because of the district's failure to meet yearly academic progress targets required under law.”

Milwaukee Vouchers: 18% Graduation Edge Over Public Schools

As with other policies where the President now is reconsidering his approach, perhaps he and Education Secretary Arne Duncan will take a second look at the power of parent choice. New data from Milwaukee gives them a chance to do that.

Expanding Choice in Elementary and Secondary Education

An upcoming Brookings Institution report — "Expanding Choice in Elementary and Secondary Education" — will make interesting reading. The preview for a release event says that the report will discuss “how to expand school choice to increase equity and create a market within the public sector for school quality.” Given the expertise and background of the panelists who will present next week, how they define equity, the public sector, and school quality will be quite significant.

Scholar Ladies

Trust me, you will want to watch the students and faculty at Milwaukee’s Hope Christian Schools in their version of Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies.” More than 100,000 online viewers have seen the music video, the subject of a seven-minute feature earlier this month on CNN.

Initial Steps For Reform in Virginia and New Jersey

Aggressive education reform won’t occur without strong governors who are committed to real change. Accordingly, this week’s news from Virginia and New Jersey raises the prospect of interesting developments in both states.

Wisconsin’s Race for the Feedback

The Department of Education will announce Phase 1 winners of Race to the Top money in April. The department notes that “Feedback [will be] provided to applicants who do not win.” Wisconsin appears to be a prime candidate for feedback.

A Skeptic’s View of Race to the Top

While the first Race To The Top applications won’t be submitted until later this month, some observers already see evidence that this initiative might be a game-changer. An alternative view — mine — is more skeptical.

Elections Matter

The year 2009 has not been kind to school vouchers. In the end, elections matter. As such, 2010 looms large for those who support expanding parent education options.

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