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Whitewater’s Local Politics 2021: The Limits of Local Politics

This is the final post in a series on Whitewater’s local politics of 2021. Earlier posts at FREE WHITEWATER have addressed the limits of local politics in the community: local public (or powerful private) institutions have a limited power of action (with harmful actions likely to be more immediate than helpful ones). It’s certain that a…

Whitewater’s Local Politics 2021: Majoritarianism

This is the tenth in a series on Whitewater’s local politics of 2021. The contested April school board election has now come to a close. An animating concern of many parents was that the Whitewater public school should not have suspended face-to-face instruction for as long as it did, and that, in doing so, the…

On COVID-19 Skeptics

It was likely, as it was a century ago during a prior pandemic, that significant numbers of Americans would argue falsely there was no pandemic (‘just like the regular flu’), that if it were a pandemic it would go away (‘like a miracle’), that anyone talking about illness was merely fearful (as though discussions of…

Whitewater School Board Meeting, 2.22.21: 7 Points

Monday night’s school board meeting saw, among other items, athletic recognitions, a student report, live video from the middle school’s slot car club, a report on closing achievement gaps, outreach to homeless students, modifications to the district’s COVID-19 protocols, approval of the teachers’ contract,  and an update on the district’s budget. The full agenda for the…

The Power and Value of Open Enrollment

It’s beneficial in-and-of-itself that people should read, reflect, and commit themselves to ‘lifelong learning.’ Some years ago, the Whitewater Unified School District had a fine goal of inspiring students to become “engaged lifelong learners.” Yet in smaller communities, without the money or numbers for plentiful schooling alternatives, government taxes for a school system, establishes rules…

Whitewater School Board Legislative Breakfast, 2.15.21: 6 Points

On Monday morning, some members of the school board and administration met online with area legislators (Reps. Vruwink & Loudenbeck, Sens. Ringhand & Nass) for an audiovisual conference in place of a traditional breakfast meeting Board members and administrators recounted, among other items, lessons from schooling during the pandemic, and serious matters present before and…

The Spring Primary 2021

Yesterday’s Wisconsin Spring Primary (mid-February, windchill of about two degrees) saw local and statewide education contests. There was nothing unexpected about the results: in Whitewater more than two candidates have a good chance at one of the two available board seats, and statewide Underly and Kerr have significant backing. For Whitewater’s school board, five candidates…

Tommy Thompson @ UW-Whitewater: Day Late, Dollar Short

Former governor and current UW System president Tommy Thompson spoke at a UW-Whitewater Faculty Senate meeting on Tuesday. Thompson addressed a campus that confronts statewide funding reductions, a tuition freeze, repeated administrative scandals and failures over the last decade, a decline in the conventional student-age demographic, and competitive pressures from other universities. For all these…

Whitewater School Board Meeting, 1.25.21: 6 Points

?? Updated 1.27.21 with meeting video, embedded above. Original post follows — Monday night’s school board open session saw, among other items, language translation of the meeting, a report on special education open enrollment, mention of an initiative to restructure and expand athletic programs, mention of a recruiting effort to attract more students, review of…

Local 2021 Races in the Whitewater Area

Update: this post about local politics, with an optimistic final sentence, was published before the morning and afternoon events in Washington. It has always been true – and always will be true – that what harms the country harms the city; what stains the nation stains the city. Every moment of opposition to Trump and…

Whitewater School Board Meeting, 12.21.20: 5 Points

Monday night’s school board open session saw, among other items, a unanimous decision to maintain the existing close contacts and quarantine guidance, goals presentations from four administrators, a district administrator report predominantly on the results of parents’ and students’ survey preferences and class selection for the next semester, and discussion whether to have school board…

Whitewater School Board Meeting, 11.23.20: 6 Points

Monday night’s school board meeting saw a majority of the board adopt a mostly virtual instructional model, to run through 1.17.21 (with exceptions for students 4K, early childhood, and perhaps other vulnerable populations). The full agenda for the meeting is available. (Items 9A, 12A, and 15F were omitted from the agenda by consent.) Updated afternoon of…