Empower Wisconsin | Sept. 16, 2019
This week, the tool is an entire state agency
And that agency is the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI).
The fact that six in 10 of the state’s K-12 students can’t read, write or solve a math problem at grade level, and that DPI educrats insist more record education spending is the fix, certainly makes the agency tool-worthy.
But a press briefing last week before DPI’s release of state testing results exposed the agency’s true toolness. (It also shined a light on the mainstream media’s whiney sense of entitlement.)
DPI officials told reporters they would only receive advance copies of statewide testing scores, embargoed until early Thursday morning. The agency would release district- and school-level data after stories were filed.
The press was apoplectic. DPI previously had provided all of the information well enough in advance that newspapers could set up their data-heavy pages long before press time. DPI officials sounded incredulous, like the policy was new to them. They asked reporters to show them previous embargoed press releases to prove such advance notice had ever happened.
When begrudgingly convinced, the educrats scurried to get the full information out by afternoon to quell angry mainstream media outlets upset they weren’t receiving their usual access — something conservative media outlets have regularly encountered in the Gov. Tony Evers era.
Is it any wonder so many Wisconsin students are failing to make the grade? The people running the state’s public education programs can’t even agree on when to send out their lousy report cards.
And that’s why DPI is Empower Wisconsin’s Tool of the Week.
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