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Today's Opinion

OUR VIEW: This should be off-season for fundraising

Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, co-chair of the Legislature’s powerful Joint Finance Committee, postponed a fundraiser scheduled for tonight at a private club not far from the state Capitol.

The move appears to be a direct response to criticism from watchdog groups, Democratic legislators and state media.

OUR VIEW: Let’s have tests that can be compared

Of all the unproductive discussions going on in the state Captol, the issue about testing and how to replace the Badger Exam may be the most frustrating.

The Badger Exam, which is associated with the Common Core education standards, wasn’t particularly popular, but it had the virtue of being the same test used statewide. That makes it useful for comparing one school to another or one school district to another.

DARTS & LAURELS: Walker budget errs on cuts to DNR

DART — To Gov. Scott Walker for his continued insistence on cutting 64 positions from the Department of Natural Resources as part of a $4.7 million budget reduction to state parks, trails and recreation areas. In essence, the governor’s budget removes direct state funding and creates a system that relies on private sponsorships and user fees for support. The state parks are a superb tourism attraction, drawing lots of visitors from neighboring Illinois and elsewhere. Cutting state support is penny wise and pound foolish.

Local Columnists

More of the same won’t revitalize Wisconsin’s education system

By CJ Szafirand Martin F. Lueken

Does more spending on Wisconsin’s public schools lead to better outcomes for students? Probably not, according to a report we recently co-authored. This suggests that if Wisconsin wants a world-class school system, we have to focus on policies that actually help children learn.

Eighty-eight percent of Wisconsin students attend a traditional public school, which are mostly a “one-size-fits-all” model that has not changed in decades. Policymakers, over the years, have remained committed to funding these schools at high levels. In a country that spends more on education than nearly every other developed country, Wisconsin spends $1,219 per child more than the United States average.

LUND: Let them eat cranberries

By Steve Lund


Pretty soon we’ll find out which proposals bouncing around the state Capitol are serious and which are just grandstanding.

MY TURN: Carthage sports memories

By Steve Marovich

After 21 years, I’m retiring this summer as the Carthage College Sports Information Director. I’m only the school’s second full-time SID, and It’s been an honor to work at a school that has completely transformed itself since I arrived in the fall of 1994. Former Carthage President Greg Campbell, of course, deserves most of the credit for that. He also had a hand in hiring me, and for that, I can’t thank him enough.

I thought it would be fun to use this column to look back on a few of my favorite teams. My word limit won’t to justice to a few teams that didn’t make this list, but that’s how it goes.

Syndicated Columnists

DIONNE: Ireland’s ‘social revolution’


Consider the stunned disbelief, perhaps of a somewhat aggressive sort, that would have greeted anyone who might have told a tavern crowd in Dorchester or Southie three decades ago that Ireland would be the first nation in the world to approve gay marriage by popular vote.

It is a mark of how much has changed in such a short time that Ireland’s vote for gay marriage last week was, in the end, the expected outcome — even if the breadth of marriage equality’s victory was breathtaking.

PARKER: Baby boomer self-loathing


One can understand why The Weekly Standard’s William Kristol would try to nullify Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy, but smearing all baby boomers in the process seems a stretch of veracity in the service of a blank page.

In the June 1 issue of the conservative magazine he co-founded, Kristol writes that we’ve had enough already with boomer presidents. They’re all a bunch of losers, he says in so many words, causing exactly no one to lose sleep.

PITTS: The fading of ‘us-vs.-them’

By Leonard Pitts Jr.

For all the decades of its existence, American social conservatism has been rooted in a premise simple enough to be fully expressed in just three words:

Us versus them.

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