Tuesday's primary election in the race for state superintendent of public instruction will likely decide which candidate gets to take on the teachers unions' annointed candidate Tony Evers. In this week's column for the Waukesha Freeman (still just 50 cents), I examined the relative merits of the two candidates vying for the conservative vote, Rose Fernandez and Dr. Van Mobley. I conclude:
Last October I wrote, “Conservatives should look to promoting and endorsing a reformagenda, fiscally responsible candidate capable of running a strong statewide campaign. A solid campaign by someone willing to take on the education establishment would have a real chance of winning in the spring, and education reform activists would finally have a real advocate at the state level.”
What I wrote then remains true today. Given that, I can’t understand why Mobley is running the campaign he is running. For that matter, if he didn’t have the campaign financing, I would have to wonder why he is running at all?
Meanwhile, WTMJ-AM's Charlie Sykes looked at the race and had this to say about Fernandez:
Rose Fernandez is exactly the kind of person we need. She doesn't represent the teachers' union; she's willing to take on the teachers' union. She's not part of the establishment; she's willing to challenge the establishment. She is not an educational bureaucrat. She thinks that the system should work for students, what a radical concept. Rose Fernandez is the only one in this race who thinks the schools ought to be about the kids.
Predictably, Ricky on State endorsed Tony Evers.
Tony Evers may be the establishment candidate for state superintendent, and Wisconsin may have been better served by a different kind of establishment than the Department of Public Instruction has provided in recent years.
But we believe that Evers, the No. 2 in the department, should not be held responsible and that he would bring a necessary new focus to the state's biggest educational challenge: Milwaukee Public Schools.
If Fernandez wins on Tuesday, she should use it in her campaign commercials.