Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Oopsie, daisy -- JS forgot to mention

Whoops! Those pesky little details. The JS, in opining against the residency rule for teachers, brought up the case of Custer teacher Dan Bearss, who was forced to resign because he didn't live in the city.

Unmentioned by the paper is that Mr. Bearss knew a condition of his employment was that he live in the city, but did not feel he should be bound by his contract because he did not want to be bound by his contract. Bearss said he did adopted a "don't ask, don't tell" policy in terms of his address -- a policy, at minimum, of passive deception.

Sort of like the one today practiced by the JS when it didn't tell readers about Bearss' years-long game of hide-and-seek.

If the residency rule is worth debating, then there has got to be a better case study than Dan Bears, maybe even one the JS editorial board can fully tell and still support its position.


Anonymous said...

You're right - Bears is a bit of an exception, but only to degree of his deception. The real issue transcends MPS residency. Fairness and logic dicate that all residency requirements except for elected officials and law enforcement should be abolished. The latter might be adapted to stipulate fire and police live within a practical distance, say 1 1/2 hour drive.

Emancipating teachers but not the remaidner of City and County emlpyees would only exacerbate Milwaukee's challenges.

Imagine a Milwaukee company employing 8,000 demanding its employees live within city boundaries. It’s logical to assume some prospective employees – some of the best and brightest - would seek employment elsewhere. That's true for MPS. That's true for the City and County - in dire need of skilled IT and Admin personnel.

Sonya Jongsma Knauss said...

Hi Gretchen,

Teacher residency is one of the issues the Journal Sentinel received a lot of letters about when the Bearss story first ran, and now that the JS editorial board has opined on teacher residency (against the requirement), I'm getting even more.

I'd like to invite readers of this blog, if you have an opinion on this topic (or any others, really), to submit a letter to the Journal Sentinel. I'm probably going to be featuring teachers' residency requirement opinions for this weekend's Sunday Symposium, a collection of readers' letters on a specific topic.

Submit your comments here:

(Please read -- and follow -- the guidelines. No letters published over 200 words, without full name, address, phone, etc.)

Sonya Jongsma Knauss
Letters Editor,
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel