I sent this today. What do you think?
December 11, 2009
State Representative Phil Montgomery
Room 129 West
P.O. Box 8953
Madison, WI, 53708
I write you not in my capacity as a talk show host, but as one of your constituents. As you are aware, Governor Doyle on December 10 signed into law a requirement that the history of organized labor and collective bargaining be taught in Wisconsin Schools. The Governor was quoted as saying he was happy to sign the bill so students would understand the importance of the labor movement in creating basic workplace rights.
While I typically would not advocate such micro-managing of local school district's curriculum by the state, I am writing to urge you to introduce a companion piece of legislation to this new law: a requirement that schools teach the entrepreneurial history of Wisconsin. I propose that this curriculum cover two areas:
- A study of the entrepreneurs whose courage and ingenuity lead to the creation of the thousands of jobs now represented by organized labor; Ole Evinrude and Carl Kiekhaefer in the outboard motor industry and the Kohler family of Sheboygan County, just to name a very few.
- A more general study of the nature of entrepreneurs; the risks they take with their own time, money and talents to innovate new products. This study should also focus on the impact entrepreneurs have had on the state, and how the accomplishments of these entrepreneurs created the jobs now represented by organized labor, and the importance of the entrepreneurial spirit in the future if Wisconsin is going to continue to thrive
As I stated above, I would normally bristle at the notion of injecting this type of micro-management into local schools from the state level. However, since the prospect of repealing the law mandating organized labor instruction seems dim I feel it would be appropriate to companion that curriculum with the type of curriculum I propose above. Surely if Governor Doyle feels it’s important that students understand the contribution of unions in creating basic workplace rights, he would understand the importance of teaching students about the entrepreneurs who created those workplaces.
Thanks for your time Phil, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this.