Not in so many words, no. But that's the gist of a letter Walker's office received from WEAC President Mary Bell in response to his request for past school district survey data WEAC has now scrubbed from its website. Those surveys don't compare well with one done last fall after Walker's collective bargaining reforms had taken place. They show layoffs, class size growth and other factors fared much better in 2011 than the previous decade. But when the 2011 survey was released, WEAC and others hailed it as proof Walker had destroyed public education. So, he wants the old surveys to make a complete comparison. Below is Bell's response to Walker's request. My favorite part: "The education of Wisconsin's children and the fate of our public schools are too important to be subjected to the politics of division and distortion that Wisconsin is so tried of." How is simply providing the data that you once proudly posted on your website either divisive or distorting? Hum? WEAC is trapped here and the longer they hide this data, the better it is for Governor Walker.
For starters, the first sentence is a virtual outright lie. Walker's office had requested this data several times before writing this letter. And as for the "disingenuous nature" of Walker's questions, well, they seem pretty straightforward to me.
And one other nugget from the governor's office:
In addition, the Governor’s office has uncovered union talking points which point to the validity of comparing this year’s data, to previous years. Last week, the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators said it was inaccurate to compare the most recent survey with past surveys conducted by WEAC, but the WEAC talking points, released last November, before the Governor’s office uncovered information about past surveys, say, “In fall of 2011, the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators (WASDA) and the Department of Public Instruction sent a survey measuring the effects of revenue controls to Wisconsin school districts statewide. This is the 18th year that WASDA has undertaken this survey, previously done in conjunction with the Wisconsin Education Association Council.”
The talking points do not discuss any differences between this year’s survey and past years.