St. Marcus Lutheran School, located on Milwaukee’s near north side, is once again seeking to buy property from Milwaukee Public Schools. The site is located at 921 W. Meinecke, the site of Lee Elementary school.
Last year, the St. Marcus leadership had elementary school children pounding on the building doors of the Malcolm X site, yelling “let us in.” The St. Marcus leadership and public school privatization supporters claim they have a right to public properties.
St. Marcus Lutheran School is seldom talked about by its superintendent, Henry Tyson, without the descriptor “high performing school.” But the data shows a different picture. This year’s reading results (school year 2013-2014) showed only 19% of St. Marcus students proficient in reading, a 2% decline from the previous year.
This is a school that serves less that 6% special education students with no public oversight while claiming to be a pillar of success.
St. Marcus’ marketing and political strategies are well funded to gain market share. But the heart of the debate that surrounds them continues to be the funding of private, sectarian schools with public money; vouchers.
St Marcus Lutheran School Superintendent said last year on his blog that “St Marcus is unapologetically Christian and follows the teachings of the Milwaukee-based Wisconsin Evangelical Luther Synod.”
If you go to their official monthly publication, Forward in Christ, you can witness their teachings, unrestrained and unapologetic:
On Equality of Women “In order to avoid exercising leadership over men contrary to “the order of creation,” WELS women do not vote in church meetings.”
On the Catholic Pope “We identify the Antichrist as the Papacy.”
On Evolution “It appears that American citizens don’t have the privilege of stating that the evolutionary explanation of the origin of this universe, the earth, and man is not only questionable, but also unscientific, and irrational, and just plain wrong.” The earth is only 6000 years old and “…was created with the appearance of age. On the first day everything looked older than it was.”
On Homosexuality “Scripture declares that homosexuality is a sin, which is contrary to God’s intention in creating man and woman. Sinful resistance to the revealed will of God is a factor in this sin.”
On Civil Rights “Anything goes. When the civil-rights bills were passed in the mid ’60s, their principal sponsor, Sen. Hubert Humphrey, promised in one melodramatic session that he would “physically eat” the bill he was promoting if ever anyone attempted to use his bill in order to prefer a member of one race at the expense of a member of another race. Senator Humphrey died from other causes than the food poisoning to which he’d have been subjected after the Supreme Court OK’d affirmative action.
A fortnight ago, we had the Civil Rights Restoration Act, which now extends to the federal government the right to inquire into the racial or sexual composition of a school’s basketball team if its medical school is receiving federal subsidies. And last week, Georgetown University, the oldest Jesuit College in America, capitulated on the lawsuit demanding that it make room within Georgetown for gay and lesbian student federations. Somebody, somewhere, somehow, has got to stop the civil-rights thing. It is making a joke out of one after another of our Bill of Rights.” (These comments are a reprint in Forward In Christ from William F. Buckley Jr.)
On Economic Inequality “It is egregiously impossible if you mean that the state can and should guarantee equality of education, income, or wealth. The only way that there could be equality of wealth is if the state seized all private assets and redistributed them. The only way there could be equality of income is if the state seized control of all businesses and arbitrarily set all salary levels the same, determined by some central committee. Unless you are pining to live under Stalinistic Communism, you wouldn’t favor that approach, and so I conclude that you are prepared to live with inequality of income and wealth.
But people can still envy, of course. The last presidential election season featured quite a bit of attention on Mitt Romney’s personal wealth, and that campaign was quickly followed by the “Occupy” and “99%” mini-movements that sought to arouse envy and hostility from the have-lesses against the have-mores. My personal prediction is that you ain’t seen nothing yet. The coming political season will bring back plenty of chatter about income and wealth inequality in the U.S.
Those efforts will be led by people who have given up on the belief that you can better your life by hard work, discipline, self-control, deferred gratification, and saving. They believe that everyone with wealth either stole it or cheated people to get it.” (From Pastor’s Blog, St. Marcus Pastor Mark Jeske.)
St. Marcus and the Wisconsin Evangelical Luther Synod can think and profess whatever they wish. And parents have the right to submit their children to this illiberality. But I oppose any of my tax dollars contributing to their imperious sectarianism and ignorance.
Defend Public Education!