A digitally altered image bearing a fabricated quote attributed to Opportunity Schools and Partnership Program Commissioner Dr. Demond Means is “not accurate and makes a ridiculous claim,” according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s PolitiFact Wisconsin. PolitiFact gave the “ridiculous” claim by Wisconsin Jobs Now a rating of “Pants on Fire.” The Opportunity Schools and Partnership Program was created by the state Legislature last summer.
Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and OSPP Commissioner Dr. Demond Means have made a commitment to implementing a community schools model through OSPP. They're asking Milwaukee Public Schools to say “Yes” to a partnership that would preserve resources and support for MPS schools, students, teachers, and families.
In addition to ensuring that the Milwaukee School Board of Directors would retain their duly elected governance, the partnership proposal submitted by Abele and Means to Milwaukee Public Schools in April of 2016 ensures that: 1) teachers and employees at struggling schools would retain their status as MPS employees, while retaining high licensing standards, ensuring they remain members of their union and keep their MPS employee benefits, including healthcare and retirement; 2) students would remain enrolled in MPS; and 3) per-pupil funding received from the state would be returned back to MPS.
Despite the fact that the proposal protects MPS, opponents, including Wisconsin Jobs Now, "pushed back," according to PolitiFact:
“The liberal group posted a picture of Means on Facebook on April 28, 2016. The image showed Means holding a sign that read “MPS needs to be gutted!”
Unlike a meme, which typically makes clear the message is fake, the Facebook post included this note: "Abele's MPS Takeover Czar Demond Means really said this."
Did Means really say that? In a word: No.”
“People who disagree with our proposal to protect Milwaukee Public Schools jobs, enrollment, funding, and Board oversight are entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts,” County Executive Chris Abele said. “It’s unfortunate that some people are spending their time and energy telling lies about Dr. Means — an MPS graduate who has spent his entire career working in public schools – instead of working together to find ways to protect MPS jobs, funding, and enrollment.”
Read the entire PolitiFact ruling here.