Last week state schools superintendent Tony Evers presented his status of education in Wisconsin report and encouraged residents to show more respect and value for teachers. He missed the point — he should have challenged teachers to cease their whining, their defiant and disorderly assemblies and illegal strikes, which we have endured in recent years.

The teachers and Madison union leader John Matthews should recognize the considerable damage they have done to their reputation and credibility. They have forgotten who continues to provide their generous salaries for a nine-month job.

Many residents have grown weary of Matthews' misguided leadership. Whatever happened to that manta "it's all about the kids"? The truth is, it never was about them. It's all about the union. Last week Matthews pronounced that MTI members were marching on Chicago streets in support of Illinois teachers whose average salary is $76,000, plus benefits.

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In his more than 40 years heading MTI, Matthews has given no thought to the adverse fiscal impact he has had on taxpayers. I served on the Madison City Council in the late 1960s and opposed his union-endorsed school budgets four years in a row.

Nothing has changed, and a negative and militant image has emerged over time. Madison property taxpayers will again respect, appreciate and trust Madison teachers when they modify their current image.

— Tom Consigny, Madison

Capital W: Plug in to Wisconsin politics

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