National Politics Roundup, Northern Arapaho Teacher Education In Wisconsin, Drug Arrests

Air Date:
Heard On Central Time

UW-Oshkosh offers a program that teaches Native Americans from Wyoming as part of the Northern Arapaho Teacher Education Program. Our guest explains how this unique partnership came to be. We also get the latest from the world of politics, and look at the number of drug arrests throughout Wisconsin in recent years.

Featured in this Show

  • Report Finds Disparities In Drug Arrests In Milwaukee Compared To Rest Of State

    There’s a growing split between the Milwaukee Police Department and most law enforcement agencies across the state when it comes to the number of drug-related arrests, according to recently published arrest data from the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

    While the number of those arrests in Milwaukee have substantially declined in recent years, they’ve increased throughout the rest of the state. Between 2010 and 2014, the number of drug-related arrests in Milwaukee have gone down by nearly 50 percent, from more than 6,000 to less than 3,300. Milwaukee aside, drug arrests in the rest of the state have actually gone up by 11 percent over that same period, a gain of about 2,200.

    Investigative reporter Keegan Kyle reported on the numbers for USA TODAY Network-Wisconsin. He said the Milwaukee Police Department’s decline appeared to be deliberate.

    “I asked Milwaukee police about it and they said there’s been a conscious shift in strategies,” said Kyle. “They’re not having patrol officers focus on drug arrests as much as they used to, and they’re actually spending a lot more of their resources towards violent crime.”

    Kyle added that Milwaukee police officials told him that the department still takes drug crime seriously and is continuing to go after high-level dealers, as well as participating in regional drug task force. The city’s declining arrests were seen across all drug categories, including marijuana, opiates and meth.

    As for the increasing rates of drug arrests throughout the rest of the state, Kyle said departments told him that, at least anecdotally, drug use, particularly with opiates, is on the rise.

    Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel declined to comment specifically on the contrasting trends. However, he did say that state’s effort needs to be multifaceted and needs to divert drug users to treatment programs.

    The arrests numbers are self-reported by the law enforcement agencies themselves. That’s led Kyle and other journalists to investigate their accuracy. State and federal agencies typically accept and publish the numbers.

    Arrest numbers reported by the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire didn’t seem to add up to Kyle during his investigation. He requested that the department review the stats.

    “They found that scores of arrests had been mistakenly reported to the state and really skewed their statistics. It made it look like they had a much more aggressive crackdown on marijuana in particular than other UW police departments,” Kyle said.

  • UW-Oshkosh Partners With Wyoming Tribal College For Teacher-Licensing Program

    A new cohort of tribal members in Wyoming have the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh to thank for their newly acquired teacher licenses.

    In an effort to produce local educators, Wind River Tribal College, located on the Wind River Reservation in central Wyoming, forged an unlikely partnership with the UW-Oshkosh to help Native American students attain bachelor’s degrees and fulfill the requirements to teach in their home state.

    The Northern Arapaho Teacher Education Program was in the works for years, said Susan Finkel-Hoffman, the interim director of outreach for the Department of Special and Early Childhood Education at UW-Oshkosh and one of the program’s coordinators. Having not yet secured accreditation, the tribal college needed to find a strategic partnership and grant money.

    The program wasn’t launched until all of those pieces fell together nearly 10 years after the first meetings between the two schools.

    Finkel-Hoffman said UW-Oshkosh considered designing a series of web courses, but quickly discovered that internet access was spotty in rural Wyoming. Moreover, they wanted to provide a more hands-on experience, similar to what aspiring teachers on her campus experience.

    “So, we packed our suitcases and just went out to Wyoming,” said Finkel-Hoffman.

    The all-day courses were collaboratively designed to accommodate the students enrolled in the program, many of whom already had jobs, families or other responsibilities. But the cohort spent a lot of time together, even cooking lunches together. The bonds between teachers and students grew quickly, as did the learning.

    “I think every single instructor who went out to Wyoming felt embraced by the students and the community and the culture there,” said Finkel-Hoffman. “This was a program for the (tribal members) out there that was really life changing for them. But I think for every instructor it was life changing as well.”

    One of the first students to earn his teacher license was Gary Martine, whose parents are Navajo and Jicarilla Apache. After years of traveling, he settled in Wyoming to work at the Headstart. He already had a degree, but not to teach. He wanted to be in the classroom and help teach his tribe’s next generation. He said he walked away with a teaching certificate and a newfound family, some of whom were Wisconsin residents.

    “This opportunity that we got through the tribal college was something that I don’t take for granted,” said Martine. “Because I know the instructors that came, they made the effort and they just made it that more important for us to do what we could as far as getting our degrees and everything.”

  • UW-Oshkosh provides Teacher Training For Wyoming Native Americans

    UW-Oshkosh is an integral part of the Northern Arapaho Teacher Education Program to train Native American teachers in Wyoming. We find out how this project came to be and its outcomes.

  • Growing Gap Between Number Of Drug Arrests In Milwaukee, Rest Of State

    According to recently published arrest data from the Wisconsin Department of Justice, there’s a growing split between the Milwaukee Police Department and many other law enforcement agencies across the state when it comes to the number of drug-related arrests. They’re down in Milwaukee, and up elsewhere. A reporter discusses what’s behind the trend.

Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Judith Siers-Poisson Host
  • Chris Malina Producer
  • Judith Siers-Poisson Producer
  • Keegan Kyle Guest
  • Susan Finkel-Hoffman Guest
  • Gary Martine Guest