School Strings Cut Plan Blasted by Lee Sensenbrenner, The Capital Times

Strings Plucked: Once again, District administrators attack elementary music and art to the tune of nearly $800,000, including total elimination of the elementary string progam. Their pitch is off and their song is out of tune.
Keys and Carstensen have no plans to reach out to fine arts students and teachers for their support – aren’t annual threats of cut classes and lost livelihood enough? In his article Sensenbrenner writes “…School Board President Bill Keys said he hoped that strings supporters would help the district pass the spring referendums.
But neither he nor fellow board member Carol Carstensen said they had a ready plan to convince strings supporters – stung to see the whole program on the chopping block – to be a helping hand, not a pounding fist.”
Monday night Mr. Keys said that the Overture Center was not a metaphor for MMSD’s fine arts – however, the fine arts vision of those who brought Overture is what inspires.
Ms. Carstensen said she had tried to raise money throught the Founation for Madison Public Schools – I worked with her on those fundraisers. they were not designed to fund a fine arts curriculum but rather were meant to have an endowment for grants for creative projects for existing fine arts curriculum. further the foundation for Madison’s public schools, at the time, was not making grants for existing MMSD programs. That policy is now changing and may provide an opportunity to pursue.
If our leaders look at the glass as half empty that’s what we’ll get – a half empty glass. You never finish a painting unless you begin, you never get to the fourth movement of a symphony unless you start playing, etc. Failed expectations won’t get us where we need to go and it’s not up to two people – we need the community at the table.