The Good, The Bad and the Ugly of other Blog Sites

Since the May 24th referenda, I began looking at other blog sites such as the post and the Isthmus “Daily Page.” Here are a few highlights of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

The Good
“I can’t imagine a more worthy expenditure than public education. As a graduate of Madison’s public schools that has gone on to college and work outside of Wisconsin, I am always amazed at the disparity between my secondary education and that of my peers from other cities. Unfortunately it appears that the people of Madison have become less and less appreciative of what made Madison a special place.”
The Bad
“Now I concur that students need sports programs, and band, and all the other fluff that makes school more than just a place for book learning, but I don’t agree that it should be solely funded out of the public till. Back in my school days, students and parent organizations helped subsidize these things, and it should still be so. These are things you choose to do with your time. Math and English are things you need to make the future, as well as sanitary and structurally sound schools.”
“They also need to reevaluate extracurricular programs. The parents of the children need to shoulder more of the costs of these programs, not the taxpayers. Should the fourth and fifth grades have their beloved Strings program? It’s not really necessary for quality education. It’s just a nice thing to have. Make the parents pay a larger percentage of the cost to run those programs.”
The Ugly
“I was a public school student more than 53 years ago, in Chicago and in West Hollywood, California. Our classrooms then minimally had 30 kids per teacher. There was little or no staff, other than a principal, the office secretary, and maintenance personnel. The blackboards were actually used for teaching lessons, rather than wallspace to be festooned with all sorts of political correct but curriculum-irrelevant suggestions or rantings. All the classroom seat faced that blackboard, where the teacher did his or her work.”
“…a Madison resident who has no children, said she voted against all three referendums because she believes parents should be footing more of the bill for their children’s education, especially when she sees public school students driving expensive cars, talking on cell phones, taking lavish vacations and living in large houses.”
“Kids in the 70’s and 80’s didn’t walk around with their asses hanging out of their pants? I was at the Mobil station a few days ago and saw a kid literally waddling because his belt was around his shins and his legs couldn’t get more than about 18 inches of separation…Ok, I changed my mind… just shut the schools down altogether.”

By looking at the Bad and Ugly, this school district is in serious trouble. I believe only God can help this school district. And because of district policy, he’s not allowed.

2 thoughts on “The Good, The Bad and the Ugly of other Blog Sites”

  1. Johnny,
    You don’t need divine intervention to regain public support for Madison schools. Instead you need to put your committee to work to create a rational and informative budget process.
    Larry Winkler also posted suggestions on the blog for committee goals at
    Unfortuantely, I see that you have not yet scheduled any committee meetings. I hope that you don’t wait until the fall to meet for the first time. Serious work needs to be done now.

  2. Ed:
    I just wanted to respond to your e-mail. Thank you for your suggestions. I don’t want you or anyone else reading this comment to think that I’m not open to suggestions and feedback because I am. Larry Winkler had some good suggestions in his blog, some of which are being implemented as we speak. Some are personnel issues that need to be addressed through the natural teaching/coaching process.
    Just because Finance and Operating meetings are not scheduled doesn’t mean work is not getting done. I believe that these meetings are not the places to make wholesale changes but to give direction. As a part of that direction much work needs to be done with the staff that will be responsible to implement those changes. If the staff doesn’t have the capacity to make those changes or they are out of line with policy, procedure, work rules etc, then we have problem. Everyone on the school board has knowledge, skills and abilities and should be allowed to use those as they see fit under the parameters of the elected board. Committee chairs are appointed by the Board President and hopefully work will get done.
    I have spent tireless hours working on the referendum. I talk to many community groups, wrote on SIS, talked with PTO’s. At some of these events, talk radio hosts, television news reporters, news journalists and bloggers kicked me around. Some of these people are into publicly humiliating people. This is in addition to attending the regular board meetings, communicating with parents, students and staff as well as learning my new role as Vice President of the school board. There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not working on some school related issue. This is supposed to be a part time job but it has FULL TIME responsibilities. I also have a family, a life and a full time job as a firefighter with the City of Madison. Not to mention the community service work that I do as member of the 100 Black Men of Madison, guest-speaking engagements, Brat Fest, visiting schools etc. The Operating and Finance Committee is just one part of being a member of the school board.
    Ed, I hope you understand that I am very passionate about this school district. The work will get done. But I’m going to ask that you respectfully take a step back and not push me. I know alot of work needs to be done. Thank you.

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