La Follette’s New Principal: John Broome

Susan Troller:

And like Goldilocks finding a perfect fit after several tries, Broome has had experiences – rather positive experiences he is quick to note – in other places that make him especially appreciative of La Follette’s, and the Madison public school district’s unique charms.
As Broome steps into the buzz saw surrounding La Follette’s controversial four-block scheduling system, and a student population that has grown rapidly diverse, he appears not only fearless, but positively ebullient.

6 thoughts on “La Follette’s New Principal: John Broome”

  1. Over the weekend, my wife and I ran into a LaFollette student we know. An incredibly bright young woman, very involved in her school and community. Very politically aware. “So, what’s your take on your new principal?” we very open-endedly asked. “Well, rumor has it he’s going to get rid of all of the advanced classes,” she replied, without a prompt (I’m not even sure she’s aware of our involvement in District-level issues — we know her in a very different sort of context) and without missing a beat.
    Probably an unfounded rumor, right?
    Then again, it reminded me of what many have said on this blog and elsewhere — that there is a grand plan downtown and that to be hired or promoted, one has to buy into it and promise to implement it.
    Anyone else heard anything along these lines?

  2. Doesn’t the district have teachers/staff and parents anymore on the selection committee when hiring new principals? I would think that these people would have looked into the views of a principal in regards to higher level courses. Staff and parents are the ones who know the climate at the particular school the best, and not every principal is a good fit for a particular school.

  3. In reading this strand, I am reminded of the hysteria at Cherokee the year that Lincoln Middle School closed. Then too, adults spoke with absolute certainty about what would happen. Funny thing was, although the problems at Cherokee were many during my years as a student, the problems were not the predicted ones. I will grant you that as a 7th grader I may have missed a few things, but as I listened to other 7th graders voicing–with great seriousness and certainty–what school was going to be like the following year….I was sure they knew what they were talking about. They didn’t. They were just repeating the fears/beliefs that they heard at home and in their neighborhood. And guess what? My 8th grade year was no different than my 7th grade year, and my brother’s 7th and 8th grade years were no different than my own when he came through the school two years later. My point is: to assume a problem where one is not in evidence is rather a waste of energy.

  4. Teacher L,
    The district said the same thing (don’t assume a problem) when Arlene Silvera lead an advocating campaign for Leopold’s overcrowding 6 years ago. Notice the problem still hasn’t been taken care of.
    Or when the district started to take away TAG sources, when my kids where young there was a teacher with .5 status for 600 students. Now it is one teacher for 3000 students.
    One needs to be catious of change based on the history of where the district has gone for talented and gifted students.

  5. Taking away TAG resources is a concrete issue. The overcrowding is a concrete issue. My point is that worrying about a decision that has not been made (only rumored), and/or getting worked up about a principal before he has any record in the district, suggests a desire to find problems. I would respectfully suggest that the credibility of people is stronger when they reserve their critiques for situations which are actually occurring, rather than when they demonstrate a predisposition to find fault even in the absence of evidence. Concerns about district hiring policies in general may well be a concrete area for discussion, but focusing on a particular hire who (based on the information posted so far) has not made or suggested any changes…? I don’t get it.

  6. John Broome apparently knows about the centralized decison-making in the MMSD. As he’s quoted in the article:
    “I can argue both for and against the four-block system,” Broome said. “Honestly, I think the decision on whether this model continues at La Follette will come from the downtown office.”
    Likewise, the decison on advanced courses will be made “downtown.” If downtown has decided that advanced courses will be reduced at LaFollette, Broome will reduce them.
    So the real clue to the truth of the rumor hides in the plans of the superintendent, not Broome.

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