Equity Policy Discussions

Susan Troller:

Deciding which schools should get how many staff members and other resources is a hot topic, and Madison School Board members are tussling over it now.
A majority of board members asked on Monday night to continue the discussion at next week’s meeting, despite board President Johnny Winston Jr.’s reluctance to put the issue on the Sept. 25 agenda.
Winston said the equity issue, which has to do with the fair allocation of resources to students and schools, was too broad to be hurried into discussion. He also said it has the potential to be very divisive. When equity formulas are put in place, some schools gain and some schools lose resources, based on the unique needs of their students.
“It’s a very complex issue,” Winston said.
He is concerned that the board could make hasty changes in how the district’s existing policy is applied, creating “ramifications we don’t fully understand,” he said in an interview today. The district and its financial situation were very different more than a decade ago when the current equity policy was put in place, he said.

Discussion audio and video are available here.

3 thoughts on “Equity Policy Discussions”

  1. The Equity Policy Task Force now has a web page for feedback on our Definition of Equity and any ideas YOU might have regarding how the definition and Policy might be used to support schools.
    There will also be community sessions in November. The first one is at the Lakeview Branch Library (Sherman & Northport) on November 1st from 7-8pm.

  2. David, thank you for posting the link to the survey, as well as your work on the Equity Task Force.
    The survey includes the currently proposed equity policy:
    “Equity assures full access to opportunities for each MMSD student, resulting in educational excellence and social responsibility.”
    Would the MMSD be violating this policy if it denied a student access to a college-level course when the student has the skills to take a college course successfully?
    Would the MMSD be violating this policy if a non-reading student were denied access to a curriculum that would help him or her learn to read?
    I presume that lack of resources would not be a legitimate reason to deny access to either student in the examples above, since the policy does not say, “Equity assures full access to opportunities for each MMSD student, AS LONG AS THE RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE.”
    Do you think that the task force might propose remedies that a parent could pursue if the parent believed the MMSD were in violation of the policy?

  3. Ed: what you’ve quoted as “the policy” is actually the Task Force’s “definition” of the term EQUITY. It is NOT the Equity Policy. The Equity Policy that we plan to propose has not been drafted yet. It won’t be drafted until the community feedback sessions are complete. I can’t answer your questions because the policy hasn’t been drafted.
    However, I’d encourage you (and everyone else) to consider WHAT you think an Equity Policy SHOULD be able to do to help support students and schools. Then fill out the online survey, specifically the second question. You can also make a public appearance at a Task Force meeting. They are open and noticed. This will go a long way towards giving us a broader idea of what our fellow community members want to see from a policy. We don’t sit in meetings and think of specific wrongs that we’d like to right, but they surely have come up in discussions as we strive to create strategies that will lead to, and enforce, equity in the schools.

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