Keys and Casteneda sing same song

After listening to Phony Tony Casteneda’s ludicruous charaterizations of those who post on this blog, I remembered a post by Bill Keys on a listserve sponsored by Advocates for Madison Public Schools. Bill and Phony Tony used nearly the same language and divisiveness. Here’s Bill’s rant:

Do you really believe that those who criticize public education are the least bit interested in INFORMATION?????
You shoulda been with us while campaigning for the referenda in 2005.
You’d know by now.
They are the Neo-cons and fascists who got us into Iraq, who support
amendments banning same sex marriage, who are opposed to sick leave for workers and living wages and health benefits as well, and who want to stop Mexican immigration even while eating the food that Mexican-Americans grow and harvest?
They are not at all interested. A FACT never changed any of these folks’ minds.
‘Course that’s assuming they have any.

Not a single one of the Advocates for Madison Public Schools called Bill on this abrasiveness or questioned his assertions.
Remember, these are the people who advise and support Marj Passman. Do the comments of Bill and Phony Tony reflect Marj’s feelings? Apparently, we’ll never know. She’s mum to e-mails and requests for her to explain her positions.

17 thoughts on “Keys and Casteneda sing same song”

  1. The posts are the listserv are marked “Members Only” this morning – so if they were public, someone changed it.

  2. I’m not surprised that Advocates for Madison Public Schools (AMPS) locked out the general public.
    It’s a closed clique which does not welcome any diversity of ideas. Being closed and hostile to outside ideas wouldn’t be such a bad thing, if it were just some sort of club, except that AMPS, Carstensen, Keys, Passman, Beth Moss and the rest try to pose as the voice of responsible advocates. Yet, they’re only motivated by regaining control of the school board and leading cheers for the administration and the union.
    Shutting out the public is so symbolic of their hositility to anyone outside of themselves.

  3. Don,
    If you sign up to be a member of the AMPS listserve, you can access all of the previous posts.

  4. As moderator of the AMPS listserv, I am compelled to set the record straight. This listserv, from its inception, was open to anyone who chose to become a member of the listserv (just as you did, Ed). The openness of the listserv has not changed and will not change. Anyone who has interest in the purpose of the listserv is invited to join.
    The purpose of the AMPS listserv is: “Advocates for Madison Public Schools (AMPS) serves as a unifying force for those who believe that strong public schools and success for all kids equate with strong communities. A combination of proper funding, proven practices and public support is essential to ensure that we retain our high quality public schools and in turn, our high quality of life in Madison.”

  5. Thanks for posting this clarification Barb and congratulations on the new site. I think we need more community involvement and debate about how to reach our shared goals of strong schools for all kids. I am optimistic that there is much more that unites us than divides us!

  6. You’re being evasive, Barb. Has AMPS closed the achives of previous posts? A simple yes or no will do.
    If access has been closed to the public, why? Does AMPS have something to hide — like the hostility AMPS people show toward outsiders with ideas and anyone else who you and your clique haven’t vetted to be a cheer leader for MTI and the school administration?
    Do what this blog does. Lay open all of the discussions for everyone to see and form their own opinions. Let anyone post any idea on your blog instead of just letting a select few post.

  7. I also agree that all advocates for Madison public schools probably have a lot in common. That’s why I invited everyone on the AMPS listserve and anyone else to the following discussion. I hope that you can come, Barb.
    Financing Quality Education: A Five-Year Look
    March 12, 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m.
    Lower Conference Room
    222 South Hamilton Street, Madison
    Bring your brown-bag lunch and join others concerned about Madison schools to discuss long-range plans to help the district meet the financial challenges created by the state-imposed revenue limits.
    The meeting and discussion will help identify the stakeholders and possible steps needed to begin and shape long-term view of the MMSD and its budget.
    Some ideas were laid out on
    “[Ask] what is the best quality of education that can be purchased for our district for $280 million a year. Start with a completely clean slate. Identify your primary goals and values and priorities. Determine how best to achieve those goals to the highest possible level, given a budget that happens to be $40 million smaller than today’s. Consider everything – school-based budgeting, class sizes, after-school sports, everything.”
    Everyone and all ideas are welcome at this brown-bag discussion in the lower level conference room at 222 S. Hamilton Street.
    For more information, contact Ed Blume at or by phone at 225.6591

  8. I’m sorry, Barb, but it still appears that only members can access the files of archived posts on the list serve.
    Would you please make them open to people who’d like to read them without becoming members of the listserve?

  9. I’d like to address Bill Keys’ comments. I must assume they are his else he or one of his colleagues would have denied it by now.
    I was stunned to read this. It was my hunch this is what he thinks, but to see the extremes to which he goes in print was shocking. This is a man who sat on the BOE, who was the president of MTI, who taught English at West for many years. And this is a man who continues to have a great deal of credibility in this town.
    I am proud to call myself a liberal. My family puts our money and our energies where our mouth is for the liberal/progressive candidates, causes and NGO’s we support. But apparently not in Keys’ world because I dare to challenge his view of what public education is.
    On a lighter note, I’m printing out his statement to carry in my wallet. Should the day ever dawn that the government comes after me for my anti-war/anti-Bush/pro-environment/clean government posts elsewhere on the internet, I consider this my get-out-of -jail-free card. I mean, if Bill Keys says I’m a neo-con Republican that’s what I am because he is never, ever wrong. Just ask him.

  10. Okay, maybe I was mistaken. Maybe the archived posts of AMPS were never open to the public. I’ve been subscribed to the list for quite a while, so I’ve had access and may have got confused with the publicly open archives of the tightly controlled listserve of Communities and Schools Together (CAST), an organization and listserve created and moderated by the same group of people for a different purpose.

  11. I find it quite hypocritical that the people on this blog are whining about censorship when I have attempted to post on this message board, but have been blocked. Posts are regularly altered, censored, and retracted. Typical the pot calling the kettle black. We’ll see if this post even shows up.

  12. If you post an original post, you are the one and only person who can access it. No one else can alter, censor, or retract.
    If you ever find that your posts have been altered, censored or retracted, please contact Jim Zellmer or feel free to contact me at

  13. Hi TeacherT:
    I apologize if have inadvertently deleted your prior comments.
    Each day, I must delete hundreds of blog comment spam posts (viagra, gambling, pharma, etc.). It’s certainly possible that I deleted them while removing the spam (I evaluate 20 at a time in an effort to avoid just this situation). I’m glad your words made it through!

  14. That’s right, TeachT. You can change your own original posts; no one else can. Sometimes I change mine when I think they read poorly or I made a typo.
    Jim could tell you better than I, but I’ve never figured out a way to edit my own comments, other than completely deleting them IF I was the one who posted the original post. Sorry, that might have gotten a bit convoluted.

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