Keep the board functional: Vote Cole

A year ago, I joined other volunteers to help with the recount of the votes in Maya Cole’s slim loss to Arlene Silviera.
After the recount had been going for a while (I can’t remember whether it was the second or third day), the process clipped along smoothly with volunteers and the city clerk’s staff bonding with somewhat dark humor about the tediousness of the effort.
All of a sudden, someone helping Arlene harshly and loudly blurted out, “Those people can’t touch the ballots!” Someone helping Maya had handed a pile of ballots to one of the clerks, as everyone had been doing for the last day or two.
The room fell silent, as rooms do in reaction to something unpleasant.
Maya calmly stepped over to the person and matter-of-factly said, “Marj, we don’t want this to become antagonistic. We’re just being certain that all of the ballots were counted correctly.” Everything returned to normal.
The incident starkly shows the styles that Marj Passman and Maya Cole will bring to the school board if elected. I prefer Maya’s.
As I said before, the personalities of Bill Keys, Bill Clingan, and Juan Lopez reduced the board to ineffectivenss.
No one should want to put a person on the board with an interpersonal style that will again cripple its efforts.

11 thoughts on “Keep the board functional: Vote Cole”

  1. I have never posted on this blog before but felt I must come forward today given that I was in the recount room that day, standing right next to Ed and a first hand observer of this incident as well.
    Shame on Ed Blume:
    Now for the real truth of the story: Maya was the one who became hysterical and screamed at Marj. Marj had just entered the room where the recount was taking place and one of the recount workers was explaining the recount procedures to Marj, when for no reason that anyone in the recount room could ascertain, Maya made a bee line for Marj and started scolding her and telling her to “Look at me when I talk to you”. The whole room went silent because it was Maya who was self-destructing in front of everyone. Marj just stood there in shock. Had she inadvertently done something wrong? How could she have, since she had only just entered the room and was still receiving her instructions from one of the recount workers. The Chief Clerk was called, saw Maya’s hysterics and left the room because she found no basis for Maya’s rants. Her name can be supplied as evidence of the real truth. The recount worker whose instructions to Marj had been cut off by Maya’s yelling, later came to Marj. She told Marj that she had voted for Maya but had to apologize to Marj for Maya’s immature behavior. Her name can also be supplied. This year she is a Marj supporter because she saw Maya in action that day! What I and everyone else saw that day was Maya’s instability. It had been a tense day for all of us because much was at stake. However, none of us there that day, has ever, in any public forum repeated that story about Maya because of our own sense of decency. Obviously not only does Ed Blume have no such sense he even feels the need to fabricate absurd concoctions of the truth. Certain people must be really worried about this election because emotional outbursts common on this blog are one thing but outright lies are quite another. Maybe Maya’s lack of signs about town, not to mention in her own neighborhood, as well as a dearth of supporters on Marj’s website have lead you to this desperate measure.
    Shame on you Ed Blume – Staunch Maya support is one thing – but resorting to outright distortion and lies is simply not OK. No end justifies these means!

  2. I saw the entire episode.
    I don’t recall that I saw you, Janet.
    If we see Marj on the board, we’ll see many more outbursts against anyone who dares suggest that the MMSD can change and become better than it is, I’m sure.

  3. I personally think Janet is lying. But the bottom line is voters will have to decide for themselves, hopefully having met or at least observed both candidates, who has the more friendly, cordial personality and who has the more abrasive personality.

  4. Good Lord. I wasn’t there but I’m sure not going to make my decision for a school board candidate based on innuendo or for that matter, based on friendly and cordial personality.
    I’ll be voting based on my ideals for what I consider to be the future of public education. As for experience Marj has been and CONTINUES to fight for funding at a Legislative level. She has experience in classrooms where all future cuts will affect each and every single one of our students.
    It’s challenging to see any school board election to the end and I congratulate BOTH candidates for having the guts to run.
    Without any personal attack, I have to simply state my research has lead me to vote for Marj. What was *my* strongest reason? Because Marj will not bend on her ideals for what she believes is PUBLIC education. Yeah, ya might think that’s a bit bold. But, come on folks…I mean, considering our funding situation and EVERY child being affected…it might be easier for some of us to bend toward privatization. Is that your ideal?
    [For whatever reason, the blog system wasn’t allowing this to be posted in the usual way, so I had to repost it under my name. Ed]

  5. No, Marisue. I don’t “bend toward privitizaiton,” and I don’t know anyone else who does, to tell you the truth.
    I’ll repeat agian, personal style rendered the board useless in the past. I don’t want to see the board return to those days, and I’m afraid that’s where Marj will take it.

  6. I will also vote based on the research that I’ve done on the candidates. I’ve listened to various debates, read about the candidates’ viewpoints, asked questions of individual candidates when I felt that I needed more clarification, and after all of this, I will vote for Maya Cole.
    I have been disappointed by some of the banter that I’ve read on various online forums over the past few days. Why does it seem that some of you who have taken the time to acquire so much knowledge about MMSD must resort to disparaging tactics at election time? Why do you need to make misleading connections to candidates, misrepresent their viewpoints, and try to use innuendo to draw inaccurate conclusions?
    I’m a believer in taking the high road and talking substantively about the issues facing our schools. I guess that election time provides plenty of reason for me to be disappointed in how the process strays from this ideal.

  7. I always have believed strongly in public education.
    I think that certain conservatives are laughing up their sleeves as the camp of liberals which has most control of education these days shoot themselves in the foot. When public education crumbles, privatization will be one of the outcomes, yes. But the conservatives won’t have had to lift a finger to make it happen.
    It’s a given that we all have the best of intentions, but drat, those unintended consequences.

  8. To K. Navarro-Haffner:
    I believe the public wants a functional board, not one hamstrung by personalities. I believe that’s why Lucy Mathiak defeated incumbent Juan Lopez.
    To Celeste Roberts:
    “The camp of liberals which has most control of education these days” in Madison includes Carol Carstensen, Bill Keys, MTI, and others. I couldn’t agree with you more about the possible privatization of education. These folks are killing public education — dumbing down the curriculum, failing to manage the budget, pitting different groups against each other, bad-mouthing parents who advocate for their own kids, thwarting innovation, etc., etc., etc. I don’t give Madison’s schools even five more years if these people continue to win elections and maintain control of Madison’s schools.

  9. Ed,
    I understand your point about the importance of a candidate’s interpersonal skills/communication style. I don’t disagree that this is a factor in assessing what a candidate will bring to a particular leadership position.
    I was referring to some of what I’ve seen posted on other forums by people who have also commented here.

  10. To K Navarro-Haffner…
    I do wish that many posters to this blog would take these words you stated to heart:
    “I have been disappointed by some of the banter that I’ve read on various online forums over the past few days. Why does it seem that some of you who have taken the time to acquire so much knowledge about MMSD must resort to disparaging tactics at election time? Why do you need to make misleading connections to candidates, misrepresent their viewpoints, and try to use innuendo to draw inaccurate conclusions?”
    If people did reflect on these thoughts, it would go a long way in introducing civility and respect of individuals to one’s postings.

  11. There is no need for anyone to use innuendo when candidates state their views clearly and forthrightly so that those listening can understand the meaning of their words.
    For example, at the northside forum, Marj’s answer to the question about ability grouping at the high-school didn’t make sense. She started by saying honors/AP is needed for math and ‘technical subjects.’ Then she discusses how wonderful mixed ability classes are in ‘discussion classes’ like English and history. Finally, just when I think she has staked out her position: yes to honors/AP math/science, no to English/history, she tags on a sentence at the end that she still thinks we need honors/AP English.
    To me, that answer doesn’t hang together as a whole. If you have adequate sections of honors English, the students who are eligible will fill them and the other English classes will be standard English classes with kids within the average ability range, not really what you mean when you say a mixed class, although of course the students are not identical in their ability. Students with disabilities might be in either type of class, depending on the nature of their disability.
    So what IS she trying to say? Possibilities:
    1. In a perfect world we wouldn’t have honors English, since the mixed classes are so wonderful, but we have to maintain some so all the TAG advocates don’t leave MMSD.
    2. We need to have honors English until we can figure out a way to get rid of it.
    3. I don’t believe in honors English, but I’ll hedge and support both sides in this debate so everyone is happy.
    4. We need honors English, but when I’m teaching I far prefer the mixed ability classes.
    There are half a dozen more ways to interpret this. At another forum in answer to a similar question, she listed a whole variety of options, some of which do not easily coexist, and says she supports them all and refused to expand upon that comment although her time was not up. She obviously has well-formed views on this topic, as someone who has spent her adult life in the classroom. Otherwise, she could say she needs to study the issue more to be sure of her stand. If she supports expansion of honors classes at the high-school, it would be pretty easy to say it in a less convoluted way. So why doesn’t she?
    This is what leads people to misinterpreting candidates’ stands on issues, candidates who phrase things in a way which is impossible to understand.

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