Procedure for reconsidering closure vote

This is from MMSD board attorney Clarence Sherrod:

The board uses a form of parliamentary procedures that allow board members to reconsider actions that have been taken by the board. There are a number of rules that relate to such reconsideration such as the person who is on the prevailing side can only make the motion to reconsider. The board’s agenda has to include the item that is to be reconsidered. A majority of the board or the president of the board determines whether or not an item is placed on a board agenda and when. Clarence


Only a member who voted in the majority, i.e., for closing, can make a motion to reconsider, so the pressure needs bear down on Cole, Moss, Silviera, and Kobza. If you can’t get one of them to make the motion, the school closing is done and over with.
Progessive Dane should lean on Beth Moss, the candidate it endorsed.

10 thoughts on “Procedure for reconsidering closure vote”

  1. I’m not sure, but I think any changes to the budget, once it has been approved, need a supermajority of five votes to pass a change.

  2. I’ve heard the same thing as Barb. From what I understand, to put reconsideration of the budget on the agenda requires 4 Board members to agree….and apparently has to be requested by someone who voted in the majority. But a change to what was decided has to be a 5 – 2. So it can be put on the agenda for discussion, but needs a supermajority to effect a change from the original decision.

  3. Okay. What has changed such that a reconsideration should be pushed?
    As I stated in a recent email:
    I didn’t really contemporaneously follow the details of the budget process this year — it looked all too familiar from years ago. Very much managed by the Administration, as usual, where the Board, without sufficient information, is forced to make decisions from a list prepared by the Administration. As parents, we all used the same technique to control our kids — “Honey, would you like an apple or an orange for dessert?” — cake and ice cream was rarely one of the options, until she got savvy enough to demand other options be placed on the table. And new board members are thrown into the mix and forced to make “life/death” decisions without time for sufficient contemplation and review, and quickly come to rely initially on the same folks they are supposed to manage, and question. There is no time to exercise the needed healthy skepticism required to make good decisions — assuming they have that character to begin with.
    The Lapham/Marquette consolidation discussions were, like most discussions, full of emotion, and philosophy, but no data. Yes, I heard that the schools are really good, outstanding, should be a model for elsewhere in the city, but really nothing substantial, and nothing substantiated. I also heard that the consolidation would improve educational quality for the kids. Never did I see any substantial data to support either position.
    NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) is always supported by generalities about how “we’re unique” and some other crap. If there were substantial data given (or available) to argue for solid education reasons to keep these schools separate, it was overwhelmed by the nimbies, and general statements of neighborhood schools.
    TAG parents and kids, almost by definition, are able to muster significant resources to support their needs (though still only successful, sometimes). The same and better data are needed for kids and families that do not fit within the TAG label. The String proponents also do a good job, against often overwhelming odds, to make substantial arguments to support its continuation — mostly due to Barb Schrank’s perspicacity.
    I certainly would be very upset if this paired school system truly is/was a gem in a school system moving quickly towards mediocrity (though I don’t have any real data to support that conclusion), or if the underlying rationale was to eliminate the last vestiges of Barbara Thompson’s legacy.
    Looking at the budget and those numbers is not a good place to start — we must be able to judge and balance the quality of education delivered. No progress at all has been made to really know how good an education the schools are delivering and for whom. Unfortunately, the District is being driven by the budget rather than the budget being driven by educational requirements. Like all institutions, MMSD primary goal is to stay in business — the delivery of educational quality is very much secondary.
    ———————-
    Is there now information, not available on Monday, which would or should lead Board members to change their votes? Or are folks just roundly pissed off, especially at Maya seeming to renege on her campaign promise? Given that, what other “savings” should be on the front burner?
    If this is just politics as usual, this push for reconsideration is just garbage. If there are real substantive issues that need to be discussed, and real data that can and will make the decision better, then I’m all for it.
    Otherwise, this is a cat fight with a lot of hissing and spitting and nothing more.

  4. OKay, who are you? The politics of the day took over what we believed was to be a reasonable discussion. It is unfathomable to me that STILL people are out there claiming we L/M/OKeeffe parents and supporters are solely acting on emotion and elitism. How ignorant do you think we are? Have you read the reams and reams of extremely well-thought out information we have been providing the board and district this year?? Or, for that matter, the last several? I am not going, again, try to enlighten here, only to ask/plead our community not take this negative and obviously ill-informed view of these several neighborhoods. that the Board voted the way it did is due to a number of factors. I will, at this point, direct what little energy I have left to the board and those in the community who are willing to keep a cool head, and to be as well-informed as possible during this very difficult time for all our schools.

  5. Laura Chastain,
    Have I read the ream and reams of documents? No. Have they been posted so that those not on the Board have access? Were they posted to some web site? I didn’t see such documents. The District doesn’t post that information on their web site. I’ve looked but didn’t find. Documents sent to the district and given to the Board do not make it into the minutes of Board meetings though presented at that time.
    Did I miss them though they are readily available?
    Arguments from both sides have been posted here, but in no case, were supporting documents and data attached.
    If you have such documents and data, please post them.

  6. Larry makes a very good point here. No-win budget decisions and constituent-based politics have driven this process, not a focus on where it ought to be — student achievement. Does the Lapham-Marquette pairing work, in terms of student achievement, relative to other pairings or other elementary schools in Madison? Where’s the data? What kind of early elementary-grade assessment tools does MMSD use to measure student achievement, and compare the effectiveness of one school to another? (And please don’t trot out the WKCE, a lousy assessment tool if there ever was one.) Are they using any? Shouldn’t they be?

  7. Ironically, pairing in the district has never been based on academic performance. The district tried hard to pair Crestwood/Falk, or some other pair hoping to provide more seats and better mix income during the West Side Task Force. We rejected the idea. The Lincoln/Midvale pairing as well as the Randall/Franklin pairing were based on income distributions. Lincoln/Midvales low income has continued to increase. It is interesting how much against pairing I felt when they suggested it for my elemetary school…..we do all hate change, especially when the reason for the change is not for the academic benefit of the kids.

  8. And, unlike the Franklin-Randall and Midvale-Lincoln pairs, which were created due to a civil rights complaint about having segregrated schools, the East area task force was told that the Lapham-Marquette pairing was created because there were not enough kids to create two viable K – 5 schools in that area. Academic performance doesn’t have anything to do with it. Lapham-Marquette has great test scores, but that has more to do with the demographics of the schools and perhaps Barb Thompson’s legacy of direct instruction, than it does with the particular school configuration.

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