Madison School Board “Kowtows to Complainers”

Susan Lampert Smith:

So kids, what did we learn from the Madison School Board’s decision Monday to reverse itself and not consolidate the half-empty Marquette and Lapham elementary schools?
We learned that no doesn’t really mean no.
We learned that, oops, maybe there is money after all.
And most importantly, we learned that whoever yells the loudest gets it.
The most telling moment at Monday’s board meeting was when the rowdy crowd of Marquette supporters was admonished to “respect the board” after hissing at Lawrie Kobza, who said she was “saddened” by arguments that the schools must stay open to appease residents with “political clout.”
“Respect us,” one man hollered back.
Respect you?
Honey, with the exception of Kobza and Arlene Silveira, who held their ground, the board rolled over for you like a puppy. Tony Soprano doesn’t get this kind of respect.

A Yin to that Yang – Capital Times:

Kindergartner Corey Jacob showed up at this week’s Madison School Board meeting with a homemade “Keep Schools Open” sign.
And he got a terrific lesson.
The board, which had voted to close Marquette Elementary School on the city’s near east side, reversed its wrongheaded decision in the face of overwhelming opposition from parents, teachers and kids like Corey.
The lesson Corey learned is perhaps the most important one that can be taught in public life: No decision is set in stone. When an official body makes the wrong decision, people can and should organize to oppose that decision. And when that happens, the members of the targeted body are duty-bound to reconsider their mistaken move.

More from Bessie Cherry:

er column was ludicrous. Comparing a school board who actually listened to its constituents’ warranted concerns to a parent who gives in to a whiny child?! Lapham Elementary, where my daughter attends kindergarten, is hardly “half empty.” In fact, the students there eat lunch in 18 minute shifts, and the school board’s own projections predict that it will become overcrowded within the next five years.
Smith failed to mention that the velocity behind the vocal backlash against the original decision to consolidate was fueled by the fact that two of the board members won their seats by proclaiming before their election that they would never vote in favor of consolidation. Instead of accusing the board of “rolling over like a puppy” and proving that “whoever yells the loudest gets it”, she should be applauding those parents for exemplifying democracy in action for their children. They organized, yes, the old-fashioned way (a way I much prefer to the prevailing point-and-click passivity of “activism” today), and involved their children by having them sign petitions, hand out flyers– they even staged an elementary school walkout.