A number of folks have asked why, like 2009, there are two uncontested seats in this spring’s Madison School Board election. Incumbents Maya Cole and Beth Moss are running unopposed while the open seat, vacated by the retiring Johnny Winston, Jr. is now contested: Tom Farley (TJ Mertz and Robert Godfrey have posted on Farley’s travails, along with Isthmus) after some nomination signature issues and an internal fracas over the School District lawyer’s role in the race, faces James Howard [website].
I think we’ve seen a drop on the ongoing, very small amount of school board activism because:
- The current board is, in my view, doing a much better job overseeing the District than a few years ago.
- There are a number of issues that have been simmering for awhile, including TAG, Fine Arts, Math and Equity.
- Outbound growth of open enrollment from the Madison School District; some activist parents have opted out.
- Superintendent Dan Nerad’s very different PR approach from the past – though folks are now looking for substantive action, as exemplified by these recent public comments to the Board.
Finally, with respect to the Howard / Farley contest, I look forward to the race. I had the opportunity to get to know James Howard during the District’s 2009 strategic planning meetings. I support his candidacy.