Madison school board candidate TJ Mertz discusses superintendent Jennifer Cheatham, collective bargaining


Five candidates are competing for three seats on the Madison school board, with the general election on April 2, 2013.
The political context for the races is explosive, given Gov. Scott Walker’s revolutionary proposals for education in Wisconsin: cuts to public school funding, an expansion of the voucher program, and a revamping of teachers’ evaluations and bargaining rights.
In Madison, the issues are particularly complex, with the intense disagreements over the district’s achievement gap between white and minority students.
TJ Mertz, an Edgewood College history instructor and education blogger, is running unopposed after Sarah Manski dropped out of the race for Seat 5 following the February primary. Her name will appear on the ballot, but she is moving to California. Mertz will replace retiring school board member Maya Cole.
In this competitive series of elections, there are numerous candidate forums and listening sessions under way, and we thought we’d pose our own questions to candidates. This week, we ask the candidates about where they think incoming superintendent Jennifer Cheatham should direct her attention. We also ask about the changes in collective bargaining wrought by Act 10: How have they affected the district, and how should it respond to this new policy?

Much more on the 2013 Madison School Board election, here.

2 thoughts on “Madison school board candidate TJ Mertz discusses superintendent Jennifer Cheatham, collective bargaining”

  1. We need to ask the School Board why they fired the previous encumbent and what this one has been told as her priority ie raising achievement level or are we adrift with no goal.

  2. FWIW, it is unlikely that a past or present board member will provide specific answers to questions about personnel actions, including contract decisions. Board members are legally bound by confidentiality and cannot discuss or reveal the details. If memory serves, there were articles in the State Journal about the superintendent’s evaluation last year and those articles would provide as much information as is publicly available.

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