Jen Cheatham, who started Monday as Madison’s new schools superintendent, said she was planning to visit each of the district’s schools by the end of May.
The visits will include community meetings at each of the district’s high schools, allowing parents and community members to share what’s working and what needs to improve in the district, Cheatham said.
“It’s important to me to learn about what’s working and what isn’t working,” Cheatham said. “Often, new superintendents make changes to things that are actually beneficial to the district — unknowingly.”
Cheatham said she would start working soon with the school board on a list of priorities, which would include bridging the district’s minority achievement gap. The board will have at least two new members after Tuesday’s spring election, with Maya Cole and Beth Moss retiring.
The superintendent warned that state funding cuts, which district administrators have estimated will cost Madison schools about $8 million next year, may force the district to raise property taxes. She called Gov. Scott Walker’s school voucher proposal “a real threat to the quality of education we can provide.”
Related: Up, Down & Transparency: Madison Schools Received $11.8M more in State Tax Dollars last year (2012), Local District Forecasts a Possible Reduction of $8.7M this Year.
One would hope that the new Superintendent’s job 1 is addressing the District’s long term disastrous reading results.