Commentary on Madison’s New Superintendent

The Wisconsin State Journal:

Cheatham suggested “there’s a ton” of things the district potentially can do to help struggling students. But she’s not jumping to conclusions. She wants to hear about what’s working, along with what’s not. Madison has a lot going for it, despite its significant challenges.
Cheatham highlighted the national push for common and higher standards during her visit to the newspaper. She also listed as key issues teacher and principal evaluations, technology, and helping students whose native language isn’t English.
Responding to a question, Cheatham said “absolutely yes” principals should know how well their individual teachers are performing. And Cheatham suggested the district has to own its gap, even though some factors are out of its control.
Cheatham said some Madison teachers have told her they feel overwhelmed by the demands of their jobs. In addition, she said one of the reasons some school districts don’t innovate is because “people are living in fear,” or because they are very “compliance oriented.”