High academic achievement, for Strong, means that all of our MMSD students are achieving to the fullest extent of their abilities.
“Whether you are a TAG [Talented and Gifted] or a special-needs student or whether you are a middleof- the-road student, the teachers [should be] challenging our students to do the best that they can do and to be the best that they can be,” Strong says.
“We’ve got to make sure we are doing that for all of our students.”
Strong wants to improve graduation rates and he feels that the disparity in the way that kids are disciplined affects that quite a bit.
“Right now, our African American students are only graduating at a rate of 53 percent. That’s still not good,” Strong says.
It’s easy to talk about Madison’s awful record of graduating barely half of its black high school students in four years, among other glaring racial disparities.
Kaleem Caire actually did something about it. And that’s what matters most. Caire’s impact on Madison during his four years as leader of the Urban League of Greater Madison has been profound.
Unfortunately, unanswered questions about his surprising departure and “less than ideal” use of the nonprofit’s credit cards won’t help the cause. It will give supporters of the status quo more leverage to argue against bold change.
The Madison School Board in late 2011 rejected the Urban League’s promising charter school proposal, siding with the teachers union over the Urban League and its many supporters. The proposal for a Madison Preparatory Academy was aimed at low-achieving minority students. It would have offered higher expectations for students, a longer school day and year, more pressure on parents to get involved, more minority teachers, uniforms, same-sex classes and internships with local employers
Ed Hughes: I look forward to helping Madison schools thrive (Mr. Hughes is running uncontested for the 3rd time).