Of course, public schools officials will never accept a rating system that includes a failing-grade option; some things are OK for students, but not for the people who educate them.
None of these initiatives is any older than 2011, when Republicans took over complete control of the state government, but parents have been voting against the Madison district — with their feet — since they were first allowed to in 1998.
The open enrollment program was included in the 1997 state budget bill and allows parents to enroll their children in any public school district that has the space.
In the years since, the Madison district has never seen more students coming in than going out. In the current school year, 1,203 children living within the district’s boundaries opted to go to other districts, according to a district report. Another 372 opted to come into Madison from other districts.
A 2009 survey of families who took advantage of the open enrollment program to leave Madison found that 61 percent of parents pointed to environmental problems with Madison schools as among the reasons they left. Overcrowded classrooms, bullying and poor communication were among the specific complaints.