Madison School District Superintendent “Reverts to the Mean”….

Via a kind reader’s email.

Despite spending double the national average per student and delivering disastrous reading results – for years – Madison’s Superintendent pushes back on school accountability:

The Wheeler Report (PDF):

Dear Legislators:

Thank you for your efforts to work on school accountability. We all agree that real accountability, focused on getting the best outcomes for all children, is important. From our first review of the bill introduced today, it is clear there is a lot of work to be done before a school accountability bill can be passed.

There are several parts of this bill that need more thoughtful consideration to be the type of real accountability that our students and families deserve:

– using multiple tests that would not fairly compare public and private schools

– requiring charter conversion rather than creating a true path to improvement

– assigning letter grades that do not accurately communicate how a school is performing

– removing control from locally elected school boards.

We need an accountability bill that supports our efforts to produce the best results for all children rather than a flawed one that is rushed to pass in order to make a political point.

I would urge you to work with districts to develop a true accountability system that holds all schools to the same standards and supports them in getting the best results for children. We have not yet been given the opportunity to work with you but we would welcome it. I would be happy to answer any questions, give input or discuss with you more.

Thank you for your time and consideration. Sincerely,

Jennifer Cheatham, Ed.D.
Superintendent, Madison Metropolitan School District

A further example, try to find total spending in this 2015-2016 Madison Schools’ Budget slideware document (PDF).

Auto-pilot spending and governance practices continue:

General Fund expenditures will increase by approximately 4.8%, based on existing wage and salary commitments and an estimated health insurance rate increase of 9%, unless budget actions are taken to intervene

A Budget Gap of 2.8% (2% Revenue vs. 4.8% Expenditures) or $9-$10 million will occur unless budget actions are taken to intervene

Note the use of “General Fund”. The document neglects to mention total spending, or recent increases in redistributed state tax dollars to the Madison Schools.

A party insider recently mentioned that the “days of Dane County Democrats harvesting tax dollars from around the state and spending them here, are over”.

I further recall lunch a few years ago with a long time Madison elected official: “Always blame the State”.

Wolfram: Reverting to the mean.