A reader with a much keener sense of irony than I emailed this week to point out that the site identified 3 1/2 years ago for the aborted Madison Preparatory Academy is slated to become home to a new police station by 2017.
That’s right. In a city with some of the highest rates of black incarceration in the country, a police station is taking the place of a school aimed at improving the prospects of poor, minority students.
The Madison Prep charter school was the brainchild of the Urban League of Greater Madison and its then-CEO, Kaleem Caire, and was to occupy the former Mount Olive Lutheran Church building at 4018 Mineral Point Road.
Madison Prep would have featured single-sex classrooms, longer school days, required parental involvement and other strategies not usually seen in a Madison public schools system that has struggled to educate black children.
In December 2011, it was voted down by a majority white, uniformly liberal school board over concerns about its cost, accountability to taxpayers, and use of nonunion employees. Madison’s overwhelmingly white teachers union opposed the school.
Now, Madison appears to be moving ahead with a plan to demolish the church and an adjoining house and replace them with a $9 million police station that will increase the number of stations from five to six and, police said, relieve pressure on officers serving the populous West Side.
Much more on the rejected Madison Preparatory Academy IB charter school