2017 Madison School Board Candidate Forum Video

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Much more on the candidates, here: Seat 6 and Seat 7.

Nostalgic visitors might find past school board election links and videos of interest.

I’m glad that we’re blessed with choice. I’m also glad that several candidates mentioned our abundance of resources (we spend far more than most) and our longstanding disastrous reading results.

I appreciated seat 6 candidate Cris Carusi’s statement that she does not support relaxing teacher standards and Matt Andrzejewski’s comment on phonics and the District’s long term, disastrous reading results.


I was somewhat surprised to read current Madison Superintendent Cheatham’s words (I assume that she wrote this…) lamenting this or that:

It is absurd to me that some policymakers believe that the solution is simply to give parents “choice” — or in other words, drain more and more resources from public schools.

My key question to our legislators is this: What is your agenda for helping our public schools better serve the vast majority of students in the United States and in Wisconsin? How can you help us do more of what we know works in education?

What can you do to help us address gaps in students’ health and well-being, making it possible for every child to attend school daily and be fully attentive and ready to learn? Even if our academic strategies are perfect, if a child is not ready to learn, we won’t see better results. We have to find ways for our system to ensure those needs are met so that children are ready to excel.

Here in Madison, we are embracing the community school model. Community schools take our support of students and families to the next level through power sharing and integration of coordinated services into schools, where our students and families are every day.

Madison has “plenty of resources” (18k/student budget background), yet our long term disastrous reading issues continue…. I am surprised that the Superintendent, in light of these issues, spent time focusing on state and national rhetoric, rather than the real issues we face.

2013: Superintendent Cheatham: “What’s different, this time?” More, here.

2015: “Reverting to the mean“.

Nearly 12 years ago, on then Superintendent Rainwater’s achievement gap rhetoric.

Amber Walker’s event summary