Caire, 47, is a Madison native who in 2011 mounted a contentious and ultimately unsuccessful attempt to get the School Board to approve what was initially conceived as an all-male public charter school serving those who have long struggled in Madison’s traditional public schools: poor children and children of color.
In an interview, Caire said he’s open to the School Board approving charters, but is “not a charter purist.” His preschool, One City Early Learning on the city’s South Side, was approved as a charter this year by the University of Wisconsin System’s Office of Educational Opportunity.
“I’m less concerned about what we call it,” he said. “I’m more concerned with what we get done.”
He also said he’s in favor of keeping Madison police officers, called educational resource officers, in Madison’s four main high schools and that he’d like to see a Madison public school focused on the performing arts and one focused on science, technology, engineering and math — the so-called STEM disciplines.
Madison also “needs upgraded facilities,” he said. “We’ve got to do more than just patchwork on our facilities.”
Caire’s entrance into the race for Seat 3 brings to five the number of non-incumbents seeking seats on the seven-member board. There are three seats up for a three-year term in the April 2 spring election. If more than two candidates vie for a seat, the field would be pared to two in a Feb. 19 primary.
Notes and links:
A majority of the Madison School Board rejected the proposed Madison Preparatory IB Charter School (2011).
Madison has long tolerated disastrous reading results, despite spending far more than most taxpayer supported K-12 School Districts.
Compare Madison, WI high school graduation rates and academic achievement data.
The Madison School District’s “Strategic Framework”.
On November 7, Superintendent Art Rainwater made his annual report to the Board of Education on progress toward meeting the district’s student achievement goal in reading. As he did last fall, the superintendent made some interesting claims about the district’s success in closing the academic achievement gap “based on race”.
According to Mr. Rainwater, the place to look for evidence of a closing achievement gap is the comparison of the percentage of African American third graders who score at the lowest level of performance on statewide tests and the percentage of other racial groups scoring at that level. He says that, after accounting for income differences, there is no gap associated with race at the lowest level of achievement in reading. He made the same claim last year, telling the Wisconsin State Journal on September 24, 2004, “for those kids for whom an ability to read would prevent them from being successful, we’ve reduced that percentage very substantially, and basically, for all practical purposes, closed the gap”. Last Monday, he stated that the gap between percentages scoring at the lowest level “is the original gap” that the board set out to close.
Unfortunately, that is not the achievement gap that the board aimed to close.
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, lead by Governor Elect, Tony Evers, has waived Massachusetts’ style elementary teacher content knowledge requirements for thousands of teachers.