The Madison School Board’s general election is still nearly five months away, but candidates have been jumping into the race the past few weeks at a rapid pace. Three seats on the seven-person School Board will be on the ballot this spring, and each seat will be contested. Here’s what you need to know about the race so far:
Seat 3, currently held by Dean Loumos, will have a new member this April. Loumos announced earlier this month that he would not seek re-election, citing medical concerns that would take him away from the campaign trail.
Cris Carusi, a district parent and volunteer, is running against education activist and One City Schools founder Kaleem Caire. Carusi ran for Seat 6 in 2017. She fell short in the three-person primary in that race.
Carusi told the Cap Times that she learned a lot from her first-ever campaign for public office.
Caire also has run for School Board. He lost the race for Seat 4 in 1998.
One City Schools, which expanded from One City Early Learning Center earlier this year, is one of the state’s first 4K and kindergarten charter options authorized by the University of Wisconsin’s Office of Educational Opportunity.
Caire went to the UW System to get One City Schools chartered after an earlier attempt to get a charter school, Madison Prep, approved by the Madison School District failed on a 5-2 vote in 2011.
He has previously said that he won’t have a conflict of interest if he serves on the School Board because One City Schools isn’t chartered through MMSD.
Notes and links:
A majority (including Mr. Hughes) 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.