Madison Superintendent Search Rhetoric

The Capital Times:

The decision by Matthew Gutiérrez to back out after his selection as the next superintendent of the Madison Metropolitan School District confirmed that he was not the right choice for this district at this time.

Now, the school board must make a better choice. That is unlikely to happen if the board conducts a national search and selects a superintendent who is looking to climb a “career ladder” from one district to the next.

The union that represents teachers and school employees, Madison Teachers Inc., makes a good point when is says that the board should focus on local candidates.

Scott Girard:

Gutierrez was one of three finalists, all of whom were people of color and all of whom were from out of state. The other two finalists were both black, and some black community leaders criticized the Gutierrez hire in a February letter, suggesting the district needed a black leader. Menéndez Coller is a member of the Latino Consortium for Action, which replied with its own letter in support of Gutierrez and asking the community to give him a chance.

“I want a Superintendent that understands equity and understands how to roll out specific initiatives that will allow Black kids, Hmong kids, Latino kids, kids of color move forward,” Menéndez Coller wrote in her email Monday.

Mirilli said the public discussion around the letters got her thinking about the challenges any new superintendent would face in Madison, but specifically one of color. She said that while it’s important to her and others to have a leader who has a different “personal experience” than has been represented in MMSD’s leadership in the past, it’s just as important for that person to “understand that they will have some blind spots.”

Related: Jennifer Cheatham (2013-2019) and the Madison Experience.

Notes, links and commentary on Madison’s planned 2020 tax and spending increase referendum plans.

“The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”.

Madison has long spent far more than most taxpayer supported K-12 school districts.