An interview with Madison’s Cherokee Middle School Principle – and recent Secondary Principal of the Year award winner

Scott Girard:

One of the biggest things was how we co-created our equity vision. That was a huge piece of it, having our families, our students and our staff really lean in, look at our data, both numerical (and) looking at our interviews with our families, especially families who have not been included in school decisions before, students who have not been. Then we created our equity vision, which is, “In order to grow academically and professionally, community members will create a just and antiracist school where we all feel safe, seen, heard and connected.” It wasn’t something that we just set aside, but we really dove in. The first thing everybody wanted to do was define what antiracism meant to us.

The other piece was understanding what antiracist practice includes is really having high expectations for all kids, and then giving kids what they need. We really started leaning into a schoolwide reading culture and a data culture. We had all this data, and we hadn’t really dug into it in the past to see why we are here for certain demographic groups and what we need to do differently as teachers and as principals. Our kids, they come with gifts, but what do we need to do differently? So we really changed our approaches in the classroom and created lessons that are more culturally responsive, but also giving kids small group instruction, which wasn’t really happening here before.

Mandates, closed schools and Dane County Madison Public Health.

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”

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

Booked, but can’t read (Madison): functional literacy, National citizenship and the new face of Dred Scott in the age of mass incarceration.

No When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?