All posts by Lauren Cunningham

December 12, 2007 HOPE (Having Options in Public Education) Meeting

All are invited to the monthly meeting of the HOPE (Having Options in Public Education) meeting on Wednesday, 12/12, 6:30-8:00pm at Escape Coffee House, 916 Willy St. [Map] Featured will be brief presentations by UW Professor John Witte regarding recent research on school choice and charters, and Bryan Grau of Nuestro Mundo Community School regarding what the NMCS Board has learned navigating MMSD.
Name Lauren Cunningham
Telephone 221-9338

The HOPE (Having Options in Public Education) Coalition

The HOPE (Having Options in Public Education) Coalition is a grassroots group of concerned parents, educators, and community members who believe creating and sustaining new educational options would strengthen MMSD. New options in public schools would benefit students, families, teachers, and our community. Options are needed because “one size does not fit all”! The diversity of students’ backgrounds and learning styles requires a diversity of learning models.
The HOPE Coalition met last week to discuss the superintendent search. We found 3 characteristics to be important for our incoming superintendent. Using the points below, and/or your own words, please make your voice heard! You may copy and paste the below paragraphs if you are pressed for time. The superintendent should:

  • be an innovative problem solver. The candidate should have a demonstrated record of running a district that has successfully implemented new ideas and creative approaches (charter schools, magnet schools, 4K, etc.) to serve a diverse population of learners. The new superintendent should be committed to offering a variety of educational models within public schools so that families have options that can address the needs of students with a wide range of strengths, interests and learning styles.
  • demonstrate a collaborative leadership style. The candidate should have a history of fostering open, frequent communication with parents and other taxpayers; non-profit organizations; university faculty; and city, county and state government officials. The new superintendent should build collaborative partnerships that bring parents, teachers and community members together for the benefit of students.
  • cultivate a climate of less centralized authority throughout MMSD. The candidate should empower staff both at the district and individual school sites, giving them the authority to use their specific expertise to its fullest potential. The superintendent should allow local school administrators the flexibility to run their school, in collaboration with teachers, so that it most effectively addresses the needs of the students and families that it serves. School-based decisions may involve curriculum, budgeting, staffing, extracurricular programming, etc.

Make your voice heard…
… to the Board! Email them all ( or contact them individually (go to and scroll down to find contact information). This may be the most influential means of sharing your opinion!
… to the consultants hired for the search! Complete their survey by going to and scrolling down to find the link to it. You will also find information about the community input sessions. Please attend one! and tell us your impression of how successful it was.
Encourage friends, neighbors, and coworkers to make their voices heard too! Please contact Sarah Granofsky ( or Lauren Cunningham ( with any questions or suggestions, or if you would like to learn more about HOPE for Madison.