All-male Madison IB charter school could put minority boys on road to success

Alan Borsuk:

Kaleem Caire knows what it is like to be a young black man growing up in Madison and going on to success. A troubled kid when he was a student at Madison West High School in the 1980s, he went on to become a nationally known Washington-based education advocate before returning in 2010 to head the Urban League of Greater Madison.
Kaleem Caire knows what it means to be a young black man growing up in Madison and going on to failure. He saw what happened to many childhood friends who ended up dead or in prison. He sees it now in the disturbing statistics on African-American education outcomes and unemployment.
And Kaleem Caire has an eye-catching idea he thinks will put more black and Latino youths on the path to success – enough to make a difference in the overall troubling picture of minority life in the state’s second largest city.
The idea? An all-male charter school for sixth- through 12th-graders with longer days and longer school years than conventional schools, an International Baccalaureate program, and high expectations of students and teachers, including academic performance, the way they treat others, and the way they dress.

Related:
Notes and links on the proposed Madison Preparatory IB Charter School.
Susan Troller:Madison Prep now says girls will be welcome:

Kaleem Caire says there’s a simple fix for concerns that a proposal for an all-male charter school in Madison would discriminate against girls.
“If it’s a problem, we’ll introduce a single-sex charter school for girls at the same time we start the boys’ school, in the fall of 2012-2013,” Caire said in an interview Friday.
Caire, president of the Urban League of Greater Madison, first began talking a year ago about creating a rigorous, prep-style public charter school for boys aimed at improving minority student performance. With its single-sex approach, International Baccalaureate curriculum, emphasis on parent involvement and expanded hours and days, Madison Preparatory Academy would not only be unique in the Madison district, but also unique in the state.

The fate of Madison Preparatory Academy will be a defining moment for our school climate.

DOJ group to discuss Madison’s academic disparities among racial minorities

Matthew DeFour:

An arm of the U.S. Department of Justice that mediates racial tension in communities is intervening in the debate over the achievement of racial minorities in the Madison School District.
The Justice Department’s Community Relations Service won’t discuss its role.
But in an email announcement this week, the Urban League of Greater Madison said DOJ this summer “raised concerns about academic achievement disparities among students of color in the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) to the District’s administration.”
DOJ officials will participate in a meeting Wednesday called by the Urban League to discuss minority achievement, graduation rates and expulsion rates in the Madison district, according to Urban League President Kaleem Caire.

Related: the proposed Madison Preparatory Academy IB Charter school.

Our Response to State Education Department’s Hold on Madison Prep Grant

Kaleem Caire, via email

Dear Friends & Colleagues,
In the last 48 hours, local media has been abuzz about the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s decision to put a hold on our charter school planning grant. The grant application was formally endorsed in March 2011 by the Board of Education of the Madison Metropolitan School District.
Last week, DPI officials contacted us to request that our team and the leadership of the Madison Metropolitan School District meet with them to discuss how we intend to address issues related to (a) the 1972 Title IX Education Amendments to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and (b) new federal Title IX regulations on the establishment of single sex classes, extracurricular activities and schools that took effect in 2006. This meeting has been scheduled.
DPI has publicly stated that it is not uncommon for grant awards to be delayed for various reasons. In our case, DPI wants to ensure that all parties – MMSD, DPI and the Urban League of Greater Madison – are on the same page with regard to how Madison Prep will comply with federal and state statutes relative to single sex public schools. We welcome this conversation. MMSD and the Urban League have been working together on this issue since June.
Single Sex Public Schools are Growing in the U.S.
According to the National Association for Single Sex Public Education, there are presently 116 single sex public schools in the United States. The number of single sex public schools continues to grow each year. For example, the Houston (Texas) Independent School District’s Board of Education recently approved an all boys and later an all girls college preparatory academy for students in grades 6 – 12. Both campuses opened this week.
There are also public charter schools such as Bluford Drew Jemison S.T.E.M Academy for boys in Baltimore, Maryland that was approved by the Board of Education of Baltimore City Public Schools without approving a similar school for girls at the same time. Bluford Drew Jameson is part of BCPS’ bold and aggressive Charter, Innovative and Transformation Schools Plan to revitalize public education in the city. BCPS’ efforts are being heralded nationally as they are seeing clear signs of turning around.
With Confidence, Precedent and Support, We Will Succeed
Given the successful growth of single sex public/charter schools across the country, along with our plans to comply with the new Title IX regulations and our publicly stated commitment to establish the 6-12 grade Madison Preparatory Academy for Young Women, we are confident that the issues raised by DPI will be resolved.
With your support and that of DPI and MMSD, Madison Prep will soon provide a long overdue solution to a deeply rooted pattern of academic failure and under-performance, particularly among African American and Latino boys in our community. It will also serve as a learning laboratory that informs the programs, strategies and practices of schools and educators across Greater Madison and the State of Wisconsin.
We look forward to Madison Prep producing hundreds of confident, excited and future-focused young men who are ready for college and committed to promoting the schools values – leadership, excellence, pride and service – in their community, homes, peer groups and daily lives.
Visit the website and sign our petition below.
Madison Prep 2012: Empowering Young Men for Life!

IB interviewed Kaleem a few weeks ago.
Much more on Kaleem Caire and the proposed Madison Preparatory Academy IB charter school, here.

Proposed Madison Preparatory Academy’s Website is Live

via a Kaleem Caire email:

Madison Preparatory Academy for Young Men (Madison Prep) is a tuition-free public charter school that will serve as a catalyst for change and opportunity, particularly young men of color. Our mission is to prepare students for success at a four year college or university by instilling excellence, pride, leadership and service.
To achieve this mission, young men will receive an education that:

Notes and links on the proposed Madison Preparatory Academy and Kaleem Caire.

Rotary Club Speech: Madison Preparatory Academy for Young Men: Innovative Solution & First All-Male Public Charter School in Wisconsin

Madison Rotary Club:

Join us next week,
Wednesday, June 22, at the Alliant Energy Center’s Exhibition Hall as we welcome fellow Rotarian Kaleem Caire to the podium for a presentation on the features of the Madison Preparatory Academy, its timeline for implementation and a status report on where it is in the school development and approval process.
Attendees will learn why and how the Urban League hopes to lead a renaissance in K-12 education in Greater Madison, tying its charter school effort to local school improvement
initiatives, economic development projects and advancements and innovations in higher education and workforce development in Greater Madison.

DPI Report: Madison Schools Are Out of Compliance on Gifted and Talented Education

Lori Raihala:

In response, Superintendent Nerad directed West to start providing honors courses in the fall of 2010. West staff protested, however, and Nerad retracted the directive.
Community members sent another petition in July, 2010-this time signed by 188 supporters-again calling for multiple measures of identification and advanced levels of core courses for 9th and 10th graders at West. This time there was no response but silence.
In the meantime, Greater Madison Urban League President Kaleem Caire told us: “The law is there for a reason. Use it.”
So, after years of trying to work with the system, we filed a formal complaint with the DPI in September, 2010. Little did we know what upheaval the next months would bring. In October, the district administration rolled out its College and Career Readiness Plan; teachers at West agitated, and students staged a sit-in. In February, our new governor issued his reform proposal; protesters massed at the Capitol, and school was called off for four days.
In the meantime, the DPI conducted its investigation. Though our complaint had targeted West for its chronic, blatant, willful violations, the DPI extended its audit to the entire Madison School District.

Much more on the Madison parents complaint to the Wisconsin DPI, here.

Madison Preparatory Academy for Young Men’s Website

Madison Preparatory Academy, via a Kaleem Caire email:

ased on current educational and social conditions, the fate of boys of color is uncertain. African American and Latino boys are grossly over-represented among young men failing to achieve academic success and are at greater risk of dropping out of school. Boys in general lag behind girls on most indicators of student achievement.
In 2009, just 52% of African American boys and 52% of Latino boys graduated on-time from Madison Metropolitan School District compared to 81% of Asian boys and 88% of White boys.
In the class of 2010, just 7% of African American seniors and 18% of Latino seniors were deemed “college-ready” by ACT, makers of the standardized college entrance exam required for all Wisconsin universities.
Madison Preparatory Academy for Young Men (Madison Prep) is a public charter school being developed by the Urban League of Greater Madison. Madison Prep will serve as a catalyst for change and opportunity, particularly young men of color. Its mission is to prepare scholars for success at a four year college by instilling excellence, pride, leadership and service. A proposed non-instrumentality charter school located in Madison, Wisconsin and to be authorized by the Madison Metropolitan School District, Madison Prep will serve 420 students in grades 6 through 12 when it reaches full enrollment in 2017-2018.

Whose school is it anyway? Under proposal, taxpayers could pay for experimental charter schools

Susan Troller

Kaleem Caire has spent much of the last year making a passionate, personal and controversial pitch for a publicly funded male-only charter school called Madison Preparatory that would operate independently of the Madison Metropolitan School District. It aims to serve primarily minority boys in grades six through 12 and their families.
Caire, a Madison native and the president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Madison, has mustered a great deal of community support by highlighting the struggles of and grim statistics surrounding black and Hispanic young boys and men in Dane County, and through telling his own powerful story of underachievement in Madison’s public schools.
“I learned about racism and lower expectations for minority kids when I arrived the first day at Cherokee Middle School, and all the black boys and a few other minorities sat at tables in the back. I was assigned to remedial math, and even when I showed the teacher I already knew how to do those worksheets, that’s where I was stuck,” Caire says.
With its emphasis on discipline, family involvement, preppy-looking uniforms and a non-negotiable stance on being a union-free school, Caire’s proposal for the boys-only middle and high school has won hundreds of enthusiastic supporters, including a number of prominent conservatives who, surprisingly, don’t seem particularly troubled by the school’s price tag.

Some might argue that certain programs within “traditional” public schools are experimental, such as Connected Math and Small Learning Communities among others.

IMPORTANT SCHOOL BOARD MEETING: Madison Board of Education to Vote on Madison Prep Planning Grant!

Kaleem Caire, via email:

March 28, 2011
Dear Friends & Colleagues,
In 30 minutes, our team and the public supporting us will stand before the Madison Metropolitan School District Board of Education to learn if they will support our efforts to secure a charter planning grant from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for Madison Preparatory Academy for Young Men.
For those who still do not believe that Madison Preparatory Academy for Young Men is a cause worthy of investment, let’s look at some reasons why it is. The following data was provided by the Madison Metropolitan School District to the Urban League of Greater Madison in September 2010.
Lowest Graduation Rates:

  • In 2009, just 52% of Black males and 52% of Latino males graduated on-time from the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) compared to 81% of Asian males and 88% of White males.

Lowest Reading Proficiency:

  • In 2010, just 45% of Black, 49% of Hispanic, and 59% of Asian males in 10th grade in the MMSD were proficient in reading compared to 87% of White males.

Largest ACT Performance Gap:

  • Just 7% of Black and 18% of Latino seniors in the MMSD who completed the ACT college entrance exam were “college ready” according to the test maker. Put another way, a staggering 93% of Black and 82% of Latino seniors were identified as “not ready” for college. Wisconsin persistently has the largest gap in ACT performance between Black and White students in the nation every year.

Children Grossly Underprepared for College:

  • Of the 76 Black seniors enrolled in MMSD in 2010 who completed the ACT college entrance exam required by Wisconsin public universities for admission consideration, just 5 students (7%) were truly ready for college. Of the 71 Latino students who completed the ACT, just 13 students (18%) were ready for college compared to 403 White seniors who were ready.
  • Looking at it another way, in 2010, there were 378 Black 12th graders enrolled in MMSD high schools. Just 20% of Black seniors and completed the ACT and only 5 were determined to be college ready as state above. So overall, assuming completion of the ACT is a sign of students’ intention and readiness to attend college, only 1.3% of Black 12th graders were ready for college compared to 36% of White 12th graders.

Not Enrolled or Succeeding in College Preparatory Courses:

  • High percentages of Black high school students are completing algebra in the 9th grade but only half are succeeding with a grade of C or better. In 2009-10, 82% of Black 9th graders attending MMSD’s four comprehensive high schools took algebra; 42% of those taking the class received a C or better compared to 55% of Latino and 74% of White students.
  • Just 7% of Black and 17% of Latino 10th graders attending MMSD’s four comprehensive high schools who completed geometry in 10th grade earned a grade of C or better compared to 35% of Asian and 56% of White students.
  • Just 13% of Black and 20% of Latino 12th graders in the class of 2010 completed at least two or more Advanced Literature courses with a grade of C or better compared to 40% of White and 43% of Asian students.
  • Just 18% of Black and 26% of Latino 12th graders in the class of 2010 completed at least two or more Advanced Writing courses with a grade of C or better compared to 45% of White and 59% of Asian students.
  • Just 20% of Black 12th graders in the class of 2010 completed 2 or more credits of a Single Foreign Language with a grade of C or better compared to 34% of Latino, 69% of White and 59% of Asian students.
  • Just 33% of Black students took Honors, Advanced and/or AP courses in 2009-10 compared to and 46% of Latino, 72% of White and 70% of Asian students.
  • Just 25% of Black students who took Honors, Advanced and/or AP courses earned a C or better grade in 2009-10 compared to 38% of Latino, 68% of White and 64% of Asian students.

Extraordinarily High Special Education Placements:

  • Black students are grossly over-represented in special education in the MMSD. In 2009-10, Black students made up just 24% of the school system student enrollment but were referred to special education at twice that rate.
  • Among young men attending MMSD’s 11 middle schools in 2009-10, 39% of Black males were assigned to special education compared to 18% of Hispanic, 12% of Asian and 17% of White males. MMSD has been cited by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for disparities in assigning African American males to special education. The full chart is attached.
  • Of all students being treated for Autism in MMSD, 14% are Black and 70% are White. Of all Black students labeled autistic, 77% are males.
  • Of all students labeled cognitively disabled, 46% are Black and 35% are White. Of all Black students labeled CD, 53% are males.
  • Of all students labeled emotionally disabled, 55% are Black and 35% are White. Of the Black students labeled ED, 70% are males.
  • Of all students labeled learning disabled, 49% are Black and 35% are White. Of the Black students labeled LD, 57% are males.

Black students are Disproportionately Subjected to School Discipline:

  • Black students make up a disproportionate percentage of students who are suspended from school. Only Black students are over represented among suspension cases.
  • In 2009-10, MMSD levied 2,754 suspensions against Black students: 920 to Black girls and 1,834 to Black boys. While Black students made up 24% of the total student enrollment (n=5,370), they accounted for 72% of suspensions district-wide.
  • Suspension rates among Black children in MMSD have barely changed in nearly 20 years. In 1992-93, MMSD levied 1,959 suspensions against a total of 3,325 Black students. This equaled 58.9% of the total black enrollment in the district compared to 1,877 suspensions against a total of 18,346 (or 10.2%) white students [Dual Education in the Madison Metropolitan School District, Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, February 1994, Vol. 7, No. 2].
  • Black males were missed a total of 2,709 days of school during the 2009-10 school year due to suspension.
  • Additionally, 20 Black students were expelled from the MMSD in 2009-10 compared to 8 White students in the same year.

    The Urban League of Greater Madison his offering MMSD a viable solution to better prepare young men of color for college and beyond. We look forward to making this solution a reality in the next 18 months.
    Madison Preparatory Academy for Young Men 2012!
    Onward!
    Kaleem Caire
    President & CEO
    Urban League of Greater Madison
    Main: 608-729-1200
    Assistant: 608-729-1249
    Fax: 608-729-1205
    Website: www.ulgm.org

  • Much more on the proposed Madison Preparatory Academy Charter school.

    PLEASE JOIN US MONDAY! Madison Board of Education to Vote on Madison Prep; costs clarified



    March 25, 2011
    Dear Friends & Colleagues,
    On Monday evening, March 28, 2011 at 6pm, the Madison Metropolitan School District’s (MMSD) Board of Education will meet to vote on whether or not to support the Urban League’s submission of a $225,000 charter school planning grant to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. This grant is essential to the development of Madison Preparatory Academy for Young Men, an all-male 6th – 12th grade public charter school.
    Given the promise of our proposal, the magnitude of longstanding achievement gaps in MMSD, and the need for adequate time to prepare our final proposal for Madison Prep, we have requested full support from the school board.
    Monday’s Board meeting will take place at the Doyle Administration Building (545 West Dayton Street) next to the Kohl Center. We hope you will come out to support Madison Prep as this will be a critical vote to keep the Madison Prep proposal moving forward. Please let us know if you’ll be attending by clicking here. If you wish to speak, please arrive at 5:45pm to register.
    Prior to you attending, we want to clarify misconceptions about the costs of Madison Prep.
    The REAL Costs versus the Perceived Costs of Madison Prep
    Recent headlines in the Wisconsin State Journal (WSJ) reported that Madison Prep is “less likely” to be approved because of the size of the school’s projected budget. The article implied that Madison Prep will somehow cost the district more than it currently spends to educate children. This, in fact, is not accurate. We are requesting $14,476 per student for Madison Prep’s first year of operation, 2012-2013, which is less than the $14,802 per pupil that MMSD informed us it spends now. During its fifth year of operation, Madison Prep’s requested payment from MMSD drops to $13,395, which is $1,500 less per student than what the district says it spends now. Madison Prep will likely be even more of a savings to the school district by the fifth year of operation given that the district’s spending increases every year.
    A March 14, 2011 memo prepared by MMSD Superintendent Daniel Nerad and submitted to the Board reflects the Urban League’s funding requests noted above. This memo also shows that the administration would transfer just $5,541 per student – $664,925 in total for all 120 students – to Madison Prep in 2012-2013, despite the fact that the district is currently spending $14,802 per pupil. Even though it will not be educating the 120 young men Madison Prep will serve, MMSD is proposing that it needs to keep $8,935 per Madison Prep student.


    Therefore, the Urban League stands by its request for equitable and fair funding of $14,476 per student, which is less than the $14,802 MMSD’s administration have told us they spend on each student now. As Madison Prep achieves economies of scale, reaches its full enrollment of 420 sixth through twelfth graders, and graduates its first class of seniors in 2017-18, it will cost MMSD much less than what it spends now. A cost comparison between Madison Prep, which will enroll both middle and high school students at full enrollment, and MMSD’s Toki Middle School illustrates this point.




    We have also attached four one-page documents that we prepared for the Board of Education. These documents summarize key points on several issues about which they have expressed questions.
    We look forward to seeing you!
    Onward!
    Kaleem Caire
    President & CEO
    Urban League of Greater Madison
    Main: 608-729-1200
    Assistant: 608-729-1249
    Fax: 608-729-1205
    Website: www.ulgm.org



    Kaleem Caire, via email.
    Madison Preparatory Academy Brochure (PDF): English & Spanish.
    DPI Planning Grant Application: Key Points and Modifications.
    Update: Madison School Board Member Ed Hughes: What To Do About Madison Prep:

    In order to maintain Madison Prep, the school district would have to find these amounts somewhere in our budget or else raise property taxes to cover the expenditures. I am not willing to take money away from our other schools in order to fund Madison Prep. I have been willing to consider raising property taxes to come up with the requested amounts, if that seemed to be the will of the community. However, the draconian spending limits the governor seeks to impose on school districts through the budget bill may render that approach impossible. Even if we wanted to, we likely would be barred from increasing property taxes in order to raise an amount equal to the net cost to the school district of the Madison Prep proposal.
    This certainly wouldn’t be the first time that budgetary considerations prevent us from investing in promising approaches to increasing student achievement. For example, one component of the Madison Prep proposal is a longer school year. I’m in favor. One way the school district has pursued this concept has been by looking at our summer school model and considering improvements. A good, promising plan has been developed. Sadly, we likely will not be in a position to implement its recommendations because they cost money we don’t have and can’t raise under the Governor’s budget proposal.
    Similarly, Madison Prep proposes matching students with mentors from the community who will help the students dream bigger dreams. Effective use of mentors is also a key component of the AVID program, which is now in all our high schools. We would very much like to expand the program to our middle schools, but again we do not have the funds to do so.

    Mr. Hughes largely references redistributed state tax dollars for charter/virtual schools – a portion of total District per student spending – the total (including property taxes) that Madison Prep’s request mentions. I find Madison Prep’s fully loaded school based cost comparisons useful. Ideally, all public schools would publish their individual budgets along with total District spending.

    Hundreds attend, testify at legislative hearing on charter school changes

    Susan Troller:

    Testimony at the Capitol over a controversial bill that would strip control over charter schools from locally elected officials and place it in the hands of a politically appointed state-wide authorizing board drew hundreds on Wednesday to a standing-room-only Senate education committee hearing.
    Senate Bill 22, authored by state Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) would also fund independent charter schools ahead of traditional public schools. I wrote about the bill on Tuesday and it’s generated a robust conversation.
    Madison Superintendent Daniel Nerad testified in opposition to the bill, and so did local school board member Marjorie Passman. Kaleem Caire, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Madison and a strong proponent of the proposed boys-only Madison Preparatory Academy for minority students, testified in support of the bill. Madison Prep, if approved, will be a publicly funded charter school in Madison.

    Saving Young Black Men

    Sunny Schubert:

    Kaleem Caire is tired of waiting.
    He has watched in frustration as yet another generation of young black men fail to reach their potential, as the achievement gap continues to widen, as the economic disparity between blacks and whites continues to grow.
    “We have failed an entire generation of young men of color. We have not provided them with an education, and that is why so many of them end up in jail. It has to stop,” he says.
    And if that means taking on the educational establishment and the teachers union, Caire is ready.
    “In public schools, you are so strapped by rules and regulations. If teachers work outside the rules of the union, they get slapped,” he says.
    Caire believes he knows how to address the needs of minority children in school, because he himself was on the verge of failing and turned himself around to become a national leader in educational reform.

    Much more on the proposed Madison Preparatory Academy, here.

    Chicago’s Urban Prep Academies Visits Madison: Photos & a Panorama

    .
    Students from Chicago’s Urban Prep Academies visited Madison Saturday, 2/26/2011 in support of the proposed Madison Preparatory IB Charter school. A few photos can be viewed here.
    David Blaska:

    I have not seen the Madison business community step up to the plate like this since getting Monona Terrace built 20 years ago.
    CUNA Mutual Foundation is backing Kaleem Caire’s proposal for a Madison Prep charter school. Steve Goldberg, president of the CUNA Foundation, made that announcement this Saturday morning. The occasion was a forum held at CUNA to rally support for the project. CUNA’s support will take the form of in-kind contributions, Goldberg said.
    Madison Preparatory Academy for Young Men would open in August 2012 — if the Madison school board agrees. School board president Maya Cole told me that she knows there is one vote opposed. That would be Marj Passman, a Madison teachers union-first absolutist.
    The school board is scheduled to decide at its meeting on March 28. Mark that date on your calendars.
    CUNA is a much-respected corporate citizen. We’ll see if that is enough to overcome the teachers union, which opposes Madison Prep because the charter school would be non-union.

    Proposed Madison Preparatory Academy IB Charter School Budget

    Urban Leage of Greater Madison:

    The Urban League of Greater Madison (ULGM) is submitting this budget narrative to the Madison Metropolitan School District Board of Education as a companion to its line‐item budget for Madison Preparatory Academy for Young Men (Madison Prep). The budget was prepared in partnership with MMSD’s Business Services office. The narrative provides context for the line items presented in the budget.
    Madison Prep’s budget was prepared by a team that included Kaleem Caire, President & CEO of ULGM; Tami Holmquist, Business Manager at Edgewood High School; Laura DeRoche‐Perez, ULGM Charter School Development Consultant; and Jim Horn, ULGM Director of Finance. Representative of ULGM and MMSD met weekly during the development of the Madison Prep budget. These meetings included including Erik Kass, Assistant Superintendent for Business Services and Donna Williams, Director of Budget & Planning. The budget was also informed by ULGM’s charter school design teams and was structured in the same manner as start‐up, non‐instrumentality public charter school budgets submitted to the District of Columbia Public Charter School Board in Washington, DC. DCPCSB is widely regarded as one of the most effective authorizers of charter schools in the nation.
    In addition, Madison Prep’s Facilities Design Team is led by Dennis Haefer, Vice President of Commercial Banking with Johnson Bank and Darren Noak, President of Commercial Building with Tri‐North Builders. Mr. Noak is also the Treasurer of ULGM’s Board of Directors. This team is responsible for identifying Madison Prep’s school site and planning for related construction, renovation and financing needs.
    ……
    Budget Highlights
    A. Cost of Education
    In 2008‐09, the Madison Metropolitan School District received $14,432 in revenue per student from a combination of local, federal and state government and local property taxes. The largest portion of revenue came from property taxes, $9,049 (62.7%), followed by $3,364 in state aid (23.3%), $1,260 in federal aid (8.7%) and $759 in other local revenue (5.3%). That same year, MMSD spent $13,881 per student on educational, transportation, facility and food service costs for 25,011 students for a total of $347,177,691 in spending.
    In 2010‐11, MMSD’s Board of Education is operating with an amended budget of $360,131,948, a decrease of $10,155,522 (‐2.74%) from 2009‐10. MMSD projects spending $323,536,051 in its general education fund, $10,069,701 on food service and $8,598,118 on debt service for a total of $342,203,870. Considering the total of only these three spending categories, and dividing the total by the official 2010‐11 enrollment count of 24,471 students, MMSD projects to spend $13,984 per student.3 This is the amount per pupil that ULGM used as a baseline for considering what Madison Prep’s baseline per pupil revenue should be in its budget for SY2011‐12. ULGM then determined the possibility of additional cutbacks in MMSD revenue for SY2011‐12 and reduced its base per pupil revenue projection to $13,600 per student. It then added a 1% increase to it’s per pupil base spending amount for each academic year through SY2016‐17.
    ULGM recognizes that per pupil funding is an average of total costs to educate 24,471 children enrolled in MMSD schools, and that distinctions are not made between the costs of running elementary, middle and high schools. ULGM also understands that the operating costs between all three levels of schooling are different. Middle schools costs more to operate than elementary schools and high schools costs more than middle schools.
    Reviewing expense projections for middle and high schools in MMSD’s SY2010‐11 Amended Preliminary Budget, ULGM decided to weight per pupil spending in middle school at 1.03% and 1.16% in high school. Thus, in SY2012‐13 when Madison Prep opens, ULGM projects a need to spend $14,148 per student, not including additional costs for serving English language learners and students with special needs, or the costs of Madison Prep’s third semester (summer).
    B. Cost Comparisons between Madison Prep and MMSD
    Staffing Costs
    In 2010‐11, MMSD projected it would spend $67,133,692 on salaries (and benefits) on 825.63 staff in its secondary (middle and high) schools for an average salary of $81,312. This includes teachers, principals and in‐school support staff. In its first year of operation (SY2012‐13), ULGM projects Madison Prep it will spend $1,559,454 in salaries and benefits on 23 staff for an average of $67,802 in salary, including salaries for teachers, the Head of School (principal) and support staff. In its fifth year of operation, Madison Prep is projected to spend $3,560,746 in salaries and benefits on 52 staff for an average of $68,476 per staff person. In both years, Madison Prep will spend significantly less on salaries and benefits per staff member than MMSD.
    Additionally, MMSD spends an average of $78,277 on salaries and benefits for staff in its middle schools and $79,827 on its staff in its high schools.

    Additional documents: budget details and Madison Prep’s Wisconsin DPI application.
    Matthew DeFour:

    The high cost results from the likelihood that Madison Prep will serve more low-income, non-English speaking and special education students, said Kaleem Caire, president of the Urban League of Greater Madison, which is developing the charter school. The school also plans to have a longer school year, school day and require students to participate in volunteer and extracurricular activities.
    “What we’re asking for is based on the fact that we’re going to serve a high-needs population of kids,” Caire said. “We don’t know yet if what we’re projecting is out of line.”
    Caire said the proposal will likely change as potential state and federal revenues are assessed.
    A Republican charter school bill circulated in the Legislature this week could also alter the landscape. The bill would allow charter schools to receive approval from a state board, rather than a local school board, and those that don’t use district employees, like Madison Prep, would be able to access the state retirement and health care systems.

    Much more on the proposed Madison Preparatory Academy IB Charter school, here.

    Beating the odds: 3 high-poverty Madison schools find success in ‘catching kids up’

    Susan Troller:

    When it comes to the quality of Madison’s public schools, the issue is pretty much black and white.
    The Madison Metropolitan School District’s reputation for providing stellar public education is as strong as it ever was for white, middle-class students. Especially for these students, the district continues to post high test scores and turn out a long list of National Merit Scholars — usually at a rate of at least six times the average for a district this size.
    But the story is often different for Hispanic and black kids, and students who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
    Madison is far from alone in having a significant performance gap. In fact, the well-documented achievement gap is in large measure responsible for the ferocious national outcry for more effective teachers and an overhaul of the public school system. Locally, frustration over the achievement gap has helped fuel a proposal from the Urban League of Greater Madison and its president and CEO, Kaleem Caire, to create a non-union public charter school targeted at minority boys in grades six through 12.
    “In Madison, I can point to a long history of failure when it comes to educating African-American boys,” says Caire, who is black, a Madison native and a graduate of West High School. “We have one of the worst achievement gaps in the entire country. I’m not seeing a concrete plan to address that fact, even in a district that prides itself on innovative education.”
    What often gets lost in the discussion over the failures of public education, however, is that there are some high-poverty, highly diverse schools that are beating the odds by employing innovative ways to reach students who have fallen through the cracks elsewhere.

    Related: A Deeper Look at Madison’s National Merit Scholar Results.
    Troller’s article referenced use of the oft criticized WKCE (Wisconsin Knowledge & Concepts Examination) (WKCE Clusty search) state examinations.
    Related: value added assessment (based on the WKCE).
    Dave Baskerville has argued that Wisconsin needs two big goals, one of which is to “Lift the math, science and reading scores of all K-12, non-special education students in Wisconsin above world-class standards by 2030”. Ongoing use of and progress measurement via the WKCE would seem to be insufficient in our global economy.
    Steve Chapman on “curbing excellence”.

    Walker gives Madison Preparatory IB Charter School a better chance

    Wisconsin State Journal:

    Gov. Scott Walker just gave a boost to the Urban League of Greater Madison’s intriguing proposal for an all-male charter school.
    As part of his state budget address late Tuesday afternoon, Walker said he wants to let any four-year public university in Wisconsin create a charter school for K-12 students.
    That gives the Urban League of Greater Madison a second potential partner for its proposal, should the Madison School Board reject the League’s idea.
    Kaleem Caire, president and CEO of the Urban League, has made a powerful case for an all-male charter school with high standards, uniforms and a longer school day and year.
    Charter schools are public schools allowed more freedom to try new things in exchange for greater accountability for results.

    Advocating Dave Blaska for Madison School Board

    Capital Times Editorial:

    Supporters of the proposal to develop charter schools in the Madison Metropolitan School District — including “academies” segregated along lines of gender — have made a lot of noise in recent weeks about how the School Board should radically rewrite rules, contracts and objectives.
    Fair enough. Let’s have a debate.
    Two School Board seats will be filled in the coming spring election — those of incumbents Marj Passman and Ed Hughes.
    Hughes and Passman have both commented thoughtfully on the Urban League’s Madison Prep boys-only charter school proposal.
    Hughes, in particular, has written extensively and relatively sympathetically about the plan on his blog.
    Passman has also been sympathetic, while raising smart questions about the high costs of staffing the school as outlined.
    But neither has offered the full embrace that advocates such as the Madison Urban League’s Kaleem Caire and former Dane County Board member Dave Blaska — now an enthusiastic conservative blogger — are looking for.

    Our community is certainly better off with competitive school board races.

    Will a boys only, non-union prep school fly in Madison?

    Susan Troller

    Local attorney and former Wisconsin State Bar Association president Michelle Behnke spoke in favor of Madison Prep, saying both she and her now grown children attended Edgewood High School in preference over Madison public schools. “I am not a gambler,” Behnke, who is black, said during her three minute appearance before the board. She noted that the statistics regarding academic success for minority students in Madison were so bleak that neither she nor her parents felt they could risk a public school education.
    Steve Goldberg, representing CUNA Mutual, also testified in favor of the school, saying his organization was looking forward to being involved and supportive of Madison Prep.
    According to Caire, extreme measures are needed to deal with the extreme problems facing area black and latino youth in public school settings, claiming that conventional efforts have not yielded significant results. Both the achievement gap and the incarceration rate for black males in Dane County are at the bottom of national statistics.
    Caire believes Madison Prep could be an experimental laboratory for change, and that if successful it could be replicated across the Madison district and elsewhere.
    “We’ve been trying various approaches for 30 or 40 years and it’s still not working,” he says.

    Much more on the proposed IB Charter Madison Preparatory Academy and Kaleem Caire.

    Give all-male charter school a chance

    Wisconsin State Journal Editorial

    The Urban League of Greater Madison’s dramatic proposal for an all-male public charter school deserves open minds and fair consideration from the Madison School Board.
    Don’t dismiss this intriguing initiative just because the teachers union is automatically opposed. A new approach to helping more young black men get to college is justified, given the district’s stark numbers:

    • Only 7 percent of black students who took the latest ACT college preparation test were ready for college.
    • Barely half of black students in Madison schools graduated in 2009.
    • Almost three-quarters of the 3,828 suspensions last school year were black students, who make up less than a quarter of the student body

    Much more on the proposed IB Charter Madison Preparatory Academy and Kaleem Caire.

    Madison School District Leaders Learn More About Boys-Only Charter School

    Madison Metropolitan School District leaders on Monday night learned more about a proposed boys-only charter school and heard from the public.
    The school, which would have uniforms and be targeted toward minority students, would be the first of its kind in Wisconsin.
    The idea is called Madison Prep, and it would be part of the Madison Metropolitan School District. The school’s goal is for 100 percent higher education acceptance for its students, and to meet that goal it will have a longer school day and school year.
    And while it’s never been done here before, the person behind it said that’s the idea. Kaleem Caire, president of the Urban League of Greater Madison, said it’s time to think out of the box to help children be more successful in school — specifically black middle-school children.

    Talking Points for the Proposed Madison Preparatory Academy, an IB Charter School

    Kaleem Caire, via email

    What are Charter Schools?

    • Charter schools are public schools that have more freedom to innovate because they are exempt from many (but not all) policies that govern traditional public schools. There are more than 200 public charter schools in Wisconsin and two in Madison.
    • Charter schools employ fully qualified teachers and participate in statewide testing programs just like traditional public schools do.
    • Wisconsin has two kinds of charter schools: instrumentality (staff employed by a school district) and non-instrumentality (staff not employed by a school district, but by a nonprofit organization).

    Read the initial proposal, here.

    Initial Thoughts on the Madison Prep Proposal

    Madison School Board Member Ed Hughes:

    Thanks to the Kaleem Caire his Urban League team for shining a spotlight on the very troubling issue of the lack of success experienced by so many of our students of color. Thanks even more for proposing a charter school intended to help address this problem. I want the proposal to succeed. But I need to know more about the legality of the proposal’s single-gender approach, a lot more about the projected finances for the school and the extent of the School District’s expected contribution, and more about how the school intends to remain true to its vision of serving Madison’s disadvantaged African-American boys before my sympathetic disposition can grow into active support.

    Much more on the proposed IB Charter: Madison Preparatory Academy, here.

    Madison Preparatory Academy for Young Men: Initial Proposal to Establish a Charter School

    1.1MB PDF; via a Kaleem Caire email:

    Based on current education and social conditions, the fate of boys of color is uncertain.
    African American and Latino boys are grossly over-represented among youth failing to achieve academic success, are at grave risk of dropping out of school before they reach 10th grade, are disproportionately represented among adjudicated and incarcerated youth, and are far less likely than their peers in other subgroups to achieve to their dreams and aspirations. Likewise, boys in general lag behind girls in most indicators of student achievement.
    Research indicates that although boys of color have high aspirations for academic and career success, their underperformance in school and lack of educational attainment undermine their career pursuits and the success they desire. This misalignment of aspirations and achievement is fueled by and perpetuates a set of social conditions wherein men of color find themselves disproportionately represented among the unemployed and incarcerated. Without meaningful, targeted, and sustainable interventions and support systems, hundreds of thousands of young men of color will never realize their true potential and the cycle of high unemployment, fatherless homes, overcrowded jails, incarcerated talent, deferred dreams, and high rates of school failure will continue.
    Madison Preparatory Academy for Young Men (Madison Prep) will be established to serve as a catalyst for change and opportunity among young men, particularly young men of color and those who desire a nurturing educational experience for young men.
    Madison Prep’s founders understand that poverty, isolation, structural discrimination, lack of access to positive male role models and achievement-oriented peer groups, limited exposure to opportunity and culture outside their neighborhood or city, and a general lack of understanding – and in some cases fear – of Black and Latino boys among adults are major contributing factors to why so many young men are failing to achieve to their full potential. However, the Urban League of Greater Madison – the “founders” of Madison Prep – also understand that these issues can be addressed by directly countering each issue with a positive, exciting, engaging, enriching, challenging, affirming and structured learning community designed to exclusively benefit boys.
    Madison Prep will be a non-instrumentality charter school – authorized by the Madison Metropolitan School District Board of Education – that serves an all-male student body in grades 6-12. It will be open to all males residing in Dane County who apply, regardless of previous academic performance. The school will provide a world class secondary education for young men that prepares them for leadership, service, and success at a four-year college or university.
    Madison Prep will employ seven Educational Strategies to achieve this mission: an all-male student body, the International Baccalaureate curriculum, a College Preparatory educational program, Harkness Teaching, an extended school day and year, mentoring and community support, and the “Prep Year.”
    Madison Prep will also use four key Operational Strategies in order to support the educational strategies: adequate staffing, target student population, appropriate facilities/location, and sufficient funding.
    Eight Core Values and Four Leadership Dimensions will additionally serve as underpinnings for the success of Madison Prep and Madison Prep students. These Core Values – Excellence & Achievement, Accountability, Teamwork, Innovation, Global Perspective, Perseverance, Leading with Purpose, and Serving Others – will also root Madison Prep in the Educational Framework of the Madison Metropolitan School District. The Four Leadership Dimensions – Personal, Team, Thought, and Results Leadership – will serve as criteria for student and staff evaluations.
    Madison Prep’s educational program will be bolstered by partnerships with businesses, government agencies, professional and membership associations, colleges and universities, and scholarship-providing organizations that have the capacity to bring talent, expertise and resources into the school community to benefit Madison Prep students, faculty, staff, and parents. Madison Prep will also host special activities to engage parents, family members, and the community in the education of their young men. Invitations will be extended to parents, community leaders, and experts to join young men at the Harkness Table to add to their learning and to learn with them.
    Seed funding for the establishment of Madison Prep will come from public and private sources, including planning and implementation grants from charter school investment funds, charitable foundations, government agencies, and individuals. Ideally, Madison Prep will be located in a business or higher education environment with access to quality classroom, athletic and laboratory facilities or the ability to create such facilities.
    The Urban League of Greater Madison (ULGM or Urban League) will submit a Detailed Proposal for Madison Prep in 2011 to the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) Board of Education to receive approval to open the school in 2012. If approved, the school will open in August 2012 serving 90 boys in grades 6 and 7. The school will grow by one grade level each year until it offers a full complement of secondary grades (6 -12). At maturity, Madison Prep will serve 315 students and graduate its first class of seniors in 2017-18.

    Links: Madison Preparatory Academy and Kaleem Caire (interview).
    This plan will be presented at the 12/6/2010 Madison School Board meeting.
    In many ways, the outcome of this initiative will be a defining moment for our local public schools, particularly in terms of diffused governance, choice, a different curricular approach (potentially a movement away from the one size fits all model), economics and community engagement. If it does not happen in Madison, I suspect it will with a neighboring district.
    Page 45:

    The Madison Prep Difference
    Although it is clear that Madison Prep can and will support MMSD objectives, there is no doubt that Madison Prep will be unique. Madison Prep will be the only all-male public school option in Dane County serving young men when it opens in 2012. Furthermore, the school will be the only IB school in the city offering the full continuum of the IB Programme at the secondary level. Young men enrolled in Madison Prep in 6th grade will begin their education in the IB Middle Years Programme and continue in the curriculum until they move into the rigorous two- year Diploma Programme beginning in 11th grade, thereby increasing their likeliness of success. Finally, while MMSD offers after school activities and care, no school in the district offers a significant amount of additional instructional time through an extended school day and extended school year, as Madison Prep will.

    Charter schools benefit struggling students: Madison Prep charter school will help underachieving Madison students

    Matt Beatty

    My high school alma mater, Waubonsie Valley High School, was diverse in every sense of the term, but the most striking difference I noticed was the vast disparity in achievement that existed within each classroom.
    While some students graduated and went to top universities like MIT, Brown and UW-Madison, others continued to struggle with writing complete sentences or finishing an algebra test in their senior year. A handful of students did not receive the learning experience they needed to prepare them for the future.
    This glaring achievement gap is present in the city of Madison–most notably in the African-American population–where only 52 percent of students graduated from high school in 2009.
    Fortunately, Kaleem Caire of the Urban League is stepping up and proposing a way to increase graduation rates and overall academic achievement among Madison students.
    Caire plans to build an all-male, mostly African-American charter school called Madison Prep for sixth through 12th graders. Madison Prep will take several departures from the normal school model that many students find sufficient, but will focus additional attention on students who need extra help–a necessary resource that is often lacking in Madison schools.

    Commentary on the Proposed Madison Preparatory Academy, a Charter School

    Kaleem Caire, via email: Chris Rickert:

    At some point in the next couple months, members of the Madison School Board are almost certain to be in the unlucky position of having to decide whether to admit what is most fairly characterized as a colossal failure.
    Approving a charter for Urban League of Greater Madison President Kaleem Caire’s all-boy, mostly black, non-union Madison Preparatory Academy will make it clear that, when it comes to many black schoolchildren, teachers have failed to teach, parents have failed to parent, and the rest of us have failed to do anything about either.
    Reject the charter and risk the false hope that comes from thinking that all these children need is another program and more “outreach.” A tweak here and a tweak there and we can all just keep on keeping on. Never mind that the approach hasn’t seemed to work so far, and that if past is prologue, we already know this story’s end.
    Caire’s model would be a radical departure for Madison. The district’s two existing charter schools — Wright Middle School and Nuestro Mundo — don’t exactly trample on hallowed educational ground. They employ union teachers and have the same number of school days and teaching hours as any other non-charter and “broadly follow our district policies in the vast majority of ways,” said district spokesman Ken Syke.

    Amber Walker:

    I want to thank Kaleem Caire for coming home to Madison and making positive changes. If anyone can make an all-male charter school happen here, he can. The statistics in the article may be alarming to some, but not as alarming to the students and parents who are living these statistics.
    I support integration, but how can it be true integration when the education gaps are so large? Who is benefiting? In my eyes, true integration in the school system would support the same quality of education, the same achievement expectations, the same disciplinary measures and so on.
    Numbers don’t lie, and what they tell us is that we need to go another route to ensure educational success for black males. If that means opening a charter school to intervene, then let’s do it!

    Sally Martyniak:

    Instead of the headline “All-male charter school a tough sell,” imagine this one, “Loss to society: Madison schools graduated only 52 percent of black male students in 2009.” Then the reaction to the Urban League’s plan to start a charter school intended to boost minority achievement might have been different.
    Reaction in the article discussed all the reasons why people will or should oppose the idea of an all-male charter school, despite its benefits. Let’s not talk about why we should be aghast at the cultural performance disparities in Madison’s schools. And let’s not talk about what we lose as a society when almost half of all black males attending Madison schools fail to graduate.

    Marshall Smith:

    The comments of John Matthews, head of the Madison teachers union, on charter schools are hyperbole. Saying that the Madison School Board will have no control is a cover for the union not having control.
    We can’t argue the importance of good teachers. But the idea that a degree in education, and a union membership, make you the only one capable of performing this role is specious. All of us are teachers, or have been taught meaningfully by individuals with teaching skills. Are we going to let successful teachers teach, or are we going to let their union dictate?
    According to Carlo D’Este’s book “Warlord: A Life of Winston Churchill at War,” Churchill, during a lull in his career, learned bricklaying. Hearing this, the British Trade Union Council, in a public relations gesture, offered him a Master’s card.

    Douglas Alexander:

    Madison Urban League President Kaleem Caire applied for a charter school for males because only 52 percent of black males graduate in Madison schools, while black males are suspended significantly more than the majority white students.
    Before anyone responds, they should answer two questions:

    • Are you concerned about these statistics?
    • What are you doing about it?

    Much more on the proposed IB Charter school: Madison Preparatory Academy.

    Madison Preparatory Academy School Board Presentation 12/6/2010

    Kaleem Caire, via email:

    The initial proposal for Madison Preparatory Academy for Young Men will be presented to the Madison Metropolitan School District Board of Education’s Planning and Development Committee on MONDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2010 at 6:00pm in the McDaniels Auditorium of the Doyle Administration Building (545 West Dayton St., Madison 53703). The committee is chaired by Ms. Arlene Silveira (asilveira@madison.k12.wi.us). The Madison Prep proposal is the first agenda item for that evening’s committee meeting so please be there at 6pm sharp. If you plan to provide public comment, please show up 15 minutes early (5:45pm) to sign-up!
    Please show your support for Madison Prep by attending this meeting. Your presence in the audience is vital to demonstrating to the Board of Education the broad community support for Madison Prep. We look forward to you joining us for the very important milestone in Madison history!
    The Mission
    Madison Prep will provide a world class secondary education for young men that prepares them to think critically, communicate effectively, identify their purpose, and succeed in college, 21st century careers, leadership and life. For more information, see the attachments or contact Ms. Laura DeRoche at lderoche@ulgm.org.
    Get Involved with Madison Prep

    • Curriculum & Instruction Team. This design team will develop a thorough understanding of the IB curriculum and define the curriculum of the school, including the core and non-core curriculum. They will also develop a thorough understanding of the Harkness teaching method, outline instructional best practices, and address teacher expectations and evaluation. Both teams will address special education and English Language Learners (ELL).
    • Governance, Leadership & Operation Team. This design team will help develop the school’s operations plan, define the governing structure, and address the characteristics and expectations of the schools Head of School.
    • Facility Team. This team will be responsible for identify, planning, and securing a suitable facility for Madison Prep.
    • Budget, Finance & Fundraising Team. This team will be involved with developing Madison Prep’s budget and fundraising plans, and will explore financing options for start-up, implementation, and the first four years of the school’s operation.”
    • Community Engagement & Support Team. This team will develop strategies and work to establish broad community support for Madison Prep, develop criteria for partnering with others, and establish partnerships that support teaching, learning, leadership, and community engagement.

    Related: an interview with Kaleem Caire.
    Madison Preparatory Academy Overview 600K PDF and executive summary.

    All-male Madison charter school a tough sell

    School District and School Board members expressed interest in the concept, though they’re still waiting for more details, especially a financial plan.
    “I don’t want more charter schools simply for the sake of having more charter schools,” board member Ed Hughes said. “It (has to be for) something we would have a hard time achieving or even attempting under a traditional structure.”
    Madison hasn’t approved as many charter schools as other parts of the state. Of the 208 public charter schools in Wisconsin, only two are in Madison, though on Nov. 29 the School Board is expected to approve a third – an urban-agriculture-themed middle school south of the Beltline near Rimrock Road.
    The biggest hurdle, however, might involve a proposal to use non-union teachers employed by the charter school’s governing board, as opposed to the School District. Only 21 of the state’s public charter schools have a similar setup.
    John Matthews, executive director of Madison Teachers Inc., said teachers would oppose a non-union charter school.
    “It would be foolish public policy and a foolish commitment of the public’s funds to finance a project over which the elected body committing the public’s money does not have full control over both the expenditures and the policies of the operation,” Matthews wrote in an e-mail.
    Caire wants the school year to span 215 days, rather than the standard 180 days, and the school day to run from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

    Perhaps Kaleem’s initiative will work with a neighborhing school district. Watch an interview with Kaleem Caire here. Much more on the proposed Madison Preparatory Academy here.

    An Update on Madison Preparatory Academy: A Proposed International Baccalaureate Charter School

    Kaleem Caire, via email:

    October 8, 2010
    Greetings Madison Prep.
    It was so wonderful to have those of you who were able to join us for the information session Tuesday night (Oct 5) here at the Urban League. We appreciate you dedicating part of your evening to learning about Madison Preparatory Academy for Young Men and we look forward to working with you on this very important project. You are receiving this email because you volunteered to join the team that is going to put Madison Prep on the map!
    There are a few things we want to accomplish with this email:
    1. Share information about the project management website that we’ve established to organize our communications and planning with regard to developing the school
    2. Secure dates and times that you’re are available to attend the first of your selected Design Team meeting(s)
    3. Provide, as promised, background information on Madison Prep along with hyperlinks that will help you educate yourself on charter schools and components of the Madison Prep school design
    Please SAVE this email as it contains a number of information resources that you will want to refer back to as we engage in planning Madison Prep. There is a lot of information here and we DO NOT expect you to read everything or learn it all at once. Take your time and enjoy the reading and learning. We will guide you through the process. J
    PROJECT MANAGEMENT WEBSITE
    Today, you will receive an email with a subject line that reads, “You’re invited to join our project management and collaboration system.” Please open this email. It will contain the information you need to sign up to access the Madison Prep Project Management Site. You will need to select a username and password. FYI, Basecamp is used by millions of people and companies to manage projects. You can learn more about basecamp by clicking here. Once in the site, you can click on the “help” button at the top, if necessary, to get a tutorial on how to use the site. It is fairly easy to figure out without the tutorial. If you have spam controls on your computer, please be sure to check your spam or junk mail box to look for emails and posting that we might make through Basecamp. Occasionally, postings will end up there. Please approve us as an email “sender” to you.
    We have already posted the business plan for the original school (NextGen Prep) that is the same model as Madison Prep. We’ve also posted other important documents and have set a deadline of Friday, October 15, 2010 for you to review certain documents that have been posted. The calendar shown in Basecamp will include these assignments. Please email me or Ed Lee (elee@ulgm.org) if you have questions about using this site.
    DATES FOR DESIGN TEAM MEETINGS
    At the Interest Meeting we held on Tuesday (or in other conversation with us), you indicated a preference for getting involved in one of the following design teams. Please click on the name of the team below. You will be taken to www.doodle.com to identify your availability for these meetings. Please share your availability by Monday, October 11 at 12pm so that we can send out meeting notices that afternoon. We will address the dates and times of future meetings at the first meeting of each team. Please note, you do not need to be a “charter school” expert to be involved with this. You will have a lot of fun working towards developing a “high quality public charter school” and will learn in the process.
    · Curriculum & Instruction Team. This design team will develop a thorough understanding of the IB curriculum and define the curriculum of the school, including the core and non-core curriculum. At least for the first meeting of this design team, Instructional strategies will be addressed as well. The Instruction team will develop a thorough understanding of the Harkness teaching method, outline instructional best practices, and address teacher expectations and evaluation. Both teams will address special education and English Language Learners (ELL). Additional details will be shared at the first meeting.
    · Governance, Leadership & Operation Team. This design team will help develop the school’s operations plan, define the governing structure, and address the characteristics and expectations of the schools Head of School. The Head of School will be the instructional leader and therefore, there will be some overlapping conversations that need to occur with the team that addresses instruction and quality teaching.
    · Facility Team. This team will be responsible for identify, planning, and securing a suitable facility for Madison Prep.
    · Budget, Finance & Fundraising Team. This team will be involved with developing Madison Prep’s budget and fundraising plans, and will explore financing options for start-up, implementation, and the first four years of the school’s operation.”
    · Community Engagement & Support Team. This team will develop strategies and work to establish broad community support for Madison Prep, develop criteria for partnering with others, and establish partnerships that support teaching, learning, leadership, and community engagement.
    BACKGROUND ON MADISON PREPARATORY ACADEMY AND CHARTER SCHOOLS
    There is a lot of good support and buzz growing around Madison Preparatory Academy for Young Men (charter school). To ensure you have the opportunity to familiarize yourself with charter schools and single gendered school models, we have listed internet resources below that you can visit and review. Just click on the hyperlinks.
    Madison Preparatory Academy for Young Men will be an all-male charter school that we intend to open in the Madison area in the fall of 2012. It will serve as a high quality school option for parents as well as a demonstration school for secondary education reform and improvement in Dane County. We want local teachers and schools to learn from Madison Prep, and will take steps
    We have attached the two page executive summary again for your review along with a business plan for the school (that will be modified to fit Madison). Madison Prep was originally to be launched as a charter school in Washington, DC and Prince Georges County, Maryland in 2011 and 2013 under Next Generation, an organization I founded in Maryland with my wife and other partners in 2006.
    ABOUT CHARTER SCHOOLS
    In 2009, there were 5,043 charter schools in the United States compared to 33,740 private schools and 98,916 traditional public schools. Nationally, charter schools enrolled 1,536,079 students in 2009. According to the Wisconsin Charter School Association, there are more than 223 charter schools in Wisconsin serving more than 37,432 students. There are presently just two charter schools in Madison: James C. Wright Middle School on Madison’s South side, founded in 1997 (originally as Madison Middle School 2000).
    Until recently, other school districts in Wisconsin have been more open to charter schools. Appleton (14), Janesville (5), Kenosha (6), LaCrosse (4) and Milwaukee (66), Oshkosh (6), Sheboygan (7), Sparta (4), Stevens Point (7), and Waukesha (6) have authorized a significant number of public charter schools when considering the size of their total school district enrollments. However, recent enthusiasm around the formation of Badger Rock School is a sign that Madison area school districts could be more receptive to innovative charter school models that serve a specific community need and purpose. With your support and that of many others, we intend to make a very strong case for Madison Prep and why it’s so desperately needed in our community.
    DESIGNING MADISON PREP
    In Maryland, our team spent three years researching and designing the school and the curriculum. Members of the founding team were involved in the establishment and/or leadership of Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys , Septima Clark Public Charter School , The SEED Foundation and Public Charter Schools, Sidwell Friends School (where President Obama’s children attend), and Hyde Leadership Public Charter School . We had an expert on international baccalaureate education lead our curriculum design. We also worked closely with the leadership and faculty of other private and charter schools as we developed the business plan, curriculum and education program, including Washington Jesuit Academy , the St. Paul’s School in Baltimore, and Philips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. The school will utilize the highly regarded college-preparatory International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum and the teaching methodology will be rooted in Harkness instruction. St. Paul’s also has a school for girls – the St. Paul School for Girls.
    Prior to being hired as President & CEO of the Urban League of Greater Madison (ULGM), I shared with our ULGM board that I would look to establish charter schools as a strategy to address the persistent underperformance and failure of our children attending Madison area schools. As we have engaged our community, listened to leaders, researched the issues, and evaluated the data, it is clear that Madison Prep is not only needed, but absolutely necessary.
    SINGLE GENDERED PUBLIC SCHOOLS
    As of June 2010, there were 540 public schools in the U.S. offering a single-gendered option, with 92 schools having an all-male or all-female enrollment and the rest operating single gendered classes or programs. There were 12 public schools in Wisconsin offering single gendered classes or classrooms (6 middle schools, 5 high schools, and one elementary school).
    There are several single gendered charter schools for young men that have garnered a lot of attention of late, including Urban Prep Academies in Chicago – which sent 100% of its first graduating class to college, The Eagle Academy Foundation in New York City, Boys Latin of Philadelphia, and Brighter Choice Charter School for Boys and Green Tech High School in
    Albany, NY,
    Bluford Drew Jemison Academy in Baltimore.
    MORE ABOUT CHARTER SCHOOLS
    To learn more about charter schools, visit the following websites:
    US Charter Schools
    Information Website
    Starting a Charter School
    National Alliance of Public Charter Schools, Washington, DC
    National Association of Charter School Authorizers, Chicago, IL
    District of Columbia Public Charter School Board, Washington, DC (one of the best authorizers of charter schools; the local school board will authorize our school)
    Center for Education Reform, Washington,
    Wisconsin Charter School Association
    Madison, WI
    Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (Charter Schools), Madison ,WI
    Green Charter Schools Network, Madison, WI
    National Council of LaRaza Charter School Development, Phoenix, AZ
    Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color (COSEBC), Lynn, MA
    National Association for Single Sex Public Education Exton, PA
    The Gurian Institute,
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Some of the more highly recognized and notable “networks” of charter
    schools:
    Green Dot Public Schools, Los Angeles, California
    KIPP Schools, San Francisco, CA
    Aspire Public Schools, Oakland, CA
    Achievement First Schools, New Haven, CT
    Uncommon Schools, New York, NY
    Other Programs of interest:
    America’s Top Charter Schools, U.S. News & World Report (2009)
    New Leaders for New Schools, New York,
    NY
    Teach for America, New
    York, NY
    Teacher U, New York, NY
    Early College High Schools
    Charter School Financing (excluding banks):
    State of Wisconsin Charter School Planning and Implementation Grants (planning, start-up, and implementation)
    Walton Family Foundation, Bentonville, AR (planning, start-up, and implementation; however, only focus in Milwaukee right now but we can talk with them)
    Partners for Developing Futures, Los Angeles, CA (planning, start-up, and implementation)
    IFF, Chicago, IL (facilities)
    Building Hope, Washington, DC (facilities)
    Charter School Development Center, Hanover, MD (facilities)
    Local Initiatives Support Corporation, New York, NY (facilities)
    NCB Capital Impact, Arlington, VA (facilities)
    Raza Development Fund, Phoenix, AZ (facilities)
    We look forward to getting Madison Prep off the ground with you! WE CAN DO THIS!!
    Whatever it Takes.
    Onward!
    _____________________________________________
    Kaleem Caire
    President & CEO
    Urban League of Greater Madison
    2222 South Park Street, Suite 200
    Madison, WI 53713
    Main: 608-729-1200
    Assistant: 608-729-1249
    Mobile: 202-997-3198
    Fax: 608-729-1205
    Email: kcaire@ulgm.org
    Internet: www.ulgm.org
    Facebook: Click Here

    Next Generation Preparatory Academy for Young Men Empowering Young Men for Life 1.5MB PDF and Madison Preparatory Academy Overview 150K PDF.
    Related: Kaleem Caire video interview.

    Urban League of Greater Madison CEO invited to Oprah Winfrey Show

    Kaleem Caire, via email:

    September 21, 2010
    Dear Friends & Colleagues,
    Today, our President & CEO, Kaleem Caire, was invited to participate in a taping of the Oprah Winfrey Show as a member of the studio audience for a town hall discussion Ms. Winfrey is having on education reform as a follow-up to her show yesterday on the critically acclaimed documentary, “Waiting for Superman.” The film is directed by award winning filmmaker, David Guggenheim, the creative genius behind AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH.
    Ms. Winfrey has invited leaders in education, along with parents, community, business leaders, and students to discuss what needs to be done to fix America’s public schools. The full format has not yet been shared but guests have also been invited to view a showing of Waiting for Superman Thursday evening at her studio. The show will air this Friday afternoon. If anything should change, we will let you know.
    Considering just 7 percent of Madison’s African American graduating seniors in the class of 2010 who completed the ACT college entrance exam were considered “college ready” by the test-maker (93 percent were deemed “not ready”), it is more important now than ever that the Urban League, our local school districts, local leaders, and other organizations move swiftly and deliberately to implement solutions that can move our children from low performance to high performance. It is even more important that we provide our children with schools that will prepare them to succeed in the economy of the future . With the right approaches, we believe our education community can get the job done!
    We look forward to working with our partners at the United Way of Dane County, Madison Metropolitan School District, Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County, YMCA of Dane County, Madison Community Foundation, Great Lakes Higher Education, and many others to get our youth on the right track.
    Madison Prep 2012
    Whatever it Takes!

    Much more on the proposed Charter IB Madison Preparatory Academy here.

    “They have the power, but I don’t think anyone has looked at this. So [once again], I’m the angry black man.”

    ibmadison.com interviews Kaleem Caire about the proposed Madison Preparatory Academy, via a kind reader:

    In Caire’s mind, kids can’t wait. Consider the data he cites from the ACT District Profile Report for the Madison Metropolitan School District’s 2010 graduating class:

    Of students taking the ACT, average test scores differed significantly between African Americans and white students:

    English Math Reading Science Composite
    African Americans 16.3 18.0 17.1 18.4 17.6
    Caucasian/White 25.1 25.6 25.8 24.8 25.4

    The percent of students meeting ACT College Readiness Benchmark Scores, broken out by ethnicity, for the 2010 graduating class seems more alarming:

    Total Tested English (18) Math (22) Reading (21) Science (24)
    All Students 1,122 81% 68% 71% 51%
    African Americans 76 38% 24% 25% 9%
    Caucasian/White 733 90% 77% 79% 60%
    Hispanic 71 59% 39% 45% 18%
    Asian/Pacific Isl. 119 67% 65% 61% 45%

    Numbers like these fuel Caire’s fire, and his vision for The Madison Preparatory Academy for Young Men. “I’m amazed that [the primarily white leadership in the city] hasn’t looked at this data and said, ‘wow!’ They have the power, but I don’t think anyone has looked at this. So [once again], I’m the angry black man.”

    Caire understands the challenges that lie ahead. By November, he needs to formally propose the idea to the School Board, after which he will seek a planning grant from the Department of Public Instruction. He anticipates other hurdles along the way. Among them, a misconstrued conception. “Madison believes it’s creative, but the reality is, it’s not innovative.” Will the community accept this idea, or sit back and wait, he wonders.
    Second: The resources to do it. “We can survive largely on what the school system can give us [once we’re up and running], but there’s seed money you need to get to that point.”
    Third: The teacher’s union response. “No one knows what that will be,” Caire said. “The school board and district are so influenced by the teacher’s union, which represents teachers. We represent kids. To me, it’s not, ‘teachers at all costs,’ it’s ‘kids first.’ We’ll see where our philosophies line up.” He added that the Urban League and those behind the Charter School idea are not at all opposed to the teacher’s union, but the Prep School’s design includes, for example, a school day longer than the teacher’s contract allows. “This isn’t about compensation,” he said of the contract, “it’s about commitment. We don’t want red tape caught up in this, and we want to guarantee long-term success.”

    Related: “They’re all rich, white kids and they’ll do just fine” — NOT! and outbound open enrollment.

    More on the Proposed IB Madison Preparatory Academy for Young Men Charter School

    522K PDF via a Kaleem Caire email:

    Based on current education and social conditions, the fate of boys of color is uncertain.
    Black boys are grossly over-represented among youth failing to achieve academic success, are at grave risk of dropping out of school before they reach 10th grade, are disproportionately represented among adjudicated and incarcerated youth, and are far less likely than their peers in other subgroups to achieve to their dreams and aspirations.
    Research indicates that although black boys have high aspirations for academic and career success, their underperformance in school and lack of educational attainment undermine their career pursuits and the success they desire. This misalignment of aspirations and achievement is fueled by and perpetuates a set of social conditions wherein black males find themselves disproportionately represented among the unemployed and incarcerated. Without meaningful, targeted, and sustainable interventions and support systems, hundreds of thousands of young Black men will never realize their true potential and the cycle of high unemployment, fatherless homes, overcrowded jails, incarcerated talent, deferred dreams, and high rates of school failure will continue.
    Madison Preparatory Academy for Young Men (aka Madison Prep) will be established to serve as a catalyst for change and opportunity among young men of color. Its founders understand that poverty, isolation, structural discrimination, lack of access to positive male role models and achievement-oriented peer groups, limited exposure to opportunity and culture outside their neighborhood or city, and a general lack of understanding – and in some cases fear – of black boys among adults are major contributing factors to why so many young men are failing to achieve to their full potential. However, the Urban League of Greater Madison – the “founders” of Madison Prep – also understand that these issues can be addressed by directly countering each issue with a positive, exciting, engaging, enriching, challenging, affirming and structured learning community designed to exclusively benefit boys.

    More here.

    Video Message for You – Community Engagement & Public Service Opportunities

    Kaleem Caire, via email:

    Greetings Home Team,
    Before you read any further, please view our video message to you by clicking here (or cutting and pasting this into your web browser: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFpEFFWljR4). Also, join the Urban League of Greater Madison on Facebook, show your support, and stay up-to-date on our activities by clicking here.
    Our Community Engagement Initiative is well underway! We began training volunteers and canvassing the Burr Oaks and Bram’s Addition Neighborhoods last week. We will soon visit the Capital View and Leopold Neighborhoods, and then make our way to the Village of Shorewood, Glenn Oaks, and Hill Farms Neighborhoods. We are continuing to recruit volunteers and organizational partners to get out on the streets with us and talk with residents and business owners about their vision for the future of our city and region.
    If you want to know what the community thinks first hand and want to develop connections with members of our extended family of 500,000+ who reside in greater Madison, come join us. Our next Community Outreach training will be held Tuesday, August 3, 2010 from 5:30pm – 7:00pm at our new Urban League Center for Economic Development and Workforce Training headquarters located at 2222 South Park Street, Madison, 53713. Participation in a training session is required in order to participate in our campaign, so if at all possible, please plan on joining us for this session. If you can’t make it, there will be additional sessions held in the future.
    We will conclude our campaign on October 15, 2010, and soon thereafter will share the outcomes of our 3-month community engagement effort with all organizations and individuals who get involved. Please contact Andrew Schilcher at aschilcher@ulgm.org or (608) 729-1225. We’re already learning a lot about the dynamics and make-up of our neighborhoods that can only be learned by putting boots on the ground!
    In August 2010, the CEOs of the Boys & Girls Club and YMCA of Dane County will join me on a community walk with Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz through South Madison to talk with residents and business owners, and discuss community development needs and interests. We will also host a public hearing on the City Budget at the Urban League and a seminar for individuals interested in serving on City of Madison Commissions and Boards. We are particularly interested in increasing diversity on these Boards and Commissions and look forward to working with County leaders to accomplish the same.
    All events listed below are located at our Urban League headquarters in Madison at 2222 South Park Street, 53713 in our first floor Evjue Conference Room. To RSVP for either of the activities below, please contact Ms. Isheena Murphy at imurphy@ulgm.org or 608-729-1200.
    We are working with the Dane County leadership to provide similar forums as well.
    Last night, we completed the first of two Leadership Summits with young professionals ages 25 – 45 that we are hosting aboard the Betty Lou Cruises on Madison’s local treasurer, Lake Monona. What a great group of professionals we had join us – 32 leaders who are making a positive difference in our community and who have committed themselves to do more to establish greater Madison as the BEST place to live in the Midwest for EVERYONE. We would like to give special thanks to our Corporate Sponsor for tonight’s Cruise, Edgewood College. We also want to thank Wisconsin State Senator Lena Taylor for giving an inspiring and motivational talk, and for challenging us to get more deeply involved with local and state affairs. We sincerely thank everyone who participated and look forward to our 2nd cruise next week, August 3rd!
    Stay tuned for information regarding our plans for a 46 and older “Mentors and Coaches” event, which we are planning for early 2011.
    A book recommended to me by
    Neil Heinen, Editorial Director, Channel 3000 (Madison, WI)
    Caught in the Middle: America’s Heartland in the Age of Globalization
    By Richard C. Longworth
    Book Description: The Midwest has always been the heart of America – both its economic bellwether and the repository of its national identity. Now, in a new, globalized age, the Midwest faces dire challenges to its economic vitality, having suffered greatly before and as a result of the recent market collapse. In Caught in the Middle, veteran journalist Richard C. Longworth explores how globalization has battered the region and how some communities are confronting new realities. From vanished manufacturing jobs to the biofuels revolution, and from the school districts struggling with new immigrants to the Iowa meatpacking town that can’t survive without them, Longworth surveys what’s right and wrong in the heartland, and offers a tough prescription for survival.

    Madison Urban League Job Openings – Deadline July 21, 2010 at 5pm

    Kaleem Caire, via email:

    The Urban League of Greater Madison’s Learning Department, which oversees Schools of Hope and other educational initiatives for middle and high school youth, is currently seeking dedicated, energetic and qualified candidates for various positions. Please click the position titles below or visit www.ulgm.org for a detailed job description and instructions on how to apply. Deadline for application is July 21, 2010 at 5:00pm.
    Manager, Learning
    Manager, Learning (Bilingual English/Spanish)
    Volunteer Coordinator, Community Partnerships
    Tutor and Youth Recource Center Coordinators
    AmeriCorp Tutor Coordinators

    En-visioning Madison: Join the Urban League in a Community-Wide Outreach Campaign

    Andrew Schilcher
    Volunteer Coordinator
    Urban League of Greater Madison
    , via email:

    Good Morning,
    I am contacting you today because our President & CEO, Kaleem Caire, our Board of Directors, and our team would like to extend an invitation to you and your agency to get involved with the Urban League of Greater Madison’s Community Outreach Campaign. The campaign is aimed at gathering information about the current needs of its residents and the vision of its residents for the future of Madison. Madison’s Mayor Dave Cieslewicz has pledged to work in partnership with the Urban League on establishing a vision for the city that includes ideals, interests, needs, and values of all residents. The campaign is just the beginning of this process.
    The outreach campaign will enable us to go much deeper and further than telephone or electronic polling of registered voters offers. Instead, this boots-on-the-ground campaign will involve volunteers discussing with residents, business owners, and passers-by issues and topics that define the community’s outlook on the present and future. Organizations and individuals who participate in the campaign will have the benefit of getting out into communities to talk with residents and build a sense of community. All individual and agency volunteers will receive a full report on what we learned at the end of the campaign.
    By participating in this campaign, you will not only actively help to develop a deep understanding of our Greater Madison community, but also shape the future of our community as well. To support this effort, volunteers are needed to do the door-to-door and business outreach in targeted neighborhoods and commercial districts. Training and a t-shirt will be provided free of charge, and volunteers are only needed to commit to one (3 hour) shift every week for as many weeks as you can participate. This campaign is scheduled to run from the middle of July through the end of September 2010.
    I hope that you and your agency will be able to join us in our efforts to enhance the sense of community, inclusion, and common understanding of our city’s value and purpose among all who live and work in the capital of the Badger State, and improve the quality of life and for all of our city’s children and families.
    Please forward this call for volunteers to any service committees or engaged employees or patrons of your agency. We need all the support we can get to help shape Madison into a welcoming, supportive, and prosperous place for all people who make this their home.
    If you, or any member of your agency have any questions, or wish to get involved, please contact me at aschilcher@ulgm.org or 608.729.1225.
    Thank you for your time and consideration.
    Andrew Schilcher
    Volunteer Coordinator
    Urban League of Greater Madison
    2222 South Park Street, Suite 200
    Madison, WI 53713
    Main: 608-729-1225
    Fax: 608-729-1205
    Email: aschilcher@ulgm.org
    Internet: www.ulgm.org
    Facebook: Click Here

    Dane County African American Community Forum on Thursday, July 8

    via a Kaleem Caire email:

    Greetings.
    We want to remind you that the Urban League of Greater Madison is hosting a forum with members of Dane County’s African American community on Thursday, July 8, 2010 from 5:30pm – 7:30pm CST at our new headquarters (2222 South Park Street, Madison 53713) to discuss ways the Urban League can support the education and employment needs and aspirations of African American children, youth, and adults in greater Madison. We would like to hear the African American community’s opinions and ideas about strategies the Urban League can pursue to dramatically:
    · Increase the academic achievement, high school graduation, and college goings rates of African American children and youth;
    · decrease poverty rates and increase the number of African American adults who are employed and moving into the middle class; and
    · increase the number of African Americans who are serving and employed in leadership roles in Dane County’s public and private sector.
    If you have not already RSVP’d, please contact Ms. Isheena Murphy of the Urban League at 608-729-1200 or via email at imurphy@ulgm.org. We will serve light refreshments and begin promptly at 5:30pm CST.
    We look forward to listening, learning, and helping to manifest opportunity for all in Dane County.
    ________________________________________
    Kaleem Caire
    President & CEO
    Urban League of Greater Madison
    2222 South Park Street, Suite 200
    Madison, WI 53713
    Main: 608-729-1200
    Assistant: 608-729-1249
    Fax: 608-729-1205
    Email: kcaire@ulgm.org
    Internet: www.ulgm.org
    Facebook:

    Related: Poverty and Education Forum.

    Is this the best Madison’s (taxpayer supported) public schools can do?

    David Blaska: Today’s blog excerpts Kaleem Caire’s social media thread in the wake of his letter, co-signed by other local black leaders, expressing disappointment that Matthew Gutierrez of Texas was chosen as new superintendent of Madison WI schools over their preferred candidate, Taylor Eric Thomas of Georgia. Caire expresses frustration over the virulent Progressive Dane/Madison Teachers … Continue reading Is this the best Madison’s (taxpayer supported) public schools can do?

    Black community leaders share concerns about Madison School District’s superintendent hire, call process ‘flawed, incomplete’

    Scott Girard: A letter signed by 13 black community leaders in Madison expresses concerns about the Madison Metropolitan School District’s hiring of Matthew Gutiérrez to be its next superintendent. The concerns include how much larger and more diverse MMSD is than Gutiérrez’s current Seguin Independent School District in Texas, student performance scores in Seguin and a “flawed, … Continue reading Black community leaders share concerns about Madison School District’s superintendent hire, call process ‘flawed, incomplete’

    Why Black People in Madison Wisconsin are Impatient, and Should Be.

    Kaleem Caire: With regard to K-12 education, Madison has known about the widespread underperformance of Black children in our city’s public schools for more than 50 years, and the situation has gotten worse. Instead of creating important and transformationl systemic changes, we act like “programs” alone will solve our problems, when we know full well … Continue reading Why Black People in Madison Wisconsin are Impatient, and Should Be.

    Black Madison school staffer appeals firing for repeating student’s racial slur

    Logan Wroge: On Oct. 9, Anderson, who had worked at West for three years and at East High School for eight years before that, said he responded to a call about a disruptive student who was being escorted out of the school by an assistant principal. When the situation with the male student escalated, Anderson … Continue reading Black Madison school staffer appeals firing for repeating student’s racial slur

    Commentary on temporary madison school board memBer appoIntment, replacing Mary Burke

    Logan Wroge: The temporarily six-person School Board is scheduled to decide Monday who will join the body for a nine-month stint. During that time, the board will hire a permanent superintendent and work on a potentially large November 2020 facilities referendum. Those interested in the appointment have until 4 p.m. Friday to apply for the … Continue reading Commentary on temporary madison school board memBer appoIntment, replacing Mary Burke

    Positioning and Promotion: A Vacant Taxpayer Supported Madison School Board Seat

    Negassi Tesfamichael: Some observers said the unique vacancy is a chance for a newcomer to serve. “I would really love to see another black mother on the School Board,” said Sabrina Madison, the founder of the Progress Center for Black Women. “Especially a mom who has been advocating for her kid recently around some of … Continue reading Positioning and Promotion: A Vacant Taxpayer Supported Madison School Board Seat

    Commentary on The taxpayer supported Madison School Board’s GoVernance Plans: Replacement member and SuperintendenT search

    Negassi Tesfamichael: “Given that Mary will not be attending any future meetings, I do feel a sense of urgency in getting this filled,” Reyes said. “I don’t want to move forward through some of the important discussions and decisions we’ll have to make … so i think it is going to be imperative that we … Continue reading Commentary on The taxpayer supported Madison School Board’s GoVernance Plans: Replacement member and SuperintendenT search

    Opinion: Respectability Politics Fail to Address Urgent Challenges in Madison Schools

    John B. Diamond, Kendra Alexander, Bianca J. Baldridge and Erika C. Bullock, via a kind reader: In a recent OpEd published on Madison 365, Kaleem Caire chastised Madison youth of color and their adult allies for their demeanor and their “foul, abrasive, and derogatory language” as they raised legitimate concerns about the important issues they … Continue reading Opinion: Respectability Politics Fail to Address Urgent Challenges in Madison Schools

    Chinese model for early learning part of One City Schools’ educational approach

    Logan Wroge: A Chinese approach to teaching preschool students has made its way to Madison. One City Schools, a Madison charter school founded by former Urban League president Kaleem Caire and authorized by an office within the University of Wisconsin System, was the first school in the United States to practice Anji Play and is … Continue reading Chinese model for early learning part of One City Schools’ educational approach

    Madison Partnership for Advanced Learning 2019 School Board Candidate Q & A

    Christina Gomez Schmidt, via a kind email: In March 2019 after the primary election, we asked each candidate six questions about education issues and Advanced Learning topics. We hope the answers will help voters to better understand candidate viewpoints and how they see Advanced Learning fitting into district priorities. ​ Below are links to their … Continue reading Madison Partnership for Advanced Learning 2019 School Board Candidate Q & A

    Mulligans for Wisconsin Elementary Reading Teachers

    The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction “DPI”, lead for many years by new Governor Tony Evers, has waived thousands of elementary reading teacher content knowledge requirements. This, despite our long term, disastrous reading results. Chan Stroman tracks the frequent Foundations of Reading (FoRT) mulligans: Yet the statutory FoRT requirement is now deemed satisfied by “attempts” … Continue reading Mulligans for Wisconsin Elementary Reading Teachers

    Commentary on Madison’s Taxpayer Supported K-12 School Discipline and Achievement Climate

    Kaleem Caire: Our School District has an obligation to learn from these incidents and to ensure that our staff, students and parents have clear guidelines about how to address similar situations when they arise, and how they can also avoid such challenges as well. After reading the police reports, it is clear to me that … Continue reading Commentary on Madison’s Taxpayer Supported K-12 School Discipline and Achievement Climate

    North Carolina proposes lowering ‘F’ grade to just 39 percent

    Jeff Tavss: Student grades would be unaffected by the changing scale system, but would allow underperforming schools to continue operating. Related: Yet: “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”. Kaleem Caire: “If we don’t reach our benchmarks … Continue reading North Carolina proposes lowering ‘F’ grade to just 39 percent

    One City to Establish Elementary School in South Madison

    Kaleem Caire, via a kind email: Madison, WI – One City Schools Founder and CEO Kaleem Caire — with support from One City parents, Board of Directors, and partners — is pleased to announce that One City’s plan to establish One City Expeditionary Elementary School in South Madison has been approved. Last Friday, One City … Continue reading One City to Establish Elementary School in South Madison

    School Board candidates stake out their positions at 2019 primary forum

    Negassi Tesfamichael: The nine candidates in a crowded primary for three seats on the Madison School Board made their case to an audience gathered at Christ Presbyterian Church Tuesday evening. The forum, organized by the Grandparents United for Madison Public Schools, was the first time the candidates shared the stage during the current election cycle. … Continue reading School Board candidates stake out their positions at 2019 primary forum

    K-12 Governance Diversity: the 2019 Madison School Board Election, Parental Choice and our long term, disastrous reading results

    Chris Rickert: Endorsements in this month’s School Board primary from the influential Madison teachers union include one for a candidate who sends her two children to the kind of charter school strongly opposed by the union. Madison Teachers Inc. this week endorsed Ali Muldrow over David Blaska, Laila Borokhim and Albert Bryan for Seat 4; … Continue reading K-12 Governance Diversity: the 2019 Madison School Board Election, Parental Choice and our long term, disastrous reading results

    Commentary on a 2019 Madison School Board Candidate Forum

    David Blaska: The occasion was a school board candidate forum. An organization named GRUMPS sponsored it. It stands for GRandparents United for Madison Public Schools. Its major domos are former school board members Nan Brien, Anne Arnesen, Barbara Arnold, Arlene Silviera, and Carol Carstensen. We also encountered former board guys Bill Keyes, Bill Clingan, and … Continue reading Commentary on a 2019 Madison School Board Candidate Forum

    Meet the ‘crazy’ moms saying one of Pa.’s top-rated school districts can’t teach reading

    Avi Wolfman-Arent: The small parent rebellion forming in one of Pennsylvania’s wealthiest school districts began at a Starbucks in suburban Chester County. Over coffee, three moms — Kate Mayer, Jamie Lynch, and Wendy Brooks — swapped stories about how their kids struggled to read as they moved through the Tredyffrin/Easttown school district, located about 30 … Continue reading Meet the ‘crazy’ moms saying one of Pa.’s top-rated school districts can’t teach reading

    Advocating status quo, non diverse K-12 Madison Schools Governance

    Negassi Tesfamichael: MTI cited Carusi’s opposition to voucher and independent charter schools in its endorsement. “Carusi is opposed to vouchers and independent charter schools and strongly believes that we need to continuously work to improve our public schools, rather than support alternatives,” MTI’s endorsement said. Caire’s One City Schools, which expanded from One City Early … Continue reading Advocating status quo, non diverse K-12 Madison Schools Governance

    Minnesota’s persistent literacy gap has lawmakers looking for ways to push evidence-based reading instruction

    Erin Hinrichs: “Minnesota has a state of emergency regarding literacy. I’m very disappointed with where we’re at right now with the persistent reading success gap between white students and students of color,” he said Wednesday. “We are not making adequate progress, and the future of tens of thousands of our students is seriously at risk … Continue reading Minnesota’s persistent literacy gap has lawmakers looking for ways to push evidence-based reading instruction

    UW rejects application for independent Madison charter school

    Chris Rickert: According to emails released to the State Journal under the state’s open records law, Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham on Sept. 10 asked her chief of staff, Ricardo Jara, and other front-office officials whether Arbor was “worth trying to stop? Or change somehow? If so, how?” Cheatham expressed the district’s opposition to the school in … Continue reading UW rejects application for independent Madison charter school

    “One issue state officials say they have detected as they monitor the effectiveness of the READ Act is that not all teachers are up to date on how best to teach reading.”

    Christopher Osher: But districts are free to use their READ Act per-pupil funds on whatever curriculum they want, even on interventions researchers have found ineffective. “Typically, as with any education policy, we’re only given so much authority on what we can tell districts to do and what we monitor for,” Colsman said in an interview … Continue reading “One issue state officials say they have detected as they monitor the effectiveness of the READ Act is that not all teachers are up to date on how best to teach reading.”

    2019 Madison School Board Election: Madison Teachers Union Candidate Questions

    Negassi Tesfamichael: Nearly all current candidates for the Madison School Board have started to make their case to voters and potential endorsers as the primary election heats up. That included answering questions from Madison Teachers Inc., the city’s teachers’ union. Nine candidates are running for three seats on the seven-person School Board. MTI executive director … Continue reading 2019 Madison School Board Election: Madison Teachers Union Candidate Questions

    deja vu: Madison’s long term, disastrous reading results

    Laurie Frost and Heff Henriques: Children who are not proficient readers by fourth grade are four times more likely to drop out of school. Additionally, two-thirds of them will end up in prison or on welfare. Though these dismal trajectories are well known, Madison School District’s reading scores for minority students remain unconscionably low and … Continue reading deja vu: Madison’s long term, disastrous reading results

    2019 Election: Why are all of the Madison School Board seats at-large? (Curious statute words limiting legislation to Madison)

    Negassi Tesfamichael m: Why are all of the Madison School Board seats at-large? The answer lies in state law. Tucked into a section of state statutes about how school boards and districts are organized is a requirement that applies directly to MMSD. The requirement says that unified school districts — such as MMSD — “that … Continue reading 2019 Election: Why are all of the Madison School Board seats at-large? (Curious statute words limiting legislation to Madison)

    One City Schools Admitted to EL Education’s National Network of Schools

    Kaleem Caire, via a kind email: One City Schools, Inc., a local nonprofit operating an independent preschool and public charter school, announced today that it has been accepted into a coveted network of more than 150 schools nationwide in the EL Education (EL) program. EL Education (formerly Expeditionary Learning) is an educational model that balances … Continue reading One City Schools Admitted to EL Education’s National Network of Schools

    Commentary on A Diverse K-12 Governance Model – in Madison (outside the $20k/student legacy system)

    Neil Heinen: There is so much to like about One City’s structure and operation, starting with founder, President and CEO Kaleem Caire. Caire’s bedrock passion for education has always been part of what hasn’t always been a straight-line career path. But all of the elements of his business, civic, nonprofit and activist education ventures have … Continue reading Commentary on A Diverse K-12 Governance Model – in Madison (outside the $20k/student legacy system)

    Madison Teachers Union and the 2019 school board election: Commentary, Spending and Academic Results

    Chris Rickert: The questionnaire also includes several questions about teachers’ ability to have a say in their compensation and working conditions, and asks whether the candidates “support the reinstatement of collective bargaining rights for all public employees (currently prohibited by Act 10)?” Act 10 is the controversial 2011 law passed by Republicans that stripped most … Continue reading Madison Teachers Union and the 2019 school board election: Commentary, Spending and Academic Results

    Skylar Croy withdrawing from 2019 Madison School Board race, name will still appear on ballot

    Negassi Tesfamichael: Madison School Board candidate Skylar Croy said in an interview with the Cap Times Friday that he would suspend his campaign and withdraw from the Seat 3 race, citing personal reasons. Because Croy turned in his verified nomination signatures on Wednesday to the city clerk’s office, the third-year University of Wisconsin law student’s … Continue reading Skylar Croy withdrawing from 2019 Madison School Board race, name will still appear on ballot

    2019 Madison School Board Candidates; Competitive Races!

    Seat 3 Kaleem Caire, 7856 Wood Reed Drive, Madison Cristiana Carusi, 5709 Bittersweet Place Skylar Croy, 502 N. Frances St., Madison Seat 4 David Blaska, 5213 Loruth Terrace, Madison Laila Borokhim, 2214 Monroe St., Madison Albert Bryan, 4302 Hillcrest Drive, Madison Ali Muldrow, 1966 East Main St., Madison Seat 5 TJ Mertz, 1210 Gilson St., … Continue reading 2019 Madison School Board Candidates; Competitive Races!

    Who’s running for Madison School Board (so far)? 2019

    Negassi Tesfamichael: 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 … Continue reading Who’s running for Madison School Board (so far)? 2019

    “Yes, to Year Around School” Podcast Transcript (Not in the Madison School District)

    Scoot Milfred and Phil Hands: Usual mumbo-jumbo, we do on this podcast. Why don’t we invite in today some experts to talk about our topic which is around school. Which Madison is finally going to give a try this fall to experts. I know very well we have all hands on deck here. We have … Continue reading “Yes, to Year Around School” Podcast Transcript (Not in the Madison School District)

    One City CEO Selected to Participate in Distinguished Fellowship Program

    One City Schools, via a kind Kaleem Caire email: On Monday May 7, the Pahara and Aspen Institutes announced a new class of leaders that were selected to participate in the distinguished Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship. One City’s Founder and CEO, Kaleem Caire, will join 23 other leaders in this highly prized two-year fellowship program. The … Continue reading One City CEO Selected to Participate in Distinguished Fellowship Program

    University of Wisconsin System Approves One City’s Charter School Application

    Via a kind email: Dear Friends. Last night, we learned that our application to establish One City Senior Preschool as a public charter school serving children in 4 year-old and 5 year-old kindergarten was approved by the University of Wisconsin System. We are very excited! This action will enable us to offer a high quality, … Continue reading University of Wisconsin System Approves One City’s Charter School Application

    You’re Invited: One City to Launch Preschool Movement and Charter School

    One City Early Learning, via a kind Kaleem Caire email: A high quality preschool education, from birth to age 5, should be available and accessible to every child in the United States of America. Please join us on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 from 11:30am to 1:00pm for lunch and an important presentation and dialogue. We … Continue reading You’re Invited: One City to Launch Preschool Movement and Charter School

    Greatness! Future Leaders of Madison take Center Stage

    One City Learning, via a kind Kaleem Caire email: Tonight, One City Early Learning Centers, a high quality preschool located in the heart of South Madison, is hosting its first graduation ceremony and community barbecue, in honor of its first cohort of children to transition from its preschool to local kindergartens in the city. Nine … Continue reading Greatness! Future Leaders of Madison take Center Stage

    Children’s Rights and Voices in Changing Times

    Kaleem Caire, via a kind email: A Professional Development Seminar for Parents, Teachers and Community Educators; You don’t want to miss this! Presented by Dr. Elizabeth Blue Swadener Professor of Justice and Social Inquiry (and Education Policy), and Associate Director of the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University. Thursday, March 9, 2017 5:45pm … Continue reading Children’s Rights and Voices in Changing Times

    Edgewood College and One City Partner to Train Educators

    Kaleem Caire, via a kind email: Today, One City Early Learning Centers of Madison and Edgewood College’s School of Education announced a new partnership they have formed to provide preschool teachers-in-training with significant hands-on experience in early childhood education in a community setting. Beginning this month, Edgewood College will teach its Pre-student Teaching Practicum Course, … Continue reading Edgewood College and One City Partner to Train Educators

    Madison’s Wright Middle School seeks to give up its charter school status

    Doug Erickson: Wright Middle School, 1717 Fish Hatchery Road, is poised to give up its status as a charter school after 22 years. Kaleem Caire, a community member who has been heavily involved in helping the school discern its future, said the decision came about in part due to changes by the state Legislature. In … Continue reading Madison’s Wright Middle School seeks to give up its charter school status

    130+ Black Men to Support Preschool Education at Wisconsin State Capitol

    Kaleem Caire, via a kind email: On Sunday, October 2, 2016 from 2pm to 4pm CST, more than 130 local Black men will participate in Madison’s Premiere Black Male Photo Shoot on the steps of Wisconsin’s State Capitol, City Hall and the Monona Terrace. The photo shoot has been organized One City Early Learning Centers … Continue reading 130+ Black Men to Support Preschool Education at Wisconsin State Capitol

    One City Early Learning Centers of Madison, WI named first U.S. pilot site outside of China to implement revolutionary new education approach

    Kaleem Caire, via a kind email: One City Early Learning Centers of Madison, Wisconsin will be the first U.S. pilot site for the ground­breaking AnjiPlay curriculum. One City will feature environments and materials designed by AnjiPlay program founder Ms. Cheng Xueqin, and One City teachers and staff will receive training from Ms. Cheng and Dr. … Continue reading One City Early Learning Centers of Madison, WI named first U.S. pilot site outside of China to implement revolutionary new education approach

    A response to Chancellor Blank’s letter on UW’s campus climate

    Kaleem Caire: As a “distinguished alumnus” of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I say “bravo” to Chancellor Blank. I am looking forward to meeting with her to discuss the recommendations that have been put forth, and how quickly and thoroughly they will be implemented. We need transformational leadership, not just a few easy-to-implement solutions, and we … Continue reading A response to Chancellor Blank’s letter on UW’s campus climate

    One City Learning Invites You to a Special Event

    Via a kind Kaleem Caire email: Mobilizing One City: Early Experiences Elevate Everything High quality preschool education contributes significantly to a child’s long-term success. Their first 1,000 days of life set the stage for the rest of their lives. We can close the achievement gap that’s holding back children if we start early. Join us … Continue reading One City Learning Invites You to a Special Event

    One City Early Learning Center looks to help revitalize South Madison

    David Dahmer: Two facts that we know to be true: One, children who can read, who love to learn, and who can work effectively with others will be best prepared to lead happy lives and raise happy and healthy families as adults. Two, many children of color in low-income families don’t start their learning in … Continue reading One City Early Learning Center looks to help revitalize South Madison

    Madison’s Schwerpunkt: Government School District Power Play: The New Handbook Process is worth a look

    Wisconsin’s stürm and drang over “Act 10” is somewhat manifested in Madison. Madison’s government schools are the only Wisconsin District, via extensive litigation, to still have a collective bargaining agreement with a teacher union, in this case, Madison Teachers, Inc. The Madison School Board and Administration are working with the local teachers union on a … Continue reading Madison’s Schwerpunkt: Government School District Power Play: The New Handbook Process is worth a look

    The Rejected Madison Preparatory IB Academy Charter School, In The News

    Chris Rickert: A reader with a much keener sense of irony than I emailed this week to point out that the site identified 3 1/2 years ago for the aborted Madison Preparatory Academy is slated to become home to a new police station by 2017. That’s right. In a city with some of the highest … Continue reading The Rejected Madison Preparatory IB Academy Charter School, In The News

    Bring back plan for all-male school to help black Boys

    Kaleem Caire: So far, our capital city, like so many other cities, has preferred to go another way. They have no problem limiting their investment to spending millions of dollars on safety and security strategies that focus on locking up black males and policing them. We spend more money on policing, jail and related services … Continue reading Bring back plan for all-male school to help black Boys

    One City Early Learning Center

    <A href=”http://www.channel3000.com/news/opinion/For-the-Record-One-City-Early-Learning-Center/31611302“>Channel3000</a>: <blockquote>Neil Heinen talks with Salli Martyniak and Kaleem Caire about the opening of the One City Early Learning Center.</blockquote> 

    Madison School Board: Mary Burke Seeks Re-Election, Arlene Silveira Will Not

    Molly Beck Mary Burke, the incumbent Madison School Board member who unsuccessfully challenged Gov. Scott Walker last month, confirmed Friday she will seek re-election in April. But Arlene Silveira, the longest serving board member and in her second stint as president, will not seek another term. And Anna Moffit, who has served on the district’s … Continue reading Madison School Board: Mary Burke Seeks Re-Election, Arlene Silveira Will Not

    One City: New School, New Look, Great Progress

    Kaleem Caire, via a kind email: We’ve been quiet because we’ve been building. We have some exciting updates to share with you as we move forward to establish One City Early Learning Centers on Madison’s South Side. Since August, we have: Established a 15-member Board of Directors Filed for nonprofit recognition with the IRS Identified … Continue reading One City: New School, New Look, Great Progress

    OneCity Early Learning Centers: A New Plan for South Madison Child Development Incorporated (DRAFT)

    OneCity Early Learning Centers by Kaleem Caire and Vivek Ramakrishnan (PDF), via a kind reader In the fall of the 2013-14 school year, public school children across Wisconsin completed the state’s Knowledge and Concepts Exam, an annual test that measures their knowledge, ability and skills in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and … Continue reading OneCity Early Learning Centers: A New Plan for South Madison Child Development Incorporated (DRAFT)

    The First Two Years

    Stephen Buzrucha: The life-course perspective in particular is out of the public eye. Looking more deeply into research on the effects of early life, it is possible to estimate that roughly half of our health as adults is programmed from the time of conception to around two years of age. The importance of these “first … Continue reading The First Two Years