More Post Referenda Comments

Tuesday’s Madison Schools Referenda results continues to generate comments:

More here

Tracey Bietz:
Dear Editor: I was deeply disappointed by the defeat of the first two Madison school referendums. The cuts may force redistricting of my son’s school, which may mean he attends a new school next year. I am happy with his current situation, and I am not pleased that he may have to change situations in September.
I would have voted “yes” on the first two referendums whether I had a son in the Madison schools or not. The case for a new school to avoid overcrowding at Leopold has been convincing to me. I care about education and want to see Madison schools continue their high nationwide rankings and reviews. I don’t mind paying slightly higher property taxes to ensure a good education for the children around me. I hope when I’m 85 that I still live in Madison and that even if my grandchildren are being educated in some other state, I will still vote “yes” on a strong funding base for local schools.
Tracey Bietz
Published: 9:34 AM 5/28/05

James Nikora:
Dear Editor: I am a “liberal” citizen of Madison who supports education for both civic and selfish reasons. I believe education is essential to successful representative government and provides a better quality of life for the entire community. But I voted “no” on the school referendums and my reasons were not just about money. They are about our educational system, the people who run it, and the lack of ideas on the table.
Our current system of education was designed before the Industrial Revolution. We cannot compete in the 21st century using an 18th century model. We need to step outside of this obsolete box, engaging and challenging students with relevant material, while rethinking everything from our physical plants and schedules to teaching methods and systems.
I understand that the system is suffering societal pressure from the overall cuts to social programs at state and federal levels and the economic need families have to provide two incomes. Thirty years ago, in my high school, there was one principal, only one vice principal and two guidance counselors for 1,200 plus students. There were no social workers or psychologists and no executive athletic director. Our parents were biological – not provided by the school district. We need to remove this burden from our schools and make it, once again, their business to educate.
Perhaps I could have been persuaded to vote “yes” had it not been for the arrogance, distorted facts and dogmatic approach of the referendum supporters. I never once heard a proposal to cut administration before placing sacrificial lambs, like the strings program, on our altars. Even now, after defeat, they are looking only for teachers to cut. Their campaign claims of previous cuts to staff and budget were disingenuous and they vilified opponents as “anti-education.”
I will continue to support education, first by advocating new leadership in the administration. The district would be better served by an administration that looks in earnest for solutions and seeks to unite the community, rather than divide it.
James Nikora
Arlene Silveira:
Dear Editor: I am dismayed at the expression of joy on the faces of the Vote No for Change group on the front page of the TCT on Wednesday. It is hard to fathom that people can celebrate the fact that teachers are losing their jobs, programs are being cut and a neighborhood school is being torn apart.
The referendums took place and people voted. Fair enough. However, to celebrate what will be the misfortunes of others is appalling. They continue to say they did this to help children. I sure hope they don’t try to “help” my child anytime soon.
Arlene Silveira