Madison School Board Candidate Take Home Test Week 9


One thought on “Madison School Board Candidate Take Home Test Week 9”

  1. In her response, like so much of her campaign material, Maya Cole references a research project. Although i appreciate the value of being well informed, I’ve been a little dismayed by some of these references, including this week’s and an earlier one to the Wisconsin Taxpayer’s Alliance.
    If you read the Goodman and Zimmerman study quoted this week, you will see that they favor limiting open meetings and decreased breasth of control by elected school board members.
    These aren’t the portions she quotes, but they are there. They also aren’t positions I agree with, but that isn’t what disturbs me.
    What bothers me most is that this continual referencing creates the illusion that these issues are easy, that “experts” have the answers and anyone who would bother to read and study will agree. That just isn’t true. Education studies are like the bible in that you can find respectable support from some expert for almost any position. These are tough issues and people of both great intellect and knowledge and very good will disagree as to the best courses. The evidence for evidence-based planning just isn’t that good and much of it is far from objective. The same problem exists in the discussions over TAG programs. There are very few things in education where there is a real eveidence-based consensus among “experts” about what works and what’s right.
    To a lesser extent I am bothered by issues like the one raised this week, where we really don’t know what Maya Cole thinks, only that she’s read widely (which again, I applaud). We don’t know if she favors closed meetings, we don’t know if she supports the whole agenda of the Taxpayer’s Alliance, or if she is selectively seeking and quoting these reports to support positions she already holds (like some “biblical scholars” looking to move their wider agenda forward).
    So Maya, keep reading and studying, but tell us what you think in your own words and if you are going to quote a study, give us your critique too.

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