Beth Swedeen: Silveira best pick for School Board
A letter to the editor
Dear Editor: Arlene Silveira is the best choice for Madison School Board. She has shown her commitment to the overall issues facing the district through activities such as the effort to support a referendum last year and tireless work on the boundary task force. Instead of flip-flopping on tough issues, like whether a new school should be built to alleviate Leopold crowding, she has taken consistent stands and done the research to support her positions.
She doesn’t use jargon like “transparency” as an excuse to put off hard decisions. She has listened with respect to many stakeholders: parents, community leaders, school staff and those whose voice isn’t always heard. Because she has an asset-based approach, she will work for constant improvement in the district, not just for the sake of change.
Beth Swedeen
Published: March 29, 2006
The Capital Times
Michael Maguire: No business as usual for Cole, Mathiak
A Letter to the Editor
Dear Editor: The recent years’ actions of our Madison School Board create a nice template for a new reality television series, “School Boards Behaving Badly!”
The passionate, yet appropriately measured, and get-things-done approaches of Ruth Robarts and Lawrie Kobza would be complemented quite well by Maya Cole and Lucy Mathiak.
Cole is a bright, out-of-the-box child advocate who has a very clear focus on short-, mid- and long-tem thinking about how to tackle the school district’s toughest, high-priority issues of budgeting and enrollment. She brings no baggage of influences created by long-term relationships with district personnel, the major point of contention I have with Arlene Silveira’s candidacy. I worked with Arlene on the Memorial/West Task Force and I know that she has some good ideas.
With Maya Cole, district stakeholders can be assured that there are no favors to be made in doing what’s best for our district’s children, their families and taxpayers.
Lucy Mathiak is simply the better candidate. To date, she’s only delivered a no-nonsense, non-emotional vision for good district planning that, like Cole, is not burdened with a “business-as-usual” approach often assumed by incumbent board members.
Let’s create a majority of transparent doers on the School Board! Vote Cole and Mathiak!
Michael Maguire
Published: March 29, 2006
The Capital Times


  1. Transparency in the MMSD budget means being able to see where the money comes from and where the money goes. That cannot be done with the current “black box” budget structure and document.
    For example, you cannot tell from the budget how much the district spends on Read 180, an apparently successful remedial reading program for middle and high schoolers. If you want to see whether current the budget includes more or less for Read 180 than last year, you cannot; the figures are not there.
    If you want to know how much each school receives under the MMSD budget, you cannot find expenditures by school. (The super thinks that the public wouldn’t understand the differences and Carol Carstensen agrees — end of discussion for providing expenditures by school.)
    Look at the Milwaukee Public Schools Web site to see better budget documents that tell what happens from year to year.

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