Equity Task Force Community Input

The Equity Task Force will be holding two public sessions this week and is continuing to collect feedback via the web.
The first session will be hosted by the Falk PTO as part of their regular meeting, between 6:30 and 8:00 pm on Tuesday November 14th in the LMC. The second will be Wednesday November 15 at 11:30 am at Centro Hispano, 810 W. Badger Rd.
That’s the official information. Unofficially (as a Task Force member, but not speaking for the Task Force), I’d like to explain a little about this phase of our work. What we are seeking is kind of a reality check, a general sense of what others think about equity, what is important to them and what they would like an equity policy to do. We want to consider this information as we prepare our report to the Board of Education. When we finish with our recommendations and present them to the Board of Education there will be plenty of opportunities to weigh in on the specifics.
Thanks in advance for your participation.

3 thoughts on “Equity Task Force Community Input”

  1. Hi TJ:
    Thanks for posting these links.
    First, a definition, courtesy of dictionary.com:
    Within the context of learning my views on equity are as follows:
    1) Each child should learn every year they are in the MMSD.
    2) I would like to see easy to understand and widely published school based budgeting. In other words, each school has a bucket of cash based on enrollment (“Baseline”). The baseline funds would support the goal in #1 above with respect to core subjects (what is core?). They then have another bucket of cash for everything else, including special needs, athletics and district overhead which adds up to our current $332M+ budget (this may lead to non-traditional funding sources, I hope). I further hope that this approach will encourage schools to be creative about meeting the annual learning goal for all children. In some cases, rather than send the kids to the hall or the library for self study, they might take advantage of virtual classes.
    Peter Gascoyne’s ideas are a starting point for this process:
    3) Facilities grid that compares all MMSD buildings in hard and soft ways:
    a) Square Feet
    b) # of Rooms, sizes
    c) Amenities (which buildings have lunch rooms, gyms)
    d) Photos
    e) Telecommunications infrastructure for distance and virtual learning
    f) Distance to other facilities (for parents to look at commutes)
    g) Bus Routes to that building
    h) Nearby amenities (parks, libraries)
    i) Maintenance funding (operating and referendums)
    j) Wants/needs
    k) Volunteer resources
    l) KM (knowledge Management) website for each school. This site includes links to teacher, parent and student curriculum information used in that facility along with review commentary/links outside the mmsd (other schools, and universities). It also includes links to the MMSD’s online tools (Infinite campus, etc.) This site is edited by the Principal and would be a tremendous resource over time and as personnel change.
    m) Scores for that school (WKCE, ACT and others)
    n) Teacher roster with their CVs
    Publishing information of this type will drive further equity discussions, strategy and tactics.

  2. Peter Gascoyne has an excellent proposal:
    “I am suggesting a group be formed” to tackle budget issues, “[b]y asking, what is the best quality of education that can be purchased for our district for $280 million a year. . . .Consider everything – school-based budgeting, class sizes, after-school sports, everything. . . .
    When it’s all done, this group will have likely shaped an educational structure for this district that is quite different than the one you use today. The second task of this group, therefore, would be to determine how to implement the necessary changes. Perhaps one school is run under the new model in the first year, then additional schools, or perhaps all other schools, would be so run the following year.”
    The board and administration certainly are not the vehicles for forming such a group. So, who or what could pull together a group — United Way, Madison Community Foundation, CAST? I’d like to see it happen.

  3. One more opportunity just scheduled: Sennett Middle School PTO, Wednesday 11/15, 7:00 PM in the LMC.

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