Endgame: Madison Superintendent Candidate Summary

Andy Hall:

The Madison School Board will meet behind closed doors this morning to begin determining which of the three finalists it’d like to hire to replace Superintendent Art Rainwater, who retires June 30.
Three men from Miami, Boston and Green Bay who share an obsession for education but offer sharply differing backgrounds visited Madison this week to compete for the job of heading Wisconsin’s second-largest school district.

Candidate details, including links, photos, audio and video:

We’ll soon see what the smoke signals from the Doyle building reveal.

4 thoughts on “Endgame: Madison Superintendent Candidate Summary”

  1. After watching the videos published on this site (thanks Jim), the brief statements of each of the candidates. I was certainly glad to see that the District’s desire to minimize community questions of these candidates was somewhat curtailed.
    One could tell that the district continued to limit participation by 1) apologizing to Steve Gallon that he had to participate in a “formal” question/answer session, 2) for Jim McIntyre, limiting questions to one/person.
    The question, of course, is which candidate, if any, the Board will choose.
    My own sense of these candidates is that Gallon, Nerad, McIntyre is the order of the candidates who would be most likely to make changes in the current district in the direction I would desire. That is, Gallon would be most likely to focus schools on the academic side (with measurable goals and assessments), requiring and expecting the community/home and after school programs to pick up more of the non-academic side.
    Nerad certainly seems open to changes that would be necessary in my view; but less so than Gallon.
    McIntyre seems least likely to make any changes in the MMSD, and his views seem quite in tune with Rainwater and current administrative staff (and likely, the current Board).
    So, I believe the Board will choose McIntyre. He lavished substantial praise on the Board, the curriculum, the administrative staff during his public session, and I’m sure that he stroked enough egos that he will likely be the choice. During his informal discussions with the public, he seemed in favor of CMP and “discovery” math programs. That will be another check in his favor with the Board and administration staff.
    Gallon will be seen by the Board and administration as a threat.
    Nerad may be the compromise candidate.
    Of course, the reality of each of these candidates skills and approaches and successes may be different from the performance presented at these public sessions, but I don’t expect that to be the case, given that these candidates have already gone through prior interviews and investigations by the Board and the consultants.

  2. Thank you, Jim, for taking time out of your busy schedule to perform this incredible public service.
    As grateful as I am to you, however, why didn’t the district record these candidate sessions and post them on the MMSD website as well as Channel 10? Isn’t there someone full-time on staff there whose job it is to do this? (In fact, rumor is that person was at the sessions, just didn’t bring the equipment.) Why didn’t the board ask this MMSD employee to tape and air these forums rather than rely, indeed, individually request a generous citizen to perform this vital function?
    School Information Systems–if you don’t know about this site, you may be missing something! Thanks for getting SIS up and running it, too.

  3. Many people, including all current members of the Madison School Board have contributed to this site over the years. Indeed a few years ago, Johnny asked me to provide logins to a couple of MMSD employees – which I did. Mary Battaglia and Celeste’s recent comments get to the core of the issue; that is open, timely conversations with the community:
    Writing and publishing for the web should be second nature for all those involved with public policy.
    Many citizens have taken the time to record important events including Jeff Henriques, Laurie Frost, Barb Schrank, Ed Blume, Larry Winkler and others.
    Certainly, in 2008, public discussions of this sort should be available in real time online and via archived audio, video and transcripts. Rafael’s most recent forum with Art Rainwater on school models can be reviewed via audio, video or a transcript:
    The traditional local news organizations are also capable of much more.
    Onward! (My video camera is available any time – email zellmer@gmail.com to borrow it).

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