I took a few notes (with apologies for their brevity):
Revisit strategic plan in January with local stakeholders. Preferred to lead with strategic plan but budget came first.
Hopes (MMSD) literacy programs are maintained.
He wants to listen to the community.
The District’s mission is teaching and learning.
The District has several strengths and some notable weaknesses, including achievement gaps.
Schools have a broader mission than workforce development, including helping students be good people.
Achievement gap is a significant issue. There is a compelling need to face an issue that affects Madison’s viability. These are not quick fix kind of issues. We need to talk more openly about this.
If I speak openly, I hope that people will be supportive of public education.
He wishes to reframe conversation around improvements for all students.
Five areas of discussion:
- 4k community conversation
- SLC grant (More here). Use the grant to begin a conversation about high schools. The structure has been in place for over 100 years. Discussed kids who are lost in high school.
- Curriculum can be more workforce based. Green bay has 4 high schools aligned with careers (for example: Health care).
- Revisit school safety
– safety plan and response system
– schools should be the safest place in the community
– technology is not the complete answer
– math task force; Madison high school students take fewer credits than other Wisconsin urban districts
– reaffirms notable math achievement gap
- Fine Arts task force report: Fine arts help kids do better academically,
Erik Kass, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services:
Discussed budget gaps.
Plans to review financial processes.
He previously worked as a financial analyst.
Goal is to provide accurate, honest and understandable information.
Jonathan Barry posed a useful question (46 minutes) on how the current MTI agreement prohibits participation in alternative programs, such as Operation Fresh Start (“nobody shall educate that is not a member of Madison Teachers”). Barry mentioned that a recent United Way study referenced 4,000 local disconnected youth (under 21). This topic is relevant in a number of areas, including online learning and credit for non-MMSD courses. This has also been an issue in the local lack of a 4K program.