School Board member James Howard not running for re-election (2019)

Negassi Tesfamichael:

The three-term School Board member said he is most proud of helping further MMSD’s work on diversity and inclusion. Howard said he wished the School Board could have approved several more major initiatives that he said would have helped students of color.

Howard, the only black man on the School Board, is currently its longest serving member. He was first elected to Seat 4 in 2010 after defeating Tom Farley by nearly a two-to-one margin. Howard captured 76 percent of the vote when he was re-elected in 2013. He ran unopposed in 2016.

Howard, an economist for the USDA Forest Service, was widely expected to not run for re-election this spring. He said during his 2016 campaign that his next term would be his last.

Still, even as recently as earlier this month when several challengers announced School Board runs, Howard told the Cap Times he was still deciding if he would run again.

Notes and links:

Ali Muldrow

David Blaska

James Howard

A majority of the Madison School Board rejected the proposed Madison Preparatory IB Charter School (2011).

Madison has long tolerated disastrous reading results, despite spending far more than most taxpayer supported K-12 School Districts.

Compare Madison, WI high school graduation rates and academic achievement data.

The Madison School District’s “Strategic Framework”.

2005: When all third graders read at grade level or beyond by the end of the year, the achievement gap will be closed…and not before:

On November 7, Superintendent Art Rainwater made his annual report to the Board of Education on progress toward meeting the district’s student achievement goal in reading. As he did last fall, the superintendent made some interesting claims about the district’s success in closing the academic achievement gap “based on race”.

According to Mr. Rainwater, the place to look for evidence of a closing achievement gap is the comparison of the percentage of African American third graders who score at the lowest level of performance on statewide tests and the percentage of other racial groups scoring at that level. He says that, after accounting for income differences, there is no gap associated with race at the lowest level of achievement in reading. He made the same claim last year, telling the Wisconsin State Journal on September 24, 2004, “for those kids for whom an ability to read would prevent them from being successful, we’ve reduced that percentage very substantially, and basically, for all practical purposes, closed the gap”. Last Monday, he stated that the gap between percentages scoring at the lowest level “is the original gap” that the board set out to close.

Unfortunately, that is not the achievement gap that the board aimed to close.

2006: “They’re all Rich White Kids, and they’ll do just fine, NOT!”

2013: What will be different, this time?

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, lead by Governor Elect, Tony Evers, has waived Massachusetts’ style elementary teacher content knowledge requirements for thousands of teachers.