Commentary on another Madison K-12 Superintendent Search // Priorities

Dave Cieslewicz:

I’m not at all surprised. 

The executive search group chosen to help find the next Madison schools superintendent reflects the biases of our current school board. The very first statement you see in the About section of the website of Alma Advisory Group out of Chicago is that it is, “is a woman-of-color-led consulting services organization.”

Imagine if you opened a website and read, “we are a straight-white-man-led consulting organization.” (In fact, there isn’t a single white guy on Alma’s team. So much for diversity.) And that identity focus is everywhere on their site. The profile of their CEO, Monica Santana Rosen, starts by stating that she is a “black Latina,” again as if her racial and gender identity is the most important thing about her.

When you start with identity you’re likely to end there as well. Alma ran the search process for a new superintendent in Denver and it proudly reports that, “The finalist candidates in this search included two men of color and one woman.” That’s it. There’s nothing in Alma’s write-up about it’s own work that has anything to say about the qualifications of the candidates they found or their accomplishments or their performance since being hired. What is important to Alma is the race and gender of the candidates.

David Blaska:

Not improving declining test scores. Not addressing the exodus of students in Wisconsin’s fastest-growing city. Not keeping schools safe from fist fights between rival sets of kids and their parents. Not arresting spiraling tax increases or reducing spending to avoid a projected $30 million budget deficit. Not being more transparent instead of a place where accountability goes to die. Not ending the preoccupation with diversity, equity, and inclusion in place of actual education. Especially not that! No, just the opposite!

Scott Girard:

Each session included a brief presentation from the consultant followed by attendees breaking into smaller groups to answer questions covering their top priorities for improvement, things about MMSD they’d want the new superintendent to champion and protect, and what skills will be most important for a superintendent to find success.

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

Booked, but can’t read (Madison): functional literacy, National citizenship and the new face of Dred Scott in the age of mass incarceration.

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?