Question 7 – All Candidates
Please explain your views on additional charter schools given the success of Nuestro Mundo here in Madison and several offerings in Appleton just to name a few?
Last week I toured the Preschool of the Arts. It is an incredible program. I would love to have something like that as a part of Madison schools.
We need flexible, innovative programs but I think you already know what I am going to say next. The issues of finances are so overriding at this point that we will not have enough money for existing programs. I wish I could but I can't justify new spending. As a former teacher and a supporter of all programs that educate our students in new and dynamic ways, this has to be the saddest part of my candidacy.
I hope you understand that I could give you a glib political answer but I have to be honest.
Question 8 – All Candidates
How can the school district provide for second languages to be taught to all students starting in Kindergarten and continuing through all grades?
Again, in an ideal educational world, wouldn’t it be extraordinary, to be able to teach languages K12? In fact, in terms of a global economy, this is really essential.
Leopold elementary has a grant that is teaching Spanish to all children. I would work to find a way to use our resources (students and teachers who speak Spanish) to provide some foreign language experience. Unfortunately, a more extensive program would be difficult to fund. How can we as a District, justify hiring language teachers, if we are laying off our existing teaching staff and increasing class size?
Question 9 – All Candidates
The Board will be hiring a new superintendent. Please discuss what you believe is the top 3 criteria for a superintendent. You are free to ignore my request to address communication between Board and Administration/Superintendent, Boards communication with public, Superintendent and Public.
1.) Ability to understand our city and our belief that public schools are the
great equalizer in our society.
2.) His or Her commitment to increased input from teachers and parents.
3.) His or Her ability to work with the Board to restructure our hiring policy
for Administrators as well as Principals and teachers.
Question 10 – All Candidates
What role should School Board, Parents and Educator play in changing state law which adversely affect our schools? Now is the time for our School Board to organize parents and educators to lobby our state government for repeal of the Revenue Caps. In addition, we must come up with another way of funding our schools adequately. With an increased effort we can make a difference.
Question 12 – All Candidates
What is your position on the health insurance issue for teachers, that is the WPS option versus HMO’s?
Teachers have specified their top priority is health insurance and have sacrificed wages and other benefits to keep the security their health insurance provides. That is their choice. The QEO causes them to receive less in wages if they elect to spend more for insurance.
Every district which has switched health insurance has used the savings to increase teacher salaries. It is doubtful that MTI would agree to anything less. Finally, it is important to remember that MTI’s settlements with the district over the last six years have been below the state average – and below the average for the other large districts, even without health insurance changes.