Is Blaska aware of the school district’s Behavior Education Plan?
“Aware of it?” He has nightmares over it. Indigestion.
The heebie jeebies!
Third part of the Madison Teachers Inc. questionnaire
for the Tuesday, February 19 school board primary election
I face the MTI firing squad at 6 p.m. this Wednesday, January 16. Tell my story to the world if I don’t come down from Nob Hill.
Previously on Blaska’s Policy Werkes and even more previously: First batch of answers here.
22. Are you aware of the MMSD’s Behavior Education Plan?
- If so, what are your thoughts about the goals of the plan?
The goal of the BEP, unfortunately, is to jigger the numbers so as to avoid the race card. “There is overwhelming evidence that Obama-era policies culminating in this ‘Dear Colleague’ letter pushed schools to avoid disciplining students who needed to be disciplined. It made avoiding politically incorrect numbers more important than maintaining school safety.” https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/dear-colleague-letter-obama-administration-withdraw/
The WI State Journal article says so, too. The Behavior Education Plan “… emphasized the need to avoid suspending or expelling misbehaving students — largely as a way to reduce the disproportionate number of students of color who were missing school due to behavior problems.”
After four years of the inscrutable BEP and dollar cost of $15 million, Madison’s public school classrooms are more unruly than ever.
- out-of-school suspensions dropped from 2,905 in 2013-14 to 2,521 last school year.
- “Behavior incidents” nearly doubled from 35,460 in the 2013-14 school year — the year before the BEP went into effect — to 69,279 in 2017-18.
Federal policies requiring school districts to make the numbers work by disciplining fewer minority students are being rolled back. A federal Commission on School Safety blamed the 2014 directive for an increase in school violence. “The commission’s focus was part of a broader effort to reject the previous administration’s race-conscious education efforts,” the New York Times reports. The safety commission found that the focus on race over safety has made schools more dangerous. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/17/us/politics/trump-school-discipline.html
- What are your thoughts about the implementation of the plan?
Un-implementable. Undesirable. Counter-productive. The symptom, not the cure.
23. What do you see as the proper relationship between the Board of Education and the MMSD Superintendent and Administration?
Board of Directors / Chief Executive
24. Who do you plan to seek advice from should you be elected to the Board of Education?
Parents, teachers, police, alders and community leaders, reform-minded thinkers.
25. Are you seeking MTI’s endorsement of your campaign?
I am here at MTI’s invitation because I sincerely believe that teachers ought to be given back their classrooms, in part, by removing the impediments places in their way by backward, excuse-driven policies of the District. Teachers ought to be supported and rewarded who strive for excellence. I am happy to engage with all voters and groups on the merits.
26. Are you seeking MTI political action contributions for your campaign?
Write checks to Blaska for Safer Schools, P.O. Box 44663, Madison WI 53744-4663
27. Is there anything else you would like MTI members to know about your candidacy and why you are seeking election to the Board of Education?
My principal opponent is Ali Muldrow. She is Progressive Dane. She is against cops in school. She and Ananda Mirilli are running as a team. Both support Freedom Inc. Ali Muldrow wrote Progressive Dane’s cops-out-of-school manifesto.
According to Progressive Dane’s own website, Seat #4 school board candidate Ali “Muldrow was endorsed by Progressive Dane during her 2017 Madison School Board campaign and continues to serve on the Steering Committee where she is helping draft the first local Education Platform in our county’s history.”
That platform reads:
- Stop contracting with Madison Police Department for educational resource officer presence in schools.
- End the practice of expelling students.
- Oppose zero-tolerance policies, including, but not limited to those for the use of cell phones and other personal devices.
- Fund legal services/right to counsel for students facing formal discipline, including suspension and expulsion.
- Educate students and staff on issues of systemic racism and compel teachers and administrators to document their efforts to end racial inequalities in scales large and small.
- Uphold the right of students and families to opt-out of standardized tests and the right of staff to freely inform families of their right to opt-out.
- Oppose the ranking and grading of schools based on standardized test scores and participation rates.
On January 15, 2018 Ali Muldrow said: “I struggled to understand how Madison could be so liberal, and racist enough to discriminate against children at school. Because, you see, it is no coincidence that children who were once enslaved in this country are now filling our Juvenile Detention Center … I am here tonight because we are determined to end the incarceration of children, and I am just getting started.” — https://prodane.org/education/
Each of these candidates ought to be rejected by MTI. They stand for so many things that are harmful to our teachers and our schools. MTI could make a bold statement by refusing to endorse. If MTI chooses to endorse one of those candidates, it may properly be perceived as a cynical statement about the future of schools and rejection of the facts on the ground.
28. Who has endorsed your campaign?
You would be surprised!
29. Who serves on your campaign committee?
A cabal of very intelligent and public-spirited citizens
30. Are you aware of any conflicts of interest which may prohibit you from voting on certain items before the Board of Education? If so, what are they?
Now I put it to the 5,000+ faculty and staff of the Madison Metropolitan School District:
Are you running a school-to-prison pipeline? Do you discriminate against students of color, orientation? David Blaska says no. What say you?
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Hey kids! Did you know I’m running for Madison school board? Go to my website.
Help spread my message!