God help me (and I mean that)
This blogger was happy to be done with local politics when I left the Dane County board a dozen years ago but I cannot ignore the current crisis in Madison’s public schools. Someone must step up now, before it is too late!
You know there is trouble when good, hard-working parents are afraid to attend meetings of their own school board! You’ve read the headlines; you’ve seen the videos. In the last few months, I’ve met many of those parents, personally. For demanding safe schools in these troubled times, they have been harassed and intimidated by agitators spouting racial division (and spewing the F-bomb). Some of those fed-up parents vow to move out of the school district — a few already have.
If the school board meetings are this chaotic, imagine the disorder in the classroom!
That’s Blaska being harassed (but not intimidated!) at a school board meeting
For the past few years, we have watched in dismay as our young people spiral out of control.
- Children as young as 12 and 13 beating a woman who was just getting out of work on Odana Road in order to steal her automobile.
- Other teenagers ramming a car they stole into a home a charity was building for a disabled woman in Fitchburg.
- A child being walked by his mother to his first day of school at Orchard Ridge elementary finds shell casings on the sidewalk.
- La Follette H.S. and Sennett M.S. on lockdown due to gunfire.
- Teachers, staff, police, and students injured in recurrent cafeteria brawls including (at one school) the “positive behavior coach.”
- A much-honored teacher called it quits last year after detailing the chaos at her school, Sherman middle school. The school board president and superintendent called her a bigot for criticizing school leadership.
Whatever we’re doing, it ain’t working. Despite grandiose pronouncements, Madison’s public schools continue to suffer from a yawning achievement gap.
Folks, we can’t afford to lose a single child to the soft bigotry of lower expectations. Madison is a rich, caring and inclusive community — eager to help those willing to accept that help. For the sake of ALL our young people, we must demand performance, discipline and accountability. We must break the cycle of failure.
Yet the current members of the Board of Education keep offering the same excuses. Kowtowing to Madison’s power structure, they rebuff reformers like Kaleem Caire. They can’t even hold a meeting where everyone feels safe.
That is why I am announcing that I am running for Madison Board of Education, Seat #3. The incumbent is Dean Loumos, who was endorsed by Progressive Dane, a member of the Derail the Jail coalition. This citywide, non-partisan election will be held on April 2. (Primary Feb. 19 if necessary.)
I enter this race to offer a voice not being heard on Madison’s school board. I bear the message I am hearing from people like you: that This Nonsense Must End! We Must — and Can —Do Better. I am fully aware that the Madison Establishment will bring its full might and fury against my candidacy. I ask for your support. Please spread the word to your friends and neighbors.
Right now I need signatures on my nominating petition. Open the CONTACT page or BLASKA FOR BETTER SCHOOLS page and fill out the form to let me know you want to help. Thanks!