What are we teaching our children?
A 57-year-old man bicycling in Warner Park falls off his bike. Teenagers are near by. Do they offer assistance? No, they laugh at the man’s misfortune. He asks them to show some respect, they brandish a gun, chase him down as he tries to escape, and knock him to the ground. He breaks several facial bones and loses consciousness, requiring hospitalization. More here.
Dylan Brogan is the news reporter of the year so far. The reporter for Madison’s Isthmus publication ripped the bandage off the happy face Jennifer Cheatham puts on Madison’s public schools. He took some hair with it.
Brogan conducted 30 hours of interviews with dozens of Madison educators since, oh, about the April 2 school board election.
For all that, there is nothing new in his May 16 exposé for the weekly Isthmus, “A Rotten Year; Madison teachers report from the classroom.”
- The classrooms are in chaos, but we knew that.
- Teacher morale is plummeting, but we knew that.
- Central administration will throw any teacher under the bus if race is involved, but we knew that.
- The densely bureaucratic Behavior Education Plan only greases the school-to-prison pipeline, but we knew that.
We said that teachers are tired of being hit, ignored, taunted, and humiliated. We said that principals have lost control of their schools and teachers of their classrooms. We said a handful of misbehaving students can wreck the learning environment for everyone. We said central administration is interested only in making the numbers work.
Endorsed by Madison’s liberal establishment
The proprietor of Blaska Policy Werkes has been preaching a return to discipline at least since filing his papers in his quixotic quest for a seat on Madison’s Board of Education. (If you haven’t seen my campaign website, it’s still up.)
Instead, Madison voted for Ali Muldrow, who checks off at least three boxes in the great identity politics sweepstake. Endorsed by The Capital Times, Progressive Dane, Dane County Democratic Party, and by Madison Teachers Inc., AND (preposterously but the man does what he’s told) by Sheriff David Mahoney! (Would it surprise you, Ali Muldrow and Ananda Mirilli want cops OUT of our troubled schools?) Part of the problem is that only 15% of Madison voters have kids in the public schools.
What Brogan does bring to the party are telling quotes and still more incidents from inside the public school gulag.
“I had a kid who drew a picture of me with another boy doing it to me doggy style,” said one teacher. No punishment resulted.
Or this: “If I wrote up students for swearing at me, that’s all I would do. Today in a math class, I asked a kid to put her phone away and was told to ‘fuck off,’” says Leah. “I said, ‘Okay. But could you please put your phone away? Her response, ‘Don’t fuck with me now because I’m not in the mood. I’m going to call my mom.’ I thought, ‘wait, that’s supposed to be my line.’”
Feral kids roaming the hallways. (Blaska called it “truant in school.”)
Everyone is a racist except Ali Muldrow
For peering under the roofs of Madison schools, Brogan can expect to be played the race card. Merely discussing the problem — never mind suggesting a solution — is prima face evidence of implicit bias or what have you.
“The word ‘disruptive’ has become a racialized term in our district,” admonished school board member Ali Muldrow.
Central administration blames teachers for not “engaging” DISRUPTIVE (there, I said it) students. Brogan quotes a La Follette high school teacher: “How am I supposed to engage a student who barely shows up to class, when there are 28 other students in the room?”
Muldrow then mimics the supposedly racist, typical Madison teacher.
“I’m just trying to teach my class and black kids are getting in my way. It would be really helpful when I want them sent out, they got sent out. When I want them suspended, they got suspended,” says Muldrow, playing the role of a white teacher. “I would like permission to discriminate against students of color so I can do my job.”
Not a misquote; Muldrow sincerely believes this. I know, I debated the young lady in six forums and once more, one-on-one, after the election over a nice meal at The Sardine. (She paid). But so do the other two newly elected school board members: Ananda Mirilli and Cris Carusi. In fact, the Madison Board of Education is 7-0 in favor of identity politics first, education second.
One thing missing from Brogan’s piece: some word from Doug Keillor, executive director of the teachers union. A mea culpa is in order.
After getting creamed 70 to 30% in the Spring Election, Blaska said things would have to get worse before they get better. They are. One encouraging sign: the commentary on “A Rotten Year” is a raging torrent — 82 as of this writing. Almost all of it appalled at the chaos on Madison’s classrooms.
Much of it directed at Ali Muldrow and fairly so, for she is in a position to stop this train from running off the cliff. Instead, she is part of the problem. Here’s a sampling of those comments:
To those of you who are shocked by Ali Muldrow: This is exactly the platform she used to run on. She’s hellbent on racially dividing this community further and is attacking the very educators she’s supposed to be propping up in the process. This is how she was elected. This is exactly who she is, and it’s a shame. Her comments are vile and she will not rest until this district is destroyed to match her warped view on race, politics, and education. I’d love for her to roam the halls of some of these schools in the district and see first hand what it’s like. — Jim Delaney
Seriously? If I were a teacher, I’d be furious at the comments made by Ali Muldrow. — SH
Apologize or Resign: Unless she was quoted badly out of context, Ali Muldrow owes this district’s teachers an apology for her idiotic statements in this article. — Fed Up
This is EXACTLY what she ran on: She’s a joke. It’s a damn shame that the community allowed her to be elected to this school board. Cheatham finally got her school board and is now leaving for Harvard because her incompetencies have worn down the district educators. Muldrow and her supporters won’t stop until the school district is uniformly dumbed down enough for a student who attends 20% of their classes to pass with A’s. — Yuuup
Unacceptable comments by Ali Muldrow: I’m an educator. In the last several years I have been sworn out, spit at, kicked, punched, slapped, had my private parts touched for the purpose of humiliating me, and had my life threatened-all in front of other students and staff. Very often nothing meaningful happens to the student/s who engage in this behavior. No consequences or restorative justice. I guess it’s my ‘white fragility’ that makes me feel offended by this bottom line ‘disruptive’ behavior. Ali Muldrow needs to do her research before she makes unhelpful, uninformed comments. — Anonymous
Muldrow on school board is sad: Muldrow’s comments are entirely representative of what she brings to the School Board, and the direction it is headed. Everything is race driven in her world. Cheatham had been a disaster in her time here, and happy to see her go, but REALLY worried about who the new hire will be. I would say “it couldn’t get worse than Jen”, but I think Ali and company will try there best to find worse. — Steve Scheller
Blaska’s favorite comment
“Did you vote for Blaska? If your answer is no then I have no sympathy for you. You made your bed. — Karma.
We hear Karma is a bitch.