It’s been a ‘privilege,’ Jen
We understand creative destruction here at the Policy Werkes. It is why we have Netflix instead of Blockbuster.
But “creative” does not describe the destruction Jennifer Cheatham has wrought on Madison’s public schools.
Even Capital Times editor Paul Fanlund (a suspected white man) notices that Kaleem Caire — “as steadfast an advocate for black children as anyone in town” — gets chewed up and spit out for rebuking foul-mouthed students disrespecting their teachers. (“Kaleem Caire gets mau-maued.”)
Kids F-bombing their teachers?! Did you ever?!
After a brief detour into reality, Fanlund dismisses “the just-get-tough chorus prescribing an old-school crackdown on discipline.” (Cough.) Better “old school” than chaos school, Paul.
No, The Capital Times has too much invested in the Tried and Untrue Gospel of Identity Politics to recant now. So Fanlund goes to work providing superintendent Cheatham some much-needed cover. His piece is headlined: “Unfazed by critics, Jennifer Cheatham sees schools at an ‘inflection point’”
All along, Cheatham said, she knew creating something new in Madison would have a cost: “As a white female, I know that it has been my obligation to use my white privilege — and sometimes burn down the capital that I have built up — so that I can make change for people who don’t have the privilege that I have, and if that means getting a crummy article written about me, if that means social media chatter that, quite honestly, I don’t look at, then so be it.
“Then so be it”? Mighty white of you, Jen. No need to worry about a crummy article from The Capital Times. Only reason Madison gave you your $250,000-a-year job was because you identify as a white female. Right?
F-bomb identity politics!
Now for a palate cleanser, let’s turn to a longtime national Democrat(ic) activist, a certain Mr. Ted Van Dyk, who offers these suggestions for “How Democrats Can Avoid Losing.” For fair usage, we’ll reprint just one of his points in its entirety.
Reject identity politics. A proud Democratic history of pursuing equality of opportunity without regard to race, ethnicity, sex, religion, sexual orientation or other irrelevance has given way to an identity politics based on victimhood, ugly accusations such as “white privilege” and “toxic masculinity,” and dramatic but empty symbolism, such as destroying Confederate monuments and demanding reparations for slavery. Democrats should instead concentrate on the plight of black Americans in inner cities plagued by high crime, violence, incarceration, school-dropout and unemployment rates. They should propose measures to restore family structure and provide fair and effective policing and job and skills training.
Van Dyk’s other suggestions:
- Don’t pursue impeachment.
- Abandon the Green New Deal.
- Stop promising free stuff.
- Respect the other side on abortion
- Make tax policy fair
- Embrace immigration reform
- Moderate Medicare for All.
Blaska’/s Bottom Line: Except for the last point, that’s pretty much the Republican platform.
For Extra Credit: White women can now attend dinners where they will be shamed for racism. Inquiring minds want to know: Will there be chardonnay? (a white wine.)
New Superintendent, New Abilities
In selecting a new school superintendent, whose salary will be above $250,000, the present board members must choose, with complete transparency, someone who understands the nuances of behavior. There is a difference between acting out because of serious trauma and acting out because poor behavior choices have been constantly enabled.
Students of all colors who are socially and emotionally able to learn need a quiet, safe school. Those students, of all colors, who continually are unable to self regulate because of serious trauma need attention outside the general classroom. It could be, to name a few options, mental health family assistance, a therapeutic school, a self contained classroom, or one on one instruction. These young people are entitled to a comprehensive assessment as to their “least restrictive environment.” They will NOT get healthier by being allowed, day after day, to wreck property or assault others.
Students who choose bad behavior, because they know they can get away with it, need meaningful redirection. After six years of shaming teachers and administrators, who did not agree with a deeply flawed behavior plan, it is time for a strong and flexible person who has a proven record of school leadership. Stop the secrets. Stop the top down dictates. Believe in all students by knowing they can learn to return respect to respectful teachers, respectful parents, respectful police officers. (Read Kaleem Caire: “Children Need to Learn Respect”). Know that all forms of race shaming are completely non productive. Phrases such as “Uncle Tom,” “Cracker,” or “Welfare Queen” simply stop dialogue.
Mary Burke, please use your voice of experience to insist that a candidate be fully vetted.
You were on the board when Cheatham was selected. She was one of two finalists for the job. Cheatham, though she probably has a good heart, apparently had not held any previous job for more than a couple of years. The other finalist candidate had to drop out because, at the very last minute, it was found that he had participated in financial irregularities. Instead of re-opening the search, Cheatham immediately was handed the job. According to the Chicago Tribune, the Madison School Board VP at the time of Cheatham’s hire, ”declined” to discuss Cheatham’s qualifications. Huh? This time insist that a candidate understands the nuances of behavior and has the confidence to admit when a program isn’t working.
Ali Muldrow, each of us is allowed some on-the-job training. Hopefully, you will step into a role of leadership and vote for a superintendent who cares about ALL teachers and ALL students. Maybe use your voice to help people understand the differences between tragic trauma and willfully bad choices. Instead of thinking of “disruption” as a racially tinged word, explore ways to end verbal and physical assaults by any student in our schools. Be part of a team that collects data on techniques that achieve positive goals. When does restorative justice work? When does restorative justice not work? What is the best way to prepare kids, socially and emotionally, for the real world?
School Board members, through election, are granted a public trust. A betrayal of that trust is unacceptable. Board members should consider conclusions only from properly executed studies, not from wishful thinking. They should be brave enough to demand modification or elimination of programs that are not working. A superintendent is entitled to make a mistake. However, going forward, he/she should not be allowed to cover up those mistakes. Madison is counting on you to choose experience, nuance, flexibility and truthfulness. Blaska no longer is alone. Other journalists and many citizens will be watching closely this time. Hopefully they will be cheering your leadership.
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Spot on Ana! How would you like the job!
Ana, You covered a LOT of ground here and yet you were succinct. And cogent. Thanks.
I’m afraid the next year’s trauma was baked in several years ago. That was not an inflection point. It was the noseover point and will result in the intersectionality of altitude, speed and ground.
And that is on the CapTimes, Mary Burke, the Deep school administration and the next SJW they hire will result in a smoking crater.
There will be blood. There will be exodus.
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“Inflection point”–the sort of empty academic jargon Jenny will spend her time spouting during seminars at Harvard–to coos of approval from overpaid, self-righteous, privileged, clueless white elites like herself. If anyone thinks the next superintendent will be anything but a clone of her, they haven’t been paying attention to how things work in Madison.
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@Ana; A most excellent post. I hope you are forwarding this to each member of the board. Maybe a letter in the Isthmus/ Journal, Times as well.
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For ABob and others who believe in polls:
Trump Approval; (Aggregate Blacks 17% Hispanics 34%)
The Hill Blacks 20% Hispanics 31%
HarrisX Blacks 16% Hispanics 36%
Economist Blacks 19% Hispanics 33%
YouGov Blacks 14% Hispanics 37%
Either all wrong or if near translates into actual votes=landslide
Trump only got 9% of black vote in 2016
People wanting America to be great come in many colors.
The only hope on the Left was to invent enough imprecations to scream at the president to drive his numbers down.
CNN has lost 24% of its viewers.
who did those polls?
Superintendent starting salary 150k with bonuses tied to date specific progress markers.
Replace unnecessary administrators/bureaucrats with teachers, counselors etc.
Make MMSD bottom heavy.
Immediately remove problem students from the general population thereby sending a clear message what the rules are. Students must earn their way back into school.
See Ana’s second paragraph.
Replace 82p. BEP with a one page Rules of Conduct and one page Consequence of Violation.
Keep it simple.
Ongoing data collection for each school.
Incentivize positive student contributions.
Apply the 80/20 rule.
Offering a fat salary is demonstrably not the answer and may in fact be counter productive.
Make Ana’s post above required reading by all board members, superintendents, admins., and teachers along with commentary on every paragraph. The commentary will be available to all participants and will naturally form a profile of the MMSD collective mindset.
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And arrest Bianca Gomez of Freedom Inc.
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Thanks so much for the feedback. Some great ideas. Eric, I did send to Board Members. Batman, I like the idea of a salary tied to accomplishments. Anyone who agrees with what I posted, please feel free to quote in Cap Times or anywhere else, or, even better, write a tragi/comedy sketch for SNL.
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P.S. Any MMSD employee who disagrees with the above suggestions/ideas shall be fitted with a brand new Chicago overcoat.
Problem solved, you’re welcome.
Same-o, different names, in ATL: https://www.amren.com/features/2014/09/all-i-really-need-to-know-about-race-i-learned-teaching-in-kindergarten/
The article is bad enough, but the comments are pretty scary. Nice publication, Dad.
A-Bob, Tho my experience on this blog is recent, I cannot help but notice: Seems like many things frighten you…. Thus, you are afraid to do real research and so you remain in the thrall of ignorance. However, you must then realize that your comments are hardly noteworthy. Just sayin’….
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Ooooooomph; THAT’S gonna leave a mark!
Thrall of ignorance.
Heh! In @AnonyBob’s defense, there are others here, one in particular, equally worthy of that…um…distinction.
Ok, smart guy Geo’s son: did you read the article Dad linked to? Did the inept racism of the psych ward failed kindergarten teacher go by you? Did the ugly naked racism of the commenters go by you? Occasionally I waste time on the links provided by the desperate commenters here. Do you?
Gootch, do you ever write sneering insults…excuse me, “comments”…that have anything to do with anything?
Didn’t think so.
You’ve been selected to participate in a little experiment:
Take a look at THIS and tell me where you clock in HERE.
Well, Anony, feel free to point out factual errors in the article. We’ll wait.
A-Bob, of course I read the article. It reminded me, as well as others, of some common sense & basic concepts that have been lacking bigtime. And not just lately -This racist holding-down of minorities didn’t occur overnight. It has been been growing for decades. Your immediate ad hominem attack on the author shows, once again, a refusal to look for or provide any facts. Why?
So, a little white suburban education major finds herself in a poor, urban, minority school and is completely overwhelmed to the point where she’s hospitalized in a psych ward. Thirty years later she’s recalling everything in terms of all black kids this, all black kids that, while planning to move to the whitest place she can find, in Utah, while packing heat, buying ammo and, according to her cute little bio, “spending her husband’s money.” The commenters, with names like “white power” see all blacks as animals worthy only of shooting. Nice.
Yet this story is common sense to you. What facts, exactly, am I supposed to look for or provide?
ALL Pride is Right Pride,
Unless Pride is White Pride.
Could we just get back to that Safe Place where your, et al, White Lefty Guilt has you crippled with self-loathing?
White pride. You can say that with a straight, serious face? I’d say you were on a slippery slope, but you’re already there.
Poor White Pride Gootch. If only there was some way to celebrate his heritage! Like with a Fest or something. Like a GermanFest, or an IrishFest, or a PolishFest. Gosh darn it, those browns get all the pride!
Enough about me, White Pride Gootch, what about YOU?
“ALL Pride is Right Pride,
Unless Pride is White Pride.”
You seem to lament the lack of White Pride. You seem to feel the need for it. Care to explain that? Let’s hear about YOUR self awareness.
You poor, oppressed member of the majority. Who knows what opportunities you were denied because of your whiteness? And now all those brown Mexican Muslims are streaming across the border to take your white women. Tragic.
“You poor, oppressed member of the majority.”
Never claimed to be ”oppressed;” never will. That and victimhoodie is the sole province of the career Lefty & The Gotch don’t play that game.
Take a stand and clear things up: go on record as disavowing that there any laws/rules/set asides, or other thumb-on-the-scale efforts to grease the skids for certain…um…demographics that Lefty has unilaterally determined simply cannot make it without Guilt-Suffocated White Lefty’s help.
It gets worse.
From another blog, and posted by a Black Lesbian who positively pummels Lefty with some Inconvenient Truth (bolds mine throughout):
“For me the real racism has never been about white folks thinking one way or another about my skin tone or race(s). It’s always been the well-meaning utopians (READ: LEFTIES) who want me to be their poster child for how awesome they are to be my ‘ally.’ Peter nailed it when he said ‘through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you (2 Peter 2:3)…’ as that is exactly what this sort of woke bigotry is…turning supposed downtrodden folks into mascots and products for other ends. Those ends are often wrapped up in warped ideas of how they think things should be, not what they are.
‘People of color, gays, women, trans folks, immigrants (legal & illegal), etc. have become nothing more than excuses for outright attempts at controlling minds in order to usher in a reality that will never come to pass. Worse is the rhetoric of social justice actually has a more detrimental effect on minorities because all you hear is the following:
-If you’re black you’ll likely end up in jail or poor or both.
-If you’re gay, conservatives and Christians hate you and you’ll be a depressed alcoholic.
-If you’re a biological woman, predatory men are around every corner and you’ll end up abused or raped.
-If you have gender confusion, you will commit suicide unless you get surgery & everyone affirms it, otherwise you’ll still kill yourself.
-If you’re Muslim you’ll be labeled a terrorist and probably become one because of it.
-If you’re Asian…well you get nothing unless you’re poor or an immigrant.
-If you’re Jewish…see above for the Asians unless a white supremacist doesn’t like you (but ignore BDS please)
-If you’re disabled you’ll be shunned & become homeless.
”These are big lies repeated to the point where some minorities actually end up believing this crap.”
Ah Lefty; so MUCH staggering hypocrisy, so little time!