Madison school board member Ananda Mirilli’s platform
to help Jalen & Jasmine learn to read
⇒ Blaska Theorem #62: If a community is home to any five progressives, four of them will find their way onto the school board.
Wisconsin has the widest achievement gap between black and white students of any state, according to the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress, WI Public Radio reported.
So the question was put to Madison school board member Ananda Mirilli: What is she doing to change that? A fair question, especially given her day job at Gov. Tony Evers’ old shop, the WI Department of Public Instruction. Ah-NAHN-duh’s response, via social media, is to play the race card as if it were your lottery ticket to Heaven. The following is Ms. Mirilli’s response (identity politics buzz words highlighted):
Multi-racial AND cisgendered
What do we want to change? I am fighting for our entire state, I am fighting for educational justice, I am fighting to dismantle the system that put us all here!
#1 Individual Level – As a immigrant, multiracial, light skin cisgender woman, I intentionally seek opportunities to understand systems of oppression in the US and the historical context that upheld and sustained current racial disparities. I engage authentically in a multiracial movement to address individual and systemic oppression towards people like me, dark skin folks and folks with oppressed identities.
#2 Relationships Level: I have a circle of white colleagues that I invest time, energy and love to build their capacity as leaders to both identify and address individual and systemic racism. I have circles of people of color and indigenous people that I often exchange learning, experiences, love, compassion and support to sustain us in the work to address individual, institutional and systemic racism.
#3 Community & Organizations: Continue to understand systemic power and privilege that impacts me, my family and my circles positively and negatively. Channel the spaces where I access those system and leverage JUSTICE.
#4 Structural: My work at the department is to address racial disproportionately in special education, I support Wisconsin educators and pre-service teachers to build their internal and building capacity to address systems of oppression and elevate justice.
My work at the school board is to make visible structural racism, address policies and procedures that disproportionality impact groups historically oppressed (students of color and indigenous students, students with IEPs, students experiencing poverty, LGBTQ+ students).
Lastly, everyday I wake up with a purpose to engage people in and out of my circles in efforts to foster belonging for all of us!
Chock full o’ Jargon
“How about you, David Blaska, what are you doing or have done so Wisconsin is not the #50?”
• Scrap the dysfunctional behavior education plan that has resulted in more chaos in the classroom and less accountability for the student.
• Put teachers back in control of their classrooms and principals in the schools — not Doyle administration building. I ran to keep school resource officers in place and to add them to the middle schools.
• Instill discipline — to teach kids they cannot F-bomb their way through life, that they have to show up on time and ready to learn and work. To follow directions. To contribute, not take.
• Increase the number of district charter schools so that reformers like Kaleem Caire can deploy innovative solutions instead of the one-size-fits all approach of MMSD.
• Break the disempowering victim narrative Mirilli and Muldrow espouse that tell children of color that it’s someone else’s fault if they fail, to blame someone else if they offend, that preaches they are victims of an unjust, racist society and therefore, cannot succeed until Mirilli and Muldrow work their magic.
Notice, Dear Ananda, not a single buzz word in sight!
Madison schools — a Progressive Dream
Two researchers for the WI Institute for Law & Liberty in the Wall Street Journal.
The Madison Metropolitan School District is a progressive dream, spending an average of $15,241 on each of its more than 27,000 students. That’s a higher per pupil price tag than any comparably sized district in Wisconsin. Despite this avalanche of cash, Madison schools are in crisis, plagued by one of the worst racial achievement gaps in the state and perhaps the country.
Of the Wisconsin school districts with an achievement gap, Madison’s is one of the worst. According to 2018-19 Forward Exam scores, only 34.9% of Madison students are proficient in English, well below the statewide average of 40.9%. But in Madison only 10% of African-American students are proficient in English, compared with 57.2% of white students. Only 79% of African-American students graduate from Madison public high schools within five years, compared with 94% of white students.
The district’s leaders have moved the school system to the left. A recently enacted policy prohibits teachers from telling parents if their child wants to change genders…
For Extra Credit: After … teaching to the test, this tiny Wisconsin school district now ranks among the state’s best.
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