For once, someone other than Blaska
is pulling the school alarm on the lingering effects
A crusader has stuck his out out of the foxhole to take on the political correctness that is destroying Madison’s public schools. We introduced him to you Blaska Policy Werkers two weeks ago. He is Peter Anderson, an environmental activist.
It is essentially the message Blaska has been sounding these past two years and in last year’s campaign for school board. Unlike that unsuccessful candidate, Anderson is not weighed down with Blaska’s conservative activism. In other words, he is a good Madison liberal. (Remains to be seen for how long, but Anderson says his group is looking for a permanent leader).
Anderson dares to take on the Madison establishment’s cowardice in confronting the school district’s obsession with “racial justice” at the expense of school discipline, personal responsibility, and educational achievement. We excerpt from that essay:
Why MMSD has failed to help
disadvantaged black students
by Peter Anderson
White guilt and black rage have become a toxic brew in Madison’s schools, now hell-bent on a path that will leave the very at-risk black students trapped in a failed district. Here’s what happened…
Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham failed to grasp … why her philosophy, which continues today, has undermined the foundations that had sustained a once-renowned school district. Although her intent may originally have been well-intentioned, the result removed consequences for misbehavior and undermined respect for teachers.
Dr. Cheatham weaponized students’ worst instincts by summarily forcing teachers to resign when, without evidence, a young African-American charged racism. This is what happened at Whitehorse Middle School, where she vilified and summarily pushed out a dedicated 30-year veteran teacher, which effectively promulgated an open season against teachers. That was followed by an apparent copy-cat racist charge at Leopold Elementary that came ominously close to the child’s mother and uncle “beat[ing the Principal’s] white ass.”
See: “Where does the Whitehorse middle school teacher go to get his reputation back.” Peter Anderson:
… Dr. Cheatham created more centrifugal forces by promoting African-Americans as principals, indifferent to the fact that most of her choices found themselves in over their heads. This need never have been. Madison has a long history of outstanding principals who are black, starting with Milt McPike.
For three years at Sherman Middle, the school environment degenerated toward chaos leading to mass teacher resignations. Dr. Cheatham ignored the torrent of complaints from teachers and parents, and retained a incompetent principal, without balancing her need to show her ersatz commitment to affirmative action with students’ right to be educated.
See “How dare a teacher criticize a principal of color.” Peter Anderson:
Later at Jefferson Middle School, three months after Dr. Cheatham left, the principal she championed papered over a student’s threats to “shoot up and kill everyone,” presumably because the student was black, and, possibly, his expulsion would worsen the school’s disparate punishment statistics. If there is anything that ought to have aroused a responsible principal to grasp that kid’s lives were more important than race stats, it would be the real possibility of another mass school shooting.
Disaster was only averted when the teen returned to school firing a BB gun at students, instead of an assault rifle. Compounding this tragedy, afterwards that principal attempted to dissemble the fact she had been forewarned, and, when one brave teacher objected, she ginned up a patently phony excuse to fire him.
… The Board of Education … is instead perpetuating … policies that are dead end for Madison’s schools.
The Board seems to have directed a national search limited to Black and Latino candidates. But, like Dr. Cheatham, this was regardless of whether they had the capabilities to lead, which could explain why they only received half the [number of] applicants as before.
⇒ Their selection, Dr. Matthew Gutiérrez, is someone with a thin resume, who changes jobs about every two years, and is presently superintendent of a small, bottom-ranked district in Texas, whose already poor ranking has fallen by half again during his tenure.
… Continuing Cheatham-ism cheats the black kids it purports to champion, using happy talk about Black Excellence and manipulated statistics to cover up the inexcusable fact that 90% of our third grade black students cannot read proficiently – and after five more years in school – almost 95% cannot.
How about a little courage, Madison!
Peter Anderson resumes:
Petrified of being called racist, all of the government, business and non-profit institutions that sustain Madison remain mute as our schools slide down the same downward spiral to a failed system that Milwaukee’s skidded 30 years ago.
Unless they, and especially the enlightened black community, summon the courage to speak out for justice that is durable, by focusing on reading proficiency instead of happy talk, and balancing the concern for troubled kids from broken homes and mean streets with the need for order — unless the entire community comes together to support those in need – our schools, once the jewel in Madison’s crown, will become another thorn in the side of those we owe it to help.