First, a couple of forums. The first is Saturday, March 20. Here is what the State Journal has to say:
A Madison School Board candidate forum with simultaneous translation in both Spanish and English will be held at 12:30 p.m. on March 20, at Centro Hispano, 810 W. Badger Road.
Topics will include Latino student progress, possible expansion of Nuestro Mundo Community school, charter schools and the school district’s equity policy. Audience members may also pose questions.
The event is sponsored by Centro Hispano of Dane County, Communities United, Latinos United for Change and Advancement, Latino Education Council, Nuestro Mundo Inc., and the Wisconsin Charter School Association.
25 March 2010
Community Forum- Involving the Candidates of the April Madison School Board Election; 6:00-7:30 p.m., THE NEW Urban League Center for Economic Development & Workforce Training, 2222 S. Park Street, Madison, Wisconsin || Sponsored by the African American Communication and Collaboration Council (AACCC)
Both candidates weighed in on MMSD budget issues in the Wisconsin State Journal and have guest columns up at the Cap Times: James Howard; Tom Farley.
I have seen nothing in he ay of a ground campaign from either, no lit drops, no yard signs…maybe I’ve just missed it.
I’m not going to go through these statements line-by-line, you can read them yourself. I am going to point put a couple of things about each.
Tom Farley: In the State Journal article, Farley said he “favored dropping the district’s plans to institute four-year-old kindergarten in the 2011-12 school year.” This is the exact opposite of what he said when asked directly about this at the Progressive Dane Forum (and here). Beyond that the recent things from Farley are filled with empty buzz words about innovation and transformation, ill-informed criticism of the recent work of district, a misunderstandings about how schools and districts function (here is a hint, classrooms and classroom teachers do not stand alone, they need supports), and seeming reversals about the need to fund education. Charters have become more and more prominent in his campaign.
James Howard: Howard has touted his knowledge and experience, but by beginning his Cap Times piece by proposing and rejecting another operating referendum when anyone who has paid attention knows that a referendum would do nothing to help the current situation in Madison (they have most of the necessary the tax authority, the choice is whether to use it) he creates real doubts about how deep that knowledge is. At least he has been consistent in supporting 4K and on school fiance issues (some waffling on school closures and consolidations). Like most candidates, Howard is also not immune to empty buzz words.
At this point I’m leaning Howard, between the two and leaning toward writing in Art Rainwater overall.
Thomas J. Mertz