Superintendent Art Rainwater's powerpoint presentation and followup board discussion
"Sometimes institutional history can be a weight around your neck," Rainwater
"This can be an opportunity to bring in new ideas, and new blood," he
has said change is necessary because high schools today look and feel much like they have for generations but that students will live and work in a world that has changed dramatically, and which demands new skills and abilities.
acknowledged that the path was likely to be bumpy, and noted that the plan - which has been developed thus far without public input - recognizes that there are major concerns in the community regarding changes to Madison's school system.
Some of those concerns include worries about trying to balance resources among students of widely varying abilities, about "dumbing down" the curriculum with inclusive classrooms, the potential for the high schools to lose their unique personalities and concerns that addressing the broad ranges of culture in the district will not serve students well.
West High Math Teacher Letter on math rigor.
This issue is particularly important in light of Superintendent Art Rainwater's comments (mp3 audio file) regarding "dumbing down the curriculum".
High School Redesign Committee
(currently there are no parent or community members - Susan Troller "which has been developed thus far without public input")
But as Beebe was asking the Madison district to join his group as a paying member, Rainwater expressed "serious doubts" about the plan and questioned whether Madison schools would benefit.
Madison Superintendent Art Rainwater's Presentation on the Proposed High School Redesign and Small Learning Community Grant
Superintendent Art Rainwater's powerpoint presentation and followup board discussion.
Several years ago, former Madison Superintendent Art Rainwater remarked that "sometimes I think we have 25,000 school districts, one for each child".
Authoritarian, top-down management grew under Nerad's predecessor, Art Rainwater
In Madison, where schools Superintendent Art Rainwater in a 2004 memo described 4K as potentially "the next best tool" for raising students' performance and narrowing the racial achievement gap, years of study and talks with leaders of early childhood education centers have failed to produce results.
"It's one of the things that I
regret the most, that I
think would have made a big impact, that I
was not able to do," said Rainwater
, who is retiring next month after leading the district for a decade.
"We've never been able to get around the money," said Rainwater
, whose tenure was marked by annual multimillion-dollar budget cuts to conform to the state's limits on how much money districts can raise from local property taxpayers.
A complicating factor was the opposition of Madison Teachers Inc.
, the teachers union, to the idea that the 4K
program would include preschool teachers not employed by the School District.
"always believed that those things could have been resolved" if money had been available.
One of those districts, Green Bay, is headed by Daniel Nerad, who has been hired to succeed Rainwater
(It seems that the public information session on the work of the High School Redesign Committee - including how it relates to the SLC grant described below - has been turned into something else quite entirely.) On Thursday, June 7, 2007, Superintendent Art Rainwater will be leading a discussion to solicit the Board of Education's [...]
The Madison United for Academic Excellence (MUAE) meeting of 29-November-2006 offered a question and answer session with Madison Superintendent Art Rainwater.
Marc Eisen: The uproar over proposed changes in East High School's curriculum has apparently prompted Madison School Superintendent Art Rainwater to announce a halt to any plans to change programming at Madison's four major high schools.
The Madison School Board has given Superintendent Art Rainwater a set of specific orders to accomplish in the coming year, including several directives to take an in-depth look at the district's entire math curriculum.
In the past several years, area math educators have expressed concern about the effectiveness of the Madison district's reliance on a [...]