State of the Madison Metropolitan School District
Presented by Superintendent Dan Nerad
Monday, January 25, 2010
Wright Middle School Library
Fish Hatchery Road
If the referendum passes, we will have breathing room. We should have three years when the specter of budget cuts is not hanging over our heads. This will enable the Board and the new administration to put into place the process we currently contemplate for reviewing our strategic priorities, establishing strategies and benchmarks, and aligning our resources.
Superintendent Nerad has described a proposal that contemplates a broad-based strategic planning process that will kick off during the second semester of the upcoming school year. This process will be designed to identify the community's priorities for our schools, priorities that I expect will reflect a concentrated focus on enhancing student achievement. Once we have identified our priorities and promising strategies for achieving them, we'll likely turn to examining how well our organization is aligned toward pursuing our goals. This will likely be the point at which we take a long, hard look at our administrative structure and see if we can arrange our resources more efficiently.
It will take a while - certainly more than a year - for us to undertake this sweeping kind of review of our programs and spending in a careful, collaborative and deliberative way. If we do go to referendum, and the voters authorize the increased spending authority we seek, then the obligation will pass to the Board and administration to demonstrate that the community's vote of confidence was well placed. There will be much for us to do and it will be fair to judge our performance on how well we take advantage of the opportunity the community will have given us.
1) Do we know how many of the potential community providers are enrolling or have already gone through the enrollment process for their 4-year-old programs for fall 2010? I know that we've only heard from one, but don't have a feel for how many programs would be affected by our late decision (I suspect that programs that have already gone through enrollment would have trouble participating because they've already committed their slots for next fall).
2) Would we have an RFP ready to go if we decide to start in 2010? If so, how long would it take from the time the RFP is released and the time that providers are selected? Going back to the November 2009 date, do we know how notification of a contract award in Feb 2010 (or later) would affect participation rates among community providers?
3) If the RFP has not been developed, can you tell us how long it will take to get the RFP finalized and distributed?
4) Are the master contracts that will be signed developed, or is there still work to do on the contract language? E.g., if we were ready to award contracts tomorrow, would the documents be ready to be filled in and signed?
5) Have the sites for the MMSD-run programs been selected? If so, how many will need remodeling or other renovation to be fully equipped and ready as 4K classrooms by August?
6) What will be the process and time line for hiring and mobilizing the teachers and aides for MMSD programs?
7) If it appeared that it would be impractical and/or counterproductive to try to start in fall 2010, could we still borrow the money and hold it in a separate account until it is needed to meet the additional 4K financial obligations?
At the top of page 4, the update states:
Support for underrepresented populations: Research and review of support models for students from underrepresented populations is on-going. District staff (high school teachers and resource teachers) are conducting a book study of Removing the Mask by Ruby Payne.So what's the big deal? For starters, Ruby Payne is an interesting choice for a district that embraces research-based best practices. Simply put, she does not conduct research
"...her truth claims, offered without any supporting evidence, are contradicted by anthropological, sociological and other research on poverty. We have demonstrated through our analysis that teachers may be misinformed by Payne's claims. As a consequence of low teacher expectations, poor students are more likely to be in lower tracks or lower ability groups and their educational experience is more often dominated by rote drill and practice." (emphasis added)