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Green candidate wins School Board primary running against charters in Madison, WI

Wisconsin State Journal:

The race to fill Maya Cole’s seat on the Madison School Board has been narrowed to two.

Sarah Manski and T.J. Mertz advanced to the April 2 election after defeating Ananda Mirilli in the district’s first School Board primary in six years.

Manski, a Green Party political activist who runs a website that encourages people to buy local, said Tuesday’s result showed Madisonians do not support the direction the state is headed on education.

"Voters sent a message to (Gov.) Scott Walker and the Republicans that we support strong, fully integrated public schools and we’re not going to tolerate public money being spent on private schools," she said.

Mertz, an Edgewood College history instructor and local education blogger, was one of the more vocal opponents of Madison Prep and, like Manski, criticized the influence of the private sector in public schools. Mertz said he’s attended more than 200 School Board meetings and accused Manski of having

Excellent. I like two candidates competing on which is strongest against charters.

Average: 5 (1 vote)


Rangoon78's picture
Submitted by Rangoon78 on

Mertz: My kind of guy!

Schools advocate TJ Mertz talks about Madison Prep, teachers and school ‘reform’

CT: It was the Urban League of Greater Madison that brought Legend, Fuller and Canada to town recently for a fundraiser and education conference. You were strongly opposed to Urban League CEO Kaleem Caire’s Madison Prep proposal for a charter school aimed at students of color. Why?

TM: The proposed programs of that school did not target the kids who are being failed by the district. Ask anyone who knows curriculum if the international baccalaureate is a way to address students who are grades behind, and they’ll laugh. But that was what he was selling — so who was he targeting? Students below proficiency were the ones used in the PR campaign, which made it harder for them and a lot of other people to work with the school district. It was a bait-and-switch.

CT: You are an opponent of achievement test-based teacher evaluations. Is there any rational way to weigh how students are doing to evaluate how teachers are doing?

TM: When you get down to the classroom level, no. The sample size is too small; the data is all over the place. I’d rather have the professional judgment of peers and supervisors. When you get to the school level, you have enough information to guide you on where to look. But you should never let it drive your decision-making; we’re falling too much into setting ‘data goals’ and doing way too much assessment. If we’re doing it just to compare kids, we’re wasting everyone’s time and money.

Rangoon78's picture
Submitted by Rangoon78 on

I'm going to have to give joining the Greens another look!

This from Black Agenda Report:
On Education, Barack Obama is the President of Privatization. Can We Stop Him? Will We?
By Bruce A. Dixon
President Obama's black face, and the connivance of the black political class of which he is the reigning exemplar enables the implementation of right wing policies in the areas of war and peace, in growing the police and prison states, in shrinking the parts of the state that protect economic and civil rights, in guaranteeing Big Oil, Wall Street and other corporate malefactors continued immunity and impunity, in privatizing the Postal Service and of course public education. That's the bad news.
The good news is that Barack Obama will only be president less than four more years. If a noisy, contentious, civilly disobedient popular movement to protect public education can be brought into existence in the next year this president and our turncoat black political class can be stopped. The clock is ticking for us too.
The privatizers know that this is their chance to succeed. We must this is our best chance to stop them.
What can we do? What can you do?
If you live in one of the hundreds of jurisdictions that elect school board members in November 2013, now is the time to call your neighbors together and choose which one of you will be a candidate. School board elections are low impact, low budget, low attention and low turnout affairs, the most favorable electoral terrain for amateur and grassroots activists. In Georgia the Green Party will be calling together search and support committees to seek and support school board candidates who oppose privatization. So if you live in Georgia you can email me. My email is at the end of this article.
Join or start an organization of parents, teachers, students or all three in your neighborhood to halt the privatizations. Next week Black Agenda Report will have a resource page for school activists, from which you can read and download materials that will help you educate and inform your neighbors and co-workers on the issue of school privatization.
You can join the parents, students and teachers who are coming to DC the first week of April to Occupy the Department of Education. We'll have more information here at Black Agenda Report on that too.
The clock is ticking. Once we lose the public schools we won't get them back. And if we can stop the black President of Privatization from doing this to us, it should be easy to prevent the next white one from continuing this evil and destructive policy.
Bruce A. Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report, and a member of the state committee of the Georgia Green Party. Contact him at bruce.dixon(at)blackagendareport, or via this site's contact form.
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