Marquette School to be axed?

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Eastsider
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Marquette School to be axed?

Postby Eastsider » Sun Mar 04, 2007 3:33 pm

Rumor has it that a school is on the chopping block again, and this time the target is Marquette.

Truth or Trial Balloon?

Henry Vilas
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Postby Henry Vilas » Sun Mar 04, 2007 5:04 pm

Both Lapham and Marquette have low enrollments. Combining the two in a traditional K-5 elementary school seems logical, especially in these times of school budget shortfalls.

The Affiliated Alternatives (a group of various programs for at risk students) is in rental property. A couple years back, a proposal was floated to move at least some of those programs to Lapham. Lapham parents strongly objected and that plan fell through. The district will try to move the alternatives to Marquette, with with some of their third through fifth graders consolidating at Lapham. Some might also transfer to underenrolled Emerson (and maybe Lowell) via boundry changes.

This is my best guess, as I've been retired from the district since last June. But everything seems to be pointing in that direction.

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Postby Ed Blume » Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:56 pm

The leading rumor at the moment has Marquette Elementary closing with the students moving to Lapham Elementary.

Simultaneously, Sherman Middle will close with the students moving to O'Keefe in the space vacated by the Marquette students.

The alternative programs would then move out of rented space on Brearly Street and into the space vacated at Sherman.

I like the idea of moving the alternative programs out of rented space, but it would make as much sense to move them to the Doyle building.

Closing schools seems short-sighted.

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Confirmed in Cap Times

Postby cristobal » Thu Mar 08, 2007 5:01 pm

Apparently they've decided to choose (in my opinion) the worst option and I'm one of the angry eastsiders.

I guess we might as well pack up and move to Fitchburg or some other soulless suburban hellhole. Really, this is a dismaying prospect for the east side. They can keep cutting and cutting and eventually, they'll have what you expect -- parents with the means departing for a reasonable school system.

They'll save $850k. How about firing 7 administrators for roughly the same net savings?

In case you don't have kids and therefore don't care, you might own a house. Less desirable schools = lower housing demand = lower home values = your loss, too.

I've already done so and I strongly recommend you contact the school board at comments@madison.k12.wi.us and firmly but politely express your displeasure with the proposed Marquette-Lapham school changes.

Cristobal


The article and a quote from it:

http://www.madison.com/tct/news/index.php?ntid=122088&ntpid=1

a boundary change scenario that would include closing Sherman Middle School and consolidating students at Black Hawk and O'Keeffe middle schools.

Both schools feed into East High.

Changes would also involve combining students from Lapham, a K-2 school, and Marquette, which houses grades 3, 4 and 5, at the Lapham building on East Dayton Street. Space at Sherman would be filled by moving an existing high school alternative program there.

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Re: Confirmed in Cap Times

Postby Robert Godfrey » Thu Mar 08, 2007 6:31 pm

cristobal wrote:Apparently they've decided to choose (in my opinion) the worst option and I'm one of the angry eastsiders.

Then hold on to your hat because a lot more things will be on the table tomorrow to be chopped when the district presents their plan to cut $10.5 million from the budget. And then after we're finished with this year we have a whole lot of ugly coming down the pike next year...and the next year after that. For a sobering list of things that have already been cut since the revenue caps/QEO started to take effect in 1993 go to http://www.madison.k12.wi.us/cuts.htm. If anyone still cares to continue a blame game of attacking teachers, those nefarious administrators, etc., that's fine, but it won't wash anymore. The problem resides at our state capital. Here are the names and contacts for the people who sit on the Joint Finance Committee. Channel some of your passion in their direction, they need to hear from us http://www.madisonamps.org/component/op ... d,31/p,39/

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Re: Confirmed in Cap Times

Postby Ed Blume » Thu Mar 08, 2007 7:47 pm

If anyone still cares to continue a blame game of attacking teachers, those nefarious administrators, etc., that's fine, but it won't wash anymore. The problem resides at our state capital.


So, Robert, you continue the blame game by pointing at the legislature.

You have yet to offer any suggestions for balancing the MMSD budget, except to attack those who make suggestions.

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Re: Marquette to be axed?

Postby Dodge » Fri Mar 09, 2007 5:46 am

Eastsider wrote:Rumor has it that a school is on the chopping block again, and this time the target is Marquette.

Truth or Trial Balloon?


It's about time someone did away with that den of iniquity!

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Re: Marquette to be axed?

Postby Dodge » Fri Mar 09, 2007 5:46 am

Dodge wrote:
Eastsider wrote:Rumor has it that a school is on the chopping block again, and this time the target is Marquette.

Truth or Trial Balloon?


It's about time someone did away with that den of iniquity!


Or did you mean Marquette here in Madison?

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Re: Confirmed in Cap Times

Postby BFG » Fri Mar 09, 2007 12:07 pm

Ed Blume wrote:
If anyone still cares to continue a blame game of attacking teachers, those nefarious administrators, etc., that's fine, but it won't wash anymore. The problem resides at our state capital.


So, Robert, you continue the blame game by pointing at the legislature.

You have yet to offer any suggestions for balancing the MMSD budget, except to attack those who make suggestions.


Ed,

How is pointing out that the Legislature is ultimately responsible for the school funding formula and is the same body that enacted the provisions of the QEO in 1992 playing the "blame game?"

Your post implies that it falls back on MMSD to balance their budget. How many schools would you like them to close? Should they eliminate all extracurriculars? Should they increase class sizes to 50? 100?

You could eliminate all administrators save one and that would only be a band-aid solution; the restrictions of the QEO would continue to impact our schools and all school districts in the state.

Ultimately, it is the Legislature's duty to either correct the existing QEO formulas or scrap it and devise a more equitable, sustainable model for funding public education.

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Re: Confirmed in Cap Times

Postby Nick Berigan » Fri Mar 09, 2007 1:58 pm

Ed Blume wrote:...You have yet to offer any suggestions for balancing the MMSD budget, except to attack those who make suggestions.


So Ed, speaking of balancing budgets, you still big on your previous idea of pulling in $2M via Reading First? Question just crossed my mind as I was reading some current NYT stuff about the program.

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Postby gargantua » Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:35 pm

I really don't care if you call it "blaming" or whatever. The fact of the matter is that these cuts are a direct result of state government's inability/unwillingness to put its own fiscal house in order. MMSD, administrators, teachers, students, and yes, property taxpayers are the victims of this mismanagement.

So my constructive suggestion is to hold your legislator's feet to the fire, because this will continue to happen every year until they fix it.

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Postby Donald » Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:46 pm

gargantua wrote:I really don't care if you call it "blaming" or whatever. The fact of the matter is that these cuts are a direct result of state government's inability/unwillingness to put its own fiscal house in order. MMSD, administrators, teachers, students, and yes, property taxpayers are the victims of this mismanagement.

So my constructive suggestion is to hold your legislator's feet to the fire, because this will continue to happen every year until they fix it.

There's a lot of blame to go around, and your "victims" are also partly to blame. This is nothing new, and many states are facing similar problems. There's been a collective failure all the way around. I don't leave MMSD off the hook, because they have had years of budget myopia.

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Postby Ed Blume » Fri Mar 09, 2007 9:31 pm

The New York Times article was a pretty tepid rehash.

Yeah, I want the $2 million. Rainwater thinks it's a good idea too. He got Kohl, Feingold, and Baldwin to write to the Department of Education to beg to let the MMSD back into Reading First: http://www.madison.k12.wi.us/today/457.htm

Without question, the MMSD must improve the reading achievement of its students.

21% of the third graders in the MMSD did not read at grade level, according to DPI data for November 2005. 24% of the 10th graders didnâ??t read at grade level.

For black students, 46% didnâ??t read at grade level in the third grade; 49% did not read at grade level in the 10th grade.

Sad, sad, sad.

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Postby Robert Godfrey » Sat Mar 10, 2007 12:28 am

Ed Blume wrote:The New York Times article was a pretty tepid rehash.

Yeah, I want the $2 million. Rainwater thinks it's a good idea too. He got Kohl, Feingold, and Baldwin to write to the Department of Education to beg to let the MMSD back into Reading First: http://www.madison.k12.wi.us/today/457.htm

Without question, the MMSD must improve the reading achievement of its students.

Wow, above the fold, front page of the New York times today http://tinyurl.com/233mtt. A program rife with classic Bush cronyism, stocked with true believers interested in only one style of learning (now where have I heard one that before), along with a willingness to make any district bend to their will. Tepid rehash indeed.

Oh, and if you actually read Rainwater's letter http://tinyurl.com/2g2q55 you'll see he's addressing the same issue, "In light of the government audit of the federal Reading First program contending that USDOE ignored the law and violated ethical standards to steer money the way it wanted" while noting that "the district potentially lost an estimated $3.2M in classroom resources and opportunities for staff development assistance."

So how are we doing? Not nearly as bad as Ed would like you to believe. A quote from today's Times:

"Under their system, the share of third graders reading at the top two levels, proficient and advanced, had risen to 82 percent by 2004, from 59 percent six years earlier, even as an influx of students in poverty, to 42 percent from 31 percent of Madisonâ??s enrollment, could have driven down test scores. The share of Madisonâ??s black students reading at the top levels had doubled to 64 percent in 2004 from 31 percent six years earlier.

And while 17 percent of African-Americans lacked basic reading skills when Madison started its reading effort in 1998, that number had plunged to 5 percent by 2004. The exams changed after 2004, making it impossible to compare recent results with those of 1998."

We've accomplished all this while at the same time having just experienced another heavy shot to the solar plexus today in the announced suggestions for balancing the budget for our schools, yet another wake up call to the heavy toll that a dysfunctional school financing system has taken on our community. To use Ed's words, "sad, sad, sad."

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Postby Ed Blume » Sat Mar 10, 2007 10:24 am

The numbers used in the New York Times article do not correspond with the data on the DPI Web site. I'm going to go with the DPI numbers.

I'll never be satisfied with a school district that has for 20% of the white third graders and 46% of the black kids failing to read.


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