David Blaska running for School Board

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gargantua
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Re: David Blaska running for School Board

Postby gargantua » Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:46 pm

This is getting interesting. Giving her the benefit of the doubt, it's possible she was being supportive of the civic engagement rather than the message, but it would be good to get clarity from the candidates.

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Re: David Blaska running for School Board

Postby jman111 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:50 pm

I immediately thought the same thing, but have second thoughts based on her inclusion of "No cops in school!" prior to the civic engagement statement.

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Re: David Blaska running for School Board

Postby david cohen » Wed Dec 12, 2018 4:38 pm

I would add that although I am questioning these candidates for the Board, I also have a lot of respect for anyone who runs for public office in Madison, especially the School Board. It's a thankless task, it pays like shit, the hours suck, and you have to listen to taxpayers and parents alike arguing their own often divergent interests. The MMSD is a massive administrative machine that is anything but well-oiled. The politics are rabid-on-steroids. So, it's a good idea, if you choose to run for these seats (and often times there are no brave souls to run), you really know the system and what YOU stand for and what YOU expect to accomplish.

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Re: David Blaska running for School Board

Postby Donald » Wed Dec 12, 2018 8:48 pm

I was on a school board in another state. It was the best thing I did in my life. I found the task steeped in thanks, actually.

At that time there was a recession and some budget cutting. I was able to help save our orchestra/strings program (that was an issue in Madison in the 2000s, too). So many parents and kids were thankful. The same with the debate program. Then there are small things, like helping parents get a walk light on a busy street to help students cross the street. You get lots of thanks, but the best thing is you realize you might have saved a life or two.

You do have to put in time, and the biggest part of the job is budgetary matters, unless you are a rubber stamp. The hardest thing is student expulsion hearings and teacher firing hearings. Heartbreaking.

The best part is being at graduations, and school holiday programs. Nothing beats, "Good Things Come in Little Packages" by a kindergarten class.

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Re: David Blaska running for School Board

Postby Ed Hughes » Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:09 pm

I agree with Donald. It is a privilege to serve on the School Board. People say it's a thankless job, but in fact I got thanked all the time. It is a lot of work, but the issues are fascinating. Everyone's got an opinion about the schools, but only seven people have the votes. It is good to be one of them. And the superintendent and administrators I worked with are some of the most impressive people I have ever met. We are lucky to have them.

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Re: David Blaska running for School Board

Postby gargantua » Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:14 pm

I just remembered, over 20 years ago, a school board member, Juan Jose Lopez I believe it was, gave my son some of his own money for college since he'd done so well in high school. What a nice gesture, something he was under no obligation whatsoever to do. So aside from that, I respect the dedication and hard work of the people who work on our school board, even if I don't agree with every decision they make.

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Re: David Blaska running for School Board

Postby gozer » Thu Dec 13, 2018 12:19 pm

Beaver wrote:Would be an interesting change. Give us stuff to talk about.



ja, isn't that what the whole political spectrum said in 1994, and again in 1997, and what did we get? years of trouble. at least mr blaska is a sincere ideologue who fears nothing that walks on fewer than four legs, so yes, u are right and i think the right needs to be represented too . . .

then again, that's what hindenburg and the d n v p and others thought too . . .

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Re: David Blaska running for School Board

Postby jman111 » Fri Dec 14, 2018 11:08 am

As with most issues, perspective matters.
This is just the life of a black kid. It’s just expected to be normal. It was the life of all my friends. We thought that was just life. We knew it didn’t happen to our white peers but we just thought it’s how it was. We thought we were flawed.

Our white students feared detention, I feared arrest. To hear white people tell me that Officer was there for my protection is laughable. He was there to oppress people of color.

If this thread doesn't make you cry...

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Re: David Blaska running for School Board

Postby Donald » Fri Dec 14, 2018 12:55 pm

jman111 wrote:As with most issues, perspective matters.
This is just the life of a black kid. It’s just expected to be normal. It was the life of all my friends. We thought that was just life. We knew it didn’t happen to our white peers but we just thought it’s how it was. We thought we were flawed.

I don't think it's a matter of perspective. It's a matter of justice, and how you treat people and what guidelines police need to follow in schools.

I'm a believer in EROs, but I'm also a believer in fairness and justice, good training and guidelines for police conduct in schools. Clearly, this cop was not doing his job well, or he had no guidelines to follow. No one should expect injustice to be normal.

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Re: David Blaska running for School Board

Postby jman111 » Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:02 pm

Donald wrote:
jman111 wrote:As with most issues, perspective matters.
This is just the life of a black kid. It’s just expected to be normal. It was the life of all my friends. We thought that was just life. We knew it didn’t happen to our white peers but we just thought it’s how it was. We thought we were flawed.

I don't think it's a matter of perspective. It's a matter of justice, and how you treat people and what guidelines police need to follow in schools.

I'm a believer in EROs, but I'm also a believer in fairness and justice, good training and guidelines for police conduct in schools. Clearly, this cop was not doing his job well, or he had no guidelines to follow. No one should expect injustice to be normal.

And yet, for millions of Americans, it is. Every day.

That perspective matters. Or, at least, it should.

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Re: David Blaska running for School Board

Postby Paleo2 » Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:12 pm

jman111 wrote:
Donald wrote:
jman111 wrote:As with most issues, perspective matters.

I don't think it's a matter of perspective. It's a matter of justice, and how you treat people and what guidelines police need to follow in schools.

I'm a believer in EROs, but I'm also a believer in fairness and justice, good training and guidelines for police conduct in schools. Clearly, this cop was not doing his job well, or he had no guidelines to follow. No one should expect injustice to be normal.

And yet, for millions of Americans, it is. Every day.

That perspective matters. Or, at least, it should.


We are not talking about nationwide. We are talking about Madison.

Being the father of mixed race kids, I know Madison is not free of racism.

I also once had a conversation with the ERO at Memorial about 4 or 5 years ago. I don’t know if he is still there. He was very much into things like restorative justice and wanted to avoid locking kids up.

I also know there are some dangerous students in our schools, and the vast majority of kids of all colors need protection from those kids.

The kids in the MMSD schools have far more to fear from the few bad kids than they do from the EROs. And the good kids need the EROs.

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Re: David Blaska running for School Board

Postby gargantua » Fri Dec 14, 2018 8:07 pm

I wish that ERO'S weren't necessary. When I was in school in the 60's, they weren't. In that respect, times have changed for the worse. Every kid should be able to go to school without fear of crime and violence. Unfortunately, kids who attend MMSD high schools need ERO'S available to secure that right.

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Re: David Blaska running for School Board

Postby david cohen » Fri Dec 14, 2018 8:47 pm

gargantua wrote:I wish that ERO'S weren't necessary. When I was in school in the 60's, they weren't. In that respect, times have changed for the worse. Every kid should be able to go to school without fear of crime and violence. Unfortunately, kids who attend MMSD high schools need ERO'S available to secure that right.


I think we need to keep the EROs, but I have no qualms about constraining what they can and cannot do on MMSD property. That seems to be a reasonable compromise if they can work those details out. I've heard all the "school to prison pipeline" arguments, but I have yet to see concrete evidence that this phenomenon occurs in the MMSD. Clearly it has happened elsewhere, typically with the assistance of a judicial philosophy, but again, I don't see this happening in Madison. I know about a dozen young people in Madison (who attended MMSD schools with my kids) who have ended up in prison and frankly, their crimes (armed robbery, kidnapping, sexual assault, murder, attempted murder, child abuse) were such that they deserved prison. None of it was due to offenses perpetrated in school, although I don't doubt they had contact with their High School ERO at some point. What I'd like to see is Board of Education candidates explain, in depth, how they want to handle this issue. It's certainly not the most important issue facing our schools, but since it attracts strong feelings on both sides, it becomes a focal point in campaigns. I guess we'll hear more about this issue as these campaigns ramp up.

I'd also like to see how the various candidates view the role of the Board of Education with respect to the MMSD administration: Oversight? Support? Purely political? More watchdog? More taxpayer responsive? I've seen enough different types of Board members over the years to know that really, each individual is different in how they view their role. Some of them take anything the Superintendent says as gospel, while others take it as bullshit. Some of the members I trusted ended up being poor participants, and others I was skeptical about surprised me with their dedication. Yeah, I know, I spent way too much time being interested in what went on at the Doyle Building. But what trickles down from the MMSD administration to your kids' schools does have an effect on their education, so it's important to vet the newcomers and follow up on the veterans when it comes to the Board of Education.

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Re: David Blaska running for School Board

Postby Amelia Royko Maurer » Fri Jan 25, 2019 1:38 am

David Cohen. It isn’t honest to speak for Ali and Ananda. There is no way to tell whether Ananda’s caption is quoting the sign held by the students or whether those are her words but to assume those are her words is dishonest.

Any school board candidate or member (or any candidates or electeds) who support any ERO program or plan in any form without including in that plan, the phasing out EROs, cannot say they support healthy and safe schools and communities because healthy and safe schools and communities don't need EROs.

It’s time we get creative, educate ourselves and meet the challenge of creating safe communities and fund proactive solutions to hardship rather than spending millions on reacting and punishing hardship. We put people on the Moon. We landed a machine on Mars. We can do just about anything if it’s a priority.

Also, EROs aren’t busy enough inside of the schools with school crime so they're given other tasks in the schools that have nothing to do with police work. They don’t really prevent crime, they react to it, and sometimes the crimes they’re reacting to are very serious. They should sit outside in a mobile station or squad until they are needed. That way, they can see who is entering the school. But there is no good reason for them to be inside of schools filling the gaps that would be better accommodated by the appropriate professionals or other respected community members.

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Re: David Blaska running for School Board

Postby david cohen » Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:46 pm

Amelia Royko Maurer wrote:David Cohen. It isn’t honest to speak for Ali and Ananda. There is no way to tell whether Ananda’s caption is quoting the sign held by the students or whether those are her words but to assume those are her words is dishonest.

Any school board candidate or member (or any candidates or electeds) who support any ERO program or plan in any form without including in that plan, the phasing out EROs, cannot say they support healthy and safe schools and communities because healthy and safe schools and communities don't need EROs.

It’s time we get creative, educate ourselves and meet the challenge of creating safe communities and fund proactive solutions to hardship rather than spending millions on reacting and punishing hardship. We put people on the Moon. We landed a machine on Mars. We can do just about anything if it’s a priority.

Also, EROs aren’t busy enough inside of the schools with school crime so they're given other tasks in the schools that have nothing to do with police work. They don’t really prevent crime, they react to it, and sometimes the crimes they’re reacting to are very serious. They should sit outside in a mobile station or squad until they are needed. That way, they can see who is entering the school. But there is no good reason for them to be inside of schools filling the gaps that would be better accommodated by the appropriate professionals or other respected community members.


So how many of your children have gone through an MMSD high school? Just wondering....


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