Dear Friends and Colleagues.
A lot has swirled around public education in Madison over the last three years, and especially the last three months. Most of negative reaction is a reflex reaction to fear of decisions we believe could hurt us, and fear of the level of change we know we need to make but are afraid of making. Some are clearly afraid of losing their grip on power, and will do all that they can to retain it, even if that means bending the rules.
Nevertheless, as we work through the latest challenges, let’s not lose sight of the fact that more than 450 Black and Latino students will stop coming to school this year. Among those who graduate from high school, less than 5% of Black and 15% of Latino students will be academically prepared for college. A few more will actually get admitted to a two or four year college, but because of their lack of preparation, they will either not finish their degrees or will take longer to earn their diplomas, thus incurring more student loan debt than they may be able to repay.
In Madison’s public schools, nearly 90% of Black students and Latino students are poor, as are 50% of Asian students. We must do more to place and promote success that looks like them in our schools and community.
These issues, as well as having representative voices in local, state and federal government and policy making positions that affect all of us, need to be our focus – our priority. And we must be more vigorous in our pursuit of liberty, equality, social justice, and educational and economic empowerment and advancement for our children and their parents than ever before.
We have a lot of work to do and sacrifices to make if our next generations, and our capital region, will realize success in the future. Our children’s futures are watching us.
Thank you for all that you do and please, let’s dig deeper, and be even more courageous so we can do more…and our kids can be more.
Be Courageous, Live With Purpose