Note To Kate Toews: School Board Race Should Be About The Children

Let me start by saying I am a strong supporter of teachers.  I think they are too often the butt of jokes, underpaid, and asked to do far more in their professions than should be expected.   My spouse is a college professor and I know the ups and downs of the teaching world.  With that as a background I am troubled by the tone and words of Kate Toews, a candidate for the Madison School Board.

The campaign piece dropped today at my door was very nicely produced.  The message in the glossy colored offering however hit me as odd.

In an attempt to assure us that she is truly a Madisonian, Toews uses dark ink to highlight Walker, Trump, and DeVos as a way to demonstrate her political stripes.   I get the desire to wage a campaign against those listed, but in Madison it is a given that no one gets anywhere here without it just being assumed one does not run with the dark side.  But that is not why this piece of campaign lit makes for a blog post.

Rather it is the body of her message which states her frustration with not enough resources supporting “our greatest public servants–our teachers”.   She adds that “our school board has not focused enough on supporting our educators”.

While I firmly believe that teachers are great public servants I also firmly believe that those running for the school board might think it the top priority to stress the needs of the children in the district.  Yes, one can make the chicken and egg argument about good teachers being needed to get educated students.  But I happen to think Madison already has a great number of professional teachers.

I also know what rankles Towes (and many others including this blogger ) about local limitations due to ACT 10.  But that matter is not going to be addressed by the school board.  That area of change takes place just a few blocks from where I live and where the legislature meets.

It would have been better for the voters had Towes fixated on students and what needs to be better handled in classrooms.  She speaks about her desire to work at prioritizing but given what she offers for a campaign piece makes me question what she would offer if placed on the board.  She may be a “passionate progressive” but many desire competent and pragmatic school board members.

And so it goes.

Sammy Davis, Jr. And My Memory Of “The Phantom Of The Opera”

As a young man I saw several versions on television of Sammy Davis, Jr. sing The Music Of The Night from The Phantom Of The Opera.   The show had opened on Broadway just a couple years prior and Davis had put the song into his own shows.   I was living in Madison and life was just opening up for me. I could not imagine what a huge stage production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s show might be like, but Davis made me know it had to be quite dramatic.  This evening James and I sat not so far from the famed chandelier—in fact we got some of the ‘shattered glass’ effect at the end of Act One—as we took in the performance at Madison’s Overture Center.  It was simply breath-taking! Tonight I thought of Davis and those times I watched him perform. I loved that guy for the talents he had and the way he shared them.   He was the one who introduced me to this Broadway show and it seems fitting to pay him tribute tonight.