Madison
49° F
Overcast
Overcast
Advertisement

New Madison superintendent plans community meetings

Published On: Apr 01 2013 05:32:20 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 02 2013 07:47:28 AM CDT
Jennifer Cheatham

MMSD Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham

MADISON, Wis. -

Jen Cheatham, who started Monday as Madison's new schools superintendent, said she was planning to visit each of the district’s schools by the end of May.

The visits will include community meetings at each of the district's high schools, allowing parents and community members to share what's working and what needs to improve in the district, Cheatham said.

"It's important to me to learn about what's working and what isn't working," Cheatham said. "Often, new superintendents make changes to things that are actually beneficial to the district -- unknowingly."

Cheatham said she would start working soon with the school board on a list of priorities, which would include bridging the district's minority achievement gap. The board will have at least two new members after Tuesday's spring election, with Maya Cole and Beth Moss retiring.

The superintendent warned that state funding cuts, which district administrators have estimated will cost Madison schools about $8 million next year, may force the district to raise property taxes. She called Gov. Scott Walker's school voucher proposal "a real threat to the quality of education we can provide."

Cheatham's inclusive attitude won praise with John Matthews, executive director of Madison Teachers, Inc.

"There are a lot of people in Madison who will go down that road with her as long as it's productive," he said. "I'm looking forward to working with her."

Matthews said his own research showed him that Cheatham, at the time a high-level administrator in the Chicago school district, wasn't to blame for that district's approach to the Chicago teachers' strike last fall. Matthews had previously expressed concerns over her role in the strike.

Matthews said he hoped Cheatham's administration would come to the table regularly to discuss proposals. He said administrators under former superintendent Dan Nerad made too many decisions without input from workers.

"We have a lot of bridges to build. Let's get started," Matthews said.

Each of the meetings will be at 6:30 p.m. at the following locations:

  • April 18: East High School

  • May 9: West High School

  • May 16: Memorial High School

  • May 30: La Follette High School
Advertisement
  • Get your weather app

    Channel3000.com and WISC-TV3 deliver local forecasts, live radar, school closings and alerts for Madison and South Central Wisconsin to iOS or Android devices.

  • Learn more about WISC-TV

    Meet the News 3 staff, learn about our newscasts, search our job postings and find out how to contact us.

  • Buck in the truck

    Buck in the truck

    Your pet photos

    Email us a picture of you and your pet and we'll use it in out Pet Walk segment which airs every weekday morning at 6:40. Include your name, your pet's name and where you're from. Email to petwalk@wisctv.com.

Advertisement