Madison Metropolitan School District
Madison, Wisconsin

Art Rainwater, Superintendent
Minutes for Performance and Achievement
December 9, 2002
Doyle Administration Building
545 West Dayton Street, Room 103
Madison, Wisconsin

The Performance and Achievement Committee meeting was called to order by Chair Bill Clingan at 6:42 p.m.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Bill Clingan, Ruth Robarts, Shwaw Vang


OTHER BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Ray Allen, Carol Carstensen, Bill Keys, Juan José López

STAFF PRESENT: Sue Abplanalp, Rita Applebaum, Jane Belmore, Valencia Douglas, Mary Gulbrandsen, Art Rainwater, Ken Syke, Ann Wilson - Recording Secretary

  1. Approval of Minutes

    It was moved by Shwaw Vang and seconded by Ruth Robarts to approve the minutes of the Performance and Achievement Committee dated December 2, 2002. Motion unanimously carried.

  2. Public Appearances

    Kevin Meyer, Vice-chair of the Early Childhood Care and Education Board, read and distributed a written statement and urged that the school district and child care community continue to collaborate to make decisions about the Early Learning Initiative.

    Sarah Dill, Meeting House Nursery, described why her part-time program (2.5 hours per day) would be at risk if the four year-old kindergarten initiative would be implemented. She noted the Early Learning Initiative has represented a wonderful collaborative process and urged attention to all programs and the impact the Initiative would have.

    Joan Laurion noted that very few family child care providers have been involved in the process and are not represented at all on the collaborative group. She emphasized that all providers need to be represented at the table and there needs to be incentives for them to be involved.

    Lynn Edlefson, Office of Campus Childcare, have been involved from the beginning of the process, in theory is supportive of getting high quality services and including diverse populations, and is interested in continuing to work together.

    There were four written registrations, three in support of and one opposing implementation of the Early Learning Initiative. A letter from Madison Teachers, Inc. was distributed indicating support for ELI, their willingness to discuss contract variances for staff who may work in non-district settings, and their opposition to establishing a charter exemption for the program (a copy is attached to the original of these minutes).

  3. Announcements

    There were no announcements.

  4. Early Learning Initiative

    (Packets included: Madison's Early Learning Initiative (ELI). Madison's Early Learning Initiative - Additional Information for Board of Education Presentation and a copy of the PowerPoint presentation were distributed. (All materials are attached to the original of these minutes.)

    Art Rainwater introduced discussion noting that there are still significant issues to be addressed. The district is making a conscious commitment to not only protect but also enhance the child care system as plans are made to implement the Early Learning Initiative. The district now educates children who fall into the ages 5-18 category but, in theory and supported by research, the most important time for education to take place occurs in children ages 0-5 and within that group the most important time is ages 0-3. The program will begin with four year-olds and is a way to work toward including even younger children.

    The district does not plan to implement the Early Learning Initiative until all barriers have been removed. Bridge funding for the four year-old kindergarten program for the first three years would have to come from outside the general operating budgets. Grants and other donations are being sought. After three years the program would be funded, as all other grades are, by state aid.

    Discussion: Impact on salaries of child care workers. - Intervention and stability needed for children under Wisconsin Shares. - Concern that sites of all sizes and budgets receive necessary resources. - Program represents only a way of providing an educational program. - Very hard to evaluate costs; not discussed as part of budget process last year. Money is too soft to make promises to the community. Other very high priorities exist that are unfunded. - Never been designed to be funded by general fund. Specifically targeting early childhood grants. Only soft money would be bridge funding from grants. Had opportunity for funding last year but were not prepared to implement. Stopped planning when funding stopped.

    Need to be part of the solution for poor, minority, children of color. Make investment now, take the risk. - Most needy children are not in accredited care. - Will work with centers to help them become accredited. - Concern about diversity of collaborative board and representation at public forums. Is information being translated? - Need inclusive population. No African-American contact. - Liability issues, curriculum issues. - Collaborative board will work on problems and liability will be addressed in the contract.

    Cost-benefit information about options. What are successes using other models in other cities? - Transportation issues. - Consider a pilot; transitioning in. May be time for public hearings. - Contract with students in child care in surrounding districts? - Barriers for religious schools.

    It was moved by Ruth Robarts and seconded by Shwaw Vang that the administration continue exploration and planning for the Early Learning Initiative reporting back in two months to this committee. Motion unanimously carried.

    It was requested that a sample contract draft (with teachers in other settings) be included when the next report is scheduled.

  5. Other Business

    There was no other business.

  6. Adjournment

    It was moved by Ruth Robarts and seconded by Shwaw Vang to adjourn the meeting at 9:20 p.m. Motion unanimously carried.