Madison Metropolitan School District
Madison, Wisconsin

Art Rainwater, Superintendent
BOARD OF EDUCATION
Minutes for Performance and Achievement
November 13, 2006
Doyle Administration Building
545 West Dayton Street, Auditorium
Madison, Wisconsin

Performance and Achievement Committee meeting was called to order by Chair Shwaw Vang at 6:15 p.m.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Carol Carstensen, Ruth Robarts, Shwaw Vang

MEMBERS ABSENT: None

OTHER BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Lawrie Kobza, Lucy Mathiak, Arlene Silveira, Johnny Winston, Jr.

STUDENT BOARD MEMBER PRESENT: None

STAFF PRESENT: Sue Abplanalp, Mary Gulbrandsen, Jack Jorgensen, Julie Palkowski, Art Rainwater, Marcia Standiford, Lisa Wachtel, Ann Wilson - Recording Secretary

1. Approval of Minutes

It was moved by Ruth Robarts and seconded by Carol Carstensen to approve the Performance and Achievement Committee minutes dated October 9, 2006. Motion unanimously carried.

2. Public Appearances

Janet Mertz - Alternative learners have a wide variety of reasons for seeking credit for courses outside the school district. She noted that last month new guidelines were published that were very different in several crucial respects. She believed the guidelines were published before they were approved by the Board of Education and urged that they be retracted. It is crucial that schools and guidance offices have clarification and know the appropriate rules. Distributed a copy of "Guidelines for Coursework Outside MMSD" which she said was written in October 2006 by Pam Nash (attached to the original copy of these minutes).

FOLLOW-UP:

This item is scheduled for discussion by this committee on December 11. Art Rainwater will provide additional information and clarify procedures for staff prior to December 11.

Barbara Lewis - It is essential to clarify rules for receiving credit for courses outside the school district as soon as possible. Students are planning their educational careers. Guidelines must be clear. It seems reasonable that the district would grant credit for courses; the main point of Youth Options is that the district will pay.

Lucy Mathiak - Policies and procedures for receiving credit need clarification. High school did not publish the deadline for Youth Options so it was missed in her family. Registration is beginning soon for second semester courses. Students are seeking education at the level needed. Review serious gaps and communicate to schools, counselors, parents and post on website.

3. Announcements

There were no announcements.

4. Report on MMSD's Fine Arts Program

(Written materials provided in advance: PowerPoint presentation MMSD Fine Arts - A Vision for the Future - attached to the original copy of these minutes.)

Fine Arts Coordinator Julie Palkowski presented information about the current fine Arts program and a vision for the future. Part of that vision plan is a curriculum committee that will guide the development of a K-12 fine arts program.

DISCUSSION:

Report back from the committee skips a budget cycle; will have to make cuts in the next budget without guidance. Dismal to see shrinking participation at high school. Program has been dismantled over last five years, contributing to lower participation, particularly by low-income students. Need much more information for the next five years - who is not participating, in what programs, where, what's happened with staff and with the budget. MSCR makes valuable contributions, but it is not the fine arts program. Fine arts has a role in high achievement - doesn't meet high goals. Need engagement of children in learning. Will request in writing a five-year comparison and the questions that need answers.

Observe increasing participation rate, but still many areas are homogeneous. Concerned about participation of children of color at high levels. Has been some change in teaching levels, but exposure of children in K-8 has not changed. Need to find out why children do not continue at the middle and high school levels. Very interested in integration with academics; need to encourage to happen more frequently for more children. Pleased to see student involvement in community arts groups. Participating in the arts inside and outside the district needs to be a regular experience for all students.

Need to engage with community groups in talking about lack of participation of low-income and ELL students at the high school level. Culture is a barrier to student participation. Lots of students would benefit from fine arts experiences; need to continue to encourage participation. Would be great to have a partnership with the Overture Center for student performances.

Based on data, goal should be to find out why some students are not participating at the high school level and make changes so that they can do that. Find ways to remove obstacles, like private lessons, if that is an obstacle. Membership on curriculum committee should be open to wider community members who have knowledge and skills, not specifically to PTO members.

Shwaw Vang noted there has been ongoing discussion about establishing a task force on fine arts. Ruth Robarts stated that the proposed committee is a very different way to talk about a vision and to find out what levels of participation the community would want to see than a task force. She felt the community would like to see the data. Parameters need to be set within which decisions can later be made. Art Rainwater responded that the parameters now used for the fine arts program are the state standards. He noted the work of the internal committee can be put on hold until the work of the task force is completed. Carol Carstensen suggested reviewing information about a fine arts task force - a draft of the description, charge, and potential membership - and requested that the internal committee be put on hold until a decision has been made about forming a task force. Shwaw Vang indicated he would place this item on the agenda.

5. Other Business

There was no other business.

6. Adjournment

It was moved by Carol Carstensen and seconded by Ruth Robarts to adjourn the meeting at 7:30 p.m. Motion unanimously carried.

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