Madison Metropolitan School District
Madison, Wisconsin

Art Rainwater, Superintendent
Minutes for Performance and Achievement
December 18, 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 5:06 p.m.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Carol Carstensen, Ruth Robarts, Shwaw Vang


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


STAFF PRESENT: Sue Abplanalp, Mary Gulbrandsen, Jack Jorgensen, Gray Miller, Pam Nash, Julie Palkowski, Roger Price, Art Rainwater, Ken Syke, 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 December 11, 2006. Motion unanimously carried.

2. Public Appearances

Barbara Schrank - Provided a written alternative proposal for a Fine Arts Task Force (attached to the original of these minutes). She noted that there is merit in looking at diversity of representation. She supports on emphasis on community input prior to the budget process, the need to look "out of the box" for creative funding, and she hopes the focus is to gain community feedback. She looks forward to helping in any way that is appropriate.

Lawrence Winkler - Need to really understand the need for partnerships with the fine arts community, not just for money, but for support. Not all learning needs to occur at the school. There are broad opportunities available for students; the partnerships have to be established. Discussion about the Task Force should move out of Performance and Achievement and to the Community Partnerships Committee.

3. Announcements

There were no announcements.

4. Creation of a Fine Arts Task Force

(Written materials provided in advance: Administrative recommendations for a Fine Arts Task Force. Written materials presented at the meeting: Ruth Robarts' draft proposal for a Fine Art Task Force - attached to the original of these minutes.)

Lisa Wachtel reviewed the charge, timeline, process and membership proposed for a Fine Arts Task Force as presented in the written information. Art Rainwater added that, typically, task forces also structure how they would receive community input.

It was moved by Carol Carstensen and seconded by Shwaw Vang to approve the Fine Arts Task Force as presented and recommended by the Administration.

Ruth Robarts made a substitute motion to approve a draft proposal for a Fine Arts Task Force as she presented in written form.

Ruth Robarts noted she would like to see more of a broad question to the community focused on what they think children should be getting from the district's fine arts program and how they would like to see improvement in low-income and minority student participation. It is critical for all students to prepare at similar levels. She supported more participation by the community and less by experts.

Carol Carstensen suggested considering a short-term subcommittee for this task rather than a full-blown task force. She would like to see a broader-based committee and is also concerned about improvement in participation and exposure beyond traditional courses for all students K-12. School and community experiences should be more closely integrated.

Ruth Robarts indicated she would consider Ms. Carstensen's suggestions as a friendly amendment to incorporate involvement and exposure in the charge.


Merge membership of the two proposals and be more specific.

Fine Arts are broad; tried to represent views of all strands and levels.

Hoping to step back from current program and instead ask broad questions of the community. Which parts of the program belong in schools? How can underrepresented groups be engaged? Deliberately trying not to have a discussion about what staffing should be. Don't need a critical eye of what we have here, or protecting of status quo. Want to hear what community thinks about the decisions the Board needs to make, strategies that would engage more students. Experts are more of a problem than a solution. What about our current program draws all students?

Staff could be available to the broader community as resources on an as-needed basis.

Broader discussion, beyond standards and teaching and learning.

Do consider it important to have representation by staff in schools, by being part of the discussion. Concern about membership that is too large.

Consider it more of an advisory board to provide broader guidance.

The Fine Arts have taken their share of budget cuts. Should look at the budget issues. Specific purpose should be to look at why ethnic minority and poor children are not involved as students move through the grades K-12.

Ruth Robarts noted concerns are addressed if the charge in her proposal is amended to include involvement and exposure, and a third item could be added to address priorities for funding. She suggested the amended charge read:

a. Identify community goals for Fine Arts education (curricular, co-curricular, extra-curricular) including involvement and exposure of our students to community and non-traditional Fine Arts.

b. Recommend up to five ways to increase minority student participation and participation of low-income students in Fine Arts at elementary, middle and high school levels.

c. Make recommendations regarding priorities for district funding of Fine Arts.


Important for the community to see and understand the process by which the Board comes up with recommendations for concessions and cutting budgets.

Will be able to invite friendly critics, get their good ideas, and make progress toward something they can support.

Need broader visioning - gather the ideas; then financing piece has a direction.

Should be a community driven process.

When community is brought into the process of recommendations, may feel obligated to provide resources. Staff can help determine what an appropriate expenditure is. The question, then, is how to achieve it.

Carol Carstensen withdrew her motion. There was no second to the substitute motion, so it died. Ms. Carstensen spoke in support of Ruth Robarts' substitute motion and amendments. She suggested the administration work with that information to draft a new proposal. This was agreeable to all committee members. The proposal will be circulated among the committee members for their review and then forwarded directly to the full Board of Education. It was noted the timeline recommends beginning the Task Force in January.

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 6:58 p.m. Motion unanimously carried.