animal watch
applied academics with annie
arts & culture
book talk
bridging the achievement gap
editorial
education
energy/environment
financial literacy
geography
health
history
news
our favorite quotes
science
science and technology
space science
special features
sports
stories from the south side
where in dane county?
wisconsin museums
our student bios
animal watch
energy/environment
geography
health
history
news
poems
science and technology
science
space science
sports
animal watch
book talk
energy and the environment
geography
health
history
news
science
space science
ciencia
ciencias del espacio
educación financiera
historia
noticias
salud
zoología
our student bios
animal watch
book talk
energy and the environment
geography
science
sports
subscribe
advertise
sponsor
join the red rack express club!
become a friend of the Free Press
Friends List
SSFP in the News
Newsletters
Leadership
Letters from Editors
Testimonials

Free Press Opinion: We Endorse Mary Burke For Madison School Board

“Education should be the top priority in our city.” This statement was made to us during a recent interview with Madison school board candidate Mary Burke.

The Simpson Street Free Press editorial board could not agree more. We have always felt that much more emphasis must be placed on education in the city of Madison. Especially with the high drop-out rates among minority students, we need to do more to successfully educate our kids. We need to do more to bridge achievement gaps.

As a Madison school board candidate, Mary Burke hopes to become a part of strengthening the Madison Public Schools. During our meeting with Mary Burke in our newsroom, she highlighted four main areas that she wants to address as a school board member: great teachers, parent engagement, funding, and community engagement. 

“Madison is home to wonderful educators,” said Burke. She wants to continue to “support, develop, engage and motivate all teachers in the district.” 

Secondly, Burke would like to see an increase in parent engagement, especially among the parents of minority students. Parents should be seen as partners with teachers and students in education. All these partners should play active roles in our schools. 

In addition, Burke feels that the school district should use recourses effectively when it comes to funding. Lastly, Burke emphasized the need for local community organizations to join with the school district in an effort to successfully foster academic achievement. 

Community engagement was the avenue that led Burke to get involved with education in Madison. Thirteen years ago Burke began mentoring two of elementary-aged boys who had a rough home life. Seeing the impact she could have on the life of a student, Burke decided to get more involved. Later, she mentored several other students.

Burke has also worked for years with the local Boys and Girls Clubs as a board member and supporter. In recent years, Burke and the Boys and Girls Clubs collaborated with local businesses, local schools and the University of Wisconsin to create the AVID/TOPS initiative—a precollege program. 

When asked about her thoughts on superintendent Dan Nerad’s recent proposals to bridge Madison’s achievement gap, Burke responded by saying, “I see it as options on the table.” While she recognizes the various issues faced by the Madison Metropolitan School District, Burke is hopeful that Madison can make positive changes by applying focused solutions. 

The editorial board of the Simpson Street Free Press firmly believes Mary Burke is a community-minded, passionate, and devoted individual who would be an excellent addition to the Madison School Board. We are very impressed by how sincere and committed she is. 

“Madison has to act now, because the longer we wait, the bigger our problems will get and won’t be able to change it,” she told us during our interview. We agree. And we endorse Mary Burke for Madison’s school board seat #2.



I think Mary Burke is a good person and has done many things for the community – Jasonverona (2012-03-15 17:51)
Great article Adaeze and Deidre. It is nice to read about people who are making an effort towards closing the achievement gap. – Taylor KilgoreLa Follette High School (2012-03-15 19:11)
Name
Location
Email
Comment
Please enter the word shown below (reduces spam).
captcha
Click the image to generate a new one.