TJ Mertz is running for School Board Seat 5
MC Staff: What is the biggest challenge facing Madison schools?
TJ: “The Academic progress and well being of the students. This is what the schools are charged with: educating and helping our students grow into being contributing, healthy, curious well people. Where we have gone wrong with trying to address this challenge is we become too top down and inside out.”
Why are you qualified to help fix this problem?
“I know our district. I have the trust of many in schools and community. I listen to them and I bring expertise with policy analysis. I have honest belief in participatory democracy. That is part of how I operate. Within that context, I bring a lot of experience, a lot of skill and a lot of knowledge. But I do bring not only expertise in policy analysis, but also a commitment to transparency and to openness.”
When it comes to fixing this problem, what’s more important to your vision: finding consensus (making everybody happy), reaching compromise (everybody gives up something), or sticking to principles?
“The principle of public education is public, so there must be shared decision-making. The principles of integrity and honesty, about the difficulties we face and the potential for good and bad from any choice we make. And integrity and honesty in reporting our progress and our failures makes that principles inviolate.
Every choice we make is a leap of faith, but we don’t’ need to take blind leaps. We need informed leaps of faith. What are the best odds and best knowledge that tells us what this choice will lead.”