Ali Muldrow is running for School Board Seat 4
What is the biggest challenge facing Madison schools?
“The largest challenge facing the school district is how to address racial disparities in terms of student outcomes.”
Why are you qualified to help fix this problem?
“In talking about the achievement gap, one of the things I’ve been telling folks is that we create the achievement gap in elementary school and we address it in high school. One of the things I’d like to see us change is our approach to early childhood learning, [which] means investing in 4k (four-year-old kindergarten) so that young people are getting exposed to routine and play and the relationship-building tools that they need to be successful in an educational community at an early age.”
“It’s also closing the gap in terms of the arts: who gets to take piano lessons, who gets to dance, is often very specific to a young person’s income or the education of their family. And shifting that to make sure that all young people have the opportunity to dance, participate in theater, and be creative at school everyday is something that I think would greatly transform our racial disparities within the district...young people who dance at school and play at school and have greater artistic and creative freedom at school like being at school more, and behave better at school.”
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?
“When it comes to addressing racial disparities the measure of success is the outcomes we produce for students. I don’t think we can settle for having a lesser achievement gap. We have to strive to be at the forefront of inclusion: we have to strive to be a district that meets the needs of every child and creates opportunities for young people to find out what they’re good at and what they love doing.
“That’s our job, and I don’t think that we can settle for anything less than that.”