Running for Seat 5 on the Madison Board of Education
The “overarching theme” of Mertz' campaign “to make the rhetoric of change a reality.” To do this, Mertz argues that “we need to listen to front line educators who know their students better than board knows them.”
Mertz believes that school programming and academic achievement are fundamentally intertwined.
“I’m always in favor of prioritizing [the needs of] those we are failing; often [it’s] students of color and students with low income,” Mertz said. Part of this work, for Mertz, requires policymakers to increase school programming to help students succeed. “This is about the flexibility to give students access to variety of experiences,” Mertz said.
Expressing caution about the Pathways program in MMSD’s high schools, Mertz said, “We need to look at what has been working and what hasn’t been working and what do we lose.”
Mertz wants to improve school culture by making decision-making processes “more transparent.” He said that the School Board can be a model for administrators at the school-level. For Mertz, the board “can provide the resources and tools and provide program evaluation and look at pilots that come up from below, it all begins with listening.”