A group of parents of Black children has written an open letter to the Madison Metropolitan School District Board of Education demanding reforms in the wake of a rash of teachers using racial slurs and the alleged assault of an 11-year-old Black girl by a white administrator at Whitehorse Elementary School.
“We are families of students in MMSD schools. On the organizational chart for our school district, all staff ultimately report to the superintendent, the superintendent reports to the board, and the board reports to us,” the opening reads.
Organizers posted the letter in an open Google document and invited other MMSD parents to sign the letter via a Google form at the end. As of Monday evening, the letter had about 100 signatures.
The letter lays out a series of statistics indicating disparities between White and Black students, including that only “8.4 percent of Black fourth graders in MMSD attained advanced or proficient scores in reading while 66.1 percent percent of their white peers attained the same scoring level,” and “Black students comprise 84 percent of arrests in MMSD high schools, but about 19% of the total student population.”
The letter lists a series of demands, including diversifying staff, required diversity/equity/social justice training, specific anti-racism goals for each school, an end to the school’s contract with the Madison Police Department to place police in schools and new modes of board engagement and communication with the community. The letter further requests that these demands be taken up at the next Board of Education meeting on March 18.