Mayor Soglin's Blog

Education, Performance, Meetings and Superintendent Cheatham

April 24, 2013 9:52 AM


A reporter recently asked me how often I planned to meet with Madisons' new school Superintendent, Jennifer Cheatham.

I do not know and frankly, I am wondering why it matters.

How often we meet will be driven by a number of yet to be determined factors. And more important than how often we meet, is the matter of improved performance for Madison school children.

It is the difference between outputs and outcomes. The number of miles of street we plow is an output, the measurement of the quality of the job is an outcome. The number of teenagers who attend a class on abstinence or receive condoms is an output, the number of teenage pregnancies is an outcome.

We need to focus on outcomes. We need to measure performance and ensure that educational attainment improves.

How often Superintendent Cheatham and I meet will be determined by the agenda, the role of our respective staffs, and other factors.

It is possible that we may find regular quarterly meetings too frequent, we may find that monthly meetings are not frequent enough. We don't know yet. But I do not plan to measure the success of the district's students by the number of meetings.

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