Nathan J. Comp's introduction to "School Board Showdown" (3/16/2012) badly misrepresents the basis for the Board of Education's December rejection of the proposal for the Madison Preparatory Academy. Comp states that the board rejected the proposal "on Dec. 19, largely because the teachers union opposed it."
In fact, board review of the Madison Preparatory Academy proposal suggests an understanding of shortcomings, conceptual flaws, and institutional contradictions that by themselves are sufficient to support a no vote.
Comp's passing remark may well both overstate union effect and seriously understate the depth and sophistication of board thought.
Frederick M. Arnold
Missing the mark
Marc Eisen's article "Madison Cultural Plan Misses the Mark" (3/16/2012) makes some valid critiques of the plan but misses the fundamental point that it's an important step forward for Madison.
Madison already overflows with arts and cultural opportunities, but we've suffered from a lack of inclusion, big-picture planning and action. This narrow viewpoint has meant unequal access to arts participation, lack of resources for community-based programs, and missed opportunities.
Should we expand our planning to grow county and regional creative economies? Yes, we should, and soon. The plan starts that larger conversation. Has the process gone on for a long time and are there limitations to the plan? Sure, and that's what happens when dealing with personalities, politics, money and humans. Should we have just kept the status quo instead? If we don't pay attention to what we have, we run a great risk of losing it. If we don't make sure that everyone benefits, we are a lesser city.
Kudos are due to the city's elected officials, staff and committee members for input and support and to our fellow steering committee members for countless hours of work and debate. Special thanks go to the many community residents for their ideas and dreams about making their community a better place to live, work, learn and play. This plan is for them, and their families, friends and neighbors.
We are working together towards a common vision, for a better community. If you care about Madison's future, please join us to make our new cultural plan come alive.
Anne Katz, chair Fabu Phillis Carter, vice chair
Madison Cultural Plan Steering Committee
It is good that the mayor and city council have allowed Occupy Madison to remain this long ("Occupy Madison Houses the Homeless," 3/2/2012). But why force them out and not allow them to relocate?
A community has been formed. Why force them to split up and survive individually? They eased the strain on the shelters over the winter and housed, fed and sustained themselves. I don't think they cost the city that much, and they probably won't just disappear.
As we approach Easter, let us remember that Jesus said, "As you do to the least of them, so do you to me."