It's getting to the point where I dread picking up Isthmus because there's bound to be either some article dissecting the shortcomings of public schools ("Brave New World," 6/23/06) or encouraging parents with means to either home school their kids ("Teachers and Books: Optional," 8/4/06) or send them to an exclusive private school ("Education Outside the Mainstream," 8/18/06).
You imply that the lack of both academic rigor and standardized testing is a good thing for the Waldorf School, while, on the preceding page, you note improved test scores in Madison public schools. Are you suggesting that academic rigor and testing are only good for poor kids, while the rich kids get to bake bread and knit?
One of the beauties of public schooling is that it is one of the only institutions left where you can find a real diversity of race and class engaged in a mutual endeavor. It's what democracy looks like. Kids who don't get to be part of this interesting, challenging, real-world experience are missing out on some real education.
Do you really want to encourage Madison to become like other towns of its size where the elite abandon the public schools, setting in motion a downward spiral of neglect and underfunding? Maybe the reason this hasn't yet happened to Madison is that we have had the sense to continue to invest in our public schools and because many parents who could pull their kids out instead get involved in supporting their schools.
I have seen this firsthand at Lincoln Elementary, a Madison public school where I've taught for 16 years. Our Parent-Teacher Organization is composed of parents who want their children to be part of the richness of public schooling, and who work hard at helping to make it an inspiring and successful experience for their own as well as other children. It's this kind of supportive approach to public schooling I'd like to see reflected more in the pages of Isthmus.
While I am grateful to Paul Kosidowski for defending me against Scott Stanley's comments (Letters, 9/8/06), I would also like to make a few things clear.
First, I have great respect for the audience in Madison. My reference to our theater being "ready" for my tenure was purely a financial one having to do with increased artist salaries and rehearsal hours. It was in no way a reflection on the smart, demanding and passionate play-goers who have supported the Madison Repertory Theatre through the years.
Second, regardless of what Mr. Stanley thinks of my work, it is unfair to call our ticket prices "outrageously inflated." In fact, our tickets are extremely reasonable. We reserve 25 $15 tickets for each performance. Additionally, subscribers can pay as little as $10 per play for a five-play season. We do student performances; we have "Teen Passports"; we have 2-for-1 tickets. Any way you look at it, Madison Repertory Theatre is a bargain.
Finally, Mr. Kosidowski notes that I spoke of "supporting and sustaining" the theater in regard to institutional, governmental and philanthropic support. My point was that this community is learning the terrific effort it takes to support the cultural riches we possess. We're all learning how to make this work, and I certainly include myself in that observation. I in no way meant to imply that Madison Repertory Theatre is not deeply grateful for the exceptional corporate, foundation, individual and governmental support we receive.
Richard Corley artistic director Madison Repertory Theatre
Melissa Faliveno's ardent attempt to portray kink as becoming mainstream struck me as curious ("Kink Exhibit," 8/18/06). Being different and shocking is clearly a major appeal of kink. However, if it were in fact to become too mainstream, you can bet that Faliveno and her crew of misfits would drop kink and move on to explore other frontiers of bizarre behavior.