Madison Parent Wants Options For Minority Students

Graduation rates in the Madison Metropolitan School District show dramatic disparities between minority groups and white students, according to data from the Department of Public Instruction.

In the 2009-2010 school year, only 48 percent of black students, 58 percent of Native American students and 57 percent of Hispanic students graduated from Madison schools. Those rates jump to 82 percent for Asian students and 87 percent for white students.

Those numbers are why some local parents say a change, like the addition of Madison Prep, are needed.

At the Boys and Girls Club Monday, Tanika Wilson-Kromah made sure the holidays will be brighter for area kids by helping wrap donated presents.

“Hopefully, this will make some little girl really happy,” she said.

But when she finishes wrapping, Wilson-Kromah is headed to a school board meeting where she hopes the board will approve a project that could brighten the future of her own 11-year-old son, Amadou.

“I think that for various reasons, the atmosphere in the Madison School District is not as supportive as it needs to be toward black males in particular,” she said. “As the mother of a black male, I’m really concerned about his success.”

Right now, Amadou goes to Badger Rock Middle School, but Wilson-Kromah would like him to go to Madison Prep instead.

“Even if it meant me holding him back a year, that’s how strongly I believe in the Urban League’s efforts,” said Wilson-Kromah about the Urban League’s proposal to open a charter school for minority students.

If the school board votes down the plan for Madison Prep, Wilson-Kromah doesn’t want the option to disappear altogether for her son. Instead, she hoped it would be pursued as a private school.

“I would hope that it wouldn’t just fall by the wayside because it is something that’s really needed,” she said. “The numbers speak for themselves.”