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Wayne Strong

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Wayne Strong
Wayne Strong.jpg
Former candidate for
Board member, Madison Board of Education, Seat 6
Elections and appointments
Last electionApril 1, 2014
Term limitsN/A
High schoolRacine Case High School
Bachelor'sUniversity of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
ProfessionClient service associate
Campaign website
Wayne Strong was a candidate for Seat 6 on the Madison Board of Education in Wisconsin. He lost election to the board against Michael Flores in the general election on April 1, 2014. Seat 6 represents West High School, two middle schools and four elementary schools.[1]


Strong earned his B.A. in Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 1982. He worked for 27 years in law enforcement including 24 as a lieutenant with the Madison Police Department before his retirement. Strong currently works as a client services associate at UBS.[2]



See also: Madison Metropolitan School District elections (2014)


Wayne Strong sought election against fellow challenger Michael Flores during the general election on April 1, 2014.


Madison Metropolitan School District, Seat 6 General Election, 3-year term, April 1, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngMichael Flores 62.3% 15,891
     Nonpartisan Wayne Strong 36.9% 9,413
     Write-in Write-in votes 0.7% 184
Total Votes 25,488
Source: Dane County Clerk, "2014 Spring Election," April 1, 2014


Strong reported $12,382.67 in contributions and $5,490.98 in expenditures to the Madison City Clerk by March 24, leaving his campaign with $6,891.69 on hand.[3]


Strong received endorsements from Madison Teachers Inc. and the Madison Professional Police Officers Association.[4] He also received the endorsement of The Capital Times for the April 1 general election.[5]


Madison Metropolitan School District, Seat 3 General Election, 3-year term, April 2, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngDean Loumos 50.2% 18,286
     Nonpartisan Wayne Strong 49.4% 18,007
     Write-in Write-in votes 0.4% 160
Total Votes 36,453
Source: Dane County Clerk, "2013 Spring Election," accessed January 27, 2014

Campaign themes


Strong's campaign website listed the following themes for 2014:

Safe Schools Means Safe Communities

  • Teaching problem solving skills to students
  • Discouraging harassment and bullying
  • Effective partnerships with community based organizations

High Academic Achievement for All Students

  • Engaging students through a culturally relevant curriculum
  • Empowering teachers to be innovative in the classroom
  • Expanding academic enrichment programs
  • Establishing effective goals that are consistent with the district strategic plan

Improve Graduation Rates

  • Decreasing rates of suspension and expulsions
  • Expanding restorative justice models throughout the district
  • Increasing parental advocacy
  • Collaborating with community partners to include educators, families, businesses, and communities working together.


—Wayne Strong's campaign website, (2014), [7]

What was at stake?

Issues in the election

March 4 candidate forum

All three candidates attended a March 4 forum sponsored by 100 Black Men of Madison, Inc. and held at the Fountain of Life Family Worship Center. The event focused on how the candidates would deal with the achievement gap in district schools. Hughes argued that the community, school employees and students need to work hard to create an improved learning environment. He also discussed the need for an improved job market as an incentive for students. Strong expressed concern that the current code of conduct disproportionately impacts minority students and leads to poorer academic performance. Flores advocated a focus on early reading programs and cultural education that engage struggling students.[8]

February 19 candidate forum

The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce held a candidate forum on February 19 featuring both candidates for Seat 6. Flores and Strong agreed on changing the district's disciplinary model to focus on student improvement rather than punishment. Both candidates disagreed on the Tech Plan approved by the district in late January. Strong argued that the Tech Plan will prepare students for careers in an evolving economy. Flores countered that the costs of the program and lack of public input outweighed the benefits of the plan.[9]

Issues in the district

Debate over Tech Plan

Rival community groups in Madison debated the virtues of the district's five-year Tech Plan during board meetings in January 2014. The Tech Plan will use $27.7 million to incorporate enough computers into area schools to ensure one-on-one instruction. The plan's annual expenses will grow from $1.5 million during the 2013-2014 school year to $8.4 million during the 2018-2019 school year. The board approved the plan by a 6-1 vote on January 27 after reducing total costs from $31 million to $27.7 million.[10][11]

The School-Community Alliance for Public Education (SCAPE) advocated for a more thorough review of the program by the board. SCAPE believed that the annual cost of the Tech Plan deserves greater scrutiny by district residents. The group also suggested that one-on-one computing might not be valuable enough for K-3 students to warrant higher expenses.[10]

The Leopold Parent-Faculty Organization supported implementation of the Tech Plan based on their own experiences with one-on-one computing. The organization raised private funds to purchase iPads and other technology for students in south side schools. Organizers noted the broad popularity of this initial investment and express concern about the district's outdated technology infrastructure.[10]

About the district

See also: Madison Metropolitan School District, Wisconsin
Madison Metropolitan School District is located in Madison, Wisconsin
Madison Metropolitan School District is located in Madison, Wisconsin. Madison is the county seat of Dane County and the capital of Wisconsin. According to the United States Census Bureau, Madison is home to 240,323 residents.[12] Madison Metropolitan School District is the second-largest school district in Wisconsin, serving 24,806 students during the 2010-11 school year.[13]


Madison outperformed the rest of Wisconsin in terms of higher education achievement in 2010. The United States Census Bureau found that 53.3% of Madison residents aged 25 years and older had attained a Bachelor's degree compared to 26.4% for Wisconsin as a whole. The median household income in Madison was $53,958 compared to $52,627 for the state of Wisconsin. The poverty rate in Madison was 18.5% compared to 12.5% for the entire state.[12]

Racial Demographics, 2010[12]
Race Madison (%) Wisconsin (%)
White 78.9 86.2
Black or African American 7.3 6.3
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.4 1.0
Asian 7.4 2.3
Two or More Races 3.1 1.8
Hispanic or Latino 6.8 5.9

Presidential votes, 2000-2012[14]
Year Democratic vote (%) Republican vote (%)
2012 61.1 32.5
2008 66.0 32.9
2004 72.8 25.8
2000 71.0 27.5

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[15] This Ballotpedia page provides a more detailed explanation of how the Census Bureau handles race and ethnicity in its surveys.

Recent news

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