How Milwaukee Can Create High Performing Schools!

Chris Layden and Maurice Thomas, leaders from Global Shapers Milwaukee, had their op ed piece on creating high-performing schools featured front and center in this morning’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. It is worth the read and I don’t have a lot of issues with their bullet points:

■Expand programs such as Teachtown, Teach for America and City Year that are focused on attracting our nation’s top young talent into Milwaukee’s education system.

■Better educate the parents of low-income students on school performance and how to navigate the system to get their kids into the best possible school.

■Create more college prep and arts-focused magnet middle and high schools.

■Invest in early childhood education in the poorest parts of the city.

■Market the incredible programs in schools to students inside and outside the city of Milwaukee.

And since I ran for Milwaukee School Board in 2011, I have actually come around to thinking that a consolidated Milwaukee County public school system would be a vast improvement for the county at large. Needless to say the cost savings in eliminating redundant central offices, school boards, and superintendents would be substantial to start with. And the total overall budget and opportunities would be far more beneficial than the individual districts. But they also suggest working countywide, although not as ambitiously as I would:

■Develop rigorous state standards and consistent state exams that give parents and policy-makers clear metrics to measure school performance.

■Allow parents living in the poorest parts of the city the first choice for early childhood education options throughout the county.

■Create a lottery system for all students in Milwaukee County for middle and high school.

But there is one nagging question that they didn’t mention…and I am guessing intentionally…HOW ARE YOU GOING TO PAY FOR IT? Are the Global Shapers Milwaukee willing to camp out in Madison until they have the funding they need for a program like this? Because without additional funds…we are stuck with incremental tweaking to the status quo or worst case…the state’s continual meddling until they totally dismantle public education in Milwaukee.

As for our readers other question…and the one I had myself:

Who are the Global Shapers?

The Global Shapers Community, an initiative of the World Economic Forum, is a network of city-based hubs developed and led by young leaders between 20 and 30 years of age. In the Milwaukee area, Global Shapers is composed of: Ian Abston, NEWaukee; Adam Bartos, MSI Data; Kelsey Palmer Brenn, Ernst & Young;· Leah Fiasca, Greater Milwaukee Committee; Alexander Lau, Dynamis Software Corp; Chris Layden, Experis, ManpowerGroup; Jarrett Luckett, East Troy Manor; Bill Mahler, Artisan Partners; Austin Ramirez, HUSCO International; Daniel Riemer, Wisconsin Assembly; Carlton Reeves, White House; Katie Schinderle, Boss Products; Maurice Thomas, Milwaukee Excellence School; Tammie Xiong, Hmong American Women’s Association; and Sofina Ziu, FUEL.


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