Educate All Students, Support Public Education

July 17, 2015

Hearing On School Vouchers Monday July 20: Called by Senator Ron Johnson in Response to Study Sponsored by Representative Gwen Moore

Filed under: Vouchers — millerlf @ 6:14 am

Please Attend: St. Marcus is telling their supporters to get there at 4:15 because there will be limited seating.

The Following announcement was sent out by Sen. Ron Johnson (See Journal Sentinel article on hearing at

United States Senate
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Senator Ron Johnson, Chairman
Senator Thomas R. Carper, Ranking Member

Monday, July 20, 2015
5 p.m. CDT
St. Marcus Lutheran School
2215 N. Palmer Street, Milwaukee, WI 53212

Former MPCP Student
and Graduate of Messmer High School
Washington, District of Columbia

Former MPCP Student
and Graduate of St. Anthony High School
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Former Principal
Messmer High School
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Professor Emeritus
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Senior Attorney
Institute for Justice

July 12, 2015

MPS Response to Alberta Darling’s Attack on Model Montessori Program

Filed under: Darling — millerlf @ 7:45 am

Suburban lawmakers’ remarks, perhaps unintentionally, highlight high-performing MPS schools and plans to expand them to serve more students
Friday, July 10, 2015

MPS is building walls – walls on additions at two high-performing Montessori schools to serve more students and provide more opportunities for families; Montessori enrollment up by about 400 over five years
MILWAUKEE – Perhaps unintentionally, a series of comments from suburban lawmakers are serving to highlight some of Milwaukee Public Schools’ highest-performing schools and plans in place to expand them to serve more students.
The remarks also highlight the need to discuss how the state can best support high-quality early-childhood education.
Sen. Alberta Darling claimed that MPS “builds walls” around successful schools like Fernwood Montessori School. In fact, MPS is building walls at Fernwood as part of a building addition to help the school serve more students.

Fernwood, which has been rated “Exceeds Expectations” or higher in every year of the state’s school report cards, has expanded enrollment from 544 in 2009-10 to 705 in 2014-15. The addition will ensure the building has the room to serve those students as they move through the school toward 8th grade and the new students filling their seats in younger grades.

MPS is also building an addition to serve additional students at high-performing Maryland Avenue Montessori School, rated “Exceeds Expectations.”

The Fernwood and Maryland additions are part of MPS’ Regional Development Plan, which strategically utilizes facilities to expand successful schools. That includes two charter school expansions approved in June – one which is expanding in a once-closed building – and a potential second campus for the Milwaukee Spanish Immersion School.

The additions come after a series of decisions to expand access to Montessori schools and increase opportunities for families across the city including:
• Repurposing a would-be vacant school building to create Howard Avenue Montessori School in 2012-13
• Moving MacDowell Montessori School to a larger facility in 2012-13, allowing it to serve more students in grades K3-12 and allowing Highland Community School, an MPS charter Montessori school, to serve more students at the former MacDowell site

Instead of “keeping kids out” of Montessori schools as a lawmaker’s news release suggested, MPS has actually increased enrollment at MPS Montessori schools across the city from about 2,700 students in 2009-10 to about 3,100 in 2014-15. The increase means MPS – with Montessori schools located on the north, northwest, east, south and west sides of the city – continues to be home to one of the nation’s largest concentrations of public Montessori schools.
The lawmaker’s news release also misstated MPS Montessori enrollment policies: MPS Montessori schools accept new students at grades K3 and K4 and students in grades K5 and older with previous Montessori experience. That is similar to the practice of other Montessori schools – including the stated practice of a publicly-funded, non-MPS charter Montessori school in Milwaukee – because the learning method in Montessori schools is substantially different from that of traditional schools.

The remarks from lawmakers also may help spark discussion about how the state funds quality early-education programs. MPS provides 3-year-old kindergarten in its Montessori schools without the state aid that comes for students ages 5 and older. MPS and other districts only receive partial aid for 4-year-old kindergarten students, even if the students spend a full day in school.

July 11, 2015

Alberta Darling Attacks MPS Montessori Program!

Filed under: Darling,Racism — millerlf @ 10:13 am

Alberta Darling, in her unending quest to destroy MPS, has now attacked the largest and most successful public school Montessori program in the country. It has served as a model world-wide.

Darling will stop at nothing to tear apart a district that is working arduously to educate all students. Her goal is a voucher in every backpack, privatization of all things public and payback to CMO and voucher donors.

 July 7, 2015
Senator Alberta Darling
Statement by State Senator Alberta Darling Regarding

Senator Alberta Darling provided the following comments supporting Senator Farrow’s statement regarding MPS’s Fernwood Montessori discriminatory admissions policy.
“MPS builds walls around some of its schools to give certain kids a seat and keep other kids out. Senator Farrow correctly noted Fernwood Montessori is only open to 3 year olds or students who always attended an
MPS Montessori or certain private Montessori schools. If your child wasn’t continuously enrolled in an MPS approved Montessori school, then MPS won’t let them into most of theirs.
“Fernwood is the norm for MPS’s Montessori campuses. As MPS’s own enrollment webpages say, Barbee Montessori, Craig Montessori, MacDowell Montessori all use discriminatory enrollment to let some kids in and keep some kids out.
The bottom line is MPS operates its own two-tiered system where a few students have options in the district and most do not.”

To view the statement by Darling in PDF format go to the following link:

Montessori attack

July 2, 2015

Milwaukee Democratic Legislators Unified in Opposition to MPS Takeover Plan

Filed under: Darling,MPS Takeover — millerlf @ 9:36 pm

Attached and below is a press release from the Milwaukee Democratic Legislative Delegation regarding their continued unified opposition to the “MPS Takeover Plan” and the delegation letter distributed today to Assembly and Senate Republican members. Please consider for publication and/or distribution. Thank you and all the best.

July 2, 2015

Milwaukee – Today the members of the Milwaukee Democratic Legislative Delegation distributed a letter to their Republican colleagues asking that they join them in opposing the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) takeover plan and removing the proposal from the 2015-2017 state budget.
The proposal currently in the state budget would create a separate school district outside of MPS under the management of a Commissioner selected and supervised by the Milwaukee County Executive. The Commissioner would have the power to transfer the lowest rated public schools out of MPS control and place its operation and management under the authority of a charter or voucher school. Teachers would be immediately fired regardless of merit.
State Representative Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee), Delegation Chair, expressed his continued opposition to the plan and the need for continued advocacy to remove the proposal from the budget.
“This plan would be devastating to our community’s children. Every school day, roughly 80,000 kids count on MPS. Attaching the idea to the budget and jamming it through in the middle of the night without proper debate harms those kids and is simply bad governing.
My Milwaukee colleagues and I stand unified in our opposition to this plan. It should be removed from the budget. It is policy which doesn’t belong in the budget and our community deserves the opportunity to have their voices heard.”

Contact: Rep. Goyke 608.266.0645

To see the letter that the Milwaukee Democratic Legislative Delegation sent to their Republican colleagues go to:

Milwaukee Delegation MPS Release

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