Educate All Students: Larry Miller's Blog

October 14, 2016

Sen. Larson and Rep. Sinicki Commend Defeat of Takeover and Applaud Milwaukee Schools on Continued Achievement

Filed under: MPS,MPS Takeover,OSPP — millerlf @ 1:39 pm

State Capitol, PO Box 8953, Madison, Wisconsin 53708
October 13, 2015 608.266.7505
Rep. Chris Sinicki
Sen. Larson and Rep. Sinicki Commend Defeat of Takeover and
Applaud Milwaukee Schools on Continued Achievement
Madison, WI – Senator Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) and Representative Chris Sinicki (D-Milwaukee) offered the following comments regarding the recent news about Milwaukee Public Schools:
“Yesterday, the Wisconsin Department of Instruction (DPI) indicated that the Milwaukee Public School District (MPS) will not face the threat of an undemocratic takeover of their schools this academic year.
“We are glad that the gains made by MPS have prevented this harmful law from taking effect in our community. This success became possible through the positive educational growth by our students, the dedication of our great teachers, and the tireless efforts of many leaders, in particular Dr. Darienne Driver, her staff, Director Sain, and the Milwaukee School Board. We applaud them for their victory and their continued leadership.
“Despite crushing reductions in funding, Milwaukee Public Schools have continually ranked nationally for their academic achievements. The progress made by MPS proves the true ability of local governance to make positive changes through democratic processes. As MPS is first to note, there is more work to be done to continue this positive momentum. As legislators representing the youth of the city of Milwaukee, we will continue working with MPS to achieve more for our students.
“The majority party in the Legislature needs to stop punishing students and attacking teachers if they expect our schools to improve. They hatched their takeover plan late in the budget session and added it to the state budget in the middle of the night with no public hearing or comment. Their plan was immediately called out for what it was: a clear attack on Milwaukee’s neighborhood schools. It sparked vehement, ongoing protests by numerous local leaders who spoke out against it and by local parents, teachers, and neighbors who decried its obvious ill intent. We later saw the abrupt resignation of the only commissioner appointed under the takeover plan.
“While the takeover scheme was designed to hurt our public schools, it achieved one thing: it brought our community together to work on and begin to solve our educational challenges at the local level. It is our hope that DPI’s optimistic news fosters a sincere and robust debate on how to assist our school districts in educating our children.
“What we need to do is what works: ensure equal, fair, and full funding for all our Wisconsin students; promote the proven community school model as a way to boost student performance; and support our neighborhood schools. These are the Wisconsin values that we are ready to champion this coming session.”

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