Recently, the University of Wisconsin scored a coup over Harvard and Penn when it persuaded the Minority Student Achievement Network to bring its offices from Evanston, Ill., to the Wisconsin Center for Education Research here.
So what, exactly, is the Minority Student Achievement Network (MSAN), and why were prestigious major research universities vying to offer it a home?
The group, whose Wisconsin members include the Madison Metropolitan School District and the Green Bay school system, is a consortium of about 25 high-performing school districts from across the country. They joined forces in 1999 to figure out why their students of color aren’t doing as well in school as their white counterparts.
Besides Green Bay and Madison, other districts that have been part of the group include Ann Arbor, Mich.; Shaker Heights, Ohio; Cambridge, Mass., White Plains, N.Y. and Chapel Hill, N.C.
All are public school districts where education is a well-funded community priority. All have been disappointed that even in their relatively affluent public schools, minority students still lag behind white and Asian students.