Calling this a potentially historic moment in Milwaukee education, a key leader of the private school voucher movement called Thursday for major increases in regulation of the participating schools and for a new focus on quality across all the channels of schooling in the city.
Howard Fuller, the former Milwaukee Public Schools superintendent who is now a central figure nationally in advocating for school choice, said he wants school leaders to join with Gov. Jim Doyle, legislative leaders and others in working out new ways to assure that students of all kinds have quality teachers in quality schools.
“We can’t just keep wringing our hands about these terrible schools,” Fuller said. “We have a moral responsibility to our children to not accept that.”
He said that he believes Doyle is seeking higher quality and more accountability and transparency for the 120 private schools in Milwaukee that have more than 20,000 students attending, thanks to publicly funded vouchers. Fuller said he was in general agreement on those goals.
Doyle has presented “an opportunity to come together and do something that is truly constructive for our children,” Fuller said. “I think it is one of those historic moments that don’t come all the time.”
Fuller was reacting both to a new set of studies of the voucher program and to a dramatically different situation for voucher supporters in the state Capitol.