Six. The new kids on the block. There are quite a few, but three new schools particularly interest me. They are:
Carmen North. Will the people involved in the successful Carmen High charter school on the south side successfully launch a middle school-high school program in a long-troubled MPS building on the northwest side?
Rocketship Southside Community Prep. This high-profile charter elementary, the first expansion for Rocketship Education beyond its base in San Jose, Calif., will be watched by education activists nationwide who heatedly debate the virtues of the program, which includes a strong component of technology-based learning.
Universal Academy for the College Bound This Philadelphia-based charter school operation is opening elementary and middle schools in two MPS buildings on the north side. The questions I had about how this will go were only compounded when the key Milwaukee leader, Ronn Johnson, was charged recently with sexually assaulting children. But Universal appears intent on weathering the damage that caused.
Seven. MPS leadership. There was a period in the spring when the future of Superintendent Gregory Thornton seemed in doubt.
I still don’t get why School Board members considered putting $80,000 in the budget for a superintendent search.
But last week the board voted to extend Thornton’s contract until 2016. I’d suggest the focus now should be on the rungs below Thornton.
There’s been a lot of change in administrative ranks and a continuing wave of changes in principals. It may be difficult for outsiders (including me) to figure out how this is going, but I know it’s really important.