Promoting school quality can be done on many fronts

Alan Borsuk:

Some of the best schools in Milwaukee are independent charters, Ziebarth said, and he’s right. Later Wednesday, I got a news release from a reputable research organization known as CREDO at Stanford University, which found that students in independent charter schools in Milwaukee were making more progress overall than students in Milwaukee Public Schools.

Why aren’t there more green lights to create such schools? Ziebarth asked. Good question.

Then, in the afternoon, I got a call encouraging me to take an interest in a statement signed by the leaders of more than 30 government and nongovernment bodies involved in Milwaukee’s complex education scene. A lot of them aren’t known for cooperating with one another, and this was an encouraging example of working together, initiated by the Milwaukee Succeeds campaign.

Many of the signers have bigger fish to fry with the Legislature and state budget now. But they set that aside to support a relatively modest request for $250,000 in each of the next two years to increase tutoring in reading for children in all types of schools. One of the most shocking statistics about Milwaukee as a whole is that close to six out of seven third-graders do not read proficiently.