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June 23, 2013

Pathway to success for Milwaukee schools

American Enterprise Institute & Wisconsin Policy Research Institute:

For Milwaukee schools to experience widespread improvement, fundamental changes must be made from top to bottom, Hess and Carolyn Sattin-Bajaj write in "Roadmap for Education Reform in Wisconsin," one of the project's essays.
The eight other essays focus on:
  • New schools and innovative delivery
  • Rigorous quality control measures
  • Opportunities for creating a recovery school district
  • A comprehensive approach to talent management
  • Human capital strategy
  • Efficient management of financial capital
  • Robust research and development efforts
  • Effective governance and central management
Among the findings: Schools must be laboratories of innovation, not implementers of rigid rules and regulations; and they must do a better job of empowering their teachers to maximize their impact on students.

One reason decades of MPS "reform" have fallen short is that underlying systems, regulations, policies and practices have been difficult to eliminate or change - until now. At the end of June, for the first time in almost 50 years, the Milwaukee Public Schools will no longer be subject to collectively bargained union contracts. New powers given to the MPS school board, the approved statewide No Child Left Behind Waiver, and the significant market-share of non-traditional options puts Milwaukee in a unique position to enact positive change.

"Education leaders in city schools - traditional as well as choice and charter schools - have an opportunity here," said Lightbourn. "But the ultimate power shaping the condition of Milwaukee schools is in the hands of the public that needs to hear a more persuasive case for both systemic and very specific change. This volume of research can help accomplish that."

Read individual Pathway chapters here:

More, from Erin Richards: MPS needs more non-union charter schools, other reforms, report says

Posted by Jim Zellmer at June 23, 2013 12:05 AM
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