Rally to Resist the MPS Takeover

County Executive Chris Abele continues to cooperate with a Takeover of Milwaukee Public Schools despite growing community outrage against it. We want our public schools to be publicly accountable and transparent to the taxpayers who fund them. All students have a right to a fully resourced public school, regardless of their zip code.

Join Schools and Communities United on Monday, June 20 at 2pm outside the Milwaukee County Courthouse to demand public community schools, not a takeover for Milwaukee.

Facebook event page is here.

Photo credit: Sue Pezanoski-Browne

Photo credit: Sue Pezanoski-Browne

Tell Boss Abele “NO!”

Boss Meme

This Thursday, June 25th, WisPolitics is hosting Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele at a program discussing the Bucks arena deal, the state transportation budget, and Darling’s and Kooyenga’s plans to give Abele control of several Milwaukee Public Schools.

Join us as we rally outside the conference center to demand the following:

– No MPS Takeover! Milwaukee wants public
community schools!
– Respect Public Transportation – Work with ATU!
– Bucks Arena: A good deal for good jobs, or no deal at all.

For folks who want to speak directly with the County Executive, the program will include a buffet lunch and will be $20 at the door.

When: Thursday, June 25th @ 11:15am

Where: UWM Hefter Conference Center (3271 N Lake Dr, Milwaukee)

Facebook event page

This is Why Milwaukee Needs a Moratorium on 2R City Charter Schools

Charter_Moratorium_Turn_Out_Graphic

The Takeover of the Milwaukee Public Schools didn’t just start with Senator Alberta Darling and Representative Dale Kooyenga’s MPS Takeover bill. It started decades ago and one of the ways it has pecked away at MPS is through the proliferation of 2R city charters. These third party operators are issued charters by the city of Milwaukee. They have a poor track record and like all other schools that are not publicly run, they have no restrictions on who they educate, allowing them to push out students they deem undesirable. They are also not accountable to a public school board elected by the people of Milwaukee, but rather they are an appointed review board with a dubious record of oversight. Our schools need to be accountable to the elected Milwaukee Board of School Directors and not an appointed review board and the four city charter schools highlighted in this blog, show exactly why.

 

Milwaukee Collegiate Academy

Milwaukee Collegiate Academy is a 2R city of Milwaukee charter school. It operates outside the Milwaukee School Board and is instead accountable to a appointed board.

Milwaukee Collegiate Academy is a 2R city of Milwaukee charter school. It operates outside the Milwaukee School Board and is instead accountable to a appointed board.

Milwaukee Collegiate Academy is in its 11th year of operation, first as a private voucher school and now a Milwaukee City charter. In both 2011-12 and 2012-13, the school expelled 11% of its students. In 2013-14 it expelled 16% of its students. That’s 5 times more expulsions than any other City-chartered school and 10 times more than Milwaukee Public Schools high schools. Its suspension rate was 56% in 2011-12 and 42% in 2012-13, higher than any other City charter school or MPS high school.

 

Northpoint Lighthouse Academy

The city charter school Northpoint Lighthouse Academy is housed in an abandoned factory.

The city charter school Northpoint Lighthouse Academy is housed in an abandoned factory.

North Point Lighthouse Academy is a Milwaukee city charter school run outside the control of the local school board. Sadly for its students, It is located in a former steel fabrication plant amid industrial and commercial properties and has an electricity tower and a transformer in back. In 2012-13, the school paid a $111,378 management fee to its parent, Lighthouse Academies as “pay down with interest” on prior funding.

 

Milwaukee Math & Science Academy

The Milwaukee Math & Science Academy has has several affiliates recently raided by the F.B.I.

The Milwaukee Math & Science Academy has has several affiliates recently raided by the F.B.I.

In June 2014, FBI agents raided 19 of its schools in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. In July, the corporate headquarters in Illinois was raided. An FBI statement said they were part of “an ongoing white collar crime investigation.” Also in July 2014, the Ohio Department of Education began an investigation into alleged “attendance rate falsification and test tampering” at a Concept Schools facility. Other investigations concern its use of H1-B visas (Visas made available for workers in areas of high need) to bring teachers from Turkey when there is a supply of local teachers.

 

King’s Academy

King's Academy has been a school for 16 years with little results to show for it.

King’s Academy has been a school for 16 years with little results to show for it.

King’s Academy is in its 5th year as a City charter; before that it was a private religious voucher school for 11 years. In December 2014, the City’s Charter School Review Committee recommended putting King’s Academy on probation, because of poor academic performance and high turnover in staff and administration. In its 16th year as a school, it “hasn’t risen to the level one might expect” (Review Committee member) and has experienced extremely high teacher turnover.

Milwaukee Alderman Tony Zielinski has authored a resolution for a 5-year moratorium on any new City of Milwaukee charter schools. It’s a significant step in the right direction to start to turn back the Takeover of MPS. This resolution will be introduced at the Steering & Rules Committee hearing on Thursday, June 11th. We need to turn out a large crowd for this hearing, in order to begin the process of putting Milwaukee schools back in the hands of the people, and not unelected commissions!

What: Steering & Rules Committee hearing on a 5-year moratorium on any new city of Milwaukee 2R charter schools.

When: Thursday, June 11th @ 1:30pm

Where: Milwaukee City Hall, Room 301-B

Facebook event page can be found here.

 

“Stop the Takeover of MPS” Petition Delivery to Senator Alberta Darling

DarlingPetitionSharedLink

The names of residents who are opposed to the Takeover of Milwaukee Public Schools have been flowing in, and now it’s time to deliver them to the co-author of the plan to take over Milwaukee’s democratically elected school board.

We will gather at 3:30pm at Wisconsin Jobs Now, (1862 W. Fond du Lac) where we will meet up for rides and carpooling

***We will deliver the “No Takeover” petitions at 4:15pm at Sen. Alberta Darling’s office (N88W16621 Appleton Ave. – just east of Main Street)

After our petition delivery we will continue demonstrating in front of Darling’s office from 4:30-5:30pm.

Facebook event page is here.

Have you signed the petition?

Download the petition to circulate.

Here’s why we OPPOSE the takeover:

Auer Avenue Educator Calls Out Attacks on Milwaukee Public Schools

Auer Avenue educator Ingrid Henry-Walker speaks to over 400 parents, students, educators, and community members gathered to fight the takeover of MPS (photo credit: Joe Brusky).

Auer Avenue educator Ingrid Henry-Walker speaks to over 400 parents, students, educators, and community members gathered to fight the takeover of MPS (photo credit: Joe Brusky).

Auer Avenue Elementary educator Ingrid Henry, who is also an MPS graduate and parent, delivered a powerful testimony against the undemocratic takeover of the Milwaukee Public Schools during Wednesday’s “Auer Community is NOT Your Colony!” action. Sen. Alberta Darling and Rep. Dale Kooyenga want to take away the locally controlled and accountable school board from the people of Milwaukee, while lowering teacher licensure standards for the educators teaching those students, but the people of Milwaukee are fighting back.

“The state of Wisconsin has sent a clear message to the residents of the city of Milwaukee. It has become evident that there are many that do not care for the children and families of our city. Some misguided, unfounded fear of people taking from them has finally given those in power enough leverage to destroy our city.
What do I mean by destroy? I mean cutting food aid to the elderly and children. I mean denying the people a living wage. I mean going forward with laws that will strip many of us of our right to vote. I mean closing schools with qualified teachers and replacing them with a school system that when asked if they would do the same for their struggling schools, every single politician said no.
As a teacher, I know how hard it is for children and their families who live in this city. Education is not the only thing on their mind, survival is. If those people who live in the suburbs want to help Milwaukee; they can do this, provide jobs, a living wage, dental care, health care, glasses, medication, mental health support, new schools, and transportation. Until those with the solutions listen and do what is morally right, I can’t take them seriously.
So I say this to politicians in Milwaukee and all over the state. I’m not compromising. You will not put into place the same legislation that destroyed Detroit. You will not put into place the same bills that bankrupted the Detroit and the New Orleans public schools. You will not follow Chicago and fire veteran teachers and teachers of color, in order to cheapen the work force. You will not sell our buildings to those looking to profit off of our children. You will not sell our children without a fight.
So as a proud MPS graduate I say to the alumni, we need you here to fight for each school. As a proud MPS parent, I say to the parents, we need you here to fight for each school. As a proud MPS teacher, I say educators we need you here to fight for each school. And as a proud citizen of the city of Milwaukee, I say Milwaukee we need each and every one of you ready to fight for each school.”

– Auer Avenue Elementary educator Ingrid Henry

Auer Avenue Educator Calls Out Attack on Milwaukee Public Schools from MTEA Union on Vimeo.