BizTimes Editor Blames the Victims in Milwaukee

Marcoux

Milwaukee BizTimes editor, Andrew Weiland recently wrote an editorial called, “Superman! Where are you?” In the piece he questions why the Milwaukee Common Council is refusing to approve the reappointment of Department of City Development (DCD) Commissioner Richard “Rocky” Marcoux. Weiland argues that Marcoux should be reappointed because of the rapid development in downtown Milwaukee, while the Milwaukee Common Council argues that this development has been disproportional to the development of low-income neighborhoods that are suffering. South Side Alderman Tony Zielinski had this to say about the performance of Marcoux:

When I hear statements to the effect of what a great job is taking place (by Marcoux), I just have to stand up and say, you’ve got to be kidding. We have, if not the highest, one of the highest African-American male unemployment rates in the country. What has been advanced to address that issue in 12 years? You talk about development…look at the central city. What kind of development have we seen in the central city in the last 12 years? With the development we have had, it’s been downtown. Instead of addressing those most in need in our community, we are focusing on other areas, and we are not even doing a good job at that.”

Zielinski is absolutely correct! Milwaukee needs a balanced approach to development in Milwaukee and not just a “market-driven” approach as Weiland suggests. The market has ignored these communities and Weiland, who lives in Muskego, does not care for these families, who also would like to see DCD paying attention to their neighborhoods, and not just catering to the needs of wealthy developers downtown.

Next, Weiland had the gall to blame the city’s lack of economic development and jobs on Milwaukee Public Schools:

The lack of economic development in the central city is also market-driven. The high violent crime rate, poverty and poor performance of Milwaukee Public Schools creates an environment the marketplace wants to avoid. The DCD can’t change that fact.

MPS didn’t defund itself. So if the economy is failing you can’t blame it on a school district that has been attacked and defunded for decades.

Just fifteen years ago…high-poverty (MPS) schools were fully staffed with librarians, guidance counselors, full-time reading specialists, art, music and physical education specialists, program implementers, technology teachers, paraprofessionals, special education teachers, nurses, social workers, psychologists, speech pathologists, and classroom teachers with small classes that allowed them to provide plenty of individual attention to children.

These same positions have been stripped out of MPS year by year, but Weiland, whose home district of Muskego still enjoys many of the positions MPS has seen cut, somehow thinks he  knows what’s best for Milwaukee.  It’s the same kind of hypocrisy we’ve seen from MPS Takeover co-authors Rep. Dale Kooyenga and Sen. Alberta Darling, who blame MPS for not getting higher test scores, while at the same time presiding over a state budget that allocates more money per pupil for their own students than MPS.  They claim to want to “help” our students, but their actions speak louder than their words.

We don’t want the “help” of Rocky Marcoux, Dale Kooyenga, Alberta Darling, Andrew Weiland, or his “market-driven” approach to economic development in Milwaukee, because we’ve seen what their idea of help amounts to in practice. It’s good to see the Common Council taking a different approach.

“Separate and Unequal,” 62 years later

Public Education Is a Civil Right.png

Written by: Jamaal Smith

On May 17, 1954, a landmark decision was made when the United State Supreme Court ruled state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students as unconstitutional. In a unanimous 9-0 decision, the Warren Court stated that “separate educational facilities were inherently unequal,” and violated the Equal Protection Clause in the Fourteenth Amendment. The Brown decision was pivotal in the fight for integration during the Civil Rights era. The expectation was that ALL children would have equal access to quality education and opportunity, which should be a fundamental right, regardless of race. However, 62 years since the historic “great equalizer” decision, black and brown students are again the targets of racial inequality within the educational system.

 

Emma Brown, columnist for The Washington Post, recently reported that, according to the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office, “the number of high-poverty schools serving primarily black and brown students more than doubled between 2001 and 2014.” This study is holding true in the state of Wisconsin, as GOP lawmakers have devised laws that continue supporting “separate and unequal” practices. One of those strategies was the elimination of the Chapter 220 program, which allowed for students of color from high-poverty neighborhoods to attend schools in predominantly white suburban school districts. In addition, two Republican legislators, State Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and State Rep. Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield), created the Opportunity Schools and Partnership Program, a law intended to hand underfunded MPS schools to private, unaccountable operators. Cities like New Orleans and Detroit have been subjected to similar “Recovery Districts” with catastrophic results, but the commonality that exists between those cities and Milwaukee is that these laws are constantly imposed on black and brown communities without input. The OSPP legislation was passed in the middle of the night without a public hearing even taking place.

 

The OSPP legislation hands authority to a Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele with no college degree, who appointed Dr. Demond Means, Superintendent of the predominantly white Mequon-Thiensville School District, as the Commissioner over a predominately nonwhite district. Abele and Means created a proposal that claims MPS can still remain in tact even if one of the schools were moved under the OSPP district, which is inconsistent with the law. At a recent debate with MTEA Executive Director Lauren Baker at Marquette University, Rep. Kooyenga even stated that he was not a supporter of Dr. Means’ proposal because it counters what was written in the legislation. What is most disconcerting with Abele and Dr. Means is that they both admit the OSPP legislation is an unjust law, but insist the democratically elected school board of MPS should give up local control of their publicly-funded schools. Based on this rational, Civil Rights leaders should not have fought against the injustices within Jim Crow because they were law, right. Or the Black Codes, which brought about involuntary labor on freed slaves for minor “infractions” passed by southern states after the Civil War.

 

Just as it was not acceptable to comply with an unjust law then, the same ideology should exist on unjust laws now. An unjust law is no law at all!

 

We must continue the fight against modern day segregation and racial discrimination within our education system. Our children deserve our efforts to stand up for their future just as those before us stood for ours. Bishop Desmond Tutu said, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” In the face of an obvious wrong, the time is now to stand and fight for what is right!

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Movement to Stop School Takeovers Building Momentum in Milwaukee

The resistance is rising.”

– Keron Blair – Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools

Saturday’s citywide convening of School Defense Committees brought together parents, students, educators, community members, and politicians from all around the city and beyond to take the next step in the fight against public school takeovers and advance public community schools for Milwaukee.

The morning started of with passionate and thought-provoking speeches and calls to action from Alliance to Reclaim Our School’s Keron Blair (video), Dyett School hunger striker Jeanette Taylor (video below), and author and educator Isabel Nunez (video).

Saturday's speakers included (from left to right) Keron Blair, Jeanette Taylor, and Isabel Nunez.

Saturday’s speakers included (from left to right) Keron Blair, Jeanette Taylor, and Isabel Nunez.

Following the morning speakers, the real work of the day began. Attendees met in small groups, where they worked through School Defense Committee (SDC) toolkits that provide individuals and groups with the blueprints to organize locally in their building, church, or community group against public school takeovers.

These SDC Toolkits are available to parents, students, educators or community members, who want to organize others in their school community to stand up for public schools. All those organizing SDCs will be making sure to hold their first meeting by January 31st, 2016. It was also announced that on February 17th,  2016  Milwaukee will be joined by over 20 other cities in a third round of walk-ins for public education.  The next convening of SDCs will take place on March 20, 2016. Details will be released when they become available.

Saturday’s emcee Angela Walker introduces attendees to the School Defense Toolkit.

The School Defense Committee Toolkit includes:

Click on the links above to view and print sections of the toolkit, or click here to download a toolkit.

Anyone who decide to organize a School Defense Committee should fill out this form so we can track who is organizing School Defense Committees. Be sure to include the date for your first School Defense Committee gathering.

As Jeanette Taylor ended her speech, “We are the leaders we’ve been waiting for,” and now is the time we must act to ensure public education is not killed on our watch.

I Went on a Hunger Strike to Save Public Schools from MTEA Union on Vimeo.

 

Speak Up for Pulaski High School Students | 10/5

What: MPS Superintendent Dr. Darienne Driver and School Board director Bonds have scheduled two meetings at Pulaski High School (Oct. 5th and 12th) to try and sell their Takeover of Pulaski. We know that no matter how much they try to dress up this Takeover as a good thing that Pulaski will not be handed over to privately-run charter schools that operate outside the democratically elected school board. Let’s show up and show out for our students and the future of public education in Wisconsin. Not one student, not one school takeover!
Read how this experiment isn’t working in New York City here.
Where charters operate in independent buildings, the differences in resources are less stark. But co-location forces each side to contend with the fact that the charters are able to offer their students far greater advantages while siphoning off resources from children on the other side of the building. In New York, it is particularly acute as students at traditional schools are in dire need while charters enjoy the spoils of both public funding and wealthy private benefactors. It may be co-location, more than any other factor, that has frayed the nerves of parents, teachers and students, and stirred a debate that has taken a decidedly polarizing and political tone.
When: Monday, October 5th from 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Where: Pulaski High School
 RSVP to attend here.
Updates on this event and the attempt to take over Pulaski can be found here.
Updates on the attempt to take over MPS can be found here.
October 5th Facebook event page can be found here.
October 12th Facebook event page can be found here.

105 Milwaukee Public Schools & Entire La Crosse District Ready to “Walk In” on Friday 9/18

105 Milwaukee Public Schools, all 14 La Crosse schools will be taking part in the Friday, September 18th day of action in support of quality public schools for ALL students. Each event will also share information about how public school takeovers will hurt our students and deny critical services, such as bilingual education and special education.

Why walk in?

Watch video of a walk in.

Click on the school you want to RSVP to walk in at:

AAL

ALBA

Alcott

Allen Field

Alliance High School

Audubon Middle & High School

Auer Avenue

Barbee Montessori

Barton

Bay View High School

Bethune

Bradley Tech High School

Bruce

Brown Street Academy

Burbank

Carson

Cass Street: No event page created. Walk in starts a 7:00am

Clarke Street

Clara Barton

Clement

Clemens

Congress

Cooper

Craig Montessori

Curtin

Doerfler

Eighty-First Street

Elm

Fairview

Fernwood

Fifty-Third Street

Forest Home

Fratney

French Immersion

Gaenslen

German Immersion: No event page created. Walk in starts at 7:00am.

Goodrich

Golda Meir Upper and Lower campus

Grant

Grantosa

Greenfield Bilingual

Groppi: No event page created. Walk in starts at 7:00am.

Hamilton High School

Hartford

Hawley

Hawthorne

Hayes Bilingual: No event page created. Walk in starts at 7:00am.

Hi-Mount

Honey Creek

Hopkins Lloyd

Howard Avenue Montessori

Humboldt Park

IDEAL

Jackson

Kagel

Keefe Avenue

Kilbourn

Kluge

Lincoln Avenue: No event created. Walk in starts at 7:00am

Longfellow

Lowell

MLK Elementary

MacDowell

Madison (JMAC)

Manitoba

Maryland Montessori

Mitchell

Milwaukee High School of the Arts (MHSA)

Milwaukee School of Languages

Milwaukee Sign Language

Morgandale

Morse Marshall

Neeskara

New School

Ninety-Fifth Street: No event page created. Walk in starts at 7:00am.

North Division High School

Obama: No event page created. Walk in starts at 7:00am.

Parkside

Pierce

Project STAY

Pulaski

Reagan

Riley

River Trail

Riverside University High School

Rogers Street Academy

Roosevelt MS of the Arts

Rufus King High School

Rufus King Middle School

Sherman

Silver Spring

South Division High School

Starms Discovery: No event page created. Walk in starts at 7:00am.

Starms Early Childhood Center

Stuart

Story

Thoreau

Thurston Woods: No event page created. Walk in starts at 7:00am.

Townsend

Trowbridge

Victory

Vieau

Washington High School

Westside I

Zablocki

Photo sent from La Crosse Education Association.

Photo sent from La Crosse Education Association.

La Crosse School walking in.

Central HS
Logan HS
Logan MS
Lincoln MS
Longfellow MS
Southern Bluffs Elementary,
Spence Elementary,
State Road Elementary,
Hintgen Elementary,
Hamilton Elementary,
Emerson Elementary,
Northside Elementary
Coulee Montessori,
Northwoods Elementary,
Summit Elementary.

LaCrosse

Sign Up to Walk In for Milwaukee Public Schools!

Last Spring, dozens of MPS schools organized “walk-ins” where parents, students, and educators showed their unity for strong public schools by walking in to schools together, while also putting their foot down to say NO to all attempts to take over MPS buildings. This fall even more schools will walk in on Friday, September 18th to once again send a message that not one student, not one school will be surrendered to takeover.

 Sign your school up or RSVP at a school for what will surely be a historic day!

Register your school or RSVP to attend here.

Milwaukee Walks-In for Public Education from MTEA Union on Vimeo.

Stop the Takeover of MPS – Attend the Schools and Communities United General Meeting

The students of Milwaukee Public Schools excel when given the support, time, & tools needed to learn. If we’re serious about making sure our students receive the opportunities they deserve then we need to do what works. That means smaller class sizes, more one-on-one attention, a wider array of community supports (nutrition, health, and after school programs for any student who needs it) and the best possible materials, resources and educators available. We need vibrant community schools, not private takeovers. We have to continue to fight for the schools we want for our students and the Schools and Communities United​ coalition is how we do that. Please join this general meeting open to the public.

Parents, students, educators and community members held hads around Auer Avenue School last May in defense of their students' public schools.

Parents, students, educators and community members held hands around Auer Avenue School last May in defense of their students’ public schools.

What: Schools and Communities United General Meeting (open to the public) When: Monday, August 3rd Where: Washington Park Public Library (2121 N. Sherman Blvd) The Facebook event page is located here.

What’s the Difference Between a Voucher, Charter, and Public School?

What's-the-Difference-
The more the people of Milwaukee find out about the Takeover of MPS, the more concerns and questions they have. One question keeps being asked is: What’s the difference between a voucher, charter, and public school? This non-partisan report was published in 2012, and although some of the numbers have changed since 2012, it should help answer many of these questions for people.

Originally published in May 2012 by the non-partisan Democracy and Education Research Group.
Overview
In recent decades, there has been an expansion of the types of schools in Milwaukee receiving public tax dollars. In some areas, differences may seem slight. In other areas, there are significant differences. This is especially true in terms of students’ rights, public accountability, and democratic oversight.
There are three main types of schools in Milwaukee that receive public tax dollars:
Private voucher schools, charging tuition but also open to students who receive publicly funded vouchers.
Charter schools approved by the City of Milwaukee and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (aka 2R)
• Schools overseen by the Milwaukee Public Schools district.
The voucher schools, by definition, are private schools and do not have to follow the same rules as public schools. Most provide religious-based education and may charge tuition to private-paying students and, in some cases, to high school students receiving vouchers.
The charter schools approved by the City of Milwaukee and the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee are considered public schools, but do not have to follow the same state rules, regulations and public oversight as traditional public schools. They are beholden to a “contract” (or charter), granted significant autonomy, and operate as independent entities. The schools are expected to provide greater academic results and innovation, although this has not necessarily happened in practice. Like all charter schools, they are non-religious and may not charge tuition. They are governed by privately appointed boards of directors.
The MPS district primarily oversees traditional public schools, including both neighborhood schools and a range of specialty schools and citywide schools, from language immersion to Montessori. The Milwaukee School Board also oversees charter schools that are part of the MPS but that have a specific “contract” or charter, often to provide a particular curricular focus. Finally, MPS oversees alternative and partnership schools. All MPS schools are non-religious and may not charge tuition. They are governed by the democratically elected Milwaukee School Board. Most MPS schools also have school based councils of parents, teachers and community members.

Details
Voucher schools
The biggest difference between voucher schools and charter and traditional schools is that, by definition, voucher schools are private schools and can provide religious-based instruction. There are approximately 22,300 students in Milwaukee receiving vouchers in the 2011-12 school year, mostly at religious schools. In 2011, for the first time Milwaukee students could attend a voucher school located outside the city.
While the voucher program initially began as an experiment promoting “choice” for poor people, a family of four with an income of $67,050 may now receive vouchers. The median family income in Milwaukee is $35,921.
Travis Academy was a voucher school in Milwaukee that was only recently shut down.

Travis Academy was a voucher school in Milwaukee that was only recently shut down.

Because they are private schools, voucher schools have limited public accountability and operate under different rules than public schools. For instance, voucher schools do not have to follow the state’s open meetings and records law. They do not have to provide information on staff qualifications, student suspensions and expulsions, graduation rates, and so forth to the public. Their meetings are not open to the public.

Voucher schools must accept students who require special education services, but they are not required to meet the students’ needs beyond what can be provided with minor adjustments. As a result, many students requiring special services leave voucher schools and attend a Milwaukee public schools. (Less than 2 percent of students in voucher schools are identified as receiving special education services, compared to about almost 20 percent in the Milwaukee Public Schools.)
In 2014, the state moved to terminate an underperforming private school from the Milwaukee voucher program that had operated for almost four years without accreditation — and received more than $1 million in taxpayer money during that time.

In 2014, the state moved to terminate an underperforming private school from the Milwaukee voucher program that had operated for almost four years without accreditation — and received more than $1 million in taxpayer money during that time.

As private schools, voucher schools do not have to honor constitutional rights of due process when students are suspended or expelled. Nor do private voucher schools have to follow Wisconsin law that prohibits discrimination against students in a range of areas including, sex, pregnancy, marital or parental status, or sexual orientation. Voucher schools, however, must follow federal laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin.


Charter schools overseen by the City of Milwaukee and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
The Milwaukee Math & Science Academy has has several affiliates recently raided by the F.B.I.

The city of Milwaukee 2R City Charter Milwaukee Math & Science Academy has has several affiliates recently raided by the F.B.I.

There are seven schools chartered by the City of Milwaukee and 11 schools chartered by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The schools enrolled a total of approximately 6,500 students in 2011-12. Information on the UWM charter schools can be found on the webpage of the Office of Charter Schools at UWM. Links on the website provide data such as the name of a particular charter school, its address, when it was chartered, and its email and school website. Detailed data on special education students, racial makeup, curricular offerings and so forth is not easily accessible via the website. A 62-page annual report from 2009-10 is available through the website. The report does not indicate who appoints the staff and leadership overseeing the Office of Charter Schools, nor when and if the office holds meetings open to the public.

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.

The only data available on the City of Milwaukee website specifically regarding charter schools is a phone number where one can get an application to become a charter school. The charter schools are overseen by a “Charter School Review Committee” appointed by city officials. Meetings and decisions by the committee are not available on the City of Milwaukee website, nor is it clear where one can attain such information. (The city has made some recent changes to provide more of this information to the public).

Limited data on individual charter schools, both for UWM and the City of Milwaukee, is available through the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, but not for the schools as a group.

Milwaukee Public Schools
There are 175 schools within MPS in 2011-12, with 80,098 students. Schools include traditional schools, charter schools, and partnership schools. Charter schools include both district-run charters (instrumentality) and independent charters (non-instrumentality).
MPS Accepts All KidsInformation on schools, programs, enrollment and demographics can be found at the MPS website. MPS is governed by a nine-member School Board, which each member elected to a four-year term in public elections. The board holds monthly public meetings, in addition to committee meetings, open to the public. The Milwaukee Public Schools is the city’s largest educational institution, and the only one with the commitment, capacity, and legal obligation to serve the needs of all the city’s children.
Overall, almost 20 percent of MPS students require special education services, and 10 percent are English Language Learners. The district offers Spanish/English bilingual programs at 24 schools, and Southeast Asian/English Bilingual Programs at two schools. English-as-a-Second Language programs are available at the bilingual schools and an additional 14 schools.
MPS issues an annual Report Card for the district as a whole, and for individual schools. The reports cards are available publicly via the MPS website. Contact information for the Milwaukee Board of School Directors, agendas, meeting calendars and audio records of board proceedings are available at the MPS board governance website.
Wisconsin-Constitution copy

Fighting to Save Bilingual Education in Milwaukee

“When you get a bilingual education, you preserve your native language. That’s important. You also learn to see both sides of things.”

Claudio Calvario (valedictorian at ALAS high school.)

This story comes from the Schools and Communities United “Fulfill the Promise” Report.

Claudia Calvario was born in Sayula, Mexico and came to Milwaukee when she was seven years old. She did not speak a word of English and had no legal papers.

Claudia is the first in her family to attend college. She was the valedictorian at ALAS, an MPS school where students learn in both English and Spanish, in 2014.

A twist of fate brought Claudia to ALAS. When it came time to choose a high school, she went to a fair at Grand Avenue Mall. ALAS was the only school at the fair that was bilingual. “My mother said, ‘That’s the school for us,’” she remembers.

This fall ALAS became part of a reinvigorated bilingual program at South Division High School. It has the largest bilingual high school program in Wisconsin.

MPS is known nationally for bilingual programs that encourage students to maintain their Spanish while learning English.

The district provides bilingual education to almost 5,900 students at 24 schools, and offers English Language Learner (ELL) services to almost 5,200 students.

Some 15 languages are spoken at South Division, from Hmong to Burmese, Arabic, Somali and Karen. MPS enrolls students speaking 49 languages.

Recognizing the legal rights of English Language Learners is one of several areas where public schools differ significantly from private schools. There is, for instance, no state law requiring bilingual or ELL services at voucher schools.

In Milwaukee, as is true throughout the country, student demographics are changing dramatically; by 2050, whites will be a minority in the United States. As demographics reshape the United States, the role of public education in building
a multiracial democracy is increasingly essential.

If MPS schools are handed over to private third party operators through the Senator Alberta Darling and Representative Dale Kooyenga’s Takeover bill, then these newly created charter schools would not be required by law to have bilingual education programs since they would be privately run. We must make sure that MPS schools stay in the hands of our democratically elected school board, who are accountable to the people of Milwaukee through elections and who have shown to value bilingual education in our schools.

The Wisconsin Association of Bilingual Education has already started to organize to fight the Takeover as well preserve bilingual education in Milwaukee. Join them!

A group of parents in Milwaukee are already organizing to fight the Takeover of MPS and preserve bilingual education for future generations.

A group of parents in Milwaukee are already organizing to fight the Takeover of MPS and preserve bilingual education for future generations.

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.