Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Moore questions proposal to dismantle MPS board

Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-Wisc.) issued the following statement about the future of Milwaukee Public Schools:

I’m glad that so much public attention is being focused on Milwaukee Public Schools, but I’ve yet to see evidence that changing the way that the school board is chosen will somehow wave a magic wand and fix the challenges our education system faces. It’s no secret that we need to see improvement within MPS – but we overcome those obstacles by working together, not by tearing each other down.

We will not rectify the challenges facing MPS unless we talk about poverty, teen pregnancy and the perverted policy initiatives that have exacerbated this problem for our city’s public schools. MPS is working with a flawed state funding formula that sends our public dollars to private schools outside of the city. Many of our students live in serious poverty, yet according to the Education Trust, Wisconsin spends $1,118 LESS per student in districts like ours than it does in the rest of the state. How are our kids supposed to concentrate on algebra when their stomachs are rumbling? How do we expect them to earn a diploma when too many school-aged kids are having kids themselves? And how do our teachers increase classroom achievement when we also ask them to play school nurse, counselor, and gym and art instructor?

I fully believe that the Governor and the Mayor have the best intentions for MPS; however, I have yet to hear a credible explanation of how these difficult challenges get fixed by simply changing the way that our school board is chosen.

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