Students Praise Their School

Jun 3, 2010
Andy Ambrosius

For nearly a week, we’ve been spelling out challenges that face many students in the Milwaukee Public Schools system. Today we present the comments of nearly a dozen freshmen and sophomores who love their school and are doing well. WUWM News Intern Andy Ambrosius visited Audobon High School on South 39th Street. It had been soley a middle school for years, but is now expanding into the upper grades, adding one each year, with an emphasis on technology and communication.

Dani Gellings & Cynthia Hoffman

Anneliese Dickman kicks off our live Project Milwaukee show with a discussion on whether changing MPS' governance structure could help achievement rates. Dickman is the Research Director for the nonpartisan Milwaukee-based Public Policy Forum. She has examined school choice, early childhood education, and public school districts in southeastern Wisconsin.

Dani Gellings & Cynthia Hoffman

The Milwaukee School Board meets tonight to take action on the proposed $1.3 billion MPS budget - that includes nearly 700 job cuts. We talk with Peter Blewett, the vice president of the Milwaukee School Board and director of District 6. He is the former president of the school board. He currently is a senior lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the Department of English, and is a published poet. He lives in Sherman Park. He spoke with us for our live Lake Effect broadcast for "Project Milwaukee: Barriers to Achievement in MPS."

Dani Gellings & Cynthia Hoffman

The education journal Rethinking Schools recently published an editorial defending public school teachers. We talk with Bob Peterson about why teachers aren't to blame for the district's problems, for our Project Milwaukee series on MPS. Peterson teaches 5th grade at La Escuela Fratney – or Fratney School - a Milwaukee Public School. He is a founding editor of the quarterly journal Rethinking Schools, and is a frequent writer and speaker. He co-edited Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years and Transforming Teacher Unions: Fighting for Better Schools and Social Justice.

The teachers union says MPS’ budget crisis is pitting teacher jobs against the benefits they receive. Mike Langyel is the President of the MTEA, the Milwaukee Teachers Education Association. He spoke with Mitch Teich for our "Project Milwaukee: Barriers to Achievement in MPS" series. The board action for the proposed $1.3 billion dollar MPS budget is scheduled for tomorrow evening.

Why the Achievement Gap for Students of Color?

Jun 2, 2010

UWM professors Festus Obiakor and René Antrop-González say that widespread institutional racism in MPS is holding students of color back. Festus Obiakor is a professor in the Department of Exceptional Education at UWM. He is a nationally and internationally known scholar and consultant. His research interests include at-risk learners, African American learners/urban learners, and behavior management. René Antrop-González is an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. He teaches bilingual education courses, and his research interests include studying minority high achievers and urban school reform. They spoke with Stephanie Lecci for our "Project Milwaukee: Barriers to Achievement in MPS" series.

Technology & Teaching

Jun 2, 2010

Professor Heidi Schweizer discusses whether technology can be the answer to the achievement gap. Schweizer is an associate professor of education at Marquette University and Director of the Center for Electronic Learning there. She spoke with Mitch Teich about how she believes technology and virtual learning can play a key role in the future of urban education. Their conversation is part of our "Project Milwaukee: Barriers to Achievement in MPS" series.

School administration can have a real effect on how successfully teachers do their jobs, according to Dr. Ellen Eckman. Eckman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Policy and Leadership at Marquette University. Her research interests include the role of the principal, leadership in educational organizations, and women in the high school principalship. She spoke with Bonnie North as part of our "Project Milwaukee: Barriers to Achievement in MPS" series.

The Challenges of Special Education

Jun 2, 2010

Project Milwaukee is underway this week on WUWM. We’re examining the barriers that block some students in Milwaukee Public Schools from achieving at a higher level. Today, we report on the growing number of MPS children facing learning, behavioral and physical challenges. As Erin Toner reports, the district has been fighting a lawsuit that claims MPS has failed such students, while the district insists it is making progress.

This week on WUWM we're reporting on barriers to achievement in the Milwaukee Public Schools system. Thousands of students have been performing poorly on tests, and hundreds of teens drop out every year. As we’ve been highlighting in our series, children can have trouble learning for a number of reasons. One is that they may be surrounded by disruptive students. Troublemakers can cause distractions, at best. But in this installment of Project Milwaukee, Ann-Elise Henzl reports on one program helping restore order in classrooms.

English as a Barrier

Jun 2, 2010

We’ve presented several stories this morning as part of our Project Milwaukee series, about students in the Milwaukee Public Schools system who have difficulties in class. They can range from physical disabilities to behavioral problems. We were able to meet for a few minutes this week with the busy principal of South Division High School, to talk about students who are not proficient in English, at least not right away. Maurice Turner says as many as 45 percent of the students in his school are not primarily English speakers.

Teachers for a New Era

Jun 1, 2010

As we examine how teachers are taught, a program at UWM seeks to make becoming a teacher like becoming a doctor. Marleen Pugach is a Professor and Linda Post is an Associate Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at UW-Milwaukee, and both are co-principal investigators for the Teachers for a New Era program, a grant funded by the Carnegie Corporation to improve the quality of teacher education. They spoke with Mitch Teich as part of our "Project Milwaukee: Barriers to Achievement in MPS" series.

The Dean of Marquette University's College of Education, Bill Henk, believes the traditional schools have something to learn from the alternative certification model. Henk is also a professor of literacy there. He spoke with Mitch Teich as part of our "Project Milwaukee: Barriers to Achievement in MPS" series.

Milwaukee writer Barbara Miner questions whether Teach For America does more harm than good in urban schools. Miner is a freelance writer in Milwaukee. Her article, “Looking Past the Spin” on Teach for America, appears in the spring issue of the education journal Rethinking Schools. She spoke with Mitch Teich as part of our "Project Milwaukee: Barriers to Achievement in MPS" series.

Founder Wendy Kopp Defends Teach For America

Jun 1, 2010

Teach for America founder Wendy Kopp argues the program takes bright college grads and puts them in classrooms where teachers are needed the most. Kopp is the CEO of Teach For America, which she first proposed as part of her undergraduate senior thesis at Princeton University in 1989. She is also the chief executive of Teach For All, which develops programs similar to TFA in other countries. She is the author of One Day, All Children: The Unlikely Triumph of Teach For America and What I Learned Along the Way. She spoke with Stephanie Lecci as part of our "Project Milwaukee: Barriers to Achievement in MPS" series.