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."
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.
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.
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.