There’s been no shortage of stories about dismal test scores in the Milwaukee Public Schools system. We’ve heard less about how it performs in helping students and families address personal and social problems. No other district in the state uses as many resources as MPS to address the non-academic needs of its students. Those needs are the subject of today’s installment of our series, Project Milwaukee: Barriers to Achievement in MPS.
Educational historian Diane Ravitch does a 180 on her attitude towards the promise of school choice and vouchers. Ravitch is a professor of education at New York University – her new book is called The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education. She spoke with WUWM’s Marge Pitrof as part of our "Project Milwaukee: Barriers to Achievement in MPS" series.
Researcher John Witte says the evidence of success or failure is more nuanced that Ravitch would lead you to believe. Witte is a professor of public affairs and political science at the La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
He currently is studying the long-term effects of the Milwaukee school voucher program with the School Choice Demonstration Project, housed at the University of Arkansas' Department of Education Reform. He is the author of several books, including his most recent, The Market Approach to Education on educational vouchers. He also led the US Department of Education-funded Wisconsin Charter Schools Study. He spoke with Stephanie Lecci for our "Project Milwaukee: Barriers to Achievement in MPS" series.
Former MPS teacher Eldon “Cap” Lee says the key to education reform lies in rethinking the purpose of education. Lee is the co-author of Saving Students from a Shattered System: Igniting the Passion for Learning, with Mary Gale Budzisz, published by Rowman and Littlefield Education. He is also a former MPS teacher and later an administrator. He helped start the Milwaukee Village School, which closed in October 2005. He spoke with Stephanie Lecci as part of our "Project Milwaukee: Barriers to Achievement in MPS" series.