Targeting failing schools: Controversy swirls around what is best for students, what change will look like

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MILWAUKEE -- One Milwaukee Public School is getting closer to being overseen by a commissioner, after a law passed last summer that targets failing schools. Now, stakeholders have many questions and many positions.

MTEA Milwaukee Teachers Education AssociationThe tension started Monday night, May 9th at an advisory council meeting for the Opportunity Schools Partnership Program (OSPP).

Differing viewpoints spilled over into Tuesday -- when the president of the Milwaukee Teachers Education Association announced he is resigning from the advisory council.

"A council that is designed to rubber stamp policies that serve an unjust law that will hurt the children and families of Milwaukee Public Schools," said Kim Schroeder.

This all stems from a law passed last summer that created the OSPP which involves a commissioner who will oversee some failing MPS schools.

Chris Abele

Chris Abele

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele will oversee the program. He appointed Dr. Demond Means as commissioner.

Abele sent out a news release on Tuesday saying he wants to work with MPS and not take any schools or money from it. If MPS refuses, then the failing school or schools would be taken from the district, along with millions of dollars.

"I think that to be fair, if someone was to say partner with us or else -- it kind of makes the word 'partner' a little bit suspicious," said Dr. Darienne Driver, MPS Superintendent.

Dr. Darienne Driver

Dr. Darienne Driver

According to Abele, the OSPP plan will utilize a community schools model that focuses on academic achievement as well as a wrap-around concept for family needs.

But Driver says more details are needed.

"Face value still leaves us with more questions than answers," Driver said.

The school board is in special session to discuss the OSPP plan. The board has until June 23rd to decide whether it is on board with the plan.



    You can pour millions of dollars in the hood schools, will not matter, the kids come from welfare broken homes and learning is the last thing they want to do, FACT. Everything starts at home, no school can babysit kids and teach, respect, morals, values and standards.

    • The Grunt is not a Marine, but a child molesting loser

      FACT: you molested Iraqi/Afganistan children.
      Wilson told me so. He wanted to send me pics of it. But, I’d rather not look at those and expose you and Wilson for the molesters you are.
      FACT: molesting starts at home. So, maybe expose your all parents for molesting you or are you just gonna ignore it and keep molesting kids?
      The choice is yours. I suggest “don’t be racist, pedophiles.” But you’ll never listen, right?
      Cause “the molesting in the Marines, stays in the Marines” like Vegas? Right, author of “sarcasm”?

      • Opinion8d

        I don’t believe in censoring comments…but you are completely ignorant and a troll. Instead of debating the issue, you choose to attack someone personally -with completely baseless facts. Feel good?? If the poster is a Marine, the least you could do is thank him for his service as it’s probably more than you’ve ever done!!!! And he was spot-on with his comments.

  • Wilson

    All of the union slugs are worried about losing their overinflated salaries and benefits because these failing schools will be taken over. Why are the schools failing? Because it’s doing the same old thing over and over with the same failing results. If it isn’t working try a new approach. Union slugs this is the new reality. Produce or go away!!

    • Opinion8d

      Abele has not choice but to be involved-it was imposed based on the legislation passed. One would think that anything that focuses on the problem of MPS would be a good thing. I personally don’t think it can be fixed unless you take the kids from their retched homes and ‘parents’/influences. I respect Abele and his approach to government. I don’t agree with all his positions, but I think he’s fair and objective -especially around financial decision and accountability. Not someone that should be viewed as the problem.

  • head hunter

    i really dont like abele, but why wouldnt they want the schools to perform, because maybe they would get smart and make something of themself, and not carry on the family tradition of hand outs!!!!

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