By Michael Bonds, Ph.D.
President, Milwaukee Board of School Directors
With a new legislative session underway, lawmakers have proposed bringing education reform ideas to Milwaukee.
Many of the proposed ideas strongly resemble reform efforts that have deeply impacted public schools in New Orleans over the course of the past decade.
Specifically, the concept of a recovery or turnaround district within the city of Milwaukee brings to mind Louisiana’s Recovery School District (RSD) and its wide-reaching implications on the public school district in New Orleans.
The Milwaukee Board of School Directors has invited three experts who have lived through and researched the reforms in New Orleans to visit Milwaukee.
They will present free workshops and participate in a panel discussion to share with the Milwaukee community their experiences and how similar proposed legislation in Wisconsin could impact our classrooms and neighborhoods.
Among the experiences and research they will share are ideas around parent advocacy, access to education, and urban space economy as they relate to recovery district models.
The three featured
• Dr. Kristen Buras, who is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at Georgia State University in Atlanta.
She is considered a leading expert on urban charter schools, has studied education reform in New Orleans for the past decade, and has been active around issues of racial and economic inequity in the city’s public education system for more than two decades;
• Mrs. Karran Harper-Royal, who works as an education advocate in New Orleans.
She is a member of the New Orleans Education Equity Roundtable and the Coalition for Community Schools, which is a member of the national Journey for Justice Alliance; and
• Dr. Raynard Sanders, who has over thirty-five years of experience in teaching, educational administration, and economic and community development.
Most recently, his work has been around educational equity, providing consulting services to numerous school districts and community groups across the country.
I invite you to hear from the New Orleans experts firsthand.
Workshops on The Power of Parent Advocacy, Equity and Access, and Race and Urban Space are set for Thursday, March 26, at 4:30 p.m. at MPS’s Milwaukee High School of
the Arts, 2300 W. Highland Avenue, Milwaukee 53233.
The experts will also participate in a community-wide panel discussion on Friday, March 27, at 6 p.m. at Parklawn Assembly of God, 3725 N. Sherman Boulevard, Milwaukee 53216.
Both events are free and open to the public.
For more information, contact (414) 475-8284 or visit mpsmke.com/supportmps.
I encourage you to join us in this important discussion regarding the future of public education in Milwaukee.