Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele
Press Release

OSPP Affirms Commitment to Community Schools

Some schools within MPS are already utilizing a community schools model, in partnership with the United Way.

By - May 12th, 2016 04:32 pm

MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and Opportunity Schools Partnership Program Commissioner Dr. Demond Means are making a commitment to implement a community schools model through OSPP and are asking Milwaukee Public Schools to say “Yes” to a partnership that would preserve resources and support for MPS schools, students, teachers, and families.

The partnership proposal submitted by Abele and Means to Milwaukee Public Schools on April 19th is guided by a commitment to the following core values: 1) we care about our public schools and will protect their students, employees, and funding; 2) we believe the entire community plays a part in helping our schools, children, and educators succeed; and 3) high rates of poverty and other factors outside the home have a substantial impact on our children and our schools.

Abele and Means believe a community schools model represents these core values, which is why that is a key component of the partnership proposal. This model engages families and community members as integral pieces of the puzzle in setting high goals for educational performance, providing support for educators, and in achieving success in school and in life. This model can also address issues outside of the classroom that impact performance in the classroom, such as mental health, public safety, transit, housing, and economic security, by wrapping services around children and their families.

Some schools within MPS are already utilizing a community schools model, in partnership with the United Way. OSPP plans to use this same model to learn best practices from these schools and others around the country that have been successful in improving outcomes, raising standards, and making their school the center of a thriving community. A recent report from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee highlighted Dr. George Washington Carver Academy‘s gains in student test scores and attendance utilizing a community schools model that included partnerships with outside organizations.

“Kids who come to school tired, hungry, and vulnerable aren’t able to thrive, even with the best, most dedicated teachers, like the ones we have in Milwaukee Public Schools,” County Executive Chris Abele said. “A community schools model allows us to support educators and set high academic achievement goals, while also adding resources that help children and their families outside of the classroom.”

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4 thoughts on “OSPP Affirms Commitment to Community Schools”

  1. Milwaukee Native says:

    It’s great that Chris Abele and Demond Means recognize the value of the Community Schools model already being used in MPS. This simply demonstrates how OSPP is merely duplicating efforts and bloating administrative bureaucracy.

    Except now Abele, Means, Darling and Kooyena can all grandstand about something that MPS has been pushing to expand. More resume padding. How many other wheels will they claim to reinvent?

  2. Rich says:

    we care about our public schools and will protect their students, employees, and funding

    Surely that’s not what Darling and Kooyenga had in mind when they wrote that law was it?
    Seems uncharacteristic of Abele to buck his backers in such a way.

    Completely unclear here is how OSPP plans to accomplish this. Maybe they’ll get all of their magic funding from the Argosy Foundation.

  3. Milwaukee Native says:

    Abele may have unwittingly deviated from the Darling-Kooyenga takeover agenda when he started meeting with Superintendent Driver and hired Demond Means, a veteran educator and former MPS student. The voucher-school promoters have already expressed their ire at Abele’s and Means’ for not starting new non-MPS schools. Darling will keep working to make sure MPS is undercut through ever-increasing vouchers and charters, through the new bureaucracy she got passed at the state level. Her former chief of staff is running it (for a salary of nearly $100K a year-a- big jump in pay).

    Follow the money. If Darling gets her way, more funding won’t be channeled into MPS, community schools or otherwise.

  4. WashCoRepub says:

    Great to see a leader like Abele not be so locked in his ideological roadmap that he can’t support new ideas and new attempts at innovation in education. Also nice to see he is willing to cross the aisle to find working partners who know that an effective educational system can really help make Milwaukee stronger.

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