Dr. Driver statement regarding meeting with President Obama
MPS superintendent joined other urban school leaders with the Council of the Great City Schools
MILWAUKEE (March 16, 2015) – Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Darienne Driver met with President Obama on Monday, along with 10 other urban school district leaders from the Council of the Great City Schools and the group’s executive director.
Dr. Driver released the following statement about the meeting:
“I am grateful for the opportunity we had to share the progress urban districts are making, to share the innovative practices we are putting in place to accelerate our growth and to reiterate our support for being accountable for student achievement. It was also an opportunity to express concern about the proposals to reauthorize Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that would reduce funding for many of the highest-need, highest-poverty districts in the United States.
“Milwaukee Public Schools is proud to join with our CGCS colleagues in serving all students. Any new plan must help move this nation’s neediest students forward – not backward. If the choice is between not doing harm or doing harm, it would seem self-evident that the current waiver system will have to remain in place until a bill can be passed that responsibly supports all of our students.
“My colleagues and I were able to provide a number of examples of programs that have made the most of federal funds provided to high-needs districts in ways that improve outcomes and opportunities for students. For MPS, that includes our Commitment Schools effort, which is showing early signs of progress.
“I was also able to share with the president how Milwaukee Public Schools partnered with the GE Foundation to develop scalable and sustainable in-house models of innovative learning that can now share best practices with other schools. I spoke about our efforts to implement the rigorous Common Core State Standards and to increase the integration of science, technology, engineering and math. I also shared how we are beginning to work with the College Board to improve outcomes for our young men of color through the president’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative.
“I could not agree more with President Obama that we need to focus – as we have done in MPS through the Commitment Schools process – on providing low-performing schools with the tools they need to be successful. I also agree that investment in our students with special needs and our students who are English Language Learners is critical to our overall success.
“On the whole, our message as a group was that urban districts are making steady progress and implementing efforts to accelerate that growth. Any effort to shift funds from high-need districts to less needy schools – as some ESEA reauthorization proposals would – risks reversing that progress.
“As the president said Monday, continuing to invest in our children is something worth fighting for.”
About Milwaukee Public Schools
Milwaukee Public Schools is committed to accelerating student achievement, building positive relationships between youth and adults and cultivating leadership at all levels. The district’s commitment to improvement continues to show results:
- More MPS students are meeting reading standards
- The MPS Class of 2014 earned $31 million in scholarships, up $7 million; and
- MPS is home to 4 of the state’s top 15 high schools according to U.S. News and World Report
Learn more about MPS by visiting http://mps.milwaukee.k12.wi.us/en/District/About-MPS.htm. More MPS news is available at http://mps.milwaukee.k12.wi.us/news.