"The Milwaukee Board of School Directors is the policy-making body for the school system, serving within the framework provided by law, the will of the local citizenry, and the ethics of the education profession."
To learn more about the issues facing Milwaukee Public Schools and how Larry Miller works to find solutions, check out these seven items below.
My primary goal is to strengthen teaching and learning, by teaching to the whole child.
This can only be done by enhancing the quality of experience for each student. That experience must be based in cultural relevance and school cultures that embrace student learning.
Fundamental to teaching to the whole child includes the arts, music, physical education, exploratory learning, travel, extra-curricular offerings, sports and a myriad of new experiences.
Strengthen cultural relevance and responsiveness. Understanding and valuing cultural diversity is critical. All individuals must feel free to explore the uniqueness of their culture and identity while developing understandings of the cultural diversity that exists in the world around them.
Denying cultural expression means limiting the expression of unique perspectives on life and the transmission of knowledge from generation to generation.
Increase school readiness through advancing a city-wide literacy initiative for children from birth to 5 years of age. The goal is to embrace a deep appreciation for the critical first 2,000 days of a child's life and help prepare young children to be ready for school so they will all have an equal chance.
We want to unite the whole community-government, higher education, childcare and health care providers, parents, business, community, congregations, all schools—to come together to advance the health and learning of our youngest citizens.
Advance the number of community schools in MPS. Its fundamental components are: strengthen curriculum, improve student assessments connected to daily teaching, establish healthcare/eye care/social and emotional services, use positive discipline approaches (including restorative practices), transformational parent and community engagement, and a shared collaborative leadership philosophy.
Stop the saturation of Milwaukee neighborhoods with “storefront” voucher schools that do not serve the needs of our children. Limit the number of voucher seats in the City of Milwaukee.
Refuse funding to programs that discriminate. Voucher programs can sidestep basic constitutional protections such as freedom of speech. They do not have to provide the same level of second-language or special-education services. They can suspend or expel students without legal due process. They can disregard state law prohibiting discrimination against students on grounds of sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, or marital or parental status.
Establish full disclosure for voucher schools including finances, pay structure for staff and board, demographics of students, performance, staff licensure, governance members, policies, and compliance with open meetings and records laws.
Create a process for withdrawing public funding from voucher schools based on performance accountability. (The OSPP is law for takeover and closure of public schools but not private voucher schools.)
I support Superintendent Tony Evers proposal for increased funding for public schooling. Superintendent Evers’ 2017-19 budget proposal represents an increase in funding of 2.7 percent in the first year of the biennium and another 5.4 percent in the second. The larger increase in the second year of the budget would bring equity to school funding through an updated version of the previously introduced “Fair Funding for Our Future.” Additionally, Evers’ proposes increases in special education funding.
Cap Voucher Expansion
Bilingualism is good for everyone. I support strengthening our present bilingual programs and I support the goal of establishing bilingual education for all MPS students.
For English as a second language students (ESL), native language and culture have a major role in education by affirming the importance of teaching English skills gradually while increasing their bilingual potential. This is accomplished by providing the opportunity to maintain and further develop their native language skills.
Research shows that the study foreign languages can lead students to score better on standardized tests in the categories of math, reading, and vocabulary. The research shows that memory, perceptive, and native language skills improve. Also, studies have shown that study of foreign language can impact staving off Alzheimer’s and dementia.