ON-Lion Letter

In January, former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan told Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Alan J. Borsuk that Milwaukee's consistently low test scores were a "national disgrace."

"I share in the frustration behind that quote -- I think we all do," Schools That Can Milwaukee (STCM) executive director Abby Andrietsch writes in the organization's newest e-mail newsletter.  "But I can't abide the sentiment of it.  That's because I know with absolute certainty that real progress is happening here.

"We have a huge amount of work to do in Milwaukee education -- across all sectors of schools," according to Andrietsch.  "However, each day I encounter educators leading meaningful change for their students.  Schools That Can Milwaukee has the privilege of supporting more than 250 of them.  And thanks to their efforts and the work of our team, nearly 16,000 students are in 40 schools that are getting better every day.

"Of course, our students deserve much more than the progress we’ve achieved so far," she continues.

"Celebrating success can’t be blind or disingenuous, but should be combined with meaningful, transparent, and consistent support and accountability," she writes.  "Just as our students need high expectations, an environment of love and support, and the tools and resources to succeed, so do our teachers and school leaders.

"We must continue to learn from other cities making deeper, faster impacts than we are.  But we also need urgency and support to continue doing what we know is working here," Andrietsch concludes.  "[J]oin us in our work to leave behind a disgraceful past by continuing toward a future we are already beginning to realize."

Milwaukee's Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation substantially supports STCM.  Subscriptions to the group's newsletter can be obtained on its website.

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