- Schools as community centers that provide wrap-around services for children and recreation and adult education for the neighborhood.
- Schools that educate the whole child rather than turning children into mere test-takers. All schools should have libraries and strong programs in art, music, and physical education. Class sizes must be reduced, and children must have access to quality tutoring.
- Culturally responsive teaching. This includes bilingual education, learning a second language for all students, and multicultural, anti-racist teaching.
- Significant parent involvement, from supporting children at home to volunteering in classrooms and being involved in school councils. One important step — hiring parent organizers at each school.
- Policies that focus on safe schools, restorative justice, and high expectations that help students grow into caring, responsible adults.
- Stable, collaborative leadership that respect all employees, parents, and students. The revolving door of principals must end.
These goals are within our reach. MPS already has a number of high-achieving schools that we can learn from. People know of the language schools and programs in Advanced Placement and the International Baccalaureate. Here are other examples.
- Three teachers from ALBA, a teacher-led school on the south side, were recently named People magazine’s teachers of the year. This school, among other successes, teaches all its students to be bilingual.
- MPS has the largest public Montessori program in the country, and the MPS schools have long waiting lists.
- The STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) programs, with support from the business community, have increased student achievement at high schools such as Bradley Tech and at elementary schools such as Vieau.
Rather than build on these homegrown successes, city and state powerbrokers want to turn over struggling MPS schools to out-of-state consultants or charter operators. Why not follow the example of Hopkins-Lloyd Community School?