There are many educators in Milwaukee who wake up every morning and ask themselves, "how can I best serve my students today?"
Recently I had a chance to observe some of these teachers at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School. Unannounced, I accompanied the principal into seven classrooms.
Students were engaged, teachers were teaching and the rooms were filled with encouragement. I saw many students enthusiastic and confident in their interaction with their teacher and other students.
One of the things that became very clear to me in visiting these classrooms was that the ratio of students to teacher was reasonable and manageable. But an increase in class size, I fear, would change what I saw.
Throughout the visit the principal talked about the success they were having in reading and math that has been evident on their district internal assessments.
Accompanying us was a college student who has recently organized a cadre of 50 Marquette college students to do after school tutoring four nights a week at King.
While many critics of MPS stand on the sideline or even work to destroy public education, here is someone who believes in educating all
students, with the goal of giving each of them the chance to fulfill their potential.
I say hats off to teachers that are putting their students first, even though you may not feel appreciated. I say hats off to community members, like the student from Marquette, who believes in kids and asks everyone else to do the same.
studies and serving as an administrator in MPS for nearly two decades. His two sons are both MPS
graduates. Larry is an editor of Rethinking Schools and an adjunct at Marquette's College of Education.
He and his wife, Ellen Bravo, live on Milwaukee's East Side.