With proposed legislation under discussion to bring to Milwaukee some of the education reform efforts that affected New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, the Milwaukee Board of School Directors has invited three experts who lived through and studied the reforms there to speak in Milwaukee.
The three experts will present free public workshops and participate in a free public panel discussion to share with the Milwaukee community their experiences in New Orleans and how similar ideas for Wisconsin could impact classrooms and neighborhoods here.
Among the experiences and research they will share are ideas around parent advocacy, access to education and urban space economy as they relate to recovery district models.
Specifically, the three will speak to their experiences with Louisiana's Recovery School District, a reform not unlike current proposals to create a 'turnaround district' for Milwaukee.
The three featured experts are:
- Dr. Kristen Buras, who is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at Georgia State University in Atlanta. She is considered a leading expert on urban charter schools, has studied education reform in New Orleans for the past decade and has been active around issues of racial and economic inequity in the city's public education system for more than two decades.
- Karran Harper Royal, who works as an education advocate in New Orleans. She is a member of the New Orleans Education Equity Roundtable and the Coalition for Community Schools, which is a member of the national Journey for Justice Alliance.
- Dr. Raynard Sanders, who has over 35 years of experience in teaching, educational administration, and economic and community development. Most recently, his work has been around educational equity, providing consulting services to numerous school districts and community groups across the country.
Workshops on the power of parent advocacy, equity and access, and charter schools and the politics of race are set for Thursday, March 26, at 4:30 p.m. at MPS' Milwaukee High School of the Arts, 2300 W. Highland Ave.
The experts will also participate in a community-wide panel discussion on Friday, March 27, at 6 p.m. at Parklawn Assembly of God, 3725 N. Sherman Blvd.
Both events are free and open to the public.