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Tool of the Week: MPS, tool of the teachers union

Milwaukee Public Schools have consistently failed the children they serve. The district often does so to appease the teachers union it just can’t quit.

Matt Cordio, writing in Empower Wisconsin last week, reported that hundreds of students at Milwaukee Excellence Charter School (MECS) might not be returning to in-person learning this fall. Why? The Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association (MTEA) doesn’t want to compete with a charter school that truly is excellent.

“The union representing MPS teachers, successfully blocked a vote by the Milwaukee Board of School Directors to approve Milwaukee Excellence’s five-year lease of an MPS building needed to accommodate the school’s growth,” Cordio, founder of Protect Wisconsin Values wrote in his column.

Milwaukee school board members reportedly removed the item from their agenda because of “concerns and questions raised that are causing us (MPS) to consider other options.” Those concerns came from MTEA. They don’t like charter schools — especially successful ones — making their teachers and the criminally failed Milwaukee public school system look bad.

Who loses? The students — again.

Founded by MPS graduate Maurice Thomas in 2016, Milwaukee Excellence is a public charter school committed to putting 100 percent of its students on a path to college acceptance through a rigorous curriculum that includes coding and computer science. The school has received a five-star ranking for the past two years and is highly regarded by several leaders in the Milwaukee business community.

By comparison, MPS graduates less than 70 percent of its students in four years. The failure rate was high before COVID; it’s been much worse since. Data from Milwaukee schools showed 30.3% of MPS high schoolers failed last fall, compared to 18.8% in the fall of 2019. Less than 20 percent of Milwaukee students are considered proficient in English and math.

And once gain, MPS turns its back on another school outside of the teachers union-controlled box. Society will continue to pay the bill for such profound failure of leadership.

MPS is a tool of the teachers union. Today it is Empower Wisconsin’s Tool of the Week.

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