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MPS Board to Reconsider Charter School Proposal for City's North Side

Jabril Faraj / Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service
Milwaukee Excellence is interested in the old Thomas A. Edison building.

The effort to create the so-called Milwaukee Excellence Charter School took a hit this past spring when the proposal was tabled after a split vote by the MPS School Board. However, it is expected that the plan will be going back in front of the board for further consideration soon.

The proposal has been a flash point for controversy for a variety of reasons, which reporter Jabril Faraj details in his Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service piece

"I think everyone wants better schools in Milwaukee," Faraj says. "The question is what are those schools going to look like."

The Milwaukee Excellence charter proposal came from MPS graduate, and former executive director of Teach for America Milwaukee, Maurice Thomas. The plan asks for a non-instrumentality charter.

"Non-instrumentality means that you are not under the school board essentially," explains Faraj. "A school would have its own governing board, which allows them then to hire teachers who are not a part of the union."

The proposed 5-12 grade school would have longer school days, a longer school year and focus on math, reading, science and social studies. Opponents say the school doesn't offer enough music and arts instruction, according to Faraj.

"What I heard from opponents of this plan was that this type of school would not be considered in a Whitefish Bay, in a Shorewood, and that the real issues were symptoms stemming from poverty and lack of employment in the city," says Faraj. "The proponents are saying this is something we need given those conditions."

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Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, or NNS, is an online source for objective, professional multimedia reporting on issues in 18 central city Milwaukee communities.