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Demond Means Resigns as Commissioner

Demond Means has resigned as the commissioner of turnaround plan for failing Milwaukee Public Schools.

Means released the following statement:

“As a proud Milwaukee Public Schools graduate, my heart aches for the children and families of

Milwaukee because of the poverty, crime and other challenges of urban life. In the midst of such

challenges, educational opportunity must serve as the great equalizer for the children of Milwaukee.

It was because of that desire to serve the children and families of Milwaukee that I agreed to

volunteer as commissioner of the Opportunity Schools and Partnership Program. I took on the

challenge with my eyes wide open.

There are certainly positive signs of people working together to do the good and hard work needed

to combat poverty and instill a sense of hope. Working in education over the last 20-plus years, I

know first-hand that great things can happen when women and men of good faith come together for

the betterment of our children and our community.

Regrettably, it seems that in education, the focus on children gets lost, and conversations about

policy and practice become more about the adults. In a city with so many challenges, the focus must

be squarely on our children and what we can do to ensure that their futures are bright.

Over the last several months, it has become clear to me that efforts to implement the Opportunity

Schools and Partnership Program law will become increasingly adversarial at a time when adversity

is the last thing our children need. Moreover, I made a promise when I volunteered for this position

that I would not impose anything on Milwaukee Public Schools.

It is now clear to me that as implementation of the law moves forward, the environment is not

conducive to collaborative partnerships – something essential for positive things to happen in

Milwaukee. Therefore, I have informed the County Executive that I am resigning effective

immediately as commissioner of the Opportunity Schools and Partnership Program. I do so without

malice or any political point of view and continue to have a deep desire to help our state’s neediest

children.

While I am stepping away from the OSPP commissionership, I remain committed to advocating for

equity in our schools and closing the achievement gap in Wisconsin. Like so many in the city, I will

always fight for the oppressed, disadvantaged and underrepresented, especially our children.

I encourage that men and women of good faith be reasonable and come together and focus their

energy on the actions that are needed to help provide Milwaukee’s youth with a quality education.”

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