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Letter From DPI Confirms No MPS Takeover

The controversial MPS takeover is not going to happen. The announcement came Wednesday morning that no schools in the district qualify for the "Opportunity Schools Partnership Program" or OSPP. Many know of OSPP as the takeover of MPS.

Only school districts in the lowest category of the state report card for two consecutive years are required to participate in OSPP by state law.

The fact no schools are eligible means that test scores are up.

The Department of Public Instruction, DPI sent the letter to Milwaukee Public Schools and County Executive Chris Abele. Abele was part of the OSPP Council, and released this statement following the announcement:

"Based on this information, we will work with our partners at MPS, DPI, and in the legislature to determine what this means for OSPP and what role the county will have."

The news means MPS has reached a goal, but the MPS superintendent says they are not stopping to celebrate. More work has to be done.

"I'm a firm believer that results change conversations. I'm hoping what today's announcement can show is change is possible at MPS. There have people that have been working for a long time to try to make those changes, and I think now that we have them, I'm hoping everyone will really gather around and continue to support the work we're doing. Again, we're not saying we're where we need to be. We know that we have to continue to push those programs that are working in our schools," said Dr. Darienne Driver MPS Superintendent

DPI will release the scores and report card that support MPS testing out of OSPP in November. While Driver believes there has been academic improvement, she says higher attendance and lower suspension rates have also helped.
 
Milwaukee Teacher's Education Association has efforted against an MPS takeover since the beginning.
 
"We believe in a democratically elected school board. we believe in parents having a voice in their child's education. We believe in methods that actually work instead of a failed, scripted curriculum brought in from some outside state. We think our community has the answers, and that's why we were against this. It's about our students. It's about our public schools," said Kim Schroeder, MTEA President.

Schroeder says he doesn't believe a takeover would have worked. He says what MPS demonstrated this year is working.

"This isn't new, this has been going on for years. our students and members are succeeding in often impossible situations with obstacles placed in front of them," said Schroeder.

Both do agree there's just a little more homework to do.

"We really can't stop until we're at the top of the list and at the top of the state report card," said Driver.

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