MILWAUKEE – Governor Jim Doyle today announced that he is awarding $10 million to the Milwaukee Mathematics Partnership for an initiative to raise the quality of education by promoting math achievement in Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS). The Governor’s biennial budget contains the funding for improving pupil academic achievement in Milwaukee Public Schools beginning July 1, 2008.
“Anyone who knows me knows that education is my number one priority,” Governor Doyle said. “The most important investment we can make is in our public schools. We have made tremendous progress improving public schools in Milwaukee, but we must continue to raise the standards and quality of the education we are providing the kids of this city.”
The Governor made the announcement at Lincoln Center of the Arts in Milwaukee, which currently has a Milwaukee Mathematics Partnership (MMP) pilot program to improve math skills. The MMP program has three main goals:
· Increase overall student proficiency 10% in mathematics (grades 3-8, 10) by 2009 over 2006 and narrow the gap between MPS and the state by 10%.
· Provide leadership for high quality teaching/assessment through UW-Milwaukee, Math Teaching Specialists and school based Math Teacher Leaders in 75% of MPS schools.
· Develop a strong math content knowledge base in teachers that is provided through UW-Milwaukee professional development classes and demonstrated through teacher assessments.
Because of the Governor’s effort to secure $10 million for this initiative, MPS chose to move forward this spring and hire 100 new math teacher leaders and 8 new math teaching specialists and begin training nearly 3,500 teachers.
The award will also be used to build leadership skills in math, develop a district-wide approach towards improving student proficiency in mathematics, and provide print and on-line materials that aid in teaching math and assess student learning. MPS will be partnering with UW- Milwaukee and MATC to build research-based teaching strategies.
On 2007 test scores, 48 percent of fourth grade MPS students were not at grade level in math, but the percentage not at grade level increases to 60 percent by eighth grade and 70 percent by tenth grade.
MPS is providing approximately $2.8 million in local funding to assist with the initiative.