Profile: Milwaukee Teaching Fellows
“Great leaders just don’t decide one day to devote themselves to a particular purpose. Something happened that turned initial interest into life defining commitments….Such commitment was spurred by an evolving belief that they could have a meaningful impact on what they valued most in life… Quality leaders find a way to rise above their own professional interests to what is best for the organization. In our case it is our students.”
– Superintendent, William Andrekopoulos in his Remarks to Principals, August 2007
Milwaukee Public Schools need additional high-quality, driven individuals, like you, to join their efforts to ensure that all students succeed.
Research shows that the single most important factor in raising student achievement is the teacher in the classroom. This is your chance to change careers into the field of education, in order to make a difference where your talents, knowledge, and commitment are most needed.
Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) serves close to 87,360 students - a diverse community of children that are 57% African American, 22% Hispanic, and 12% Caucasian. The district is the largest in the state and is comprised of 207 schools, including 124 elementary, 17 middle, and 55 high schools. MPS’ slogan embodies an important vision: “The classroom is the most important place in the district”. Milwaukee Public Schools calls on you to become a teacher in one of the district’s highest-need public schools by applying to the Milwaukee Teaching Fellows program.
Many of our students come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds; nearly eight of every 10 public school students are eligible for Free/Reduced Lunch. (1) Milwaukee has the 4th highest poverty rate in the nation; 41% of children in Milwaukee live in poverty (triple the state total). (2) We know that all students deserve the highest quality education. Milwaukee Teaching Fellows are dedicated to raising student achievement, opening opportunities for the children in our community.
Just over half (52%) of 4th graders are performing at the proficient/advanced level in math (compared to 80% average for rest of state) on the state standardized test. Seven out of 10 of our tenth grade students are failing in math and six out of 10 are failing in reading. And, only 68% of our students graduate from high school (compared to 91% for rest of the state). (3) We need teachers who are especially committed to overcoming the challenges they face in helping their students to achieve in order to overcome these grim statistics.
Milwaukee Public Schools has a challenge and an opportunity to do more to set and meet high expectations for all students. Reform efforts are underway in the district. The Milwaukee Public Schools strategic plan, which received unanimous support from the School Board, has set goals for improving student achievement in reading and math by the year 2012, and for reducing the achievement gap that exists among ethnic groups in the district. This is your opportunity to become a part of this reform, by becoming a teacher dedicated to impacting the lives of the students in your classroom.
Milwaukee Teaching Fellows will form a dedicated cohort of new teachers with a shared mission of closing the achievement gap in Milwaukee. The first year for any new teacher is challenging, and Fellows should anticipate an intense effort, especially at the beginning of the year. A full teaching day is just under seven hours, from start to finish. Beyond the formal school day, Fellows should expect to spend substantial time out of class preparing lessons, grading student work, and communicating with parents and guardians. They may have after-school meetings with school staff, their grade-level or subject team, or students’ family members. Fellows will also attend courses as they pursue their teaching license at a state-apprvoed university program, as well as professional development activities to support their classroom efforts.
Milwaukee Teaching Fellows understand that their hard work can make a difference in the lives and academic achievement of Milwaukee’s children.