Articles By: Bobby Tanzilo

An old neighborhood landmark gets a new lease on life

We often rue the loss of old buildings. Especially ones that were near and dear to us. And no buildings fit that bill more than schools, where we grew up. It’s a shame, for example, that schools like Jefferson (at Juneau Village), Jackson in the Third Ward, 18th Street (now a parking lot) and 21st […]

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Every school surrounded by a park

In 1911, Danish-born landscape architect Jens Jensen, who left a lasting imprint on the upper Midwest, wrote of the school playground, “It belongs to the school and should not be conducted as a separate institution. Each gains from an association with the other. The playground gives the school building a setting which it too often […]

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Miner’s Milwaukee schools history book has lessons nationwide

You can read an endless parade of books about public education. There are surveys of history, books that focus on charters and on voucher programs, volumes devoted to the battles for desegregation and all kinds of books by pundits arguing this or that approach to funding, to curriculum and everything else. But if you want […]

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Great Schools rankings may challenge your notions of local choices

Great Schools rankings may challenge your notions of local choices

Last week, I spied a copy of the new Great Schools school finder which rates all the area public, charter and private schools to help parents make informed choices. The schools get a number rating, from 1 to 10, based on test scores, school climate and improvement. The rankings are also

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Budget surplus should help re-fund public schools

Tomorrow night at 7 p.m. Gov. Scott Walker will give his state of the state address speech for 2013. Certainly, he and I won’t agree when it comes to public schools. We might agree that the new report cards and the new cut scores will turn out to be a good thing for students across […]

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School’s dads group lifts off with soaring paper airplanes event

A loop of video showing the Blue Angels soaring through the heavens was projected on a screen above the stage in the gymnateriatorium at Maryland Avenue Montessori, a Milwaukee Public School on the East Side celebrating 125 years in its current building this year. Despite their speed and acrobatics, they couldn’t hold a flame – […]

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Johnston uses hard work and smart work to launch CrossFit MPS

At the bottom of every email from MacDowell Montessori teacher Chip Johnston is this phrase: “Progress comes from a combination of hard work and smart work.” That philosophy helps drive Johnston’s interest in CrossFit to Milwaukee Public Schools. CrossFit MPS is the only non-profit CrossFit Affiliate in Wisconsin and only the sixth registered CrossFit Kids […]

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Bike Federation pushes pedaling to school

Next week is International Walk to School Day and in preparation, I heard a

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Nature hangs a perfect pitch for rain garden ribbon cutting

When I talked to the principal at Maryland Avenue Montessori School this morning, we agreed it’s a great day for the ribbon cutting ceremony on the MPS school’s new rain garden. There was a light drizzle and the show would go on. As long as there’s been an East Side, there’s been a Maryland Avenue […]

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A few good seats still available at MacDowell Montessori

You know by now that I support public Montessori, a method that has been responsible for some of the highest achieving schools in MPS. (Note: I say “a” method, not “the” method in response to some talkbacks on my commentary recently on the opening of the new Howard Avenue Montessori School. There are other methods, […]

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Fare thee well, Roseann

As Milwaukee Public Schools’ communications director Roseann St. Aubin announces her departure, we offer a fond farewell. Like most of you, I first “met” St. Aubin when she was a local broadcast news personality. After stints in the Department of City Development and working for then-Mayor John Norquist, St. Aubin moved to MPS, where she’s […]

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A new South Side Montessori is good news for MPS

Folks are usually looking for bright spots in our public schools and a late-addition item on the agenda of this Thursday’s Committee of Student Achievement and School Innovation meeting is just the kind of good news we love on the last day of school at MPS. It’s no secret that the public Montessori programs in […]

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MPS’ chief academic officer resigns

MPS’ chief academic officer, Heidi Ramirez, who came to Milwaukee with superintendent Gregory Thornton when he arrived in 2010, has resigned. Ramirez said she will continue in her position through mid-July to help ease the transition. MPS spokesperson Roseann St. Aubin said the district intends to replace Ramirez (the CAO position was unfilled for a […]

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Mad Hot Ballroom is back

Any parent knows that kids can and will surprise you. For example,

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Kagel kids explore world cultures

Last week, MPS’ Albert Kagel School in Walker’s Point celebrated International Day and though I couldn’t make it down to check it out, I asked principal

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