Principals, math teachers, and English-language arts teachers from five Milwaukee Public Schools sites have been invited to attend an information session on Thursday, Jan. 19 about SpringBoard, a program from the College Board that is a pre-Advanced Placement curriculum for grades 6-12.
The five schools are Audubon Technology and Communication Center, Bay View Middle and High School, Golda Meir School, Morse-Marshall School for the Gifted and Talented, and Wisconsin Conservatory of Lifelong Learning.
While no contracts have been signed and nothing is ever certain in MPS, conversations about the potential for SpringBoard in the district have been happening for months, with four of those five sites pretty high up on the list of schools rumored to be under consideration by Superintendent Gregory Thornton. The fifth, WCLL, is a bit of a surprise, but one that makes sense.
The College Board–who produce the SAT college admissions test as well the AP–seem eager to get a foothold in the midwest, which is traditionally ACT territory. Though the College Board does not have a list of participating schools anywhere easily google-able, I do not believe SpringBoard is currently in any Wisconsin school district. So both sides would benefit from a deal to bring SpringBoard to town.
The five schools, collectively, make up a good cross-section of MPS, as well. Morse has traditionally been a gifted and talented school producing high-schoolers who do well in AP; WCLL is one of the few K-12 schools in MPS; Audubon is known for its innovative use of technology; Meir is freshly approved to expand to high school grades; and Bay View is a SIFI school–one identified by the state as in need of improvement and under a corrective action plan to boost achievement (which it did in 2010, the only “Metro” region school to make large gains on the state test).
As someone who has pushed for my school, Bay View, to take on a more challenging curriculum, I am personally excited by this news. I am hopeful that MPS and the College Board can reach a happy agreement and continue the push to bring more academic rigor into the urban classroom.