FAIRFIELD, Conn. — A team of more than 40 teachers, principals and administrators from Milwaukee Public Schools, as well as business leaders, will contribute their knowledge, interact with national education leaders, and enhance their understanding of major changes coming to the classroom, the GE Foundation announced Tuesday.
The GE Foundation will underwrite the cost of Milwaukee’s participants and expenses for a total of 400 U.S. educators at the conference titled “The Common Core State Standards and Our Commitment to Student Success.” It’s taking place July 15–20 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Wisconsin, along with nearly every other state, has adopted the Common Core State Standards that will be put into practice a year from this September. In order to prepare for these tougher, more demanding standards, educators need to shift their instructional focus in literacy/English language arts and math. Under the Standards, students delve more deeply into critical concepts, relying on higher-level thinking rather than simple memorization.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for our teachers to learn, grow and collaborate. Our team members are going to be able to dive into specific content by grade and experience level. Our 80,000 students will benefit from the expertise they bring back with them,” said Dr. Gregory E. Thornton, Superintendent, Milwaukee Public Schools.
“The Common Core State Standards are critical to preparing our students for college and careers. We’re embracing those tough standards and we’re grateful to have a partner in the GE Foundation to ensure that our teachers are exposed to the best possible expertise on putting the standards in place. ”
Thornton will attend, along with school board members.
“Good paying jobs are going unfilled because U.S. workers don’t have the skills for the positions. The Common Core are part of the solution and ensuring educators in Milwaukee know how to implement them is absolutely critical,” said Robert Corcoran, VP of GE Corporate Citizenship, and president and chair of the GE Foundation.
The Milwaukee team will hear remarks from NEA President Dennis Van Roekel, the co-architects of the Common Core Standards and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
A group from Milwaukee will also participate in a workshop at the Kennedy Space Center with NASA and the National Science Teachers Association that is occurring this week.
“Meeting the Standards through Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Integration,” will show the educators how real world engineering applies both scientific and mathematical principles to the colonization of Mars. The sessions will show teachers how to bring this type of integrated learning approach back to the classroom.