Wednesday, June 11, 2014

MPS Board Committee Approved Bilingualism Region For Milwaukee's Southside

(Click on each resolution 1415R-003 image to enlarge)

A MPS Board committee approved an initiative to create a bilingualism region in Milwaukee's Southside to excel students in both English/Spanish and other conversant languages.

By H. Nelson Goodson
June 11, 2014

Milwaukee, WI - On Tuesday, the Milwaukee Public School (MPS) Board Committee on Achievement and Innovation approved a bilingualism region for Milwaukee's Southside. The 1415R-003 resolution was proposed by both School Board members Titiana Joseph and Larry Miller. The resolution now goes before the full MPS Board on June 19 and if approved, it would establish a bilingualism region and create additional jobs to implement the program. 
The resolution seeks to accommodate the growing Spanish speaking student enrollment at the school district. An estimated one third of students enrolled in MPS are fluent in Spanish. 
Once the bilingualism region is implemented in the Southside, the resolution says that "within a reasonable number of years" MPS can become "a school district in which students will graduate academically well prepared in English, Spanish, and/or be conversant in another language." 
The bilingualism region initiative would establish a combination of initiatives to help students excel in both English and Spanish, while making other languages more conversant for students to learn and prepare them to become more competitive in today's skilled jobs, including corporate fields and the world market requiring dual language knowledge. 
The Joseph-Miller 1415R-003 resolution states that, "It is socially, culturally, and economically necessary that public education promotes the learning of English while equally embracing the development of Spanish and supporting the learning of other languages, when appropriate.  Students must also be well prepared for effective participation in societies and economies connected to each other by global imperatives, governments and public school districts must find ways to invest in education and future generations...The school district's bilingual-maintenance, dual-language, language-immersion, and multicultural programs are already successful initiatives that move MPS closer to such goals...That MPS shall establish the equivalent of a region that promotes bilingualism by first establishing an English/Spanish bilingual and dual-language program in Milwaukee's near southside in Board District 6 and then, within a reasonable number of years, at the city-wide level until MPS becomes a school district in which students will graduate academically well prepared in English, Spanish, and/or be conversant in another language...That MPS will increase its hiring of bilingual certified staff in each school with an English/Spanish dual-language and/or bilingual-maintenance program, as well as increase the number of bilingual English/Spanish administrators in Central Services. MPS shall also hire an adequate number of bilingual counseling and bilingual special education staff."

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