MPS selected for White House initiative that improves student outcomes through the arts
Milwaukee Public Schools is excited to be among a select group of school districts in the nation to be chosen to participate in Turnaround Arts. It is the signature initiative of President Barack Obama’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and has shown incredible success using an integrated arts model to boost achievement and attendance.
Four MPS schools – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Lancaster School, William T. Sherman Multicultural Arts, and Roosevelt Creative Arts Middle School – are the only Wisconsin schools and among only 68 selected nationally for the 2016-17 school year to be part of Turnaround Arts. The announcement was made by First Lady Michelle Obama and the White House. It was great that the principals from our Turnaround Arts Schools were there to hear the big news!
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Turnaround Arts empowers high-need schools with innovative arts, dance, theater and music programs, arts integration across subject areas, arts resources, musical instruments, and high-profile artist mentors as a proven strategy to help address broader school challenges and close the achievement gap.
This program is proven to not only provide greater arts access to students, it has been proven to help increase student achievement using the integrated arts model. Over a four-year period, Turnaround Arts schools on average have seen a 12.6 percent improvement in reading proficiency and 22.5 percent improvement in math proficiency.
I want to offer special thanks to some of our partners who are already on board with Turnaround Arts: Danceworks, First Stage Children’s Theater, the UWM Peck School of the Arts, UWM’s School of Education and Cardinal Stritch. I also want to thank the MPS Foundation for coordinating support from the Herzfeld Foundation and the Zilber Family Foundation for Turnaround Arts Milwaukee.
Thank you to all of our arts partners, local foundations and organizations who support success in MPS!
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Dr. Darienne Driver is Superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools.
As Superintendent, Dr. Driver works with the Milwaukee Board of School Directors and district leadership to improve student achievement; engage in effective and efficient operations that make best use of district resources; and, develop opportunities to increase parental and community involvement.