Friday, September 8, 2023
U.S. Department of Education Deputy Secretary Cindy Marten and U.S Congresswoman Gwen Moore joined Milwaukee Public Schools leaders to tour schools on Friday, September 8, to see firsthand MPS’ innovative expansion of its STEM curricula through federal funding.
The visit came in support of the Department’s initiative for 2023, called Raise the Bar: Lead the World. The initiative supports districts in accelerating learning and offering a rigorous education for all students.
“Milwaukee Public Schools leadership and educators are Raising the Bar in providing equitable, relevant, rigorous and joyful STEM learning by investing their American Rescue Plan relief funds in cutting-edge STEM learning tools, lab equipment, and teacher professional development. I commend Superintendent Posley and his team for investing in STEM resources, because all students should know they belong in STEM,” Marten said. “Because all students, regardless of their ZIP code, deserve to receive high-quality STEM education that equips them with the skills and knowledge to dream big and ensures their career readiness and global competitiveness.”
MPS has used federal support to expand specialized science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs to more schools, with a focus on reaching special populations, including females and other groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields.
During Friday’s visit, Deputy Secretary Cindy Marten and U.S. Congresswoman Gwen Moore toured Riverside University High School and led a discussion with students in the Project Lead The Way Biomedical Innovations class.
Deputy Secretary Marten also visited several STEM-focused classes, and the GE Innovation Lab and robotics classrooms at Audubon Technology and Communication Center High School to see how MPS’ investments align with Raise the Bar’s key focus on STEM learning.
“We are so proud to have an opportunity to share our STEM investments with the Deputy Secretary and the community,” said MPS Superintendent Dr. Keith P. Posley. “When we received this funding, it was extremely important to engage families and the community, as well as school leaders, to ensure we are making long-term investments in the future of our children. Our STEM program is a wonderful example of how we are doing that.”
Since 2021, MPS has invested millions of dollars in federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds to enhance STEM programming, including expansion of Project Lead The Way (PLTW) programming to five additional schools — Kagel School, Curtin Leadership Academy, Fifty-Third Street School, Milwaukee Parkside School, and Congress School. The expansion will increase the number of students served by specialty PLTW programming for grades K–12 from 9,000 students to approximately 11,000 students.
In addition, multiple schools have or will see STEM lab upgrades and additions.
Other STEM investments include funding for additional teachers, professional development, curriculum development, and STEM-specific investments in supplies and equipment, including software, computer equipment for students and staff, and robotics equipment.
In addition to STEM investments, MPS since 2021 has invested millions of ESSER dollars to accelerate learning, promote health and wellness, improve facilities, invest in technology, and enhance students’ extracurricular engagement.