Working Group on Standardized Tests
The ENSJ Working Group on Standardized Tests was formed to combat the further implementation of these misguided, damaging tests. With NCLB up for renewal and the increasing insanity of testing instead of learning in area schools, It’s time to say Enough is Enough! Join other educators as we come together to push back against the testing regime. Information on the working group and useful links can be found on the WGST page.
The Coalition to Stop the MPS Takeover
ENSJ is a co-founding member, with the Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP, in this coalition of 28 community, parent, union, educator, civil rights, religious, and student organizations, all opposed to mayoral control of Milwaukee Public Schools and in favor of democratic school reform. We are the largest education-focused coalition in Milwaukee since the desegregation movement in the 1970s. We are united around three principles:
Oppose the mayoral takeover
Protect and defend voter rights
Invest in parent and community involvement in our schools
Useful links and a catalog of information updates on hearings, pickets and other events can be found on the Coalition page.
The CLEaR Justice Initiative
This district-wide initiative in MPS addresses issues of class, language ethnicity and race. It grew out of the organizing work of the Social Studies Task Force that criticized the content of the proposed elementary social studies textbooks. The initiative includes a variety of programs, including the creation of a Multicultural Teacher Council with a representative from each MPS school. If you are interested in being the representative from your school, please talk to your principal and your MTEA Building Representative.
Links, information on how to join, and more can be found on the CLEaR Justice Initiative page.
In the spring of 2008, ENSJ co-sponsored with the Milwaukee Teachers Education Association two speak outs on the deteriorating conditions of teaching and learning. At the first Speak Out, nearly 80 concerned community members showed up at Lincoln Middle School of the Arts to lend their voices to education and social justice in Milwaukee.
During a second Speak Out at the WEB Du Bois High School forty people shared their concerns and started making plans to organize around a variety of issues for greater equality in education.
If you are interested in organizing future Speak Outs, email .
Social Studies Task Force
The Social Studies Task Force is a multi-racial coalition of educators, parents and community members who have pushed for quality social studies teaching in MPS.
During 2008, members of ENSJ and Rethinking Schools raised concerns about the content of the social studies textbook series that was up for adoption by the Milwaukee Public Schools. The initial criticism of the textbook series was its failure to address the issue of racism.
As we examined the books, however, more problems emerged. After several weeks of mobilization we succeeded in convincing the MPS administration to withdraw its proposal for the $4.2 million adoption and to delay all social study textbook purchases.
Click here to read some of our analysis (34KB) of the textbooks.
In July and August, a coalition of community and educational groups met at the offices of the Milwaukee branch of the NAACP and constituted the Social Studies Task Force. The task force is working to change social studies teaching in Milwaukee. Committees of the task force are looking at print, video and community resources, professional development, scope and sequence, and goals.
Click here for articles about racism in social studies textbooks.
Members of the Task Force maintain a curriculum website database: Social Studies Resources. Numerous pro-justice books and materials are indexed on the site; many have lesson plans and supplemental materials available to download and use.
If you are interested in working on the Social Studies Task Force please send an email expressing your interest to .