“Alone we can do so little; Together we can do so much.”
One of my favorite quotes is from Helen Keller: “Alone we can do so little; Together we can do so much.”
So this week I want to highlight partnerships. There is great work happening in our community. The Greater Milwaukee Committee, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee Area Technical College and Milwaukee Public Schools are doing great things for our students. Julia Taylor, President of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, is excited about the progress we are making in career education:
"Our high schools play a vital role in preparing our young people for careers today. At Bradley Technical and Trade High School, MPS and key partners including MATC, UWM, the GMC, the Commission, faculty and businesses are creating innovative student pathways for our students. One great example is Techterns, a program where student cohorts follow large construction projects from blueprints to opening. Together we provide a strong talent pipeline for southeastern Wisconsin. Below is an update on Bradley Tech from MATC President, Vicki Martin, who serves as chair of the Bradley Tech Commission. Bradley Tech’s success is crucial to the economic vitality of our region. We hope you’ll share this update with your colleagues and friends."
Thank you Julia! I love the work that is being done for our children!
Take it away Vicki!
See you soon,
Dear Friends of Bradley Tech,
In Fall 2015, Milwaukee Public Schools, Milwaukee Area Technical College and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee created the M3 partnership to marshal resources and expertise to help more MPS students succeed in the classroom and beyond. While the work of M3 can be seen throughout the district, its direct impact on the turnaround at Bradley Tech is more apparent every day.
Through a comprehensive, multi-year plan aimed to create meaningful change at the school and to help rebuild Tech into the premier trade and technology high school in southeastern Wisconsin, significant groundwork has been laid. We have:
- established a rigorous and accountable governance structure;
- expanded Bradley Tech’s student enrollment pipeline;
- strengthened relationships with corporate partners to improve opportunities for students to gain real-world experiences through internships and apprenticeships;
- equipped faculty and staff with the skills to prepare students for long-term success; and,
- defined key metrics and measurement tools to ensure that we stay on track using the strategies that have proven successful.
With the official launch of the M3 partnership in late January, these efforts are being noticed. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s front page story about M3, for instance, featured Bradley Tech students dressed proudly in Trojan purple as they work to prepare for success in college and career: http://www.jsonline.com/story/news/education/2017/01/25/m-cubed-effort-seeks-boost-college-chances-mps-students/96833514/.
More than simply noticing change, though, we are seeing measurable success in a number of key areas:
- Attendance at Bradley Tech is up by 4.5 percent and suspensions are down by 15.8 percent compared to the same time period last year.
- We’ve increased focus on mindfulness, provided early proactive interventions and instated uniforms to ensure that Bradley Tech students are focused on getting a hands-on, real-world education they need to be successful in school and beyond graduation.
- Since the launch of a new dual enrollment option with MATC this school year, approximately 375 Bradley Tech students are on track to earn college credit while still enrolled in high school (which is a tremendous increase from the only 20 students who earned college credit last year).
- This option creates a direct pathway for high school students to higher education and a future career.
- Eighty-two area businesses are partnering with more than 320 Bradley Tech students via career-based learning opportunities, such as apprenticeships, internships and workplace visits.
- This represents 14 new business partners compared to last year, with more signing on regularly, and a 136.8 percent increase in student participation.
- Within the next couple months, a number of Bradley Tech students will be participating in real-world construction projects through two unique programs with Arts@Large and the Milwaukee Bucks.
- This spring, approximately ten Bradley Tech students will begin an 18-month long paid internship with local nonprofit, Arts@Large. During the internship, the students will work with Arts@Large and Catalyst Construction to plan, redesign and restore the historic three-story Patrick Cudahy building located on South 5th Street in the historic Walker’s Point neighborhood. Once completed, the building will be a new community and education center, serving artists, teachers, students and the broader community.
- A new cohort of “Tech Terns” will support the construction of the new Bucks arena in downtown Milwaukee starting this spring. During their experience, these students will be on the ground floor of planning, construction and design for one of our city’s largest construction projects in decades.
While we recognize a true turnaround will take years to take hold and that much work remains to be done, the M3 partnership, the Bradley Tech Commission, school leadership, alumni, parents, corporate partners and the broader community are wrapping themselves around Bradley Tech in ways never seen before. We are deeply committed to the success of the school, and above all, its students.
If you’re interested in being more involved with the school as a business or community partner, as a volunteer, or simply as an advocate, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or a staff member. The success of Bradley Tech depends on the support of our entire community.
On behalf of all those working tirelessly to revitalize Bradley Tech, I thank you for your ongoing commitment to, and interest in, the school and all those it serves.
Dr. Vicki J. Martin
President, Milwaukee Area Technical College
Member, M3 Partnership
Chairperson, Bradley Tech Commission