Wisconsin educators learn from MPS’ success with “Project Lead the Way”

MILWAUKEE — Two dozen school leaders from around Wisconsin toured two Milwaukee Public Schools programs on Thursday to learn from the success of MPS’ “Project Lead the Way” efforts.

MPS high school students who take part in Project Lead the Way dramatically outperform the district average on state standardized tests – roughly doubling the average scores in language arts, math, reading and science and much more closely mirroring the state average.

Project Lead the Way is a rigorous, innovative program that has been implemented in schools across the country. It helps students learn science, math, technology and engineering through hands-on projects and activities.

Milwaukee Public Schools has one of the largest concentrations of Project Lead the Way students in the nation, with roughly 5,500 middle- and high-school-age students taking part in 28 schools. Nearly half of the MPS students (45%) who take part are female and roughly 85% are students of color.

Wisconsin educators from as far away as Brodhead, Cumberland and Eau Claire toured Escuela Vieau K-8 school and Bradley Tech High School. They talked with Vieau students working on engineering projects in digital electronics, robotics, energy conservation and other fields. At Bradley Tech, the group visited the Computer Integrated Manufacturing lab and saw a brief presentation outlining the results of two comprehensive studies examining MPS students in Project Lead the Way.

Funding for Project Lead the Way in Milwaukee Public Schools comes from: the Kern Family Foundation, Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Rockwell Automation Global Community Relations, Society for Manufacturing Engineers, Harley Davidson Foundation, Helen Bader Foundation, P & H Mining/Joy Global, National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Brady Corporation, Faye McBeath Foundation, Veolia Water, Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction and Carl D. Perkins, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and Title IID federal funding.