Superintendent Thornton’s contract extended by MPS Board

Board extends leadership contracts as district continues reform efforts

MILWAUKEE – The Milwaukee Board of School Directors has extended the contract of Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Gregory E. Thornton, Ed.D. through June, 2016. The contract of Board Clerk/Director, Office of Board Governance Lynne Sobczak was also extended for one year, through June 2015.

“I am extremely pleased that Dr. Thornton will remain with the district through 2016,” said School Board President Michael Bonds. “Working with the Board, Dr. Thornton has made significant progress on development and implementation of a strong academic plan designed to increase student success. His leadership has also allowed us to take critical steps that are stabilizing MPS financially.”

“I’m appreciative of the support of the Board of Directors and excited to continue the work we’re engaged in to improve outcomes and opportunities for our students,” said Thornton.  “Much work remains to be done, but we are clearly headed in the right direction. I look forward to working with the Board, our parents, students and the community to continue to improve student achievement and success.”

The extension for district leadership comes as MPS begins the 2013-14 school year, another year of significant expansions in the district’s efforts to improve, including:

– Launching the College Board’s SpringBoard pre-Advanced Placement program in seven schools
– Expanding use of the rigorous Project Lead the Way curriculum in science/technology/engineering/math (STEM)
– Planning for further expansion of International Baccalaureate programming
– Offering college resources at MPS’ TeamUp College Access Centers, located at 2730 W. Fond Du Lac Avenue and 3333 S. 27th Street, which demystify the application process and offer assistance in putting students on track for post-secondary success. MPS has set a goal of $30 million in scholarships for the Class of 2014, which would exceed the $24 million total for the Class of 2013 and the $18 million total for the Class of 2013.
– Expanded use of the Standards-Based Report Card in K-5 and K-8 schools, which helps staff, parents and students clearly identify Common Core learning expectations in each subject, the topics students are successfully mastering, and the topics that may be more of a struggle
– Ongoing use of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) to reinforce positive behavior and improve school climate
– Bringing 45 additional art, music and physical education specialist teachers into schools
– Providing services and resources for parents at three District Parent Resource Centers located at North Division High School, South Division High School and Washington High School of Information Technology

About Milwaukee Public Schools
Milwaukee Public Schools, Wisconsin’s largest school district, is expanding college and career readiness efforts and continuing to implement innovative reforms that give every student the opportunity to succeed. MPS’ high-quality school options for 3-year-olds to high school seniors feature school climates in which positive behavior is reinforced; certified, highly-trained teachers; 21st-century learning technology for students; and curriculum aligned to the rigorous Common Core State Standards, which set a clear, high bar for the topics students must master at each grade level. MPS’ graduation rate is 14 points higher than the rate for the Class of 2000, its Class of 2013 earned $24 million in scholarships and the district is home to some of the state’s best high schools according to the Washington Post and U.S. News and World Report.