Project Lead the Way
Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is the leading provider of rigorous and innovative Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) education curricular programs used in middle and high schools across the U.S. STEM education is at the heart of today’s high-tech, high-skill global economy. For America to remain economically competitive, our next generation of leaders — the students of today — must develop the critical-reasoning and problem-solving skills that will help make them the most productive in the world. The PLTW curriculum is founded in the fundamental problem-solving and critical-thinking skills taught in traditional career and technical education (CTE), but at the same time integrates national academic and technical learning standards and STEM principles, creating what U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan calls one of the “great models of the new CTE succeeding all across the country.” PLTW was recently cited by the Harvard Graduate School of Education as a “model for 21st century career and technical education.
The curriculum in Milwaukee Public Schools is based on the Common Core State Standards. The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The standards were developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators, and experts, to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare our children for college and the workforce.
The standards are informed by the highest, most effective models from states across the country and countries around the world, and provide teachers and parents with a common understanding of what students are expected to learn. Consistent standards will provide appropriate benchmarks for all students, regardless of where they live.
These standards define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 education careers so that they will graduate high school able to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing academic college courses and in workforce training programs. The standards:
- Are aligned with college and work expectations;
- Are clear, understandable and consistent;
- Include rigorous content and application of knowledge through high-order skills;
- Build upon strengths and lessons of current state standards;
- Are informed by other top performing countries, so that all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy and society; and
- Are evidence-based.
Student Achievement Guarantee in Education (SAGE)
The Student Achievement Guarantee in Education (SAGE) program was established in the 1996-97 school year to improve student achievement through the implementation of four specific school-improvement strategies (see below). Wisconsin’s approximately 449 SAGE schools enter renewable 5-year contracts designed to promote academic achievement through lower class sizes in the primary grades. Schools receive state aid up to $2,250 for each low-income K-3 child.