MPS to benefit from $18 million General Electric grant

MILWAUKEE -- A multi-million dollar donation from General Electric will provide a big boost for Milwaukee Public Schools. About a year after the district benefited from  a five-year, over $20 million grant from GE, and now, the company is donating $18 million. The money will go towards creating a network of teachers, and a common core curriculum nationwide.

The Milwaukee Public School District is one of seven districts nationwide being supported by GE. While the money is not going directly to MPS, the $18 million will enhance how teachers develop common core curriculum across the nation. "This grant will help them with the tools and support they need to translate the common core in their states and in their classrooms into a better reality for our children," Bob Corcoran, Vice President of Corporate Leadership for GE said.

Student Achievement Partners is a non-profit organization designed to help implement common core standards across the nation. Their goal is simple: helping teachers in developing a generation that is globally competitive. "We have to compete in our economy for jobs, for businesses, with the rest of the world," Corcoran said.

Tony Tagliavia says providing necessary tools and supporting teachers in curriculum development is essential to ensuring students can achieve in the classroom. "This is not just setting the standard and saying 'we're setting this high bar, you just figure it out.' This is, we're setting the high bar, and we're giving our teachers tools to get students to that bar," MPS spokesman Tony Tagliavia said.

John Kish is an MPS teacher, and says he's been teaching science a little differently this year. After the $20 million grant from GE, MPS is adopting common core standards when developing its curriculum. "The common core standards are designed to make the students think more like a mathematician and a problem solver, and less like somebody that's just trying to memorize a bunch of different formulas," Kish said.

Kish says the money donated by GE benefits teachers and students in the classroom. "The more assistance we have in putting these things together, teachers are going to be able to use proven things that work, rather than trying to troubleshoot and problem solve and figure out what works and what doesn't," Kish said.

So far, MPS has implemented all available common core subjects. The Common Core State Standards Initiative covers all areas of education.