MacIver News Service[Milwaukee, Wisc…] At a luncheon in Milwaukee Thursday, speakers with vast experience in the world of education emphasized the need for greater educational options for all students in Wisconsin. The event was the League of United Latin American Citizens’ (LULAC) second annual Better Education Together meeting, which united community activists and supporters of all races to discuss the issues that affect achievement in the state’s classrooms.
The symposium featured speakers such as state superintendent Tony Evers, Milwaukee Area Technical College president Michael Burke and the Executive Director of Campaign for High School Equity, Michael Wotorson.
These luminaries frequently touched on the state’s achievement gap and how opportunities to educate Latino and black students must continue to advance to ensure future success.
“Sometimes drastic situations call for drastic and creative solutions,” said Wotorson, a former national education director for the NAACP who now focuses on national high school education reform. “We cannot let reform come to us, we must be the force behind it.”
Wotorson’s keynote address was framed by opening talks from Evers and Burke, who noted the state’s achievement gap problems, as well as the growing minority populations in Wisconsin. All the speakers agreed that much work is still to be done to put all students on equal footing and to give Wisconsin’s children the greatest chance for success.
The events also lauded LULAC’s commitment to advancing education for Latino students in the state. Wisconsin State director Darryl D. Morin announced over $400,000 in received grants for 2010-2011 that would help the organization support education within the state. These grants included funds for scholarships, extended learning opportunities, and educational research in order to better serve Wisconsin’s Latino students.
The luncheon meeting was an event that reflected on some of the successes that provide greater opportunities for Latino students – but also stressed that more reform is needed for meaningful change. However, the event’s enthusiastic crowd showcased that advocates exist in Milwaukee, and are eager to support changes that level the playing field.