Marquette University News Release

Marquette Law School, College of Education host conference on future of Milwaukee schools

March 24, 2014

Event Information:
Date: Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Time: 8 a.m. – noon
Place: Marquette Law School, Eckstein Hall

Marquette University Law School and the Marquette College of Education will host a conference on the future of Milwaukee schools on Tuesday, April 1, at Eckstein Hall, 1215 W. Michigan St.

With Milwaukee facing a fresh search for a public schools superintendent, continuing debate over what should be done with low-performing schools, and little overall progress for high-needs students, what paths should be pursued?

With a theme of “Lessons from Elsewhere: What Milwaukee Can Learn from Work on Improving Urban Education Systems Nationwide,” the half-day conference will feature national and local experts offering their thoughts on what is working elsewhere and what might be considered in Milwaukee.

“A time of uncertainty for Milwaukee’s public school system could also be a significant opportunity to revisit what aspects of the system are working — and which aspects require a new approach,” said Dr. William A. Henk, dean of the College of Education. “By bringing together a wide variety of local and national experts with diverse viewpoints on education reform, Marquette University hopes to advance a conversation that is vital to our community.”

The conference will feature perspectives from the following experts:

  • Michael Casserly, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Council of the Great City Schools, a peer organization of leaders of the nation’s largest school districts. Casserly is a respected authority on characteristics of urban school systems that have had above-average success.
  • Paul Hill, founder of the Center for Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington Bothell. Hill developed the “portfolio school management” idea being used in some cities, in which a central administration manages an array of school offerings, including traditional, charter, and specialty schools, with the emphasis on quality. Hill is a leading figure in thought on urban school reform.
  • A panel discussion on Milwaukee’s way forward, featuring the following participants: Reuben Jacobson, senior associate for research and strategy for the Coalition for Community Schools of the Institute for Educational Leadership, Washington, D.C.; Nata Abbott, community relations director at GE Healthcare; Kole Knueppel, co-founder and managing director of Schools That Can Milwaukee; and Larry Miller, member of the Milwaukee school board.

The conference’s primary organizer is Alan Borsuk, Senior Fellow in Law and Public Policy at the Law School. A veteran education reporter, Borsuk writes a weekly column about education in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The event is complimentary, but registration is required and can be completed online. Limited on-site parking is available.

Media interested in attending should contact Chris Jenkins in the Office of Marketing and Communication at (414) 288-4745 or

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About Chris Jenkins

Chris Jenkins

Chris is the Associate Director of University Communication in the Office of Marketing and Communication. Contact Chris at (414) 288-4745 or View all posts by .