MADISON − Two education programs making tremendous strides toward improving student learning and teacher performance in Wisconsin through partnerships between higher education and PK-12 schools were honored today by the Wisconsin PK-16 Leadership Council. The council presented its 2005 “Programs of Distinction” and “Promising Practice” awards on Wednesday, June 15.  The awards recognize the achievements of partnerships in Milwaukee and Superior.

“Programs like these show the willingness of Wisconsin’s educators to go the extra mile to ensure students get the most out of their time spent in our schools,” said UW System President and PK-16 Leadership Council co-chair Kevin Reilly. “Cooperation on all levels of education is essential in improving the state’s educational climate as a whole.”

The PK-16 awards highlight the successes of educational projects that provide quality programs while maintaining existing partnerships and cultivating new ones. The awards are also designed to make the council’s understanding of relevant educational issues clearer.

The Wisconsin PK-16 Leadership Council is comprised of leaders from the state’s PK-12 schools, the University of Wisconsin System, the Wisconsin Technical College System, and the state’s private colleges and universities. The council works with leaders in business, industry and government to create the best educational opportunities for all of Wisconsin’s students.

PK-16 Leadership Council co-chair and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Elizabeth Burmaster said the awards are a way to provide educators with recognition, as well as highlight those programs that are performing capably.

“Honoring the winners of these awards is always a pleasure because it gives me, and the rest of Wisconsin’s educational community, an opportunity to learn about the innovative partnerships across the state,” Burmaster said. “It’s a wonderful chance to show our gratitude to educators who have proven their passion for student success.”

The 2005 Programs of Distinction award honors the Milwaukee Public Schools Design Project, a partnership among the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, six schools within the Milwaukee Public School District, and Marquette University.  This interdisciplinary program for middle and high school teachers expands the use of design and technology in the classroom. It also builds cross-disciplinary teaching communities within the school to help teachers and students meet new state education standards for design.  The program won a PK-16 Promising Practice award in 2004.

Recipients of the Programs of Distinction award receive $1,000 from the council.

The 2005 Promising Practices honor will be awarded to Goals 2000 and Beyond, a collaboration between Great Lakes Elementary in Superior, Wis. and UW-Superior.  This reading program provides a real-world setting for university students to apply research-based reading techniques and practical implementation recommendations in an environment of support and constant feedback.

Media Contact

Doug Bradley UW System 608-265-0548