Sunday, September 7, 2014
Originally posted at the MTEA blog
The University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee should be ashamed.
Urban Day — a UWM charter — is using bribery to increase enrollment.
Urban Day, on its website, in radio commercials and in flyers (photo above) distributed in the neighborhood, is promising $100 to anyone who recommends a student who will enroll and be present on the third Friday of September.
As educators know, the third Friday is used by the state to determine a school’s funding. As many MPS teachers also know, there is a history of students from voucher and charter schools transferring to an MPS school after that third Friday count.
For years stories have circulated of private voucher and privately-run charter schools offering incentives to parents to enroll their kids – gas cards, gift cards, and even money.
But UWM’s cash-for-students plan stoops to a new low.
On its website, Urban Day has a full-page graphic of $100 bills with the headline: Refer a Student, Earn Money.” The flyer meanwhile states: “Earn Free Money!!!” by convincing people to enroll in their school.
The flyer goes on to note: “For every new student who is enrolled at school on September 19th and has you as a reference: We will pay you $100. (No limit on the number of students, but students must be present on September 19th for you to receive money.)”
Urban Day originally was a private voucher school, and for years had been touted as an exemplary community school. It became a UWM charter school in 2010.
Urban Day’s flyer did not include any information about the school’s curriculum or offerings. Nor did the flyer (or website) note that in 2011-12 and 2012-13 the school met “few expectations” on the new statewide report card — the second lowest rating, just above “no expectations.”
In 2012-13, only 8.6% of Urban Day students had special needs, compared to nearly 20% in MPS.
UWM is supposed to be the flagship public university in our city. It should be ashamed.