I'm keeping the title of the article the same because it helps keep continuity. However, I will answer the question before you read further: after MPS responded to my concerns, I have to believe the school district is not really to blame, nor is Elmbrook, and not even the vendor who is running the program in question. I think it's really a matter of the haves and have-nots, and I'm not really going to blame anyone for my lack of money right now. While I did want to blame someone, the fact that I learned is that there are tons of for-profit vendors trying to get money from parents of kids with decent test scores, and there are probably a ton of parents terribly worried about maintaining those scores. I just felt that maybe certain kids were getting more or better opportunities than my kids. I guess that since I got fired for no reason from a suburban school district, I've been dealing with a bit of the same inferiority complex I was saddled with in high school. The one I don't want my kids to have to feel. The one most white folks/rich folks in Metro Milwaukee don't know anything about.

Here's an email I sent to the Center for Talent Development. It's a company that charges a lot of money for enrichment opportunities for students who have certain abilities in test-taking. I'd written an article explaining how you should ignore tests that tell you how gifted your kid is, but when the gifted kids get a chance to attend a gifted-kid-only summer school week, it's kind of obvious you want your kid to attend.

So what happened was we received a huge packet of information in the mail today from Milwaukee Public Schools, mentioning Morse-Marshall (its "gifted and talented" campus), but also promoting these CTD summer classes. The problem was that the enrollment began in February, and there was some kind of early deadline April 15th, and financial aid works on a first come, first served basis. I wonder in my email whether it's a typical MPS mistake or whether Elmbrook Schools perchance did not want to invite MPS kids out there. Either way, we applied and asked for financial aid, but we will not attend unless we get it, which is probably fairly common for Milwaukee students who apply, which makes you wonder a bit.

 

Hello,

We received information about your summer program TODAY, for the first
time, from Milwaukee Public Schools. We attempted to apply to a summer
program and apply for financial aid immediately, but we were certainly put
in a difficult situation by our school district. I assume that in
Brookfield, where the program is being hosted, and where household income
and home values more than double ours in Milwaukee, parents were not
receiving information after the official due date. I wonder if this is
typical of how Milwaukee Public Schools fails its students or if it's more
typical of how other school districts avoid integrating with their
neighbors in the city. Anyhow, the situation is an indicator of something,
and it's probably important you know about it as you review applications
and requests for financial aid.  Thanks.

brian
 

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