Working with our community partners, the Chamber is committed to ensuring the Madison region has world-class educational opportunities for all students. The Chamber has established partnerships with the Madison Metropolitan School District to connect high school students with regional employers and onsite work training. We also support our region’s higher education campuses to ensure they have the flexibility to be accessible, competitive and innovative.
In late 2011, the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce Foundation partnered with the Madison Metropolitan School District with the goal of increasing student and business participation in the Dane County Youth Apprenticeship Program. The ultimate goal is to give students a unique experience combining classroom instruction with worksite training. It’s a way to advance their education and learn new, advanced skills that can be used to get a quality job in the future. For employers, it’s a great opportunity to give back and invest in the future. For more information on youth apprenticeship, and how your business can participate, click here.
Status: Madison Prep proposal denied by MMSD Board (4-2). Click here to read the District’s plan to address the achievement gap.
The Chamber Board recognizes that there is no panacea or singular solution to eliminating the student racial achievement gap in our schools. Rather, a comprehensive approach should be employed utilizing multiple strategies to address this problem. The Chamber Board acknowledges the work of community and school leaders who have worked tirelessly on this issue. In particular, the United Way of Dane County has demonstrated tremendous leadership to ensure all struggling students achieve better results. The GMCC is a partner in Schools of Hope, a collaborative community initiative aimed at reducing the achievement gap. In addition, the United Way is committing more than $2 million over the next year for programs to address this issue. The Madison Metropolitan School District has also established important programs in an effort to meet the needs of struggling students, including the AVID/TOPS program. These are meaningful actions that are producing real results. However, clearly more can and must be done. The MMSD Board should be aggressive and support new ideas and approaches to reach students that are failing within our current system. That is why the Chamber Board endorses Madison Prep. The potential benefits of the school are significant. As with any new, transformative initiative, there are operational issues that must be considered. The Chamber Board encourages the MMSD Board to work through any remaining issues with the Urban League to find a way to make Madison Prep a reality.
The Chamber is currently participating in Planning for Greatness, a community initiative facilitated by Wood Communications Group, dedicated to understanding and addressing the issues affecting modern pre-K12 education.