If you were captivated by Henry Tyson's presentation at the March Meetup, get a first hand experience of the innovative methodologies, processes, programs and people at the school. Here was the write-up from the March Meetup by Erin Richards, education writer from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
'Crazy love,' 'no excuses' = successfully educated urban poor By Erin Richards of the Journal Sentinel Mar. 5, 2009 The superintendent of St. Marcus Lutheran School, a K-8 voucher program in the Brewers Hill neighborhood, blew away a crowd of young professionals at Bucketworks last night with his commitment to educating urban children and his encouragement of listeners to familiarize themselves with inner-city schools. Henry Tyson, the charming, no-nonsense British superintentent of St. Marcus School, challenged about 100 young professionals at Bucketworks to tour his institution and other successful charter and voucher programs around the Milwaukee area, such as Bruce Guadalupe Community School, Milwaukee College Preparatory School, St. Anthony School, Messmer Catholic Schools and others. Why? Because educating poor kids in the inner city is everone's responsibility, and the more support you have for successful programs, the greater chance you have of expanding those programs and instituting their designs elsewhere. "How many of you in this room know an inner-city kid?" Tyson asked his audience, who are part of a creative, open, monthly meet up at Bucketworks. A half dozen hands went up. "That's good, good." Tyson said. "I should have figured that there would be more in this crowd than average." "I challenge all of you to find a way to pour yourself into the life of one child," he added. "You may be the one person who can make a difference in their life and keep them from going down a bad path." Tyson said the rigorous program at St. Marcus, which is characterized by "no excuses" discipline, "crazy love" from "crazy passionate teachers," long school days and half-day sessions on Saturday, as well as a month of summer school and college visits, is turning around students once considered hopeless. And, Tyson said, they have the test scores to prove it. "We're strict, but even discipline is done in love," Tyson said. "We hug kids all the time. 'You are valuable, and you have a purpose.' That's what we tell them." The superintendent was careful not to turn the crowd against Milwaukee Public Schools, something at the end of the presentation several people said they appreciated. Tyson also did not solely trumpet the voucher program, a touchy issue because some people don't believe religious institutions should be receiving public money.