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Keepingthe dreamalive ineducation

7:52 PM, Aug. 26, 2013  |  Comments
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Wednesday marks the 50th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King's famous "I Have a Dream"speech. From the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., he shared with the world that the dream of equality for all was not yet realized, but it was possible.

The speech followed a tumultuous period in our nation's history. Segregation was common. In the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that separate school facilities for different races were by definition unequal and required schools to desegregate. However, many states avoided desegregation with violent reactions.

As we prepare to start a new school year, it is important to reflect on Dr. King's dream. Although racial tensions still exist today, we have made progress. Students from different backgrounds have rights and access to educational opportunities in our public schools. These opportunities are generated from a rigorous K-12 education that is focused on knowledge and skills that are equal in expectations for students going directly into the workplace or attending college after graduating from high school.

Wisconsin's public schools are doing good work with some of the highest achievement and graduation rates in the country. However, we also have some of the largest racial achievement gaps in the country. We still need to address existing racial disparities to make Dr. King's dream a reality. We are working on reforms that span statewide assessment, educator evaluation, and increasing rigor in educational practices to close achievement gaps.

We have made progress, and we see that more work remains to be done. As school bells begin to ring again, think about your dreams, the dreams of students and families everywhere, and how we can work together to achieve them.

Dr. King encouraged everyone to have faith and demonstrate the courage to "let freedom ring" across the country. After all, in his words, "with this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood."

What's your take on the Packers Family Night change?

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It doesn't matter to me.(Your vote)
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If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

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