Schools across the Schools That Can community are exemplars of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream of “true education.” We break through silos to connect them with fellow educators and leaders from outside k-12 to share practices and build solutions that expand quality urban education. We believe every urban school can thrive #BecauseStudentsCan. In the spirit of Dr. King, Milwaukee College Prep (MCP), a member of STC Milwaukee, believes “that an uncompromising K-8 education is the difference between dreams realized and dreams denied.

In a letter to friends of MCP and in commemoration of Dr. King, Robert Rauh, head of MCP, reminds us of the “urgency of Now” and the hope and potential each generation brings:

Milwaukee College Prep’s mission statement, ‘Knowledge plus character pave the road to college and beyond,’ paraphrases a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., ‘Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education.’ We are inspired every day by his courage and boldness.

On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial Dr. King said, “We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.” That is as true today as it was in 1963. As we head into 2015, we need the same courage and boldness. I can’t imagine a more critical or opportune time to be involved in education in Milwaukee. Like many cities across the country, 2014 ended with protests that echoed deafening notes of discord and distrust in our city. I know that trust and hope are within reach. I’m lucky enough to witness them everyday. But much of this bridge-building will be left to our children, so it needs to begin with them.

Milwaukee College Prep is committed to doing its part by providing hope through education for thousands of children. We have kicked off another school year with increased numbers in our enrollment (1,900 scholars), locations (4, with the addition of our newest Lola Rowe North Campus), and visitors (600+). But our first priority remains the growth of each individual scholar. We are steadfastly focused on providing every child in Milwaukee with a high quality education that allows him or her to reach full potential. It is only with them that our community can reach its full potential.

Like the hope ushered in by the New Year, the hope each new generation brings is full of promise and potential. Let’s not squander that. Thank you again for recognizing the “urgency of Now”. We couldn’t do this important work without you.

With Hopefulness and Gratitude,

Robert Rauh

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