Milwaukee Biz Blog: Who knows what educational option is best?

Do you believe that a parent knows what environment and teaching style will best support their child’s learning success? School choice advocates believe that parents, not the state, knows best.

During a visit Monday to Garden Homes Lutheran School, an urban choice school in Milwaukee, principal David Dodge said, “School Choice offers families the opportunity to choose which schools are best for their children based on how they learn and in what environment.”

Research shows that there are four different learning styles and nine different intelligences. Ask any parent of a millennial and they will tell you the traditional “sit and get learning method” is obsolete. Children today benefit from a multi-sensory learning experience – hearing, seeing, feeling, and acting.

Data released by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) on Oct. 19 shows that students in the Parental Choice Programs are outperforming their peers.

“All three Parental Choice Programs, comprised predominately of low-income students, outscored their full-income counterparts across the entire state in public schools on the ACT,” said Jim Bender, president of School Choice Wisconsin. “Combined with the Forward Exam, these results highlight superior outcomes at a fraction of the cost to taxpayers.”

Embracing a whole-child learning approach, Dodge welcomes feedback from standardized tests. In the 2015 – 2016 school year, Wisconsin Forward Standardized Test results showed that Garden Homes Lutheran School students scored lower in research than expected which prompted teachers to adjust the 2016 – 2017 school year curriculum.

House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, and U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, tour the Garden Homes Lutheran School in Milwaukee.

Visitors of the school on Monday included School Choice members, Senator Ron Johnson, and House Speaker Paul Ryan. Johnson stated that his conversations with the students today were, “inspiring and gave him renewed hope. Gardens Homes Lutheran School teaches morals and values, and students are held accountable for their actions. It’s heart-warming to see these students, filled with so much potential, and confident in their ability to achieve big goals.”

Dodge and the dean of students, Adam Harvey, are reaching out to local businesses to help their students. “See different types of companies and hear employees talk about how they became successful,” said Dodge. “Employee stories and their paths to success are powerful. Students better understand how education and personal choices influence life outcomes.”

“School Choice is an example of the free market economy where taxpayer savings, improved customer service, and competition leads to better solutions,” said Johnson. “I believe the four pillars to a healthy and sustainable society include: Strong faith, families, communities and work. Empowering parents with the right to choose their child’s education is paramount to strong families, community, and work.”

Christine McMahon provides strategic sales and leadership coaching and training. She is co-founder of the Leadership Institute at Waukesha County Technical College’s Center for Business Performance Solutions, and can be reached at (844) 369-2133 or


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Christine McMahon helps leaders develop strategies and improve speed of execution by developing leadership talent, creating alignment between business functions and improving communications and accountability up, down and across a business. She is co-founder of the Leadership Institute and is in partnership with the WMEP. For keynote presentations, executive coaching, sales and leadership training, she can be reached at:

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