Press Releases

Public TV and Radio Target Dropout Problem

December 1, 2011

A special one-hour program exploring local efforts to improve graduation rates for Milwaukee students, AMERICAN GRADUATE: LET'S MAKE IT HAPPEN, MILWAUKEE, will premiere on Milwaukee Public Television (MPTV HD 10.1) Monday, Dec. 12, at 9 p.m.

The special is part of a joint effort with Milwaukee Public Radio to focus on the drop-out crisis and to help the community find ways to solve it. The project includes a series of stories and interviews addressing the problem. They will air on MPTV's BLACK NOUVEAU, ADELANTE, AND 4th STREET FORUM as well as WUWM's LAKE EFFECT program.

The MPTV special will take an in-depth look at the factors leading young people to become drop outs and how to persuade students to stay in high school.

Guests will be Heidi Ramirez, chief academic officer, Milwaukee Public Schools, Alan Borsuk, former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter and senior fellow in law, Marquette University, and Patricia Bridges, co-principal at NOVA Academy, a Milwaukee partnership school that deals with kids at risk of dropping out.

Two high school dropouts who came to MATC to finish their education also will participate.

The public is invited to attend the presentation and ask questions. It will be taped Tuesday, Dec. 6, at Discovery World, 500 N. Harbor Drive, Milwaukee. Audience members must be seated by 4:45 p.m. for the 5 p.m. program.

"Progress has been made, but it is no secret that MPS graduation rates are still among the lowest in the nation," said longtime Milwaukee journalist Dan Jones, moderator and host of the program.

According to United Way, 40 percent of Milwaukee's ninth graders will not graduate--a negative trend that has ramifications affecting the jobless rate, crime, healthcare and other social issues.

The project is part of a public media initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting called American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen. The national effort is designed to help local communities across the country find ways to deal with failing graduation rates.


Kay Tierney 414-297-7512,

Darlyne Haertlein, 414-297-7518,