• Among Wisconsin’s African American students, average reading scores are lower than those of African American kids in any other state.

  • In response, a unique community movement has emerged in Milwaukee that is on a path to dramatically increase the number of high quality schools in our poorest neighborhoods.

About Milwaukee

A city full of energy and pride, Milwaukee finds itself at a very exciting moment, poised for change. In order to assure a bright future for our city and its children, Milwaukee faces an urgent opportunity and an incredible challenge. Race- and class-based achievement gaps are fundamental realities in any American urban center, and Milwaukee is no exception. Despite anchoring a largely middle-class state, Milwaukee is currently the fourth poorest city in the country. It is also Wisconsin's only community with a majority of African American, Latino, and Hmong American residents.

While Milwaukee is a city built on decades of hard work and a desire for true equity, its long history of experiments in education reform has largely failed its students. Over 127,000 students attend schools in three separate systems—public, charter, and choice—yet despite this proliferation of alternatives, none has proven to be a magic bullet leading to consistently high levels of achievement. The disturbing reality is that only 46% of the Milwaukee kids who enter the public school system will graduate from high school, and of those who do, less than 20% are truly prepared for college.

When Teach For America joined the movement in Milwaukee in 2009, it joined a community determined to change the status quo. Organizations like Pearls For Teen Girls, Schools That Can Milwaukee, PAVE, Public Allies, Common Ground, Boys & Girls Club, and many other advocates in this city work toward a community-wide vision for Milwaukee. They continue to prove that collective efforts will provide our students with the education they deserve.

Teach For America's role in this city is simple—it is to provide excellent leaders to our community, in our schools, in classrooms and beyond. Milwaukee students and parents are calling for committed individuals to help shape a better future for the community, and we are humbled and committed to help answer that call with our partners. 

Connect With Us

Milwaukee
700 W Virginia Street, Suite 610
Milwaukee, WI 53204
Tel (414) 273-1203
Fax (414) 273-1533

Executive Director

Garrett Bucks
Garrett Bucks is the Executive Director of Teach For America-Milwaukee.

More importantly, he’s a dad, a husband and a proud adopted Milwaukeean and Riverwester whose biggest passion in life is helping the town he fell in love with become known not for segregation and inequity but justice, inclusiveness and an educational system where every one of our city’s kids is allowed to be brilliant.

He brings longstanding passion and deep knowledge of education to this role. As a 2003 New Mexico corps member, Bucks led his fifth grade students to grow three grade levels in math and two in reading. He then completed a Fulbright Fellowship in Stockholm and worked as a teacher at the Heartland Alliance in Chicago. As the founding Executive Director in Milwaukee from 2009-2011, Bucks oversaw a growth in corps size, tripled the organization’s revenue base, and grew the number of school partners from 1 to 20. Most recently, he served as the chief culture coach for the national offices of Teach For America, supporting the work and goals of the organization’s 50,000 corps members, alumni, and staff members. Prior to being chief culture coach, Bucks held the position of chief marketing officer. He has a bachelor of arts degree from Earlham College.

Outside of work, he tries to be a nice guy and a good neighbor. He is a board member for Schools That Can Milwaukee and Rocketship Education’s Milwaukee region and is worth following on twitter: @garrettbucks.

Regional Stats

2009
YEAR TFA ARRIVED
140
CORPS SIZE THIS YEAR
410
ALUMNI IN THE REGION
59%
PERCENT OF ALUMNI IN EDUCATION
5
ALUMNI SCHOOL LEADERS
70
Incoming Corps Size This Year
Data valid as of: Aug 2014