CUE Baldwin Project


Engaging to Close the Gap: Community, School District and University

Public school systems across the United States suffer significant achievement differences among certain radicalized populations, referred to as “the achievement gap.” Madison is no exception. Closure of the gap will require multifaceted interventions that occur in both school and community settings.

While schools reform to better support families of color, the welcoming environment of community-based programs is showing promise in academic improvement for some children. However, community leaders have requested CUE’s facilitation to move farther faster.


Objective 1: Develop, enhance and assess community-based efforts in tutoring and mentoring students of color

Objective 2:
Develop parent advocacy groups to increase the capacity of families to successfully navigate schools

Project Activities

CUE Staff develop, deliver and link district tutoring approaches tailored to the needs of three community centers, paired with their relevant public schools: Vera Court (Mendota Elementary), Boys & Girls Club of Dane County (Lincoln) and Meadowood (Toki Middle School).

Provide coordinator and organizational support to nascent Parent Involvement group
at Boys & Girls Club of Dane County/ Family Voices. This model will be expanded to Vera Court and Meadowood. Operate in concert with Madison Metropolitan School District’s related efforts at several schools working with their new Family Engagement Coordinator to help teach parents how to advocate for their children in the school system and organize parent support/mentoring sessions.

Conduct formative assessments
of tutoring, family advocacy and tutor-training methods. Input from students, families and community partners to be shared with MMSD and community centers.

Continue expansion to other schools and centers
in the near future.

Project Information

CUE Affiliates: Gloria Ladson-Billings, Beth Tryon, Body Rossing, Catherine Compton-Lilly

Community Partners:
Boys & Girls Club of Dane County VISTA, Meadowood Community Center, Vera Court Neighborhood Center

Shahanna Baldon, MMSD, Margaret Nellis, UW School of Human Ecology, Dolly Ledin, UW Institute for Biology Education, Vickie Harris, Parent Liaison, Boys & Girls Club of Dane County

Ira and Ienva Reily Wisconsin Idea Endowment, Morgridge Match