ETI Publications

Document Type

Technical Paper

Publication Date



Under the leadership of Superintendent Darienne Driver, Milwaukee Public Schools introduced a bold initiative to address the driver’s licensing needs of MPS students through a Universal Driver Education program. This report describes the pilot project offering free driver education services to 257 students at four high schools in spring and summer of 2016. The project successfully targeted subpopulations identified as most in need of affordable driver education, including youth of color, students living in neighborhoods with high child poverty, and students from families with lower-income. The vast majority (98%) of participants passed the state Division of Motor Vehicle written road tests, and as of November 2016, 85% had acquired learner permits and were practicing their driving skills. Factors contributing to the success of the pilot included strong leadership by the MPS Superintendent, a public-private partnership with a local driver school, use of MPS recreation department staff to coordinate enrollment initiatives, and cooperation from the DMV in making teen licensing records available to program operators. The experiences of the pilot project will be used to help inform expansion of the UDE program to 10,000 teens over the next three years.