MPS outperforms voucher schools under new higher standards, but all have much more work to do


More than four percentage-point proficiency advantage in reading; roughly eight-point advantage in math

MILWAUKEE — Students in Milwaukee Public Schools outperformed their counterparts in voucher schools under new higher standards implemented by the state Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, according to new figures released this week. But the overall proficiency results show that, on the whole, MPS and voucher schools have much more work to do.

MPS students on the whole – including students with disabilities – outperformed students in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP/voucher schools) by more than four percentage points in reading and approximately eight percentage points in math on the most recent state test results according to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

“All sectors of schools in Milwaukee – traditional, charter and voucher – are in need of improvement,” MPS Superintendent Gregory Thornton said. “Milwaukee Public Schools is committed to continuing to improve through the significant reforms we’ve put in place.”

District reforms include replacing the previous curricula with the new Comprehensive Literacy Plan and Comprehensive Math Science Plan, both aligned to the rigorous Common Core State Standards. 

Other reforms include increasing the use of data to improve student achievement; increased use of a strong model to identify and grow excellent teaching; improvements to tutoring that include highly-qualified teachers and more tutoring hours; and the 10 new MPS GE Foundation Demonstration Schools that will develop innovate ways to improve student achievement – ways that can be replicated elsewhere in the district.

The new proficiency figures were released as the state of Wisconsin moves toward a higher standard for success on state standardized tests aligned to the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP).

The new figures are significantly lower than proficiency under the previous WKCE standard. Under the new tougher standard, overall reading proficiency was 9.9% in the MPCP, 14% in MPS and 35.8% statewide; overall math proficiency was 12% in the MPCP, 19.7% in MPS and 48.1% statewide.

About Milwaukee Public Schools
Milwaukee Public Schools is Wisconsin’s largest school district, serving nearly 80,000 students in more than 160 schools across the city. U.S. News and World Report named MPS’ Rufus King International School and Ronald Wilson Reagan College Preparatory High School the two best high schools in the state and among the 200 best in the country in 2012. In the past year, Milwaukee Public Schools posted a growing graduation rate 17 points higher than the rate for 2000.