MPS’ top grads off to Columbia, Dartmouth, Georgetown, Howard, Stanford, U. of Chicago, U. of Wisconsin, Vassar and strong local colleges/universities

Valedictorians, salutatorians among those to be honored Thursday evening by Milwaukee Board of School Directors

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Public Schools’ valedictorians and salutatorians from the Class of 2013 are off to strong colleges and universities close to home and across the nation along with the military and the world of work.

Post-secondary education destinations for the top students from 39 MPS traditional, alternative and charter schools with high school grades include: Alverno College; Cardinal Stritch University; Columbia University; Concordia University Wisconsin; Dartmouth College; Georgetown University; Howard University; Illinois Wesleyan University; Marquette University; Milwaukee Area Technical College; Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design; Mount Mary College; Ripon College; Stanford University; Tennessee State University; the University of Chicago; University of Wisconsin schools including Madison, Milwaukee, Platteville, Stevens Point and Whitewater; Valparaiso University; and Vassar College.

Those top-performing students will be honored Thursday night by the Milwaukee Board of School Directors along with MPS students who have won recognition including business awards, essay contests, foreign language competitions, robotics competitions and more.

The valedictorians and salutatorians are part of a growing percentage of college-going MPS graduates. MPS has grown the percentage of students enrolling in postsecondary education within a year and half of high school graduation by roughly eight percentage points over five years to a rate now above 50%.

The district’s college and career readiness efforts include:

–       Opening two College Access Centers with late and weekend hours to help demystify the application process

–       Comprehensive literacy and math/science plans aligned to the rigorous Common Core State Standards to put students on a track to college and career success

–       A policy that has nearly doubled ACT participation from 43% in 2007-08 to more than 80% in 2011-12

–       Growing the percentage of students taking Advanced Placement courses by roughly four percentage points over the past four years

Media are invited to attend the meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 30 at the MPS Central Services Auditorium, 5225 W. Vliet Street, Milwaukee 53208. Reporters interested in interviewing an individual student beforehand should connect with Tony Tagliavia, MPS media manager.

Milwaukee Public Schools is Wisconsin’s largest school district, serving more than 78,000 students in more than 160 schools across the city. MPS is home to the Milwaukee region’s two best high schools according to the Washington Post and three of state’s 25 best high schools according to U.S. News and World Report. In the past year, Milwaukee Public Schools posted a growing graduation rate 14 points higher than the rate for 2000. More MPS news is available at