MILWAUKEE – More MPS schools are meeting or exceeding expectations on the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s school report cards, showing more students are on a path to college and career success.
Thirty-four MPS schools are rated meets expectations, exceeds expectations or significantly exceeds expectations in the second year of DPI report cards, up from 29 schools in the first year. Those 34 schools served about 18,000 students in 2012-13 and are a mix of neighborhood, specialty and charter schools spanning grades K-12. The 34 schools and their ratings are:
Significantly Exceeds Expectations: Fernwood Montessori School
Exceeds Expectations: Academia de Lenguaje y Bellas Artes (ALBA), Honey Creek Continuous Progress Charter School, Milwaukee German Immersion School, Golda Meir School and Walt Whitman Elementary School
Meets Expectations: Academy of Accelerated Learning (AAL), Louisa May Alcott School, Luther Burbank School, A.E. Burdick School, Clement Avenue School, James Fennimore Cooper School, Craig Montessori School, Jeremiah Curtin Leadership Academy, Dover School (now part of Milwaukee Parkside School for the Arts), Escuela Fratney, Greenfield Bilingual School, Hawley Environmental School, Hmong American Peace Academy (HAPA), Fairview School, Humboldt Park School, I.D.E.A.L. School, International Peace Academy (IPA – Now part of HAPA), Rufus King International School, Lowell Elementary School, Maryland Avenue Montessori School, Milwaukee French Immersion School, Milwaukee Spanish Immersion School, Morgandale School, Parkview Elementary School, Ronald Reagan College Preparatory High School, Tippecanoe School for the Arts and Humanities (now part of Milwaukee Parkside School for the Arts), Escuela Vieau and Whittier Elementary School.
At the same time, fewer MPS schools are rated by the state as failing to meet expectations with that number dropping to 49 this year, down from 60 last year. However, Milwaukee Public Schools’ overall district report card shows that much more work remains to be done.
As a district, MPS is rated as not meeting expectations, which reflects the challenges that remain as well as the opportunities to improve academic achievement in Milwaukee Public Schools. The district has seen slight growth in reading and math achievement across all student groups over the last five years, which, in a district as large as MPS, represents a large number of students achieving at higher levels. MPS has also seen a decrease in suspensions, more schools recognized for successfully reinforcing positive behavior through Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports; and more schools recognized by the state as Wisconsin Schools of Recognition.
In addition, the district is seeing improvement in critical areas that are not reflected in the current DPI report cards because the report cards are based upon older data. For example, the district has continued to see growth in student attendance through the 2012-13 school year. The most recent attendance data on the report cards dates back to 2011-12.
“We are committed to sharpening our focus on the work that remains, learning from our successes, continuing to implement innovative reforms and seeking additional opportunities to put all students on the path to college and career success,” MPS Superintendent Gregory Thornton said.
Many district efforts are aimed precisely at the critical measures evaluated on the report card, including college- and career-readiness programs aimed at boosting academic achievement, graduation rates and closing achievement gaps; and other efforts to improve attendance rates.
Key MPS initiatives for 2013-14 include:
- The launch of the College Board’s SpringBoard pre-Advanced Placement program in seven MPS schools: Audubon Technology and Communication Center Middle School, Bay View Middle and High School, Humboldt Park School, Golda Meir School, Milwaukee School of Languages, Morse•Marshall School for the Gifted and Talented and the Wisconsin Conservatory of Lifelong Learning.
- Expansion of the rigorous Project Lead the Way hands-on science/technology/engineering/math curriculum into three additional schools for a total of 34 MPS schools
- Exploration of additional International Baccalaureate schools following the lead of MPS’ Rufus King International School – High School Campus and Ronald Reagan College Preparatory High School, which were named the two best high schools in the Milwaukee region in 2013 by the Washington Post
- Expanded use of the Standards-Based Report Card in K-5 and K-8 schools, which helps staff, parents and students clearly identify Common Core learning expectations in each subject, and notes where students are succeeding and where assistance is needed
- Doubling the allocation of art, music and physical education specialists to district elementary schools
Those new efforts compliment ongoing reforms continuing to show promise including MPS’ Comprehensive Literacy Plan and Comprehensive Math/Science Plan, both of which are aligned to the rigorous Common Core State Standards; increasing college- and career-readiness efforts, including programming at MPS’ TeamUp College Access Centers which offer assistance in putting students on track for post-secondary success; the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program to reinforce positive behavior and improve school climate; and providing services and resources for parents at three District Parent Resource Centers located at North Division, South Division and Washington high schools.
About Milwaukee Public Schools
Milwaukee Public Schools, Wisconsin’s largest school district, is expanding college and career readiness efforts and continuing to implement innovative reforms that give every student the opportunity to succeed. MPS’ high-quality school options for 3-year-olds to high school seniors feature school climates in which positive behavior is reinforced; certified, highly-trained teachers; 21st-century learning technology for students; and curriculum aligned to the rigorous Common Core State Standards, which set a clear, high bar for the topics students must master at each grade level. MPS’ graduation rate is 14 points higher than the rate for the Class of 2000, its Class of 2013 earned $24 million in scholarships and the district is home to some of the state’s best high schools according to the Washington Post and U.S. News and World Report.