42 MPS schools make the grade on state report cards, but overall results underscore urgency to continue needed improvements

MILWAUKEE – Forty-two MPS schools are rated exceeds expectations, meets expectations or making satisfactory progress in the 2013-14 report cards released by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Tuesday.

But the overall report card results, including the district’s report card, underscore the urgency for Milwaukee Public Schools to continue to make needed improvements.

“We have a number of schools that are high achieving or growing in that direction and we want to recognize those schools for their efforts,” MPS Acting Superintendent Dr. Darienne Driver said. “But too many schools are not yet experiencing that growth. That’s why we are committed to specific, targeted efforts aimed at improving outcomes for students in our lowest-performing schools as well as broader efforts aimed at improving outcomes across the district.”

The district’s report card score was largely unchanged between 2012-13 and 2013-14, though with more MPS students meeting reading standards, MPS’ student growth score moved upward. An overall year-to-year comparison is imperfect because the state changed how it calculates one of the report card priority areas: Closing Gaps.

At the school level, the number of MPS schools rated in the highest two categories grew slightly from six to eight in 2013-14. The number of schools rated “Meets Expectations” dipped slightly from 28 to 22, in part because of two school mergers. For the first time, alternative schools and new schools are receiving ratings across the state, in the form of alternate accountability report cards. Twelve such schools in MPS were rated “Making Satisfactory Progress.”

MPS has grown its attendance rates over the past five years to a rate just under 90%. Yet, too many schools continue to face chronic absenteeism issues (details on how absenteeism is defined are available at http://reportcards.dpi.wi.gov/files/oea/pdf/Report%20Card%20FAQ%202014.pdf). That results in lost opportunities for students and impacts report card scores. Without the district’s five-point deduction for absenteeism, MPS’ report card score would have risen into a higher category.

Milwaukee Public Schools continues to utilize report card data to drive improvement efforts, including the accelerated transformation of 14 “Commitment Schools” and providing additional supports to the district’s lowest-performing schools. The new report card data will help build those efforts to strengthen attendance and achievement.

Additional efforts include:

Providing school support teachers in every school to help improve instruction by working directly with educators in their classrooms
50 new art, music and physical education specialist teaching positions, part of a total of 142 new such positions added over three years, to further engage students
Parent coordinators in every school to build stronger relationships between families and schools with the aim of improving student outcomes including attendance
Committing to continue to improve outcomes for young men of color through participation in President Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative
– A focus on growing mentoring opportunities

MPS’ 42 schools rated exceeds expectations, meets expectations or making satisfactory progress are:

Exceeds Expectations – 8 schools
Academia de Lenguaje y Belles Artes (ALBA School)
Fernwood Montessori School
Honey Creek Continuous Progress Charter School
Maryland Avenue Montessori School
Golda Meir School
Milwaukee French Immersion School
Milwaukee German Immersion School
Walt Whitman School

Meets Expectations – 22 schools
Academy of Accelerated Learning
Louisa May Alcott School
Luther Burbank School
A.E. Burdick School
Clement Avenue School
James Fennimore Cooper School
Fairview School
Benjamin Franklin School
La Escuela Fratney (Fratney School)
Greenfield Bilingual School
Humboldt Park School
Gwen T. Jackson Early Childhood and Elementary School
Rufus King International High School
Lowell Elementary School
Milwaukee College Prep – 38th Street Campus
Milwaukee Parkside School for the Arts
Milwaukee School of Languages
Milwaukee Spanish Immersion School
Ronald Reagan College Preparatory High School
Escuela Vieau (Vieau School)
Wedgewood Park International School
John Greenleaf Whittier Elementary School

Satisfactory Progress (Alternate report card for new or alternative schools) – 12 schools
The Achievement Center
ASSATA High School
Banner Preparatory School of Milwaukee
Carmen High School of Science and Technology – Northwest Campus
Career Youth Development
Grandview High School
Hmong American Peace Academy (HAPA)
Milwaukee County Youth Education Center
Milwaukee Environmental Sciences
Milwaukee Excel High School (closed at the end of the 2013-14 school year)
Project STAY
Universal Academy for the College Bound


About Milwaukee Public Schools

Milwaukee Public Schools is committed to accelerating student achievement, building positive relationships between youth and adults and cultivating leadership at all levels. The district’s commitment to improvement continues to show results:

  • More MPS students are meeting reading standards
  • The MPS Class of 2014 earned $31 million in scholarships, up $7 million; and
  • MPS is home to 4 of the state’s top 15 high schools according to U.S. News and World Report

Learn more about MPS by visiting http://mpsmke.com/news.