Wisconsinites Should Celebrate Charter Schools Week by Demanding a Dramatic Expansion of these Successful Schools

May 8, 2014

For Immediate Release
Contact: Nick Novak, 608-237-7290

[Madison, Wisc…] Brett Healy, President of the John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy, released the following statement in celebration of national Charter Schools Week, which is May 5-9, 2014:

“National Charter Schools Week offers a great opportunity to highlight the success of charter schools in Milwaukee and across the country. With a chronic achievement gap in Wisconsin that we must solve, now is the time to look at what is working in education. More importantly, now is the time to figure out how we replicate the schools that are achieving results so more of our children can receive the education they deserve.”

According to data released by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) for the 2012-13 school year, both traditional and 2R non-instrumentality charter schools in Milwaukee scored significantly higher than traditional public schools on the state’s School Report Cards and standardized tests. In fact, 2R charter schools posted an average report card score that was 21 percent higher and a standardized testing score in Math that was 35 percent higher.

2R charter schools are operated independently of Milwaukee Public Schools and are counted as their own school districts by DPI. These schools are granted more operational freedom and autonomy when compared to their MPS peers. Independent charter schools also operate with about 60 percent of the state funding that MPS does.

“While Wisconsin can boast about some of the highest graduation rates and ACT scores in the country, our persistent achievement gap is inexcusable. We must fix this problem in order to keep our children from falling further behind.

“If a school is successful at educating our children, that is all that should matter. Too often, adults worry about politics and not enough about what is actually working. For the second straight year, charter schools have demonstrated better results and we should look for ways to expand these successful schools so our children can be successful in life.”