PRESS RELEASE: School Report Cards a Wake-Up Call for Milwaukee Parents and Every Wisconsinite

September 19, 2014

Contact: Nick Novak, 608-237-7290

[Madison, Wisc…] The release of the latest round of school report cards should serve to shine a spotlight on the overall poor performance of public schools in the City of Milwaukee, according to Christian D’Andrea, Education Policy Specialist with the John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy. The Department of Public Instruction recently released its annual School Report Cards, detailing the academic performance and achievement of every public school and district. Unfortunately for the largest city in the state, Milwaukee Public Schools was the only district to receive a failing grade.

In fact 47 of the 133 traditional public schools in the MPS system received a failing grade on the report cards. A large majority of the traditional public schools – 90 out of 133 or 68% – received a grade equivalent to a “D” or lower.

While traditional MPS schools were far below expectations, Milwaukee’s independent 2R charter schools found some success with similar student populations. The independent 2R charters scored much higher on the report cards than traditional MPS public schools, and the only school in Milwaukee to receive an “A” on the report cards was an independent 2R charter school.

Christian D’Andrea released the following statement about the lagging student performance in Milwaukee and DPI’s School Report Cards:

“This year’s School Report Cards show that Milwaukee’s public schools, as a whole, are the worst in Wisconsin. A student in the district has a better than one in three chance of attending a failing school. They have a two in three chance of attending a school that earned the equivalent of a “D” or worse. This performance should be appalling to parents.

“There are signs of progress in Milwaukee, though. The city’s independent 2R charter schools continued a trend of out-performing their traditional public school peers by posting higher average report card scores, higher reading and math achievement scores, and higher student growth scores. These schools were able to earn significantly better grades despite educating a student body where more than 80 percent of pupils came from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

“Teachers, administrators, parents, students and Wisconsinites from every corner of the state need to come together to collectively improve education in Milwaukee. This should be a wake-up call that successful programs should be replicated, while consistent failures should be replaced. Children cannot, and should not, be forced into a system that is failing them year after year.”

See Christian’s full analysis by clicking here.