A couple of months ago, we wrote here on our blog about independent charters outperforming traditional public schools in the latest round of WKCE data. This past weekend, the Journal-Sentinel ran a piece about the Milwaukee Succeeds initiative and their report that lays out student academic achievement goals for the year 2020.
We’re certainly supportive of the Milwaukee Succeeds goals for increasing academic achievement over the next several years, and the targets made me wonder where independent charter schools are currently performing and how they were contributing toward this effort.
Taken as a group, independent charter schools have already met the Milwaukee Succeeds citywide 2020 goal for 8th grade math achievement. While 18.4% of Milwaukee 8th graders across public, charter and choice schools combined are proficient or advanced in math, 28% of students attending independent charters achieved proficiency or better in 2012—the exact number that Milwaukee Succeeds laid out as a goal for 7 years from now.
While there is still much work to be done and no one should be satisfied with our achievement rates as a city, this is a testament to the value that independent charters bring to our students every day.
Reading proficiency levels for students in independent charters were nearly on par with the city rate for 3rd graders, and were 5 percentage points higher for 8th graders. See the table below for the proficiency rates for the city's schools, and those of independent charters, and how they compare to Milwaukee Succeed's 2020 goal.