September 16, 2014
Contact: Sean Roberts, Executive Director
Milwaukee, WI (September 16, 2014) – Today the Milwaukee Charter School Advocates (the Advocates) announced that Milwaukee’s independent charter schools are leading the way in student achievement in Milwaukee.
The announcement was made after data were released by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) in their annual “Report Card” ─ a tool used to document and disseminate student achievement and growth in the state’s public schools. The report card is based on data from the 2013-14 school year and it includes data from 37 Milwaukee independent charter schools that enrolled students that school year.
Fifty-nine percent (59%) of Milwaukee’s independent charter schools received positive ratings in the report card such as “satisfactory progress,” “meets expectations”, “exceeds expectations” or “significantly exceeds expectations.” Twenty-five percent (25%) of Milwaukee Public Schools received positive ratings in these same categories; the MPS figure becomes 22% if the district’s alternative schools are removed from the calculation.
The report card included student growth scores for 21 of the independent charter schools in Milwaukee, with an average student growth score of 64.3 for independent charters. The MPS district average student growth score was 55.7 and the state average was 62.4.
"Independent charter schools continue to lead and demonstrate what's possible with student achievement in Milwaukee, particularly for students of color and low-income populations,” said Sean Roberts, Executive Director of the Advocates. Highlights of individual charter school results include:
· The only Milwaukee school in the report card to earn a rating of “Significantly Exceeds Expectations” was Downtown Montessori, an independent charter school. Last year they were rated by DPI as “exceeds expectations.”
· Bruce Guadalupe Community School, Milwaukee College Preparatory School and Woodlands Schools moved from "meets expectations" last year to "exceeds expectations” this year.
· Central City Cyberschool moved from "meets few expectations” last year to "meets expectations” this year, in large part because of gains made in student growth in reading. Milwaukee Academy of Science also moved from "meets few expectations” last year to "meets expectations” this year.
"I know our schools have been working hard to achieve in reading and math, which is one reason independent charter schools outpace statewide averages in the report cards' growth scores,” said Roberts. “Teachers at these schools deserve so much credit for the work they do to meet students' needs every day."
Independent charter schools are public schools authorized by UW-Milwaukee and the City of Milwaukee as “2R” schools, and by Milwaukee Public Schools as “Non-instrumentality schools.” Most of the independent charter schools in Milwaukee are members of the Advocates.
To access the full dataset from the Department of Public Instruction's Report Card, click here.
The mission of the Milwaukee Charter School Advocates is to provide strategies and resources to expand and replicate high-performing independent charter schools in Milwaukee, and to overcome or curtail the obstacles that inhibit their growth.