Milwaukee Public Schools
Press Release

Statewide data shows improvement; more work needed to prepare all students for success

District continues work to promote student achievement

By - Oct 18th, 2016 12:58 pm
Rufus King. Photo by Christopher Hillard.

Rufus King. Photo by Christopher Hillard.

Milwaukee (October 18) – Statewide ACT Readiness Benchmarks results released today show the percentage of Milwaukee Public Schools students’ scores on the ACT increased slightly in all four areas of the exam. This is the first time there has been an increase in all four areas since all MPS 11th graders began taking the test in 2009. ACT Readiness measures how well students are prepared for college success.

The percent of students meeting college readiness was up two percent in reading and science and one percent in English and mathematics. The percentage of students who were college ready in all four areas was up one percent.

“We are making progress toward having more MPS students better prepared for college,” said MPS Superintendent Darienne Driver. “While this demonstrates some improvement, the change is incremental, and we have much more work to do. As a district, we will continue to aggressively implement strategies designed to improve academic achievement.”

MPS is increasing the number of students who are engaged in high-level classwork and offering more opportunities for students to succeed:

  • The number of students participating in college-level Advanced Placement and/or International Baccalaureate classes is up 40 percent from the 2013-14 school year
  • One out of every five MPS high school students is now taking college-level courses
  • MPS participates in SpringBoard, a rigorous, national Pre-Advanced Placement curriculum designed to increase student participation in AP classes and to improve student success
  • More than 40 MPS schools participate in Project Lead the Way, a hands-on STEM experience that prepares students for AP course work and STEM careers
  • MPS will launch a new initiative this month – Breakfast Club: A Saturday Academy – to help MPS high school students catch up, keep up and get ahead
  • The district is increasing robust course offerings in career and technical education, expansion of the ProStart culinary arts program, a redesign of the Vincent High School agriculture program and growth of NAF academies in healthcare, technology and business
  • Working with Milwaukee Area Technical College and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, MPS is launching M³, a collaborative effort to help create a K-16 educational pipeline for students

Also released today from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction are the results of the Wisconsin Forward Exam, which is administered to elementary students in English Language Arts, mathematics, science and social studies. High school students take the social studies exam.

The Wisconsin Forward Exam is the third different state test in three years, due to legislatively required changes. Because there were multiple tests over the past three years, this is considered a baseline year for the Wisconsin Forward Exam.

“Our test scores remind us our work is far from finished,” said Superintendent Driver. “We continue to focus our energy on implementing our comprehensive strategic plan. This will allow us to execute these efforts with the goal of all MPS students being proficient or advanced.”

According to DPI, overall statewide results this year show a general decrease in the number of students considered “proficient” or “advanced.” This does not mean student performance has decreased; it does reflect changes that make the proficiency level more rigorous to reach.
MPS is focused on improving student achievement by focusing on these strategic priorities:

  • Preparing the youngest learners to be readers
  • Helping elementary school students develop their algebraic skills
  • Providing all students with additional supports to meet their specific academic and behavioral needs
  • Redesigning professional development to allow educators to use specific tools to improve school and student outcomes

Milwaukee Public Schools is committed to accelerating student achievement, building positive relationships between youth and adults and cultivating leadership at all levels.

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