Boots & Sabers

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2149, 12 Oct 16

MPS Not Failing Anymore?

Ola Lisowski drops some knowledge.

While we wait for the Department of Public Instruction’s (DPI) official report cards to come out in November, the letter provides a little teaser. While MPS is not mentioned by name, Evers writes that “based on the preliminary data…there are no districts eligible for the OSPP in 2016-17.”


The 42 percent of MPS students not graduating high school in four years will be glad to know their district is succeeding. The 83.5 percent of students not proficient in math will be ecstatic, along with the 74 percent of students not proficient in English.

Everything is just rosy in the halls of MPS schools, says our state DPI. There’s no need for OSPP, as it can only target school districts with two consecutive “failing” scores, and as we know – MPS isn’t failing.

This is a dangerous line of thinking. It’s shortsighted and ignores stubborn things called facts. It is a moral outrage that we would let the kids of Milwaukee graduate with a substandard education.

The latest facts come from the UW Remedial Course Report, which provides a look into remedial education at the UW System. For the first time ever, the UW System publicly released a list of all Wisconsin schools that sent more than six kids into the system who needed remedial education. The facts? Well, they’re ugly.

One hundred seventy-five schools sent more than six kids who needed math remedial education to the UW system. Of those, 160 schools graduated senior classes where more than 10 percent of students required extra help in math. In 76 schools, more than 25 percent of students needed that help. And in 12 schools, 50 percent or more of the graduating class needed remedial education.

A school district should not be considered to be meeting expectations when so many graduates need extra help in college. Remedial education isn’t something to brush off – students pay full tuition for exactly zero credits. Perhaps worse yet, they arrive at UW woefully behind their peers after being told for years that MPS is doing just fine.

It is dangerous thinking. There’s no way that MPS went from dozens of failing schools to zero in one year. There is especially no way that they can claim to NOT be failing when 42% of the kids aren’t even graduating. This looks every bit like the DPI thwarting the legislature’s efforts to fix MPS through procedural gamesmanship. And the kids are worse off for it.



2149, 12 October 2016

1 Comment

  1. Kevin Scheunemann

    Evers must be doing MPS math to justify this.

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