Families recognizing significant improvement and successes Enrollment in Milwaukee Public Schools grew between 2012-13 and 2013-14, reversing a decline that lasted nearly a decade. MPS’ fall enrollment count submitted to the state this year was 78,502, up from 78,461 submitted at the same time last year. The modest increase came after the district lost 1,000 or more students each year for the last nine years. “Milwaukee is arguably the most competitive K-12 education marketplace in the country. “We are grateful that families recognize the significant improvements we’ve made and the successes we’ve seen by choosing Milwaukee Public Schools,” MPS Superintendent Gregory Thornton said. Part of the district’s success in attracting students has come from expanding and replicating successful traditional schools and charter schools thanks to strategic use of underutilized or unused facilities.
This year, those actions have resulted in Ronald Reagan College Preparatory High School growing by 45 students, I.D.E.A.L. Charter School growing by 30 and Golda Meir School growing by 28. The growth of Golda Meir, rated “Exceeds Expectations” by the state, is expected to continue in 2014-15 the school uses expanded space received in 2012-13 to serve high school students beginning at 9th grade. It is utilizing a once-vacant middle school building. Proposals in the state Assembly (AB 417) and Senate (SB 318) would take away Milwaukee Public Schools’ ability to use its facilities strategically to expand successful programs by forcing the district and the city to sell buildings. In addition to growing and replicating successful individual schools, other district successes have also helped attract families. Those include: • More MPS schools are meeting or exceeding expectations and fewer MPS schools are rated as failing to meeting expectations on state report cards • MPS’ graduation rate has grown 14 percentage points between 2000 and 2012 • More MPS students are taking Advanced Placement courses • More MPS students are going to college • MPS Class of 2013 scholarship total was about $24 million, up from about $18 million the year before • MPS is home to the two best high schools in southeast Wisconsin – Rufus King International School High School Campus and Ronald Reagan College Preparatory High School – according to The Washington Post.