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ERIC Number: ED464972
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Jan
Pages: 34
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
How School Choice Helps the Milwaukee Public Schools.
Gardner, John
Parents in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, have more tax-supported educational choices than parents in other cities. Most programs were enacted during the 1990s. Opponents believed these programs would harm the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS), but 11 years of data show positive trends. MPS enrollment increased by 4,576 students since 1990. Real spending per pupil grew 24 percent. The state share of spending for MPS grew from 54 to 67 percent. Overall academic achievement remained unacceptably low in MPS. Nevertheless, MPS students made significant academic gains between 1997-2001, when the most rapid expansion of school choice occurred. On independent standardized exams, MPS students improved on 11 of 15 tests compared to a national sample. The percent of MPS students demonstrating proficiency on all 15 tests increased. The dropout rate declined. The learning gains coincided with and reflected systemwide changes within MPS. Expanded school choice prompted a positive response from many MPS schools (dollars follow students, so schools must recruit to strengthen their budgets, teachers are now often hired by school selection committees, and working with private and charter schools, MPS has expanded facilities in central city neighborhoods). The impact of these changes is particularly strong on low-income, minority children. (SM)
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Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A