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ERIC Number: ED524214
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 32
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Measuring up Education: Community-Driven Accountability in Milwaukee
Dickman, Anneliese; Allen, Vanessa; Henken, Rob
Public Policy Forum
The recent appointment of a new superintendent, the need for priority-setting in the face of dramatic state budget cuts, and increased national attention on school reform have elevated the performance of the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) to the forefront of local media and civic attention. Consequently, the need for an understandable and commonly agreed-upon set of metrics with which to measure and monitor improvement at MPS is now more important than ever. In July 2010, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation engaged the Public Policy Forum to research appropriate performance metrics for MPS. The research questions included: How do other large urban school districts measure progress? What are the pros and cons of using each metric for accountability purposes? Are there best practices in accountability measurements that may be applicable to Milwaukee? Given the widespread involvement of Milwaukee's philanthropic and business communities in MPS accountability and reform initiatives, the authors first attempted to identify community-led public school performance measurement projects, as opposed to those arising from school district administrators and staff. They found five examples of districts that have seen significant community involvement in creating a performance measurement project, including one in Wisconsin. They choose to highlight the measures utilized by Cincinnati's Strive Together effort, due to the recent attention this project has received in Milwaukee. Although Cincinnati's school district is much smaller than Milwaukee's, at 33,000 students, the partnership reflects community-driven measurement and includes over 300 organizations as partners. In addition to the indicators collected by the Strive initiative, the school district itself produces a "dashboard" of measures similar to those outlined in this report. They also examined school performance measurement initiatives created by education policy or education reform organizations. They found several such organizations working at a national level to advocate for performance measurement by school districts. Those initiatives each recommend specific metrics that communities can use to hold their districts accountable, mostly involving academic performance. Finally, they analyzed the work of several state and local education and civic entities to glean which metrics already are used in Milwaukee to evaluate the success of MPS. They also looked to local efforts that are targeting charter and private schools in order to consider indicators that could be universally applied to all schools in the city. Appended are: (1) National and local organizations surveyed; and (2) Indicators investigated. (Contains 1 table.)
Public Policy Forum. 633 West Wisconsin Avenue Suite 406, Milwaukee, WI 53203. Tel: 414-276-8240; Fax: 414-276-9962; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Greater Milwaukee Foundation
Authoring Institution: Public Policy Forum
Identifiers - Location: California; Michigan; Ohio; Wisconsin