“This week’s release of the national Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) results underscores the need for urgent action to reform a school system that is failing too many children in Milwaukee,” Mayor Tom Barrett said today. “We cannot afford to tweak around the edges or compromise on our childrens’ future. I call upon the Legislature to support and take action on the TEACH bill that has been introduced by a prominent and diverse group of legislators.”
The mayor also took this opportunity to further state, “It’s Time for State Senate and State Assembly to Pass Meaningful School Governance Reform”
The national (TUDA) provides a reliable basis for comparing performance between 18 large urban districts that participate. The math scores released today show that MPS is one of the lowest achieving districts, not only when compared to national averages, but also when compared to comparable districts.
Only 15 percent of MPS 4th graders perform at a proficient level or above in math, compared to 29 percent for peer districts. This means that 85 percent of MPS students have at best only achieved at a basic standard, which is defined as only achieving “partial mastery of prerequisite knowledge and skills that are fundamental for proficient work.” Of those, almost half do not even meet that basic standard.
In 8th grade, only 7 percent of MPS students are proficient or advanced, compared to 24 percent among peer districts. Of even greater concern, 63 percent of 8th graders do not even meet the “basic” standard, meaning they do not have even partial mastery of fundamental skills. Among African American students the results are even more troubling, with only 3 percent meeting proficient or above. 72 percent of African American 8th graders are below the basic standard in math.
In contrast, New York City and Boston not only perform signifi cantly better than MPS but also outperform the average urban school district. Chicago and the District of Columbia also both outperform MPS.
“Leaders and members of the State Legislature need to ask themselves, How much longer will the status quo be accepted? How much more evidence is needed to show that MPS is in need of serious and major reform? The time to act is now,” Barrett concluded.