Higher Education & Research Briefs

Higher Education & Research

Alverno College selects new president

After an eight month search, Alverno College has selected a new president.

Andrea Lee, president of St. Catherine University, a Catholic liberal arts university in Minnesota, will succeed Alverno president Mary Meehan in June.

Meehan has led Alverno since 2004 and announced she would be stepping down in March 2015.

Lee has been president of St. Catherine for almost 20 years. During her tenure, university enrollment increased 30 percent.

Alverno College is a four-year Catholic liberal arts college for women located on the southwest side of Milwaukee.

Spanish Immersion School to undergo $4.1 million expansion

Milwaukee Public Schools is expanding its Spanish Immersion School into a vacant city-owned building on the city’s southwest side.

MPS began accepting bids from contractors to renovate the former 88th Street School at 3575 S. 88th St. beginning March 1. MPS plans to move the immersion school’s K-4 and K-5 classes into the 88th Street building this fall, and add first grade classes by the 2017-’18 academic year.

The school board has budgeted $4.1 million for the expansion project over the next four years. Spanish Immersion School principal Marybell Nieves-Harris said the majority of that money will be spent on initial renovations and supplies, including textbooks, this year.

K-4 through fifth grade immersion classes are currently located at 2765 S. 55th St. There are 570 students currently enrolled. Nieves-Harris said the program has an annual waiting list of around 100 students for its K-4 program and needs room to expand.

Nieves-Harris said MPS will hire four new teachers and an undetermined number of support staff members to work at the school’s new location.

Wisconsin high school graduation rate ranks third in nation

Wisconsin ranks third in the nation when it comes to graduating high school on time, according to a national study.

The study, co-authored by a public policy firm called Civic Enterprises and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University, tracked the rate of students who started high school in 2010 and graduated in four years.

Wisconsin’s rate of 88.6 percent was eclipsed only by Iowa (90.5 percent) and Nebraska (89.7 percent).

But the state fell to the middle of the pack when it came to achievement gaps between students of different races and economic classes.

While the graduation rate for wealthy and middle class Wisconsin students was 93.8 percent, it was 77.9 percent for low-income students. Though the state’s rates for both groups were higher than the national average, the gap between them (15.9 percentage points) was also larger

Nationally, 89 percent of non-low-income students graduate on time, compared to 74.6 percent of low-income students — a 14.4 percentage point gap, according to the study.

Achievement gaps also persisted between white and minority students in Wisconsin. While 92.9 percent of white students in the state graduated on time, only 66.1 percent of black students and 78.1 percent of Hispanic students did the same.

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