MPS aims to transform struggling schools with intervention efforts

Beginning this fall, Milwaukee Public Schools administration will target 14 of its weakest schools with dramatic academic and behavioral interventions in order to boost their performance rates.

The schools are part of MPS’ new Commitment Schools effort, which aims to achieve greater college and career readiness among district students.

All participating schools, announced during the Milwaukee Board of School Directors’ Thursday night meeting, were identified through school quality reviews as well as through a competitive and voluntary grant application process.

That process required schools to present their plans for improvement, which will be taken into account as they receive support from the district.

Additionally, schools will receive grants totaling up to $300,000 and will be overseen by a district administrator and support team.

Each Commitment School will also have “the flexibility to use innovative approaches independent of district initiatives” that still follow MPS’ academic, operational and community goals, the district said.

“While an increasing number of our schools are meeting expectations on the state’s report card system and some of our schools are among the best in the state, far too many are not,” said MPS Superintendent Gregory Thornton. “Our goal has been to ensure we are targeting the schools with the greatest need and provide them with the interventions and supports that can transform them into high-performing schools.”

Selected Commitment Schools are: Auer Avenue School, Bradley Technology and Trade High School, Browning School, George Washington Carver Academy of Mathematics and Science, Samuel Clemens School, James Madison Academic Campus, North Division High School, Barack Obama School of Career and Technical Education, Casimir Pulaski High School, South Division/ALAS High School, Albert Story School, Thurston Woods Campus, Harold S. Vincent High School, and Washington High School of Information Technology.

Additional Commitment Schools will be selected for the 2015-16 school year, according to MPS.

The district also said that the 48 public schools marked with the lowest rating on the last state report card will be granted additional instructional support, professional development and operational assistance during the 2014-15 school year.

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