Suspensions are down. Test scores and attendance are up. And many people are happier.
So concludes a first-of-its-kind report in Milwaukee on how sixth- through eighth graders are faring in the school district’s rapidly growing number of kindergarten through eighth-grade (or K-8) schools.
In a relatively short period of time, K-8s have expanded to dominate the school landscape in Milwaukee and other cities such as Cleveland, Cincinnati, Baltimore and Philadelphia, so the report will be heavily scrutinized here and elsewhere.
In 2000, there were only about 10 K-8 schools in the Milwaukee Public Schools district; this fall there will be 61 K-8 schools, including those that are transitioning to become K-8s. Meanwhile enrollment in traditional middle schools is expected to plummet by 16% in one year alone, from about 13,200 students last fall to about 11,050 this fall.