Milwaukee Graduation Rates – Poverty & Governance

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel editorial:

t is simply nothing short of catastrophic that so many Milwaukee youngsters are being left behind in a world in which a bachelor’s degree is the new high school diploma. It’s a trend that bodes ill for the region’s capacity to grow and compete.
Yes, Milwaukee again makes a list it should wish it weren’t on with a ranking that should properly make every Milwaukee Public Schools official, School Board member, teacher, parent and taxpayer intensely introspective, not to mention angry.
That’s because, whether the graduation rate is 45% – ranking it 94th among the 100 largest school districts in the country, according to the generally conservative-leaning Manhattan Institute – or 61% or 67%, what, respectively, the state and district say it is, that’s too few high schoolers graduating.
And the gap between African-American and white achievement in Wisconsin (and between boys and girls) should be topics getting more focus than they have to date. The Manhattan Institute study, released Tuesday, says Wisconsin overall enjoys an 85% graduation rate, but for African-Americans statewide, it’s 55%, the second lowest in the country.
Yes, we know all the societal factors involved in low graduation rates, mostly revolving around poverty. However, these graduation figures also point to a degree of failure in the district in dealing with these realities