Much higher test scores and graduation rates, greatly improved attendance, reduced discipline problems and stronger parent involvement – the draft version of a grand plan for Milwaukee Public Schools sets specific, ambitious goals for major improvements over the next several years.
The strategic plan is the product of extensive work by administrators, School Board members and teachers union members. The process of creating the plan, which included more than 40 meetings across the city in recent months, is being paid for by the Greater Milwaukee Committee, a private group of civic leaders.
“We cannot achieve different results without doing things differently,” an opening message signed by MPS and union leaders says. “We are at a crucial turning point.”
The plan is short on specifics for how to achieve many of its goals, but it does give a detailed version of what the characteristics of a higher-functioning school system would be, including what to expect of a successful principal, how a school community should function and what the role of the central office should be. It calls for continuing the current MPS strategy of focusing on improving the teaching and curriculum in a specific list of low-performing schools and reducing the size of that list year by year.