MPS Takes a New Look at Charter Schools

Dec 3, 2015

The so-called recovery school district within Milwaukee Public Schools - the entity made up of a handful of struggling schools which the state put under the control of Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele - has gotten much of the attention and headlines in recent months. Abele recently appointed Mequon-Thiensville superintendent Demond Means as the part-time commissioner of the district.

But a less-heralded retreat on charter schools held by the MPS board could also usher in significant changes in the school climate here. 

The MPS system currently questioning their recent strategy of charter expansion for the sake of increasing funding. Overall, the goal in MPS charter schools is to provide new programs for underserved or at-risk students, reduce dropouts, and give autonomy to schools that improve student achievement.

However in order to achieve these goals, the Board is looking at options that will have a more active approach. MPS is also working on clarifying its philosophy and process in developing charter schools in order to implement programs that are truly needed and not copies of existing ones.

Reporter Jabril Faraj who covered the story for the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, believes that the new active approach the Board is proposing will be a vast improvement.

"I view this as a win-win for MPS essentially," Faraj explains. "It’s a way that they’re able to both look at the needs that they have in their district and proactively address those needs.  And it also really kind of depoliticizes the chartering process."