Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Couple of Things About the Worst Public Schools in America List that Sykes is Hawking

The list of the worst performing public schools in America that Charlie Sykes is pushing out today is, to say the least, kinda odd. Just a few things I noticed when looking at the three schools in Milwaukee that made the list.

  • 1.) The Milwaukee School of Humanities (#3) apparently closed in 2006.

According to the Center for Education Reform, the school opened in 2004, but "Financial debt and instability was undermining the educational program of the school and violent incidents at school quickened closure. Closed 2006."

  • 2.) The Milwaukee Spectrum School (#25) may be run by a non-profit.

Although "contracted" out as part of MPS, the Spectrum School appears to be run by a non-profit organization. They also haven't updated their web site in 3 years.

  • 3.) A Google search of "HR Acad/Global Awareness HA" (#4) results in exactly three hits, each of which is related to this list. Why? Because the School is actually called "HR Academy/Global Awareness HS" as in High School -- so the list couldn't be bothered to get the name of the school it was critiquing correct.

Furthermore, the HR in "HR Acad/Global Awareness HS" could stand for "Holy Redeemer" -- since they share an address with a school of that name. That school calls itself a "private school" and, call me old fashioned, but Holy Redeemer doesn't sound like it would have been an ideal choice for a public school ... I'm just saying.

  • 4.) The total enrollment for all of the schools on the list -- including the one that apparently no longer exists -- is 379 students.

MPS has an enrollment of roughly 87,360.

Let me just add as a caveat that I don't profess to know a damn thing about MPS. All of this took about 15 minutes of searching online to find. Then again, I'm not proclaiming to know that I can identify the worst schools in the country (especially when I'm selecting ones that don't even exist).

MORE: Jay Bullock, who left a comment below, has some more on this mess at Folkbum.

1 comment:

Jay Bullock said...

HRA and Spectrum are "partnership" schools, defined by MPS this way:

MPS offers a wide array of partnership schools for students who are identified as being at risk of dropping out or who are experiencing difficulty in the traditional school setting. The schools are included in the listings and are identified as “partnership” schools.

In other words, MPS does not run the schools, but contracts with other agencies to place some of the most challenging students in those schools.