ON-Lion Letter
The gaps in achievement between students of different gender, race, and income levels in the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) system are alarmingly wide, according to a June Wisconsin Policy Research Institute (WPRI) report by senior fellow Sammis White.

"On reading, MPS male students of all incomes and races combined, on average, score consistently below similar females," he writes in The Achievement Gap in Milwaukee Public Schools:  Outcomes by Gender, Race and Income Level, for which he obtained access to more than 13,000 individual students in the system.  "The gap increases substantially as students move to higher grades. ...

"Within the same gender, there are very large gaps in average reading and math scores between students with the lowest incomes ... and middle-income students ..., starting in the earliest years of testing," found White, who is also professor in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee s Department of Urban Planning.  "The sizes of these gaps grow markedly among both males and females, as students move to higher grades."

Large gaps in average reading scores and gaps in average math schools between white and minority MPS students also grow as students move through the grades, the study documents, as well.

"These results are totally unacceptable," notes WPRI senior fellow George Lightbourn in his introduction to the report.

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee supports WPRI.
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