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Milwaukee Charters Outperform District, Fall Short of Expectations

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Improvement is necessary in many of Milwaukee's independent charter schools, according to the latest state report card that evaluates the schools.

Over half of the state's 18 independent charters, which are authorized either by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee or the Milwaukee Common Council, fell below expectations, says an article in the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.

Independent charters are a subset of the state's charters schools, most of which operate through school districts. Most of the independent charters are located in Milwaukee. (One is located in Racine.)

The results of this year's report card, which evaluates schools' performance during the 2012-13 school year, are even more pertinent because of a new law that allows the expansion of independent charters in the greater Milwaukee area.

Although many of the charters fell short of expectations, overall, they did much better compared with the regular Milwaukee school district, where only 25 percent of the schools met or exceeded expectations.  Forty-seven percent of independent charters  met or exceeded expectations, the Journal Sentinel article points out. However, the independent charters also educated a smaller percentage of English-language learners and students with special needs compared with the regular school district.

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