PART III: The $102 million spent on reviving the concept of the neighborhood school in Milwaukee hasn't improved academic success at most of the schools where the money was used. With a few exceptions, student achievement has shown little improvement -- and in some cases it has fallen dramatically -- at 22 schools that were among the largest beneficiaries of the district's school construction program.
To read The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, click here.
Earlier: PART I: A massive building expansion by Milwaukee
Public Schools has saddled the district with tens of millions of dollars worth of vacant or severely underused school additions. The $102 million Neighborhood Schools Initiative was supposed to get students off buses and into revamped schools near their homes. Instead, darkened classrooms and half-empty buildings serve as monuments to the program's failures. The district spent $30 million on major additions to schools where enrollment has actually declined. An additional $19.5 million went toward construction at schools where enrollment gains have fallen far short of expectations. To read The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, click here
. PART II: Despite a $4.1 million middle-school addition to Clarke Street School
, enrollment has fallen 33 percent .
Programs have been sharply reduced. Test scores have fallen. The spacious new gym has acoustics so poor, the school sometimes uses its old gym on the third floor so teachers and students can be heard. Several classrooms are unused. To read The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, click here