Education Watch: Appleton…the Miami of Wisconsin?

Jan 6, 2023 | Wisconsin Voices Blog

Picture of a classroom

From The Appleton Post-Crescent:

The Appleton Area School District is rife with more than a dozen charter schools… In November, the school board heard a proposal for a Hmong charter school. It heard a second proposal for the Academy for Black Excellence (ABLE) on Wednesday morning. …Superintendent Greg Hartjes said the board will be asked to discuss and vote on the potential new schools in January and February.

Read more here and here.

Quinton Klabon

Additional context from IRG Senior Research Director Quinton Klabon:

→ Stick with me on the comparison, here! If approved, 15 out of 40 Appleton district schools would be district charter schools, schools that still count as district enrollment while having both higher academic standards and fewer regulations. Many have themes such as Montessori, classical, trades, engineering, or language immersion.

→ Miami pursued a similar strategy as it became the best school district in the country. If you give schools an identity and flexibility from the beginning, goals become clearer, parents become loyal, and kids graduate with real skills.

→ Interestingly, Appleton best resisted the pandemic among all big districts, dropping 0% in reading and only -3% in mathematics compared to -4% and -6%.

→ Unfortunately, national charter networks stay out of Wisconsin because only district charter schools make financial sense. If Wisconsin raised how much charters get per student, successful networks would start up schools here.