Education Watch: Milwaukee test scores hit rock bottom, children’s futures hang in the balance

Jun 23, 2022 | Wisconsin Voices Blog

From the Milwaukee Board of School Directors: Important state Forward Exam scores won’t come out until October, but the previews are frightening. Green predicts college-track ability and yellow and red predict catastrophic performance.

Only 14.6% of students look proficient in reading along with only 11.8% in mathematics. Those scores have bottomed out since 2019, when the numbers were 18.6% and 16.2%.

Zoom into the data here.

Additional context from IRG Senior Research Director Quinton Klabon:

  • Even worse, 61.9% of students have minimal reading ability, up from 51.5% pre-pandemic. That’s 5 in 8 someday unable to send professional emails, decipher machine instructions, or understand paperwork.


  • MPS may rely on new teachers to climb back. Fox WITI reports that 524 teachers will have left MPS this year, about 1 in 8.


  • Milwaukee is not alone. Urban districts like Racine also struggled. Meanwhile, Mississippi and Tennessee are back to normal in reading.