Educate All Students: Larry Miller's Blog

April 17, 2011

The Special Education Disparity Between MPS and the Voucher Program: A More Accurate Comparison of Student Performance

Filed under: MPS,Special Education,Vouchers — millerlf @ 2:57 pm

Given the significant disparity between the proportion of students with disabilities in MPS and Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP) schools, it is necessary to disaggregate the results of MPS as a whole by disability status in order to more accurately compare student performance in MPS and the MPCP. 19% of MPS students have an identified disability compared to only 1.6% of MPCP students.

For the first time, on March 29, 2011, school by school test scores for students in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program were released to the public. In its press release, the Department of Public Instruction included a table that compared the test scores of MPS economically disadvantaged students to the scores of students in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program.

Given the current income requirements that govern participation in the MPCP program, it is correct to compare the MPS economically disadvantaged population to the MPCP population. In the same fashion, and again given the significant disparity in the number of special education students in the two programs, 19% compared to 1.6%, disaggregating the results by disability status provides the most accurate picture of student performance when comparing the two groups. Not surprisingly, and as shown in the table below, when results are disaggregated the gap between MPS and MPCP scores is further increased.

2010-11 Wisconsin Student Assessment System Results
All Grades Percent Proficient or Advanced


MPS Economically Disadvantaged, Students without Disabilities



MPCP, Students without Disabilities



MPS takes seriously the responsibility of educating all of the district’s students. And although the data above is presented in a manner that most accurately compares the scores between MPS and the MPCP, it is clear that much more needs to be done in order to ensure that all Milwaukee students reach their academic goals.

To see a comparison for each grade level go to:

MPCP test scores and MPS


1 Comment »

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    Comment by Randall — April 16, 2013 @ 10:48 am | Reply

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