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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Bay View Middle and High School listening session August 3

by folkbum

My regular readers know that I teach at Bay View Middle and High School (née Bay View High School). Which, while not MPS's best high school, is in fact what you might call the "best of the rest":
Five Milwaukee comprehensive high schools have some sort of entrance requirement, and thus, naturally, have higher scores on the state test, Wisconsin Knowledge Concepts Examination (WKCE). Those schools are King, Reagan, Riverside, Milwaukee HS of the Arts, and Milwaukee School of Languages.

A really successful school does not rely on sorting students but takes the students it is given and provides them with the best education possible.

Until recently, Hamilton High School called itself “the best of the rest” having the highest scores on the WKCE of the high schools not screening its incoming students. This year Bay View High School passed Hamilton on the WKCE. Hamilton did not slip so much as Bay View moved ahead being the only MPS high school to show measurable gains on the WKCE.
I can't take credit for this--as a teacher of juniors and seniors, they've already taken the tests whence these scores come. However, I do care about making sure that Bay View continues to do well and improve.

MPS itself seems to have the same idea: The new superintendent is pretty keen on Bay View, and seems willing to invest in the program. There is a new, young and optimistic principal coming in, and the new Board member representing Bay View, Meagan Holman, has made keeping Bay View strong a priority. In addition, there seems to be a new interest among neighborhood parents in getting involved and improving the school.

Which brings us to the listening session (the link is to a facebook even page). It's one of the first steps in the process of figuring out where to go next with Bay View. This is not a discussion about shutting it down and starting over, or anything like that; rather, it's about what to add to the existing success--the district's strongest construction program, music, Project Lead the Way, a growing AP program, and so on--to ensure lasting success at the school. What are your ideas? What's missing? We need to hear your voice.

Bay View Middle and High School Listening Session
Wednesday, August 3, 6-8 PM
BVMHS Auditorium
2751 S. Lenox St., in Milwaukee's Bay View neighborhood

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