5.10.16

THE SOURCES OF DISTRESSED MATERIAL.

Wisconsin state legislator John Jagler sponsored legislation requiring state universities to disaggregate, by source high school, the number and proportion of matriculants requiring a second go at high school remedial mathematics or English.  The first report under the law is now available.

Milwaukee Hamilton has changed a lot since I graduated in 1971.  It remains one of the largest high schools in the shrunken Milwaukee Public Schools, but college preparation there isn't what it once was.
Alexander Hamilton High School sent 29 new freshmen to the UW system in fall 2015. Of those 29 students, 19, or 66 percent, needed math remediation, and 12, or 41 percent, needed English remediation. Hamilton High was listed named 32nd in the state on the Washington Post's 2016 list of most challenging high schools.

Other MPS schools typically touted as high performing also sent large numbers of unprepared students to UW. Rufus King High School was named the 13th best high school in the state by the Washington Post and was ranked the 8th best by U.S. News and World Report - yet one-third of Rufus King graduates needed remediation in math.
Mr Jagler's home district, Watertown, made the report, sending 94 students to UW System campuses, with 21 matriculants requiring remedial math. For all my carping about the misplaced priorities at Hartland Arrowhead, the district sent 257 graduates into the UW System, with 28 requiring remedial math and fifteen requiring remedial English.  (That's almost as many students from Watertown or the Arrowhead District relegated to high school as there were matriculants out of Hamilton High.  What's that bit about a mediocre student of means having a better chance of finishing college than a bright kid from a poor family?)  My nephew's high school, Greendale, sent 102 students on, of which eight required remedial math.

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