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Academic Expectations

Milwaukee Public Schools is committed to preparing all students for college and careers.

High academic expectations – high standards, in other words – are an essential part of that commitment.

MPS’ Comprehensive Literacy Plan, first implemented in 2010-11, and the district’s Comprehensive Math/Science Plan, first implemented in 2011-12, are aligned to the rigorous Common Core State Standards. More than 45 states, including Wisconsin, have adopted the Common Core.

The Common Core State Standards eliminate the gap between what students have learned and mastered at high school graduation and what they must know to begin technical college/university and careers. The new standards ensure our students are competitive with other students from around the state, the country and the world. Under the standards, students learn in-depth, mastering critical concepts. They use critical thinking skills to become true problem solvers, looking for evidence as they read complex texts. 

MPS’ efforts to implement the Common Core are aided by a $20.4-million, five-year grant from the GE Foundation. The grant has helped fund or support more than 80,000 hours of training for teachers and is now helping to fund the 10 MPS GE Foundation Demonstration Schools, which are being developed into models for putting students on the path to career and college success through the Common Core.

The Common Core State Standards set expectations for what students learn at each grade level.

As you look at the MPS grade-level standards on this site, you will see Common Core standards for math, reading and English/language arts. You will also see high MPS standards in other areas not covered by the Common Core: science, social studies, health, art, music, physical education and instructional technology.

A growing number of MPS schools now use the Standards-based Report Card, which clarifies and reinforces the high expectations for students in each key subject or “content area.” The report cards help educators, students and families focus on standards throughout the year.  They provide specific feedback on progress to the standards so that students, families and educators can work together to set meaningful goals for improvement.


Department of Curriculum and Instruction:
Phone: 414-475-8179

© Milwaukee Public Schools 2023
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