It’s probably not stretching things to point to a parallel in the decline of the manufacturing sector in Milwaukee, and the academic decline in a high school that has traditionally placed graduates into manufacturing jobs.
Bradley Tech High School, by most measures, is struggling – so much so that Milwaukee Public Schools named it as one of just over a dozen schools worthy of extra intervention.
But some are questioning what that intervention will look like, and how effective it might be. The future of Bradley Tech is the subject of a piece in the March issue of Milwaukee Magazine. Writer Kay Nolan discussed the future possibilities of Bradley Tech with Lake Effect's Mitch Teich.
"People are kind of taking a fresh look at Bradley Tech, which seems to be perfectly positioned to maybe increase the number of students getting into these trades and learning about the possibilities of career pathways," Nolan says.
The number of students choosing to go into the trades is dropping, and more schools are favoring college preparation over trade education. With over eight hundred students enrolled at Bradley Tech alone, the school faces many academic challenges. Those are clearly reflected in the school's last place ranking among all Milwaukee public high schools on the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction 2013-14 School Report Card.
MPS is hoping to implement an improvement plan as a part of their Commitment School program to help Bradley Tech become the school it once was.