Bottom of the Class

Despite much support from local business and college leaders, MPS’ tech high school falls to last in the state. 


There’s no shortage of plans for what to do about Bradley Tech, MPS’ ailing trade school.But which is right?

Last June, when Milwaukee Public Schools named the Lynde and Harry Bradley Technology and Trade High School –  better known as Bradley Tech – one of the 14 “underperforming” schoold to be included in a new, three-year rescue plan, Lyle Balistreri sighed. The retired union president of Milwaukee Building and Construction Trades Council had seen too many three to four-year plans like the new Commitment Schools program, with its “rigorous academic and behavioral interventions,” fail to correct the tech school’s academic failings, poor graduation rates and behavior issues, the same troubles that plague many urban high schools. Worse, Bradley Tech seemed to be losing its 100-plus-year reputation for producing graduates ready to pursue trade apprenticeships, associate degrees or blue-collar jobs.


Kay Nolan discusses the challenges faced by Bradley Tech High School on Milwaukee Public Radio Station WUWM’s “Lake Effect” show.