Milwaukee: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

The Milwaukee Public Schools system, serving almost 100,000 students, is administered by a nine-member, non-partisan board of school directors that appoints a superintendent. The system employs more than 6,700 full-time, part-time, and substitute teachers. In 2003, Milwaukee Public Schools had a 60 percent graduation rate; more than 50 percent of graduating students planned on attending some sort of college or university. Overall, students maintained an 89.9 percent attendance rate. Milwaukee public school-teachers are well-educated; in 2004, 46 percent of teachers held a master's degree or higher.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Milwaukee public schools as of the 2004–2005 school year.

Total enrollment: 105,000

Number of facilities

elementary schools: 125

middle schools: 16

high schools: 18 (plus 23 middle/high combined)

other: 72 (including alternative, partnership, and charter schools; and other programs)

Student/teacher ratio: 15:1

Teacher salaries

minimum: $29,224

maximum: $62,368

Funding per pupil: $11,219

More than 100 private elementary and secondary schools serve metropolitan Milwaukee. Choices include 7 Montessori schools, 21 charter schools, and 11 year-around schools as well as a number of parochial schools.

Public Schools Information: Milwaukee Public Schools, Administration Building, 5225 W. Vliet St., Milwaukee, WI 53208; telephone (414)475-8393

Colleges and Universities

Milwaukee is home to many higher education institutions. A 2000 study by McGill University in Montreal ranked Milwaukee 5th in a list of U.S. and Canadian cities with the highest number of college students per 100 residents. One of the largest schools in the area is the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. It is one of two doctoral universities in the University of Wisconsin system, and has an enrollment of 23,000. The school offers more than 120 undergraduate majors, 47 master's degrees, and 17 doctorate degrees. It is also one of the top research institutions in the country, ranking in the top 3.5 percent of national universities.

Marquette University is a Catholic, Jesuit school composed of 6 colleges with 60 undergraduate majors. Still, it keeps class sizes small, with an average freshman class size of 32. It was recently named one of the nation's 50 best college values by U.S. News and World Report magazine. The Medical College of Wisconsin is part of the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center. It is a private, academic institution that emphasizes education, research, patient care, and local partnerships. Other schools in the area include Alverno College, Cardinal Stritch University, Carroll College, Carthage College, Concordia University Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Mount Mary College, and Wisconsin Lutheran College.

The area also boasts a number of technical colleges. Milwaukee Area Technical College offers more than 150 associate degrees, technical diplomas, and short-term certificates. At nearby Gateway Technical College, the school has more than 70 career options. Waukesha County Technical College focuses on technical education, occupational training, and enrichment programs.

Libraries and Research Centers

In addition to its main facility, the Milwaukee Public Library operates 12 branches throughout the city and a bookmobile. Total library holdings include about 2.7 million books, and other materials such as periodicals, films, CDs, records, art reproductions, sheet music, and art objects, in addition to more than 1.5 million government documents. Special collections are maintained on a wide range of subjects, and computer resources are also available. The library was a recipient of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Education 2004 Promoting Educational Achievement for Kids Award for its many literacy and education programs. The Golda Meir Library at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee maintains holdings of 1.3 million books as well as special collections in many scholarly fields. The library's largest and most distinguished research collection is the American Geographical Society Library. It holds more than one million items dating from 1452 to the present, with items ranging from rare old manuscripts to early printed books of satellite data. Additional resources are found in such specialized collections as the Hebraica and Judaica Collection, the Slichter and Hohlweck Civil War Collections, and the Harry and Dorothy Jagodzinski Franklin Delano Roosevelt Collection.

The James J. Flannery Map Library is another University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee collection that includes U.S. Geological Survey topographical maps, wall maps, air photos, and various other maps; the Map Library is a government depository library for maps and is open to the public. The Medical College of Wisconsin Libraries have three facilities housing 76,000 books and 130,000 bound periodical volumes pertaining to basic sciences, clinical medicine, and nursing; the main library is a depository for World Health Organization publications. The Medical College is recognized as a leading center for research in such fields as interferon, obesity, allergies, eye disorders, arthritis, heart disease, childhood cancer, and diagnostic imaging.

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee maintains the Office of Industrial Research and Technology Transfer, the International Business Center, and the Femtosecond Laser Laboratory. Marquette University conducts in-house training programs in management development, computer technology, and industrial technology. The Biological and Biomedical Research Institute at Marquette University stimulates collaborative research by scientists in the life sciences. The Milwaukee School of Engineering houses the Applied Technology Center, the nationally known Fluid Power Institute, and the Biomedical Research Institute.

Public Library Information: Milwaukee Public Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53233; telephone (414)286-3000