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Report: Milwaukee charter schools perform below expectations

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - Milwaukee's charter schools are apparently not all they're cracked up to be.

The Journal Sentinel said just over half of the city's 17 independent charter schools are performing below expectations, according to the state's new school report cards issued this month. 

Sean Roberts, who heads the Milwaukee Charter School advocates, says there are flaws in the report card system. He says the high school grades hinge mainly on the state's annual achievement test for 10th graders. 

Roberts says over half of Milwaukee's charter schools would be up to snuff if the report card system was better.

Even so, Cindy Zautcke of Milwaukee's charter school initiative says it's clear that the schools have a lot of work to do to improve. She says the bar has been set higher, and it's up to the charter schools to keep up. 

Charter schools provide specialized education. They're given more freedom the curriculum and budget requirements that most public schools follow. 

In the rest of Wisconsin, school districts generally run their own charter schools. Independent schools exist mainly in Milwaukee, where most are authorized either by the city or UW-Milwaukee.