Marvin Pratt School “significantly exceeds expectations” on Wisconsin State Report Card

December 13, 2019

When Principal Janice Carter took the helm at Marvin Pratt Elementary School, the school was ranked in the bottom category on the Wisconsin State Report Card. Eight years later, the school has reached the top tier of the report and is rated as Significantly Exceeds Expectations. Milwaukee Public Schools congratulates the students, staff, and families at Pratt!

Carter has worked tirelessly to turn the school around and make it a place where students can achieve. When she accepted the role of principal, she immediately decided to make changes to the building and improve the climate in the school. Her husband, who attended Pratt as a child, visited with her and noted that the school appeared exactly the same as it did when he attended. Carter took that as motivation to upgrade the school and make it comfortable and welcoming.

Carter found motivation from many sources. “I have never attended a failing school,” she said. “I wouldn’t feel right without pushing it hard. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night.” She named several mentors who inspired her and provided a vision to build the school into a success story.

Another goal was to change the mindset of the staff, students, and families, and to build accountability for test scores. She also implemented tactics for teachers to look at test results and use the information to increase knowledge and respond to student needs. Now, students and teachers understand how to leverage test scores into learning experiences and higher achievement.

Carter is also a proponent of school uniforms, believing that they reduce distractions. The majority of Pratt students wear uniforms daily. She tells students that when they get dressed every morning, they should think of themselves as coming to work. This type of thinking puts them in the frame of mind for learning.

Celebrations are also a regular part of school culture. Carter sees how students respond when they are rewarded for good attendance, being on time, and making improvements. Rewards range from pencils and stickers to recognition at school assemblies to special lunch events.

Marvin Pratt Elementary School is located at 5131 N. Green Bay Ave. For more information, visit or call (414) 247-7300