Monday, November 21, 2016

District Report Cards

Posted by Wayne Anderson in General  |  Post a comment

The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has just released its latest school report cards for the State of Wisconsin. Each year, the DPI grades each public school in the state and places each school in one of the following five categories:

Significantly Exceeds Expectations

Exceeds Expectations

Meets Expectations

Meets Few Expectations

Fails to Meet Expectations

A school’s grade is determined by how well the school addressed student achievement, student growth, educational equity and preparing students for college and career readiness. The following factors are used in assessing each category:

Student achievement measures the level of knowledge and skills among students in the district when compared against students using state and national standards. Student performance data is based upon how students scored on various measures found within the Wisconsin State Assessment System. The assessments used include the Forward Exam, ACT scores, the Badger Exam, the 2015-2016 Dynamic Learning Maps scores and 2014-2015 Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam (WKCE). When determining a school’s student achievement score, the State uses three years of test data so that a school’s score is not skewed by an individual class or grade level.

Student growth is determined by examining how students have performed in the areas of English language arts and mathematics from year to year. These two areas are formally assessed by the State of Wisconsin each year for all students in grades 3-8 and 11.

Educational equity is gauged by how school districts close the achievement gaps between different groups of students based on race and economic status. Wisconsin currently has the largest achievement gap between white and black students in the entire nation. This indicator focuses upon how this gap is being reduced in each school within our state. This is the one area that more difficult for us because our student body is composed of approximately 89% white students and 11% non-white. Our district’s largest minority group is Hispanic/Latino at 8.5%. Since we do not have a significant gap in scores among our students, it is difficult to show improvement in reducing a gap that does not exist.

The fourth and final category is preparing students for college and career readiness. The score for this area is based upon a school’s graduation rate, attendance, third grade English language arts achievement score and eighth grade mathematics achievement score. As a school district, we scored 88.7 out of 100 possible points in this category, which is significantly exceeds expectations.

When the scores came out for the Williams Bay School District. I was overjoyed. Our High School rated “Significantly Exceeds Expectations”, our Middle School rated “Exceeded Expectations” and our Elementary School rated “Meets Expectations”. As a school district, we rated “Exceeds Expectations” with a score of 78.1 out of 100. We scored very high in the categories of “Student Growth” and “College and Career Readiness”, we scored well on “Student Achievement” and had our lowest score in “Education Equity”. This was a result of having almost no “achievement gap” existing between our white and minority students. When a gap does not currently exist, it is very hard to show improvement.

I am very proud of our students, staff, administration, Board and community. A high achieving school is the result of many individuals working together on a common objective – providing the best education possible for the students of our school district. Thank you for supporting us on this mission and providing us the financial support and encouragement necessary to achieve at such a high level.

This is one more thing that I am grateful for over the Thanksgiving Holiday. As always, I feel blessed to be a part of this school district and community.

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