As students across Wisconsin head back to class this week, schools that help low-income students achieve are recognized. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers says this year’s 137 Wisconsin Promise Schools of Recognition are “schools that are beating the odds.
“”They have high poverty, based on free and reduced lunch rates, but they also met various criteria on No Child Left Behind, basically indicating that they have high achievement,” Evers says. Student achievement on statewide reading and mathematics assessments in these schools is higher than the state average for schools with similar poverty rates and grade configurations.
What does Evers think is the key to these schools’ success? “This may sound vague, but there’s meaning to it,” says Evers. “They have strong partnerships with their community. They have strong parent organizations, they have strong volunteer volunteer organizations. They reach out to the community in various ways in their
Evers says it would be great if we could bottle what makes these schools succeed and pass it out to every school in the state. “That’s one of the important parts of this recognition program, to start that ‘bottling process,’ to make sure that we recognize good achievement when we have the opportunity, but also have these schools serve as an incubator for the rest of the state.”
Twenty two of the schools have received the award five or more consecutive years. The schools will receive award plaques at an October 20 ceremony at the State Capitol, and each school receives $2,000.