About 88 percent of the state’s 1,910 individual schools “meet” or “exceed” the state’s performance standards, according to the second annual school report cards released Tuesday by the state Department of Public Instruction.
John Johnson is DPI spokesman. The report cards “also show individual schools and districts, where they may need to really focus on improvements, where they need to increase achievement, or increase graduation rates, or reduce dropouts.”
Only 58 individual schools received the lowest possible rating in the 2012 academic year, failing to meet expectations.
The state also issued district-wide report cards for the first time. Only one district — the Milwaukee Public Schools — “fails to meet expectations.” Johnson says, “The Milwaukee Public School district really needs to continue to focus on improvements. They are focusing on new reading, comprehensive mathematics initiative. I understand that they’re focusing on really targeting which schools are not performing well and intervening to turn those schools around.”
The report cards show which schools are doing well within each district and which ones need help, Johnson says.
Ten of Wisconsin’s 424 public school systems meet “few” expectations and the remaining districts “meet” or “exceed” expectations. Each school and district are rated based on how well they do in four categories: student achievement in reading and math; student growth in those areas; closing the achievement gap; and postsecondary readiness.
The report cards, Johnson says, are an improvement on the old “no child left behind” system of school accountability. He says it’s important to understand that the rating system is a work in progress. This is the first year of having district-wide report cards, and the second year of individual school report cards.