The Department of Public Instruction will be releasing a new School Report Card for each of our Waupaca schools and every other public school in Wisconsin on Oct. 22.
The School Report Card will be released annually and is intended to help community members understand how their schools are doing and where they can improve.
The DPI’s goal is to help every student in a Wisconsin school succeed, graduate, and be ready to pursue further education and a career.
The School Report Cards are just one part of a new, statewide accountability system for schools developed by the governor, state superintendent, legislative leaders, and the U.S. Department of Education.
This system will continue to grow and develop in future years.
The new School Report Card will give each school a score between 0 and 100.
This score is called an accountability index and will be prominently displayed and color coded near the top of the report.
The color code and score will match one of five potential rating classifications:
• Significantly Exceeds Expectations 83-100.
• Exceeds Expectations 73-82.9.
• Meets Expectations 63-72.9.
• Meets Few Expectations 53-62.9.
• Fails to Meet Expectations 0-52.9.
The accountability index is not a “percent correct” score, but a composite number based on the school’s performance in four priority areas to include:
• Student Achievement in reading and mathematics on state tests.
• Student Growth measured by year-to-year improvements in achievement.
• Closing Gaps in performance between specific student groups (comparing English language learners, low-income students, students with disabilities and members of racial or ethnic groups with their peers).
• On-track/Postsecondary Readiness, including graduation or attendance rates, reading and math achievement and ACT participation and performance.
Until this year, Wisconsin schools were measured by State-specific proficiency levels.
The new metrics are based on the higher standards of a National test called the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
The higher standards will show a significant decline in the number of students considered to be “proficient” or “advanced.”
This does not reflect a change in the abilities of our students, but rather the higher standards being set for students and schools.
The higher standards will be reflected in the “Student Achievement in reading and mathematics on state tests” priority area listed above.
In addition to the accountability index score detailed above, the School Report Card will display the school’s performance in three areas of student engagement:
• Test participation rate.
• Absenteeism Rate.
• Dropout Rate.
The School Report Card is intended to provide schools and communities detailed information in areas recognized as critical to the success of a learning organization and post-secondary success for students.
I am confident our schools are already implementing productive strategies in many of these areas.
Additional information will help us develop similar strategies in those areas where we can improve our efforts.
Much of the above is taken from the Department of Public Instruction’s website.
For more detailed information, please visit the DPI website at dpi.wi.gov/oea/acct/accountability.html.
David P Poeschl is the district administrator of the Waupaca School District.