Fewer than half of all Wisconsin students scored proficient or above on state Forward Exam

Annysa Johnson:

On the ACT exam, for example, he noted that students on vouchers scored an average 17.2 compared with 16.3 by MPS students overall and 15.6 for MPS students considered economically disadvantaged. Similarly, he said, students in the statewide voucher program, which accepts students from outside of Milwaukee and Racine, scored an average 21.3 on the ACT, compared with a 20 for all statewide students and 17.1 for those considered economically disadvantaged.

In all, more than 453,000 students took the exams in the spring. The Forward and DLM are given to students in grades three through eight; the ACT to high school juniors. The Forward tests English language arts, math and science.

According to DPI:

40.5% of students overall were proficient or above in math, 42.7% in English and 42.3% in science.
Scores for public school students were comparable: 41.4% were proficient or above in math, 43.5% in English and 43.1% in science.

Voucher students scored far below those, with 15.2% proficient or above in math, 20.1% in English and 19.2% in science. Bender said those numbers are skewed by the large numbers of students in the Milwaukee and Racine voucher programs.

There were wide gaps in achievement for several student subgroups. For example, black, Hispanic and poor students scored well-below their peers on the overall ACT composite and across the board in math, English and science.

Karen Rivedal:

Related: Linking the Wisconsin Forward Assessments to NWEA MAP Growth Tests (PDF), via a kind reader:

The results in Table 5 demonstrate that MAP reading scores can consistently classify students’ proficiency (Level 3 or higher) status on Forward ELA test 81-83% of the time and MAP math scores can consistently classify students on Forward math test 86-88% of the time. Those numbers are high suggesting that both MAP reading and math tests are great predictors of students’ proficiency status on the Forward tests.”