Notes on Wisconsin DPI school ratings

Scott Girard:

MMSD had its strongest ratings in the growth and on-track to graduation priority areas, though both were down slightly from last year’s scores. In growth, the district received a 73.6 out of 100, while it scored 77 out of 100 for on-track to graduation.

In the other two priority areas, MMSD scored a 57 on achievement and 58 on target group outcomes. Both, again, were a slight drop from the previous report card.

MMSD spokesperson Tim LeMonds wrote in an email that the district did not plan to make a statement on the report cards.

Overall scores for schools and districts can fall into five rating categories: significantly exceeds expectations (83-100), exceeds expectations (70-82.9), meets expectations (58-69.9), meets few expectations (48-57.9) and fails to meet expectations (0-47.9).

Earlier this year, Republicans passed a bill to require DPI to return its report card scoring formula to the one used in 2018-19 and force the department to use the public rules process to adjust the formula rather than make any changes itself. It would have restricted DPI from giving greater weight to measures of growth in student achievement than measures of actual achievement in determining a district’s or school’s overall score on the report cards.

Gov. Tony Evers vetoed the bill.

On a call with reporters Tuesday, DPI accountability office staff explained that the changes to the formula that went into effect last year helped soften sometimes large fluctuations in small student groups that “weren’t true school or district changes.”

Office of Educational Accountability assistant director Sam Bohrod said the work began prior to the pandemic and they believe it’s a “more useful tool” for districts and schools to identify where they are in helping their lowest performing students.

Rory Linane:

They reiterated their plan for recovery, including more funding for special education, mental health and general school costs.

“We know that obviously the stressors of the past few years have exacerbated a lot of problems but we also know that mental health for children in Wisconsin, and far beyond Wisconsin, has really been at a significant problem level for far too long,” said Abigail Swetz, communications director for DPI.

DPI provided report card scores for 1,920 public schools and 163 private schools — a minority fraction of the state’s private schools. Private schools are given report cards only if they receive tax-funded vouchers and have a large enough student population.

See scores for all types of schools below.

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