“About one out of every seven Madison School District middle and high school students is considered at risk of not graduating from high school”

Kimberly Wethal:

Higher rates of chronic absenteeism are largely driving the increase, as about 98% of the district’s 2,231 at-risk students have been deemed “habitually truant,” defined as missing more than 10% of days in an academic year. The number of students considered habitually truant during the 2021-22 school year more than tripled from the year before, according to data presented to the Madison School Board Monday night.

Students in grades five through 12 are considered at risk by the state when they either have dropped out or can be classified in two or more categories considered detrimental to their education, including being:

  • One or more years behind their peers in the number of high school credits earned.
  • Two or more years behind in basic skill levels.
  • Pregnant or a parent.
  • An eighth-grader who scored below “basic” on state exams.
  • Habitually truant.

The number of students in each category increased in 2021-22, with the exception of students who are pregnant or parenting, a number that’s fallen from 40 five years ago to just a handful now. About 1,714 students, or more than 10%, had fallen behind by two school years, an increase from 946 students in 2018-19, the last year before the pandemic. The number of eighth graders scoring low on state exams has doubled since then.

The number of at-risk students each year is based on data collected the year prior. In 2021-22, there were 14,980 students in grades five through 12 in the district.

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

Booked, but can’t read (Madison): functional literacy, National citizenship and the new face of Dred Scott in the age of mass incarceration.

No When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?