Jill Underly and DPI Work to Deceive Parents

Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt:

Moving the goal line on scores doesn’t change the sorry outcomes

Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt and the Chairman of Assembly Committee on Education released the following statement on the results of the 2019-20 District and School Report Cards released by the Department of Public Instruction on Nov. 16:
“Wisconsin State Superintendent Jill Underly and the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) have manipulated the 2020-21 District and School Report Card data in ways that mislead the public. Wisconsin parents and taxpayers deserve better. The Department would demonstrate true leadership of our public schools by being focused on teaching children how to read using science and evidence-based methods, instead of massaging data to convince parents that they are doing effective work.”

The department altered four of the five Accountability Ratings Categories* to making it easier for schools to receive a higher rating. As an example, on the 2018-19 version of the Report Card, Milwaukee Public School District (MPS) scored 58.4 placing them in the Meets Few Expectations category. In the version released yesterday, MPS dropped to 58.1 but was placed in the Meets Expectations category. The new Report Cards also eliminated the deductions for high rates of absenteeism.

Rep. Thiesfeldt responded, “This is the equivalent of scoring a touchdown at the 20 yard line instead of reaching the endzone. Students do not benefit from the manipulation of these numbers. It is a clear attempt to manipulate media reporting on the Report Cards to help insulate DPI, school administrators, and school boards from accountability for poor decisions and performance during 2020.”

“Superintendent Underly is creating a mirage with the data. This action seeks to hide from parents the impact of the poor decisions made in schools across Wisconsin during