Wisconsin’s State Report Cards Mask Troubling Proficiency Rates

Will Flanders:

Wisconsin’s recently released state report cards for the 2020-21 school year paint a relatively rosy picture: 399 (out of 422) districts “Met”, “Exceeded”, or “Greatly Exceeded” expectations according to the data. But these report cards seem to be whistling past the graveyard of deep problems with student achievement.  

The Lake Wobegon Effect – Is Everyone Really Above Average?  

Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) are a great example of this problem. During the 2020-21 school year, reported proficiency rates on the Forward Exam were just 7.3% in English and 4.2% in mathematics. Even accounting for the huge percentage of students that didn’t take the exam, proficiency rates have fallen consistently over the past four years. English/Language Arts proficiency is depicted, but a similar pattern exists for other subjects.