MADISON -- The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction announced on Tuesday, Nov. 12 the percentage of public and private schools and public school districts meeting expectations on state report cards remains high. On state report cards issued for the 2018-19 school year, a news release says overall 87 percent of rated schools met or exceeded expectations as did 96 percent of the state’s 421 public school districts.
This is the fourth year the report cards used legislatively required calculations, and the fourth year private schools in the Milwaukee, Racine, and statewide parental choice programs received report cards. For 2018-19, 2,112 public schools and 322 private choice schools received report cards. Of choice schools, 106 exercised the option to receive an all student report card in addition to the required report card for choice students only.
Report card ratings range from five stars, denoting schools and districts that significantly exceed expectations, to one star for those that fail to meet expectations. Scores are calculated in four priority areas: student achievement; school growth; closing gaps between student groups; and measures of students being on-track for postsecondary readiness, which includes graduation and attendance rates, third-grade English language arts achievement, and eighth-grade mathematics achievement. Report cards provide a snapshot of performance across the four priority areas and can be used to target improvement efforts.
Scores are reduced for schools and districts that miss student engagement indicator goals of keeping absenteeism below 13 percent and dropout rates below 6 percent. The last five years have each seen an increase in the number of schools receiving the absenteeism deduction. For the 2018-19 school year, 153 school report cards lost five points from the accountability score for missing the absenteeism target, up from 125 in the 2017-18 school year.