Are Fox Point and Bayside Schools Making the Grade?
A new state report card detailing how schools across Wisconsin are doing educating children is set to be released the week of Oct. 22.
Parents are used to receiving the quarterly report card, informing them how their child is performing in school.
But, how about a report card on how the school is educating your child?
The state Department of Public Instruction will roll out its new School Report Cards beginning next week. It’s a new accountability system that allowed Wisconsin to earn a waiver from meeting certain 2014 requirements of No Child Left Behind.
All three district administrators in our area support the new initiative, but with cautious optimism. Rachel Boechler, district administrator for Fox Point-Bayside School District said she has no doubt her district will do well, but does not anticipate a perfect score necessarily.
"I’m pretty confident were going to do reasonably well. I’m also confident we won’t be where we want to be, because there’s always room to improve," Boechler said.
Mary Jordan Dean, district administrator for Maple Dale-Indian Hill School District, has similar cautious optimism.
"We all need to continually improve, and MD-IH will carefully research any identified area of need and address that need to best meet the needs of all our students," she said.
Data was released to schools earlier this month, but has been embargoed to allow districts to vet them for errors. The reports are set to be released the week of Oct. 22.
Under the new system, schools will be graded in these areas:
- Student achievement in reading and mathematics on state assessments.
- Student growth measured by year-to-year improvements in achievement.
- Closing gaps in performance between specific student groups.
- Progress to graduation/post secondary readiness using reliable predictors of high school graduation and post-secondary success.
Schools will receive scores using a 0 to 100 scale, corresponding with five categories starting at Fails to Meet Expectations" and topping out with "Significantly Exceeds Expectations."
The scores will be detailed in 18-page report on each school. The DPI scoring uses last year’s data.
The DPI will recognize top performers as “rewards schools.” Struggling schools will be required to start interventions and develop improvement plans.
The new system is part of state Superintendent Tony Evers' Agenda 2017 program, aimed at better preparing students for college and the workforce in Wisconsin, and improving high school graduation rates. The program includes changes in the way of how teachers are evaluated and student achievement is measured.
"We’re raising the standards for math and reading, tracking third-grade reading scores and 9th grade math scores, and both are indicators of college success," Boechler said.
And at Nicolet, District Administrator Rick Monroe said he's hopeful for the new system, but added it's going to take time to see real change when it comes to better preparing kids for college and the workforce.
"I think it will but not immediately," he said. "There are some systemic changes that I expect schools will be making in response to the Report Card, and the
impact of some of those changes may not be seen for a few years."
Wisconsin is among 32 states across the country creating its own accountability system, after being granted a NCLB wavier. Under the exemption, the state is released from meeting a 2014 deadline requiring 100 percent of students be proficient in reading and math.