AGR Program Overview
The Achievement Gap Reduction (AGR) Program was established in the 2015-16 school year. The AGR program allows a participating school to meet the obligations of its five-year contract by implementing one of three strategies, or a combination of these strategies in every kindergarten through grade three classroom:
- one−to−one tutoring provided by a licensed teacher;
- instructional coaching for teachers provided by a licensed teacher; or
- maintaining 18:1 or 30:2 classroom ratios and providing professional development on small group instruction.
The AGR program requires a participating school to create performance objectives, including reducing the achievement gap between low−income students in that school and students in the same grade and subject statewide.
The AGR program requires school board review of implementation and progress toward achieving performance objectives in each participating school at the end of every semester.
The AGR program is funded by a sum certain amount as authorized under Wis. Stat. § 20.255(2)(cu). The amount appropriated in the 2015-17 Wisconsin State Budget is $109,184,500 (less $125,000). The amount is prorated among all low−income pupils in participating grades. When aid payments are calculated, both the SAGE and AGR programs, will be drawn from the same statewide appropriation at the same time. This means that both programs will result in the same per pupil allocation.
SAGE Program Overview
The Student Achievement Guarantee in Education (SAGE) program was established in the 1996-97 school year to improve student achievement through the implementation of four specific school-improvement strategies (see below). SAGE schools are in the last years of five-year contracts designed to promote academic achievement through lower class sizes in the primary grades. Participating schools receive state aid for each eligible low-income K-3 child.
With the enactment of 2015 Wisconsin Acts 53 and 71, the SAGE program is coming to a close and will be phased out by the end of the 2017-18 school year. These two acts created a new Achievement Gap Reduction (AGR) program under a new section of statutes. Only existing SAGE schools are eligible to participate in the new AGR program. For more details about the AGR program, please see the Achievement Gap Reduction Frequently Asked Questions page.
SAGE Program Elements
SAGE schools promote academic achievement through the implementation of four school improvement strategies:
- class sizes of no more than 18:1 or 30:2 in grades K-1, and grades 2-3 at the district/school's choice;
- increased collaboration between schools and their communities;
- implementation of a rigorous curriculum; and
- improved professional development and staff-evaluation practices.