Tuesday, November 16, 2021
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MADISON — The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction today published public and choice school and district report cards for the 2020-21 school year, as required by Wis. Stat. 115.385.
Both federal and state law require DPI to annually release accountability reports, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these report requirements were suspended for the 2019-20 school year. Because of ongoing pandemic impacts, the U.S. Department of Education again waived federal Every Student Succeeds Act accountability requirements for 2020-21 school year data. However, the Wisconsin State Legislature did not grant another suspension. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the DPI urges using caution when interpreting scores and ratings.
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. For 2020-21, 2,101 public schools and 376 choice schools received report cards. Of those schools, 1,781 met, exceeded, or significantly exceeded expectations. Of the total schools, 199 public schools and 240 choice schools did not have enough available data to receive scored report cards. Of the 421 school districts that received report cards, 399 met, exceeded, or significantly exceeded expectations.
Scores are calculated in four priority areas: achievement; growth; target group outcomes; and on-track to graduation. By law, the larger the percentage of a school or district’s students who are economically disadvantaged, the more the growth measure contributes to its overall score. This allows schools and districts to be rewarded for advancing students’ progress regardless of their starting level. If there is insufficient data to calculate a priority area score, the measure is omitted and the remaining measures weigh more heavily in the overall score.
This year’s report cards replace the closing gaps priority area of past years with the new target group outcomes priority area. The priority area target group outcomes sheds additional light on students in the school with test scores in the lowest quartile. This measure was designed to help focus support on the learners who need it most, while also improving outcomes for all students. Another new addition to report cards this year is an optional narrative statement for districts and schools to showcase information that is not otherwise communicated in the report card.
For detailed school and district report cards, visit https://dpi.wi.gov/accountability/report-cards.