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ESSA School Identifications

Supporting Progress Toward Wisconsin's Goals

School identifications under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) are part of a statewide accountability system mandated under Title I, Part A of ESSA. Details are outlined in the Title I section of Wisconsin's Consolidated ESSA State Plan, which was developed in collaboration with stakeholders from around the state.

On regular cycles, the DPI identifies schools for support and improvement. Identified schools must develop and implement improvement plans to address root causes related to their identification. DPI provides a range of supports for these improvement efforts. LEAs and CESAs play important support roles as well. The ongoing cycles of identification and improvement help make sure that Wisconsin’s schools make steady progress toward achieving the long-term goals identified in the ESSA State Plan:

  • Academic Achievement Goal: Cut the achievement gap in half for each student group within eight years.
  • Graduation Rate Goal: Cut the graduation gap in half within eight years.
  • English Language Proficiency Goal: Achieve an 18% increase in students on track to proficiency within eight years. 

Currently, the target date for achieving these goals is June 2025.

Identifying Schools for Support and Improvement

The DPI identifies schools using specific indicators based on the goals above. In general, identifications are based on low graduation rates, low overall performance, and low performance of student groups. The specific student groups are listed below.

Racial/Ethnic Groups Service Provision Groups
American Indian/Alaska Native Economically Disadvantaged
Asian English Learners
Black/African American Students with Disabilities
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander  
Two or More Races  

Three Types of Identifications

The pages linked below provide more information about each type of identification.

More Resources