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School Choice Advocates Host Academy in Kenosha

Comments | Posted in News | By MI President Brett Healy | Posted February 6, 2013 1:00 AM

Where the Public Schools Earn a "C" Grade on Wisconsin's New Report Cards

The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy | Wednesday, February 6th

[Kenosha] As a coalition of education reformers prepare to gather today in Kenosha to discuss the advantages of expanding the School Choice Program, they will meet in a city whose public schools only rank average among the state's largest school districts

"Kenosha is a large school district," said Brett Healy, President of the John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy. "It also has large problems and only manages a C when graded on a curve with other Wisconsin school districts."

According to the State Department of Public Instruction, Wisconsin's new School Report Cards"signal a new era of school accountability that honors the complex work of schools and focuses on making sure our students graduate ready for college and career. The report cards place a high value on integrating information used to tell the public how our schools are doing with information that gives practical guidance to schools on how to improve. In short, the system is designed to be both informative and useful."

The MacIver Institute analyzed scores and assigned letter grades, similar to the grading scale used in most Wisconsin classrooms.

MacIver found that Kenosha, home of Wisconsin's third-largest school district, had its public schools rated as meeting expectations - the equivalent of a "C" grade - in the first year of the Department of Public Instruction's school accountability report cards. A small network of charter schools buoyed this performance; all five of these graded institutions posted above-average marks.

Kenosha Real Report Card Table.png

The average public school in Kenosha earned 68.27 points out of 100 on DPI's newly developed grading scale. That was enough to put the district right in the middle of the state's "Meets Expectations" category.

For the MacIver analysis, schools were given overall grades that were based on their scores in four separate categories. Those were student achievement (a base level of student knowledge), student growth (a measurement of annual student progress), closing gaps (how different student groups are performing), and on-track and postsecondary readiness (a measure of how prepared students are for the next step in their education). Additional deductions could be made on a school-by-school basis related to issues such as dropout rates, absenteeism, and test participation.

These grades fell into five categories, which are shown below.

Report Card Letter Grade Table.png

Americans for Prosperity Foundation WI is hosting a School Choice Academy today, Wednesday, February 6th in Kenosha at the Italian American Club, 2217 52nd Street.

Doors open at 6pm and the program runs from 6:30 to 8:00 pm. MacIver Education Policy Specialist Christian D'Andrea will speak at the event and will be joined by Brian Pleva of the American Federation of Children, Tony Katz from All Patriots Media, Jim Bender of School Choice Wisconsin, Wisconsin teacher Kristi LaCroix and Luke Hilgemann from AFP.