New DPI Report Cards Show Milwaukee as Only District to Earn a Failing Grade

MacIver News Service | September 17, 2013

[Madison, Wisc…] The latest round of the Department of Public Instruction’s (DPI) School Report Cards got a preliminary release on Tuesday, and only one district earned a failing grade. Unfortunately, that district also happens to be the largest in the state.

Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) scored the lowest out of Wisconsin’s 424 districts, earning just 51.4 points out of a possible 100 on the state’s report cards as a whole. That was enough to earn a “Fails to Meet Expectations” grade from the state.

Only two other districts in the entire state scored below the 60-point threshold; the White Lake and Menominee Indian districts. Thanks to the state’s curved scale, those districts avoided grading out in the lowest category and instead rated as “Meets Few Expectations,” which is the equivalent of a “D” in an A-F grading scale.

Schools were given overall grades based on their scores in four separate categories. Categories include 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. These categories were not assigned letter grades by the state, but instead deal with expectations. However, A-F grades can be applied to each category, making them easier to reference and understand.

Report Card Measures DPI.pngThis is the second year of DPI’s School Report Card program. This latest version includes expanded metrics based on district feedback that have led to slight changes from last year’s iteration. As a result, DPI cautions against comparing this year’s grades with last year’s.

Here’s how Wisconsin’s 10 largest school districts fared:

Top Ten Schools Perform DPI.png

Nine districts earned “Significantly Exceeds Expectations,” or “A” grades. They were: Fox Point J2, Hamilton, Mequon-Thiensville, Merton Community, North Lake, Norway J7, Richfield J1, Richmond, and Swallow. Of these nine districts, seven did not have high schools amongst their roster of schools. Hamilton and Mequon-Thiensville were the only two districts with WSAS scores in grade 10 in this group of high-performing districts.

Data for individual schools is not yet available at this time. For the full list of districts and their average report card scores, click here.