Sunday, September 16, 2012

School Report Cards

The latest word through our CESA 3 is that the Wisconsin Public School report cards are still scheduled for secure release during the week of September 24th and public release in October. If there are changes, that information is to be relayed to us.

The following information on the subject is from CESA 6

Accountability Reform in General

1. The entire State is transitioning to this new system. We will be working with it to learn about the new measurements and how to improve.

2. Changes in society – global economy, complex ever-changing technologies – demand new ways of educating and evaluating students and teachers.

3. Until this year, Wisconsin schools were measured by the State-specific proficiency levels. The new metrics are based on higher standards of a National test, called the NAEP test.

4. The new school report card rating will be based on much more data than testing; More data gives fuller picture of school performance to parents, teachers, administrators and public.

Frequently asked questions about the new school report card

1. What is the school report card?
The school report card is a new way of measuring overall performance of individual public schools in Wisconsin. It will be issued each year. It will show which of five accountability ratings the school has achieved based on analysis of student test scores, student growth as measured by year-to-year achievement improvement, and other factors.

2. Why are there so many priority areas?
Accurately measuring a school’s performance is a complex task that takes into account as many of the factors influencing student achievement as possible. In addition to comparing students’ level of knowledge and academic skills against state academic standards, the card measures year to year student achievement improvement, gaps in achievement among students of various ethnic groups and income levels and students with disabilities, and how likely students are to achieve post-secondary success.

3. What is an accountability score?
Each year, a school’s report card will show which of five accountability ratings it has received based on its accountability score. The score is calculated by an analysis of data in the four priority areas and whether or not the school has met three student engagement indicators. The scores range from 0 to 100. The rating areas are: fails to meet expectations (0 to 52.9); meets few expectations (53 to 62.9); meets expectations (63 to 72.9); exceeds expectations (73 to 82.9); and significantly exceeds expectations (83 to 100).

4. What is a student engagement indicator?
These are measures of three key factors that are critical to understanding a school’s true performance. The indicators are test participation, or what percentage of all students take an individual test; absenteeism or how many students are there whose absences exceed a level associated with poor academic performance; and dropouts, or how many students drop out of school before graduating.

5. How will this information make my school better?
Because the report card provides so much data on various accountability measures, it will provide valuable insights into a school’s weaknesses and strengths and give school administrators, teachers and board members information that can be used for school improvement efforts. It also gives parents and other members of the school community a clear picture of a school’s performance.

6. How will this information help my child succeed?
Giving schools this valuable tool for tracking performance and making improvements is part of a comprehensive effort to raise educational standards in Wisconsin and make sure that all students are ready for college and careers in today’s rapidly changing global society and economy.

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