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Most Wisconsin schools, districts meet expectations

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Most Wisconsin schools and districts are meeting expectations based on newly released data.

The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) on Tuesday released school report cards for all public and private choice schools in the state. The report cards in their fourth year are designed to be used by people living in the districts to hold schools accountable for their performance and growth, or reduction in scores, from year to year.

Eighty-seven percent of schools met or exceeded expectations. That is up from 84% last year.

Nearly all school districts, 97%, met or exceeded expectations. That is up from 96% last year.

DPI says the report cards  provides a snapshot of where schools are succeeding and where they're facing challenges. They're rated on a five star scale.

"They can help districts target improvement efforts, but its just one of the many lenses that we need to use to see how schools are doing," said Mike Thompson, Deputy State Superintendent.

CBS 58 looked at some of the data.

The highest scoring districts were Hartland Lakeside School District and Mequon-Thiensville School District, with 92 and 89.5, respectively out of 100, overall.

The Pewaukee School District scored an 83.9. Oak Creek-Franklin Joint School District rated four stars. Waukesha earned three stars with a 70.8, and Kenosha was slightly lower with a 68.6.

Milwaukee Public Schools scored a 58.4, which slightly up from last year, but still only a two star rating. That means the District met few expectations.

The Racine Unified School District got two stars. Its overall score of 56.8 went down from last year.  In a statement, the District says, "While we are disappointed our overall District score did not go up (this is attributed to a 5-point deduction for chronic absenteeism), we are pleased to see fewer schools in the failing category." In addition, we celebrate the following:

All three comprehensive high schools, Case, Horlick and Park, saw increases in their scores, with two of them (Horlick & Park) moving into higher categories. As we look to the first graduating class of the Academies of Racine we can see it’s working. The focus and purpose of the Academies of Racine are to engage high school students, making learning come alive through hands-on, relevant work and exposing our students to more opportunities that prepare them for post-secondary success.

Three schools moved up into higher categories, while 12 schools improved their score from last year.

We are closing the gap. We saw growth in our Closing the Gap score, up 2.8 points from last year.

We have higher District growth this year than last year in both English Language Arts and Math.

One of the biggest challenges we see is absenteeism. We’re heading in the right direction – our schools are trending up. However, we are seeing significant reductions on our report card for chronic absenteeism. We must partner with our parents and community on this issue to make sure our kids get to school every day.

DPI admits districts being economically disadvantaged plays a part.

"Poverty is an indicator that some children have greater challenges than others in school, its recognition that the more poverty you have, the more challenges schools deal with," Thompson said.

MPS did not comment on the report cards.

Here's a breakdown of schools in Wisconsin and their accountability scores:

You can view the full report card on DPI's website


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