Food for Thought on School Rankings/Accountability

How well do the state’s school report cards accurately reflect the quality of what is happening in the school building?  In case you missed it, please check out this column from that looked at recent school rankings from the Washington Post.  What they noticed was that two schools in Milwaukee that were rated by the Post as among the best high schools in the country also fell into the bottom category on the state’s report cards:

But here’s a thing: Two of the schools on the Washington Post’s list also made a different list, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s list of the worst schools in the state.

As Dave Barry used to say, I am not making this up. Both Riverside and Arts, by anyone’s estimation two of the best schools in the city, were labeled as “fails to meet expectations,” the lowest rating level, on the state’s school report cards when they were issued last fall.

The story goes on to examine the methodology used by both the Post and Department of Public Instruction as well as what role opt-outs on assessments may play.  The author also looks at the accountability/recovery district proposals being considered in the state legislature.