Report Cards Released; Show High Score Fluctuations for Some Schools/Districts

As we posted previously, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) released the school and district accountability report cards showing 82% of public and private schools in Wisconsin met or exceeded expectations for educating students by earning at least three stars.   Over 95 percent of the state’s public school districts earned a three-star rating or higher.

From the DPI:

“Overall, 361 public and private school report cards earned five-star ratings, 719 had four stars, 643 had three stars, 261 had two stars, and 117 schools earned one star. Another 173 schools achieved satisfactory progress and 21 need improvement through alternate accountability. There were 152 report cards for 140 private choice schools that are not rated because there was insufficient data. This is the second year that choice schools were included in report cards and the second year the schools could opt to have both a choice student and an all student report card.

“On district level report cards, 44 districts earned five-star ratings, 190 had four stars, 166 earned three stars, and 20 had two stars. One district, the Herman-Rubicon-Neosho School District, was not rated because of district consolidation. Another district, the Norris School District with enrollment of 14 students in 2016-17, made satisfactory progress through alternate accountability.”

Of note within the results was that numerous school and district report cards were flagged for having large fluctuations from the previous year.  This is the second year that the report card results are determined using legislatively mandated growth and value-added calculations.

From the Associated Press:

“Unusually high fluctuations in scores for more than 150 Wisconsin schools and two dozen districts threw into question their school report card results released Tuesday.

“The scores of 162 schools and 24 districts were flagged for parents, teachers, community members and others who look them up. It is unclear whether the changes accurately reflect what happened or are the symptom of statistically volatility, state Department of Public Instruction officials said.”

DPI officials attribute the fluctuations to changes in the way report card scores are calculated that were mandated by the state Legislature in the 2015-17 state budget.

From the DPI:

“For the 2016-17 report cards, 162 schools and 24 districts had score fluctuations of 10 or more points in both overall and growth scores compared to 2015-16, which is larger variability than expected. Their report cards carry a ^ notation because it is unclear if the score change accurately reflects the amount of change in performance or a symptom of statistical volatility. Report card requirements in Wisconsin Act 55, the 2015-17 budget bill, mandated the use of value-added growth scoring and variable weighting based on the percentage of economically disadvantaged students enrolled in a school or district. Prior to Act 55, overall annual report card score change averaged 3.3 points. Since Act 55, the average score change is 5.8 points. Although volatility in value-added scores may decrease with another year of Forward testing, score fluctuations are likely to continue especially for small schools and districts as well as schools and districts with high percentages of economically disadvantaged students. The Department of Public Instruction is engaging with state policymakers, technical experts, and stakeholders about how best to address these issues. Any changes to school report cards growth or weighting calculations will require legislative action.”

Read More:

DPI Release: 2016-17 school and district report cards issued

Associated Press: Score fluctuations mar latest Wisconsin school report card

More information and a link to the report cards for all schools and districts can be found online at the DPI’s School and District Report Card Home webpage.