Tuesday, November 14, 2023
ContactDPI Media Line, (608) 266-3559
MADISON — The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction today published school and district accountability report cards for the 2022-23 school year.
The DPI publishes school and district report cards annually, as required by Wis. Stat. 115.385. Report cards include data for multiple school years across four priority areas: Achievement, Growth, Target Group Outcomes, and On-Track to Graduation. The Achievement and Growth priority areas are weighted based on a district or school percentage of economically disadvantaged pupils, as required by state law. A district or school’s overall accountability score places it into one of five overall accountability ratings: Significantly Exceeds Expectations (five stars), Exceeds Expectations (four stars), Meets Expectations (three stars), Meets Few Expectations (two stars), and Fails to Meet Expectations (one star). Report cards use up to three years of data, including achievement data from 2020-21, 2021-22, and 2022-23.
Statewide, achievement improved from 2021-22 to 2022-23, though for many schools and districts, 2022-23 achievement performance is lower than pre-pandemic levels; thus, report card achievement scores, overall scores, and ratings may have decreased despite upward trending achievement performance. This is the first report card that does not include achievement data from assessments occurring prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The DPI urges caution when interpreting scores and ratings due to impacts resulting from the pandemic.
Of 378 public school districts receiving report card ratings for 2022-23, 357 met, exceeded, or significantly exceeded expectations (94 percent of districts). Among districts receiving report card scores for both 2022-23 and 2021-22, 19 increased by one rating category compared to the prior year, 52 decreased by one rating category, and 306 had no change in rating. Report cards are not produced for districts that represent a single school. In these cases, school report cards are produced.
There were 2,098 report cards produced for public schools for 2022-23. Among public schools, 158 (8 percent) were unable to be scored due to insufficient data. Of the scored public school report cards, 1,601 met, exceeded, or significantly exceeded expectations (83 percent). Among public schools receiving scored report cards for both 2022-23 and 2021-22, 255 increased in rating at least one category compared to the prior year, 394 decreased in rating at least one category, and 1,254 had no change in rating.
There were 405 private schools participating in a Private School Choice Program for 2022-23. Of scored private choice school report cards, 136 met, exceeded, or significantly exceeded expectations (80 percent). Among private choice schools receiving a score for both 2022-23 and 2021-22, 26 increased in rating at least one category compared to the prior year, 48 decreased in rating at least one category, and 80 had no change in rating. Fifty-eight percent (235 schools) of private choice schools were unable to be scored due to insufficient data. This is in part due to the tested choice student population being too small to meet the conditions required to produce report cards, either because of low test participation rates, or total choice student population size.
In addition to achievement, growth, and graduation rates, another component of the report cards is chronic absenteeism, which is the percentage of students (enrolled for at least 90 days) who missed more than 10 percent of school days. Wisconsin students (public and choice) had a 23 percent chronic absenteeism rate for 2021-22, the most recent year of data for absenteeism. In line with national trends, this represents an increase from 2017-18 through 2019-20 (13 percent), and 2020-21 (16 percent). The DPI continues to work with schools, districts, and CESAs to support strategies to decrease chronic absenteeism rates. In addition to providing school leaders with an awareness of effective strategies to improve positive conditions for engagement within the school, the DPI emphasizes the importance of collaboration between students, families, school leaders, and human services agencies. Each community has differing challenges with school attendance, and regular meetings between local partners promote local solutions. The DPI has used federal pandemic relief funding to launch a program, ENGAGE Wisconsin. This program aims to re-engage chronically absent students through individual assessment and personalized coaching at no cost (in participating districts). The DPI continues to provide training and consultation to school leaders.
For detailed district and school report cards, visit the DPI’s website. The DPI recommends careful review of not only the report card front page, but of the multiple pages of student performance data broken down by student group and across years to highlight trends and deepen analysis of group, school, and district performance. Additional information on report cards can also be found on the DPI’s Office of Educational Accountability webpage.