Results from last spring’s testing of 382,836 public and private choice (voucher) students in grades three through eight on the new online Forward Exam were announced today. The results provide the latest snapshot of how Wisconsin students are performing in core content areas statewide.
- Overall, 41.7 percent of public and private choice students scored in the proficient or advanced performance levels in English language arts. In mathematics, 41.3 percent of students were proficient or advanced. In science, 49.1 percent of students were proficient or advanced.
- Public school students showed overall proficiency of 42.5 percent in English language arts, 42.3 percent in mathematics, and 50.1 percent in science.
- Overall, private choice (voucher) students had a proficiency rate of 19.1 percent in English language arts, 14.0 percent in mathematics, and 21.6 percent in science.
The Forward Exam was administered for the first time last spring, as a replacement for the Badger Exam, which had replaced the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam (WKCE) one year earlier. Continue reading 42 Percent of Wisconsin Public School Students Score Proficient or Better on New State Assessment
Wisconsin’s 88.4 percent high school graduation rate remains considerably higher than the national average, which hit a record of 83.2 percent during the 2014-15 school year, according to data released Monday by the U.S. Department of Education.
However, despite generally good performance overall, Wisconsin also retains the unfortunate distinction of having the widest graduation rate between white and black students in the nation and the tenth highest gap between white and Latino students graduating in four years, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Continue reading Wisconsin’s HS Graduation Rate Remains Above National Average
The annual fiscal report released by the state Department of Administration (DOA) Monday shows the state of Wisconsin ended the 2016 fiscal year on June 30 with a balance of $313.8 million in its general fund, or about $76.9 million less than expected. General fund revenues are used to pay state aid to local school districts, among other things.
At the time the 2015-17 state budget was enacted, the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) had projected the general fund ending balance would be 390.5 million. The final number ended up being lower because the state generated less tax revenue than expected, according to LFB Director Bob Lang.
For the year, general fund tax revenues, which come mainly from state income and sales taxes, and also known as general purpose revenues (GPR), grew by $556.3 million or about 3.8 percent. This was $77.9 million less than had been projected during the 12-month period ending June 30; however, the slower than expected revenue growth was offset by expenditures coming in $103 million less than budgeted.
Continue reading State Ends 2016 Fiscal Year with Slightly Smaller Balance Than Expected
As required by state law, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has released the Oct. 15 certified amount each school district will receive from the $4.584 billion available under current law for general state aid. The certified aid shows that 60% of the state’s public school districts (255 of 424*) will receive more general state aid this school year than they did in 2015-16.
General state aid for school districts was up $108.1 million from last year. However, according to DPI’s press release, the actual amount of general aid that the state’s public school districts receive is reduced for a number of factors: Continue reading General State Aid Certified to School Districts
Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) will not be required to take part in a controversial state-designed takeover program next year. MPS received news this week of its reprieve via a letter from state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers to MPS Superintendent Darienne Driver and Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, indicating that MPS is unlikely to meet the criteria for takeover during the 2016-17 school year. Continue reading No State Takeover of MPS Schools This Year
The U.S. Department of Education (USED) this week issued a long-awaited set of federal regulations governing teacher-preparation programs, the programs that prepare new K-12 teachers. The USED labelled the effort part of a broader push to improve teacher quality and readiness.
According to the Washington Post, the rules “require each state to issue annual ratings for teacher-prep programs” in an effort to provide “a snapshot of how novice educators perform after graduation, offering prospective teachers and school district recruiters a more accurate picture of which programs are successful at producing strong educators and which are not.” The new requirements apply to both traditional programs based at colleges and universities and alternative-certification routes, such as Teach for America. Continue reading USED Releases Teacher Prep Program Regulations