The Wisconsin Department of Instruction is out with a new take on school report cards.
So, how did we do? Well, there are a number of different measures presented in the report card, but here are the overall scores for each school:
- Luther Elementary 73.0 (Exceeds Expectations)
- Blakewood Elementary 71.8 (at the top end of Meets Expectations)
- South Milwaukee High School 68.2 (Meets Expectations)
- Lakeview Elementary 64.7 (Meets Expectations)
- South Milwaukee Middle School 63.2 (Meets Expectations)
- Rawson Elementary 62.8 (at the top end of Meets Few Expectations)
So, mixed results. But there is some explaining to do.
The South Milwaukee School District provides its own context for the report cards here. It includes an action plan for improving student achievement in reading and math and ways it is driving toward better “post-secondary readiness.”
My take: I have mixed feelings on report cards like this. I always welcome common metrics to judge performance, and I see their effectiveness every day in my day job.
But it’s also clear that metrics like this don’t tell the whole story when it comes to rating schools. So many factors outside of a district or school’s control drive performance and achievement – especially income levels and other demographics – that it’s difficult to get a fair comparison across districts and even schools within a district.
Forget apples to apples, or even apples to oranges. Data sets like this can be apples to tomatoes – in other words, an OK comparison, at best.
Instead of a “one-size-fits-all” report card, I prefer the eye test … what I see when I see my 4- and 7-year-old come home from Rawson Elementary every day. And that’s two young people who love learning and love their school, two kids who are gaining knowledge every minute thanks to strong school and district leadership, teachers, staff, facilities and curriculum.
Based on that daily “report card” – not the ones released Monday — I’m excited for what the future holds for our kids in South Milwaukee schools.
With all due respect to the DPI, my expectations have been exceeded, and they’re exceeded every day.
Of course, I’d like to know what you think. Post your comments below!