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Wauwatosa School District earned an Overall Accountability score of "Exceed Expectations" on the State Accountability Report Cards issued by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for the 2016-2017 school year.  

As part of the state accountability system, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) produces report cards for every publicly funded school and district in Wisconsin. These Accountability Report Cards include data on multiple indicators for multiple years across four Priority Areas:

  • Student Achievement
  • Growth
  • Closing Gaps
  • On-track and Post-secondary Success 

In addition, given the impact on student success, the Accountability Report Cards also measure chronic absenteeism and dropout rates. A school or district's Overall Accountability Score places the school/district into one of five Overall Accountability Ratings:

  • Significantly Exceeds Expectations
  • Exceeds Expectations
  • Meets Expectations
  • Meets Few Expectations
  • Fails to Meet Expectations 

Wauwatosa School District Highlights:

- Fourteen of 15 schools either exceed or significantly exceed state expectations related to the School Report Cards.

- Wauwatosa STEM is the top-ranked public elementary school that educates students in junior and/or senior kindergarten through fifth grade. Lincoln Elementary finished in the top 20, at number 19. **Note, in order to provide a more like-for-like comparison, the elementary school rankings provided exclude schools which are not PK/SK-5, such as K-3 elementary schools. **

- Wauwatosa STEM, Lincoln Elementary, Roosevelt Elementary, McKinley Elementary, and Jefferson Elementary all earned the rating of “Significantly Exceeds State Expectations”.

- The District again exceeded state proficiency assessments in the Forward Exam, ACT exam, and Dynamic Learning Maps exam.

- The District’s proficiency in English Language Arts for all tested grades (3-8 and 11th grade) was 59.0 percent compared to the state’s 43.6 percent.

- The District’s proficiency in mathematics for all tested grades (3-8 and 11th grade) was 56.0 percent compared to the state’s 41.3 percent.

- 96.5 percent of students in the 2016 graduating class graduated within four years.

Understanding the Data

It is important to note, however, that while school and district report cards provide information to the community, they do not represent a full picture of the work happening at a school. Report cards are a snapshot of the work.

DPI has again advised the public to use caution in evaluating the report cards.  During an internal review and quality assurance check, the Office of Educational Accountability noticed large changes in scores for some schools and districts in Overall Scores and in the Growth priority area. None of the schools in the Wauwatosa School District were notated as receiving larger than expected fluctuation in either score. You can read more about interpreting the Report Cards and the caution explanation HERE.   

The 2016-17 Report Cards mark the second year since significant changes were made to the Report Cards, as part of Wisconsin Act 55 in the 2015-17 state budget. As such, DPI also advised against comparison with results of report cards prior to the 2015-16 school year.

Those changes include variable weighting in an attempt to address the impacts of poverty on student achievement, a new model for measuring student growth based on value-added methodology developed by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the legislative requirement to change from the Badger Exam offered through the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium to the Forward Exam.

The 2016-17 report cards were based on one year of the Badger Exam and two years of the Forward Exam for grades 3 to 8 with the most recent year of testing weighted the highest. 

 “The change in assessments from the Badger Exam to the Forward Exam likely contributed to some of the volatility in growth scores that prompted DPI to issue a cautionary statement,” explained Michelle Anderson, district assessment coordinator, and data analyst. “An additional year of Forward Exam testing should mitigate some of this issue since three consecutive years of Forward Exam data will be available for the first time.”

To review the district’s Report Card, click HERE.