The Menomonee Falls School District received high marks in a series of school report cards released Monday by the Department of Public Instruction.
The report cards were issued to all Wisconsin public schools for the first time Monday as one component of the state's school accountability system aimed at raising academic expectations. The accountability system allowed Wisconsin to earn a waiver from meeting certain 2014 requirements of No Child Left Behind.
Schools received scores using a 0 to 100 scale, corresponding with five categories starting at "fails to meet expectations" and topping out with "significantly exceeds expectations."
In Falls, all six of the district's schools ranked either as "exceeds expectations."
Here's how the schools performed. Click the school to view complete results:
- Ben Franklin Elementary: 78.4
- Riverside Elementary: 76.2
- Shady Lane Elementary:76.9
- Valley View Elementary: 81
- North Middle School: 79.1
- Menomonee Falls High School: 78.3
The cut off between "significantly exceeds expectations" and "exceeds expectations" is 82.9.
Superintendent Dr. Patricia Greco said the district has, and will continue, to focus on improving student performance regardless of assessment standards.
"The schools are still performing well, and need to look at all the banding in the assessment," Greco said. "We have a lot to be proud of. The state is expecting all children to grow and we are watching that very carefully."
Greco said districts across the state are adjusting in significant ways to the new measurements of student learning.
"The biggest shift for us is in the standards themesevles," Greco said. "It changes what we teach, not just what we assess."
Greco said the transition to a new assessment system over the next two year will likely cause some confusion as the state implements new tests and standards.
The report cards grade schools in these areas:
- Student achievement in reading and mathematics on state assessments.
- Student growth measured by year-to-year improvements in achievement.
- Closing gaps in performance between specific student groups.
- Progress to graduation/post secondary readiness using reliable predictors of high school graduation and post-secondary success.
In a news release, Superintendent Tony Evers said the preliminary school report cards are "a starting point" and will change over time.
Greco noted that some elements of the report card system are problematic. For example, if student achievement rises at the same rate then the gap between demographic groups won't close. If gaps close, students will not be growing their achievement at the same rate.