NB School District Trails Mequon, Elmbrook, Pewaukee and Numerous Other Districts On District Report Cards
Report cards for schools and districts were released by Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction on Tuesday, Sept. 17. The report card gives a score from 0-100. The score is based on four priority areas: student achievement, student growth, on-track and post secondary readiness including attendance, test participation and graduation rates, and closing gaps in performance among disadvantaged and disabled students. The report cards then assign one of five rankings, from “fails to meet expectations” to “significantly exceeds expectations”.
So, how did the School District of New Berlin (whose motto is “Expect Excellence”) fare?
Well, on its blog and website, the school district proudly touts it “exceeded expectations” on the state-issued District Report Card.
Sounds impressive, doesn’t it? However, look into it further or read the September 18 Journal Sentinel news report, and you learn:
- 95% of the Wisconsin school districts met or exceeded the state’s expectations for performance, according to the Journal Sentinel.
- Among K-12 Districts, Mequon-Thiensville ( with a score of 86.4) was the highest scoring one followed by Hamilton, Cedarburg, Whitefish Bay and Elmbrook.
- 9 school districts in our state “significantly exceeded expectations”—the top ranking category (Accountability score 83-100).
- 134 districts statewide, including New Berlin, fell in the second-highest category-- “exceeded expectations” (Accountability score 73-82.9).
New Berlin’s score of 77.1 was lower than Mequon-Thiensville (86.4), North Lake (85.1), Hamilton (83), Cedarburg (82.4), Whitefish Bay (82), Elmbrook ( 81.6), Germantown (81.1), Arrowhead Union HS (81.1), Mukwonago (80.8), Lake Country (80.7), Stone Bank (80.4), Hartland-Lakeside (80.3), Maple Dale-Indian Hill (79.9), Kettle Moraine (79.5), Wauwatosa (78.6), Whitnall (78.1), Pewaukee (77.9), Port Washington-Saukville (77.6), Franklin Public (77.3) and several others.
The District of New Berlin’s blog contends the state-issued report cards are intended to offer a better picture of how well individual schools are preparing students to graduate ready for college and career.
The District boasts that all of its elementary and secondary schools “exceeded expectations” on their School Report Cards, except for Elmwood Elementary School, which received the highest rating of “significantly exceeding expectations”. Congratulations Elmwood and the rest. But what does it convey to parents? That all the SDNB schools performed well in this multi-measure accountability system, but one (Elmwood Elementary) stands out as truly exceptional? That Elmwood does a better job preparing students than other schools?
The District’s blog states Elmwood, Poplar Creek Elementary and New Berlin Eisenhower Middle/High School each saw increases in their scores over last year. In other words, 50% of schools in the district improved their scores? What about the other half--Ronald Reagan Elementary, Orchard Lane Elementary and New Berlin West Middle/High School?
We are also told “the report cards are issued each year as part of a new state-wide accountability system. The system was designed to provide a more complete and balanced picture of school performance that can be used as a guide for school improvement.”
For more information about the school report cards, go to http://reportcards.dpi.wi.gov.