After a two year break.
school report cards in Wisconsin are back.
As we first reported last week.
the state made changes to the original report card.
and released the reports and their new grading formula
a few days ago.
The report cards rank *school districts* and *individual
schools* throughout the state.
News 8's Lisa Klein is here now with an in-depth look
at the changes made and how some districts are impacted.
The school report cards are intended to hold our school
They were first introduced in 2011...
But the last state budget asked for changes to be
made in the reports.
So the department of public instruction stopped issuing
report cards in 2014.
while they made adjustments to how they grade schools.
And while some school districts feel the state has
done a good job coming up with a new grading formula.
La Crosse school officials have concerns about how
it impacts some of their high poverty schools.
putting things in categories
Categorizing words to find a common theme is the focus
of this lesson at Northwoods International School
in La Crosse.
there's sort of a little trick to this...
There is also a bit of a trick to figuring out how
to fairly categorize school districts performance.
That is what the Wisconsin Department of Instruction
It's a huge project the state has taken on to mitigate
factors that school distrticts, educators, boards
of education have said for years that you can't compare
a school that has a different demographic with another
school that's completely different.
This year the new state report cards have created
a weighted formula which allows schools with higher
poverty rates to be scored differently.
Now student achievement and student growth.
depending on free and reduced lunch status.
a different wieghting is applied based on that.
The formula assumes schools with a high poverty rate
will have students who won't perform as well on the
annual standardized test.
Therefore, schools with high poverty and high achievement.
are negatively impacted.
In La Crosse, we perform above the state average on
However, we have a higher free and reduced population
than many of our surrounding areas.
This is how the calculator works.
Schools with a Free and Reduced Lunch Rate from 35%
will have a higher percentage of their score.
based on a sliding scale.
coming from student growth and less of their score
will come from student achievement.
Student Growth is measured when you compare student
performance on one test from one school year to the
Student Achievement is based on how a school district's
students performed on one test.
And there are some unintended consequences coming
out of that.
:05...So, we actually saw schools that generally do
well on state report cards not do as well because
their achievement wasn't counted the same.
So, that's a difficult pill to swallow.
The La Crosse school distict received two out of five
stars on the new school report card.
We will fall in the category of meets few expectations.
several of the district's *schools* do meet or exceeded
but there are a couple of schools with high poverty
rates that have been given lower scores and the district
feels the new weighted formula is part of the reason.
So some of our schools in La Crosse, we have free
and reduced population of 80%.
The way the formula works, 90% of our achievement
data of how we're evaluated comes from growth and
only 10% comes from actual achievement.
Lichuki says spreading out the weighted formula to
account for schools that have a free and reduced lunch
rate over 65-percent may be more fair.
I would like to see it not cut at 65%.
65% free and reduced lunch population compared to
an 80% free and reduced lunch is a great deal in the
dynamics of a school.
Whether or not an adjustment is made to the new weighted
Lichuki says it's important to look beyond the report
Look at your individual school.
and the great people that work with your children.
There are great things going on that aren't reflected
by a single calculation.
8 times 3
In La Crosse County, LK, N8.
There is so much data on the report cards.
beyond the overall score.
In fact, you can find statistics on the issue we're
like poverty within a school district.
Some people may be surprised to know.
that almost one in two children in the La Crosse School
District live in poverty.
Here's a break down of the free and reduced-price
lunch rate in each of the five school district's in
La Crosse County and how the districts scored on the
?Can you tell people how to see this information for
You can research school districts from throughout
the state by going to the website you see on the bottom
of your screen.