MADISON — The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction today published public and choice school and district report cards for the 2021-22 school year. For 2021-22, a majority of public school districts, schools, and choice schools met or exceeded expectations and have maintained the same rating compared to the previous year.
The DPI creates school and district report cards and publishes them annually as required by Wis. Stat. 115.385. Report cards include data on multiple indicators for multiple school years across four priority areas: Achievement, Growth, Target Group Outcomes, and On-Track to Graduation. The Achievement and Growth priority areas are weighted based on a district or schools’ percentage of economically disadvantaged pupils, as required by state law.
A school or district’s overall accountability score places the school or district into one of five overall accountability ratings:
- Significantly Exceeds Expectations (five stars),
- Exceeds Expectations (four stars),
- Meets Expectations (three stars),
- Meets Few Expectations (two stars),
- and Fails to Meet Expectations (one star).
Report cards use up to three years of data, including achievement data from 2018-19, 2020-21, and 2021-22. Requirements were waived for the 2019-20 school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and report cards were not produced. The DPI urges caution when interpreting scores and ratings due to impacts resulting from the pandemic.
Of 377 public school districts receiving report cards for 2021-22, a total of 358 met, exceeded, or significantly exceeded expectations (95 percent of districts). Compared to 2020-21 district report cards, 269 districts experienced no change, 24 districts moved up at least one category, and 84 districts moved down at least one category. District report cards are not produced for districts that represent a single school. In these cases, school report cards are produced.
There were 2,104 report cards produced for public schools for 2021-22. Among public schools, 184 (9 percent) were unable to be scored and are rated using alternate accountability. Of the 1,920 scored school report cards, 1,619 met, exceeded, or significantly exceeded expectations (84 percent). Of the 1,883 schools with scored report cards in both 2021-22 and 2020-21, a total of 1,226 experienced no change from 2020-21, 231 moved up at least one rating category, and 426 moved down at least one category.
There were 391 report cards produced for private schools participating in a Wisconsin School Choice Program for 2021-22. Among private choice schools, 228 (58 percent) were unable to be scored due to a school’s choice student population being too small to meet the conditions required to produce scores. Of the 163 scored private choice report cards, a total of 142 met, exceeded, or significantly exceeded expectations (87 percent). Of the 132 choice schools receiving report card ratings in both 2021-22 and 2020-21, 72 experienced no change, 17 moved up at least one category, and 43 moved down at least one category.
The DPI recommends careful review of not only the report card front page, but of the multiple pages of student performance data broken down by student group and across years to highlight trends and deepen analysis of group, school, and district performance.
Additional information on report cards can also be found on the DPI’s Office of Educational Accountability webpage.