As an educational community, we have much to be thankful for.
As school superintendent, I consider myself extremely fortunate to serve a district that understands that providing a quality education for all of its students is a necessity.
Many articles have been published across the state (including in The Platteville Journal) related to the new report cards that each school has received. The Platteville School District is in the enviable position of sharing that not only do each of our schools exceed expectations, all of our schools received marks that place them in the top 10 schools of the 31 school districts in our area CESA Region.
As with any report card, it shows us what we are doing well and what we can do better. It is by no means a complete picture, as it does not take into account all grade levels and does not include how well our students are doing in many subject areas including science, social studies, fine arts, or career and technical education. You can see our schools’ report cards by going to Platteville.k12.wi.us and clicking on Platteville School District State Report Cards.
The state report card designates an overall score for each school, made up of four individual scores ranging from “fails to meet expectations” to “significantly exceeds expectations.” The first grade is for student achievement and looks at our state testing scores only in math and reading. All of our schools score in the “exceeds expectations” category.
The second score looks at student growth in these two subject areas. What is important about this indicator is that it looks at how well all of our students are progressing and expects achievement gains in our strongest students, our struggling students, and every student in between. All of our school scores fall in the “exceeds expectation” category.
The third score looks at gaps and how well the school does at closing those gaps. In a perfect school, all of our students would be demonstrating high levels of achievement. As a group, our students with disabilities, students living in poverty, and our minority students do not score as high on these tests, although many of our individual students in these groups do. If our goal is only a year of progress for every student, than those students who start the year behind will never catch up. Our goal is to decrease the gap every year by maintaining high expectations for all students and helping our struggling students to make more than a year of progress. I refer to this as making catch-up progress. Our scores in this area range from significantly exceeds expectation at the high school to meets expectation at Westview.
The last score looks at “On-Track and Postsecondary Readiness.” This score is calculated differently for different schools. At the high school, it is addressed by graduation rate and ACT participation and Performance. At the lower levels, it includes attendance, third-grade reading, and eighth-grade math. This score is very high and significantly exceeds expectations for all of our schools.
All of our staff members deserve congratulations and our community should be proud of the schools that they support.
Although other districts might look at those scores and decide “good enough,” I am thankful to work in a district filled with staff members who know that we are only as successful as our students and every single student matters. We are not willing to say “good enough” until all of our students are successful.