The Pulaski Community School District and five of its seven schools received a four-star (exceeding expectations) ranking in the state Department of Public Instruction’s 2015-16 School and District Report Cards.
The DPI creates a report card for every publicly funded school and district in the state. They are ranked from five star (significantly exceeds expectations) down to one star (fails to meet expectations).
Receiving four-star ratings and exceeding expectations were: PCSD, Glenbrook Elementary, Hillcrest Elementary, Lannoye Elementary, Sunnyside Elementary and Pulaski Community Middle School. Pulaski High School and Fairview Elementary were ranked as three-star, which is meeting expectations.
Due to a legislative pause bill and changes in state assessments, no report cards were issued in 2014-2015. The rankings are compiled from data from three different assessments. That, along with other legislated changes, makes comparisons of school and district performance to prior report card ratings “inaccurate and inadvisable”, the DPI noted.
The report cards measure:
● student achievement proficiency in reading and math on state assessments,
● student growth measured by year-to-year improvements in achievement,
● closing gaps in performance for specific groups (English Language Learners, low-income students, students with disabilities, and members of a racial or an ethnic group); and
● on-track and post-secondary school readiness (Attendance, test participation, and dropout rates).
Besides the star rankings – which are new for this year’s report cards – schools are again assigned a score from 0 to 100 that is not a “percent correct” measurement but a formula that combines the four priority areas.
Those rankings are: PCSD, 76.1; Hillcrest Elementary, 79.9; Lannoye Elementary, 78.5; Glenbrook Elementary, 76.7; Sunnyside Elementary, 75.9; PCMS, 74.7; Fairview Elementary, 72.3; and PHS, 69.3. However, PHS received a five-point deduction in score because two subgroups (students with disabilities and economically disadvantaged) did not meet the 95 percent test-participation threshold.
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“We are pleased to see that our district and schools received favorable ratings on the state report card, however, we will continue to use state assessments as one tool and indicator of student achievement,” said Bec Kurzynske, PCSD superintendent. “We are fortunate to have multiple measures of formative and summative assessments as well as district and local data available to our teachers and leaders and we will continue to use all data available to inform our teaching and learning practices to best prepare our students for their future.”
The 2015-16 report cards underwent major changes that were part of Wisconsin Act 55, the 2015-17 state budget. Those changes include variable weighting to address the impacts of poverty on student achievement, a new model for measuring student growth based on value-added methodology developed by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the legislative requirement to change from the Badger Exam offered through the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium to the Forward Exam.
Because report cards rely on multiple years of data, the 2015-16 report cards are based on one year each of Badger and Forward exams for grades three through eight and the ACT Plus Writing as well as Dynamic Learning Maps assessments in grades three through eight and grade 11. The third year of data came from the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam and Wisconsin Alternate Assessment for Students with Disabilities.
Report cards can be found on the Department of Public Instruction’s Office of Accountability School and District Report Card webpage, http://dpi.wi.gov/accountability/report-cards.