Hello Classical Families and Friends,
Recently, Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction released the 2016-17 school and district report cards to the public. While I am always eager to view Classical School’s results, I am also cautious because the state report card is only one representation of our school’s overall culture and success.
When I am talking with parents and families who are interested in Classical School, our school report card results, while notable, are generally far from my mind. I focus on our day-to-day successes. I share stories about our remarkable reading program, our daily Spanish instruction, the benefits of a K-8 structure, our dedicated staff, parents, and Classical School Board, and the rich and rigorous implementation of the Core Knowledge curriculum.
Here is a summary of the state’s report card system:
The report cards have an overall score and that number ranges from 0-100. The overall score places a school or district in one of five categories:
- 83-100, Significantly Exceeds Expectation, five stars
- 73-82.9, Exceeds Expectations, four stars
- 63-72.9, Meets Expectations, three stars
- 53-62.9, Meets Few Expectations, two stars
- 0-52.9, Fails to Meet Expectations, one star
The overall score is determined by four priority areas: Student Achievement, School Growth, Closing Gaps, and On-Track & Postsecondary Readiness.
Student Achievement is determined by students’ scores in English language arts and math on state tests.
Student Growth measures how students’ knowledge in English and math changes from year to year.
In the past, Student Achievement and Student Growth were weighted equally – each 25% of the overall score. The state has changed this weighting system and while these two categories still represent 50% of the overall score, demographics – especially poverty– affect whether achievement or growth will be more heavily favored. For schools and districts with 0-34 percent of students in poverty, achievement counts more toward their overall scores than growth. At 35 percent poverty, growth and achievement are measured equally. When poverty reaches 36 percent or more of a school or district population, growth counts more than achievement. Because of this sliding scale weighting system for student achievement and growth, it has become even harder and less advisable to compare one school or district to another. For example, if a school has a 70 percent rate of poverty then only 5 percent of its report card is weighted on student achievement and 45 percent on student growth. Another school, even in the same district, could have the opposite achievement and growth weights thereby making an apples to oranges comparison. For Classical School with an economically disadvantaged student population of 18.8 percent, student achievement is more heavily weighted.
Closing Gaps measures how well a school or district reduces the achievement gap among specific subgroups of students. The state focuses on gap closure in English and math.
On-Track and Postsecondary Readiness measures how well a school prepares its students for life after high school. The graduation rate, attendance rate, third-grade English scores and eighth-grade math scores factor in the score.
I am pleased to report that despite changes to the weighting system, Classical School once again received five stars out of the state’s five star rating system indicating that our students “Significantly Exceed Expectations,” with an overall score of 85.5. This is exciting news and a feather in our collective cap, I again attribute this particular school report card success to our hardworking students, dedicated staff, steadfast CCSA Board and supportive parents. Thank you one and all.
Thomas L. Bomann
Principal, Classical School
*All district and state report cards can be viewed online at the DPI website (https://apps2.dpi.wi.gov/reportcards/)