by Superintendent Mitch Wainwright
The state report cards have been released for every school and district in Wisconsin by the Department of Public Instruction for the 2021-22 school year. Each year, teachers and administrators try to “dig” into the information that is being reported to see what we can do to improve instruction for our students and celebrate what we are already doing well.
The difficulty with looking at the report cards each year is that there are changes that happen from year to year. In previous years, a school and district were measured on how well our students did on the test in the areas of math and reading (achievement). Then the state added how many students participated in taking the tests, and for younger students, did they grow from one year to the next? This most recent report card breaks a score into four areas — achievement, growth, target group outcomes, and on-track to graduation.
This year, the state has been very upfront with school districts about comparing their score with other districts. They are telling us that it is not the purpose of the tests. For everyone, it is natural to compare, wondering how one did versus another district. The challenge in comparing districts is that there may not be two schools that have the four sub-areas carrying the same weight. If we just look at achievement and growth for our three schools and the district, each one is scored differently. The elementary school receives 30.7% of its score on achievement and 19.3% on growth. The middle school is 32.5% on achievement and 17.5% on growth, while the high school is 39.7% on achievement and 13.7% on growth. Finally, the district score is based on 33.1% achievement and 16.9% growth. The main reason for the difference is the number of economically disadvantaged students at each level. This makes it more difficult to compare our schools to others on just the overall score reported.
I believe we are doing a great job helping our students learn and grow here in Mineral Point. We are in the category of Exceeding Expectations on this year’s state report card at all levels. Our achievement numbers are well above the state average and continue to put our district among the top school districts in the state. Our students perform well and that is the result of several factors. We have some of the best teachers in the state working hard every day, and the level of support from the parents and community makes our jobs easier. When there is a desire to provide top-level education, and have support from the community, anything is possible. We continue to strive to be one of the best-performing school districts. After all, it is what makes us #PointerNation.