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Wisconsin Math, Reading Test Scores Take a Hit With Higher Standards

Percentage of students deemed proficient or advanced in math and reading declines dramatically as Wisconsin sets a higher bar for achievement on the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts exam.

School districts throughout the region saw a significant drop in the number of students who scored proficient or advanced on statewide reading and math tests, according to results released Tuesday.

However, state education officials say the decline is attributed to higher standards for those tests and that Wisconsin students actually are continuing to show gains in the math and reading portions.

More than 430,000 public school students took the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examinations in November 2012. Overall results showed 48.1 percent of students were proficient or advanced in mathematics, and 36.2 percent were proficient or advanced in reading, according to the state Department of Public Instruction. By comparison, in 2011, 81.9 percent were proficient or advanced in reading, and 78 percent hit that mark in math

Visit the state Department of Public Instruction website to see your school's scores

The reason for the drop-off is that Wisconsin is raising the benchmark scores needed for students to reach the proficient or advanced performance levels. These new college and career readiness proficiency levels are based on the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

When the last year's statewide scores are recalibrated, this year's math proficiency score is the same as 2011, while the reading score is actually a bit higher, according to the Journal Sentinel.

Students in grades 3 through 8 and grade 10 took tests in reading and math. Students in grades 4, 8 and 10 also took assessments in language arts, science, and social studies. Only reading and math were recalibrated with new standards in 2012.

Percentage of all students in area school districts rated as "proficient" or "advanced" in statewide academic tests.

Reading Math Language Science Social Studies 2011 2012 2011 2012 2011 2012 2011 2012 2011 2012 Franklin 92.9 48.9 92.4 68.3 86.8 85.1 88.4 87.9 93.6 94.0 Greendale 92.0 49.4 91.5 66.0 83.8 83.0 90.3 90.6 94.0 95.2 Greenfield 86.4 33.7 79.9 46.3 74.5 70.7 78.9 79.0 85.5 83.8 Oak Creek-Franklin 87.5 39.3 79.8 50.4 76.4 75.6 82.7 82.6 89.5 89.7 South Milwaukee 83.1 33.8 76.1 44.6 77.2 71.7 80.8 78.6 88.0 87.7 West Allis-West Milwaukee 85.4 32.8 81.1 50.0 68.9 68.6 72.2 73.6 83.4 84.7 Whitnall 89.9 40.0 88.4 62.3 81.9 76.7 83.8 83.0 84.4 87.9 STATEWIDE 81.9 36.2 78.0 48.1 70.3 69.5 76.6 76.7 82.7 84.2

Source: Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

Lyle April 27, 2013 at 12:19 AM
It looks like Greendale's scores are dropping somewhat. I know realitors are saying Franklin Public Schools are now the best in the region overall
thinkoutsidethebubble April 27, 2013 at 03:03 AM
Really, based on a survey of realtors or discussion with a couple of them? Test scores show them awful close...likely within margin of error. So even if one accepts the idea that realtors are saying these things, what would it be based on?
Maxwell Smart April 29, 2013 at 02:31 AM
Realtors have kids in the schools and know what is going on. It is their business to know.
thinkoutsidethebubble April 29, 2013 at 04:17 AM
It's their business to sell homes. I have kids in the schools too. Neither of which makes either of us experts. The data is the best we have and shows very little difference.
Gloria May 02, 2013 at 11:48 PM
Why won't the Greendale School District say how they are doing on the state tests? Silence means something and we don't think it is something good.

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