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New School Report Cards show Hamilton schools with strong results PDF Print
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 8:54 am

Strategic plan positions district well

Wisconsin rolled out an educational accountability system with more rigorous benchmarks and a new way to report school progress. Each public school now has a School Report Card that lets people know how well it is preparing students for their futures. Because of strategic planning efforts and a track record of focusing on student achievement, schools in the Hamilton School District earned positive ratings under the new system.

Instead of reporting only student performance on a single test, the new report cards present an overall accountability score calculated using four factors:

• student achievement on a state assessment;
• year-to-year student growth in reading and mathematics;
• success in closing gaps between specific groups of students; and
• predictors of high school graduation and postsecondary readiness.
The overall accountability score rates schools on a scale of 0 to 100 and places them in one of five categories: significantly exceeds expectations (83-100), exceeds expectations (73-82.9), meets expectations (63-72.9), meets few expectations (53-62.9) and fails to meet expectations (52.9 and below). Each Hamilton school was rated as “exceeds expectations” or “significantly exceeds expectations.”
When breaking down the overall accountability scores, Hamilton schools scored highest in the areas of “student achievement” and “on-track for graduation/postsecondary readiness.” For more than two decades, Hamilton’s strategic plan has been a roadmap with action steps that have focused on a rigorous and relevant curriculum, innovative instruction, quality assessment practices, closing achievement gaps among student groups and professional development for staff.
"Hamilton has done well under the new state accountability system because for years our strategic plan has focused on the priority areas that are being assessed,” Hamilton Superintendent Kathleen Cooke, Ph.D., said. “Ensuring maximum achievement for each child is our mission, and staff members are committed to helping students reach their potential.”

 

“The new system provides helpful information to monitor our progress in the areas that are currently our focus – rigorous standards, student growth and closing gaps,” Cooke said. “The district’s strategic plan has steps in place to address those areas.”

 

Hamilton School District 2011-12 School Report Card data

School

Overall rating

Student achievement

Student growth

Closing gaps

On-track, postsecondary readiness

Lannon

83.2

88.0

79.0

73.5

92.4

Maple Ave.

77.9

82.7

72.3

66.1

90.6

Marcy

90.8

90.5

87.2

93.0

92.4

Woodside

80.2

80.8

77.9

72.4

89.9

Templeton

80.5

85.6

68.4

72.6

95.4

Hamilton High

81.5

81.6

NA*

74.5

91.7

Student achievement – knowledge and skill level compared to state and national standards using Wisconsin Student Assessment System tests given in grades 3-8 and 10.

Student growth – how much student knowledge in reading and mathematics changes from year to year. 
*Not applicable for high school because the test is given only to sophomores preventing a year-to-year comparison.

Closing gaps – describes if the gap between specific race or ethnic groups, students with disabilities, economically disadvantaged students and English language learners is closing compared to their complementary groups.

Graduation and postsecondary readiness - success in achieving educational milestones that predict postsecondary success such as graduation and attendance rates, ACT participation and performance, and reading and mathematics achievement.

 

 In addition to establishing School Report Cards, the new state accountability system is bringing about other changes in Wisconsin education including:

• Kindergarten literacy screening will be implemented statewide this year.
• Wisconsin is one of 45 states to adopt “Common Core State Standards” for language arts and mathematics that are aligned with college and work expectations, include rigorous content and skills, and are internationally benchmarked. The math and language arts curriculums will be rolled out this year. In addition, national standards for science and social studies are in process.
• The Wisconsin Concepts and Knowledge exam will be replaced in 2014-15 with new “smarter balanced” assessments that tie to Common Core Standards.
• A new teacher and principal evaluation system which factors in student test scores and educator practices will be piloted beginning this year and will be fully implemented statewide in 2014-15.
• A State Student Information System will be implemented in 2015-16 to track student progress.