District students scored well above the state average for public school students for the fourth straight year on all Wisconsin Student Assessment System exams given during the 2018-19 school year, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction announced on Thursday, Sept. 12.
Students in grades 3-8 took the Wisconsin Forward Exam, while students in 11th grade took the ACT Plus Writing. Students in grades 9 and 10 took the Aspire exam for reading, writing, English, mathematics, and science. Some students with significant cognitive disabilities took the Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) exam. Nearly 453,000 public and private choice students took WSAS exams in 2018-19.
More than 65 percent of District students in grades 3-8 were proficient or advanced in mathematics compared with the state average of 43.4 percent. Nearly 59 percent of District students were proficient or advanced in English/Language Arts (ELA) compared with the state average of 40.4 percent.
Meanwhile, 74 percent of District students in grades 4 and 8 were proficient or advanced in science compared with the state average of 53.3 percent. Finally, 69.7 percent of District students in grades 4, 8 and 10 were proficient or advanced in social studies compared with the state average of 49 percent.
The data wasn't all positive. There continue to be gaps among students, especially related to socio-economic status, race or language.
Fewer than one-third of students on free or reduced lunch were proficient or advanced in English-Language Arts and mathematics, about 40 percent less than their peers. They was also a 35 percent gap in the percentage of students in social studies and science.
The percentage of English Language Learners who were proficient or advanced in the four content areas was 35-42 percent behind their peers. The percentage of African-American and Hispanic students who were proficient or advanced in the four content areas was as much as 70 percent behind Asian and 55 percent behind white students.
"While we are pleased with the strong performance of many of our students on all state assessments, we are also being very honest with ourselves as a district with the fact that unacceptable gaps in achievement persist,'' Superintendent Dana Monogue said. "We take responsibility for our data and are more determined than ever to ensure all students thrive in the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District."
District students scored higher than their peers in the Big Eight Conference in every area. The only Dane County district with a higher score in any of the four content areas was Waunakee.
Here are the Big Eight results:
|Middleton-Cross Plains Area||58.9||65.2||74.0||69.3|
Here are the Dane County results:
|Middleton-Cross Plains Area||58.9||65.2||74.0||69.3|
The ACT is administered to high school juniors and measures performance in English, mathematics and science. Starting in 2016, the state required that all juniors take the ACT in February or March. The Dynamic Learning Maps is an alternative assessment in English/language arts, mathematics, science and social studies for students with severe cognitive disabilities.
MCPASD juniors who took the ACT in February or March of 2018 had a composite score of 23.8 compared with the state average of 19.5. Those same students were rated as 67.4 proficient or advanced in English/language arts compared with the state average of 36.8. District students also outperformed the state average in mathematics (MCPASD at 56.4 vs. state average of 29.2) and science (MCPASD at 57.9 vs. state average of 31.0).
Here are ACT results for Dane County school districts:
|Waunakee Community||23.0||Verona Area||20.8|
|Deerfield Community||22.2||DeForest Area||20.7|
|Monona Grove||21.9||Stoughton Area||19.5|
|Mount Horeb Area||21.6||McFarland||19.2|
|Sun Prairie Area||21.0||State Average||19.6|
Here are the ACT results for Big Eight schools:
|High School||Score||High School||Score|
|MHS-CSCS-21st Century||23.8||Janesville Craig||19.3|
|Madison West||23.0||Madison East||18.9|
|Madison Memorial||21.9||Madison La Follette||18.4|
|Sun Prairie Area||21.0||Janesville Parker||18.1|
|Verona Area||20.8||Beloit Memorial||16.4|
Here are the ACT results for other comparable-sized, high-achieving school districts in the state:
"The Wisconsin Student Assessments are one piece of our district strategic assessment framework. We use these summative assessments, along with other interim and formative assessments at school wide, grade wide, and classroom levels to review student performance. These data help us plan for instruction and review program effectiveness." Director of Curriculum, Assessment, and 4K MaryBeth Paulisse said.
The Forward Exam is an annual assessment administered online statewide in grades 3-8 in ELA and mathematics, grades 4 and 8 in science and grades 4, 8 and 10 in social studies.
The Forward Exam was administered for the first time in the spring of 2016. Wisconsin students took the Badger Exam in 2014-15. Before that, students were administered the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination (WKCE).
The state has a six-year contract with Data Recogntion Corporation, the company that produces the Forward Exam. The tests are part of the Wisconsin Student Assessment System (WSAS), which State Superintendent Tony Evers has said is more rigorous than prior testing.