Wisconsin Ties For 26th In US For Transparency On College, Career Readiness Reporting

Education Officials Say Wisconsin Is Continuing To Improve

"Your future, your choice" sign in school hallway
Charles Krupa/AP Photo

A new report ranks Wisconsin in the middle of the pack nationally when it comes to reporting data on student’s college and career readiness.

The report released by Achieve, a nonprofit education organization, says more transparency could help students who are falling behind.

One of the areas the state scored the highest in was how well it reported data for different groups of students. Breaking down data by student characteristics — such as income, race, sex and more — gives a more detailed look at how they are performing, said Sandy Boyd, chief operating officer for Achieve.

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“We know how minority students are doing,” she said. “We know how low-income students are doing. Wisconsin is actually not putting everybody together and reporting out how all kids are doing together. They’re actually disaggregating that data.”

Boyd said looking at student performance via the subgroups can help educators target certain students struggling more than others.

For Wisconsin, it scored lowest in looking at whether or not the data they reported counted all students. It also scored low in reporting whether or not students were on track to graduate — an area where the state is changing its approach, said Tom McCarthy, state Department of Public Instruction spokesman.

“We have a dropout early warning system that inputs data as students are combing through their early elementary grades and middle school grades,” McCarthy said. “It gives an indicator to school districts as to whether the student needs additional interventions.”

McCarthy said tracking students at an early age can help educators by showing them the areas where students need the most support.

Achieve gathered the data and evaluated states on four criteria for eight different indicators of college and career readiness. The criteria were:

  • Does the state report data for this indicator?
  • Does the state report data by student subgroups?
  • Does the state release data in a timely manner?
  • Does the state report this data in a way that counts all students?
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