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The state Department of Public Instruction has rated more than 2,100 schools and the results are in. Most schools are meeting expectations.
It's part of a new report card evaluation system that monitors student achievement in math and reading, student growth in the subjects, closing gaps among different groups of students, and graduation readiness.
The vast majority of public schools in our state meet expectations. In North Central Wisconsin, the school with the highest score significantly exceeding expectations is Maple Grove Elementary School in Merrill, which scored 85.8 out of 100.
The lowest score in the area went to the Medford Area Public Rural Virtual School, which received a 50 out of 100 and failed to meet expectations.
But most schools fall somewhere in between, like at Hawthorn Hills Elementary School in Wausau, which received a score of 71.1
The school's principal says the report card is a good way for the school to learn more about its strengths and weaknesses and for the public to see its standing.
"I think it's always good for the public to know how schools are doing and how their community is doing because the stronger the community is with the achievement, the better place it is for everyone," said Marla Berg.
Each school also has its own unique demographics and challenges that are taken into account. At Hawthorn Hills, more than 70 percent of students are economically disadvantaged, yet they still managed to achieve higher than average in math and reading.
Because of that, the school has been named a school of recognition from DPI.
In this pilot year, 85.8 percent of rated schools meet or exceed expectations. DPI has always rated the schools, but the report card system is more user-friendly and easy to understand.