The 2012-2013 school year will bring many important changes to Wisconsin public schools. Parents will notice changes in what and how your child learns in school, how your child is tested, and how schools and teachers are evaluated.
To continue moving education forward, the State of Wisconsin is advancing several important education initiatives and setting goals through "Agenda 2017," a comprehensive plan for education reform. Agenda 2017 specifically will
Agenda 2017 sets aggressive but achievable goals to improve student learning, promote safe and healthy school environments, and increase students' chances of academic success.
To achieve these goals, Wisconsin schools will focus on improving four areas:
1. Standards and Instruction: What and how should kids learn?
2. Assessments and Data Systems: How do we know if students learned?
What parents can expect: Wisconsin is changing the way we describe how well students can read and do math based on their test scores. With these higher expectations, look for fewer students in the proficient and advanced categories of the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examinations (WKCE) that students will take in Grade 3-8 and 10 this year. New proficiency levels will now be based on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), sometimes called “the Nation’s Report Card.” This is a tougher grading scale that will allow Wisconsin to elevate the achievement of our students and schools.
3. School and Educator Effectiveness: How to we make sure kids have highly effective teachers and schools?
What parents can expect: Look for Wisconsin’s first-ever School Report Cards to be issued this Fall as part of a new system of school accountability. Every public school, including charter schools, will receive one of five ratings based on the performance of its students in four areas: state reading and math tests, growth in student achievement, closing achievement gaps among groups of students, and how well schools prepare students to be on track for high school graduation and further education.
Also, Wisconsin is creating a new system for evaluating the performance of teachers and principals. The Wisconsin Educator Effectiveness System aims to provide students with highly qualified and effective educators who focus on student learning.
4. School Finance Reform: How should we pay for our schools?
What parents can expect: Look for legislative and media discussion on this issue that seeks to make education funding more fair and open to public scrutiny. State Superintendent Evers’ plan would guarantee a minimum amount of state aid for every student, include a poverty factor reflecting families’ ability to pay taxes into the school aid formula, and help rural districts and those with declining enrollment sustain high quality schools. Read what the SASD said about the Fair Funding plan when it was released in 2010.
If you are looking for additional information, the Department of Public Instruction has posted a variety of resources on it's website at dpi.wi.gov/oea/acct/accountability.html.