NEWS FLASH! MTSD school district #1 in Ozaukee County #4 in Wisconsin see report
I have been accused of:
Allowing Decline in
Those involved in the recall effort provided selected data points to build a narrative around declining student achievement in MTSD.
To make the most informed decision, it is important to understand the context for these data points and to also be aware of District successes.
You may have heard that there was a 15% overall decline in early reading skills.
In reality: This statistic is based on 2020 winter data, as end of year data was not collected due to the pandemic. It does not reflect actual end of year performance. So, the data is comparing end-of-school-year growth (~May 2019) to unfinished-school-year growth (~Jan 2020). This means that learning gains during the very important final four months of the school year during 2020 (February through May) were not assessed. To provide balance: year after year, around 90% of MTSD students read at or above grade level.
You may have heard that there was a 15% decline in ACT scores.
In reality: District ACT scores have averaged around 24
consistently since 2016 when all high school juniors
were required to take the ACT assessment.
MTSD ACT scores (Grade 11) ranked 5th highest
in the state in 2020. (Statewide average = 19.9, national average = 20.7)
This year, three Homestead graduates received
a perfect ACT score of 36
You may have heard that there was a 120% increase in failures.
In reality: There is no doubt that our District, as well as districts all over the nation, has been impacted by the pandemic, and student achievement has been affected by the learning interruptions that resulted. Significant increases in failures due to the pandemic-caused learning disruptions occurred nationwide, when students could not / did not attend class.
The empty gradebook: As students struggle with remote learning, teachers grapple with Fs
At the August working Board meeting the ECRA Group, which serves school districts across the country, presented findings that show our District exhibited student growth similar to pre-pandemic levels.
(You can watch the presentation here. The ECRA report starts approximately at minute 3:45.)
However, because our student-level data show that unfinished learning has occurred, the District has instituted a board-approved Academic Recovery Plan.
Here is a sampling of a few of the MTSD Academic Recovery Plan measures being taken by the district:
1. Implement a Summer Academic Boost program for all Grades K-5 students who did not grow academically at the rate they had pre-pandemic using Fountas & Pinnell and spring 2020 NWEA MAP scores.
2. Assign a Student Support Coordinator to work with students and teachers to ensure academic growth and recovery in Grades K-2 to include a priority focus on Grade 2 reading to grade-level proficiency.
3. Improve the use of and access to technology-based literacy and mathematics interventions to support the individual needs of students in Grades 3-8, as determined through the Student Review Team process.
4. Build students’ ability to persevere in solving rigorous contextual mathematical problems by providing real-world exemplar application problems in high school math coursework.
5. Provide a pathway for credit recovery within Homestead High School to accelerate credit attainment for students as determined through the Student Review Team process.
6. For each student that appears on a 20 or 40-Day progress reporting D/F lists by trimester, the Homestead Learning Support Team will develop and implement a grade improvement plan that includes the assignment of peer tutoring, study center case management, and/or content-specific study center help sessions.
For a balanced perspective, it is also important to note that there were many District successes, some even during the pandemic. I highlight three of these below:
Per the most recent DPI report card, MTSD was ranked #2 among K-12 public school districts in Wisconsin! This was just prior to the pandemic.
(FYI: I had been on the Board for 4 years at the time.) It is important to note that MTSD has significantly exceeded expectations all six years the District Report Cards have been produced.
From the ECRA presentation at the August 2 Board meeting, the slide below shows ALL students in MTSD (the solid lines) ranked as a percentile compared to ALL students in the state (vertical axis); and similarly how MTSD’s economically disadvantaged students compare to ALL economically disadvantaged students in the state. This demonstrates clearly that the District is closing the achievement gap for disadvantaged students by raising disadvantaged student performance, not by lowering performance standards for all students.
MTSD looks at student growth and achievement when assessing learning. MTSD has identified Seven Achievement Milestones to ensure student success in college and career. The milestones are rigorous – for example, Milestone 3 is the percent of students who achieve the 70th percentile or higher on the math portion of the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) test. The national average is the 50th percentile.
MTSD Milestone 5 results (Sophomores earn a C or better in Algebra 2)
Milestone 5 results for the 2020-2021 school year show quite an impressive increase based on changes made by district administration and approved by the Board.
Not surprisingly, given the challenges of the last 18 months, we’ve seen similar impact to our milestones as are being reported nationally. To complete the unfinished learning due to the pandemic, student learning has to grow more than expected, hence the Academic Recovery Plan now in action.
You can view additional District student achievement data here.
Reject the Recall.
Retain Dedication to Students and Staff
Re-elect the four Board members up for recall.
Hollander, Khan, Schultz and Francour
Honestly Keeping Students First