Understanding the School Report Card

What is a school report card and why are they being issued? What data are used?

2015-16 was the first year that schools in the Milwaukee, Racine, and Wisconsin parental choice programs submitted data to the DPI using a new data collection system. That data informs the school and district report cards that will be released on November 17 for all schools and districts. Due to a change in state law, private schools participating in the choice program now receive the same report cards as their public school counterparts. 227 schools in the state’s three private parental choice programs submitted accountability data to the DPI and will receive report cards. The data that schools submitted provide information about student enrollment and demographics. As data collection continues, attendance, graduation, and dropout information will also be collected and included in report card calculations.

Where are we going from here?

Data for all private schools participating in one of the choice programs is available for public view. Going forward, choice schools have an opportunity to opt in to receive a report card for all students attending the private school, in addition to the report cards just for students participating in the choice program. This allows for a look at performance based on all students in the school, but is not required by law. The first all student private school report cards will be for the 2016-17 school year. No matter what student population is included in the report card calculations, report cards are just one snapshot measure of how well a school educates kids and they do not represent the complete picture of what goes on within a school.