Pathetic. Just pathetic.
Just four out of ten K-12 students are proficient in math and English language arts, according to new data from Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction (DPI). Statewide, only 40.9 percent of all students are proficient or advanced in English language arts, down from 42.4 percent last year. In math, only 43.4 percent of all students show proficiency, a small decrease from last year’s 43.8 percent. According to DPI, a student who rates “proficient” means simply that the student is performing at grade level.
More than one-third of students, 34.4 percent, scored basic on the English languages arts section, while 23.2 percent scored below basic. A larger portion of students received scores of below basic compared to last year, showing a troubling decline in achievement. Millions more dollars have been sent to classrooms in recent budgets, including an increase of more than $655 million in the 2019-21 budget, on top of a $630 million increase in 2017-19. Student enrollment has remained stagnant.
In social students, 49 percent of students demonstrated proficiency, down from last year’s proficiency of 50.6 percent. Science results were not reported this year because of a change in tested topics.
The results come from the spring 2019 administration of the Forward Exam, which is the fourth time Wisconsin students have taken the test. Nearly 589,000 students in 3rd through 11th grade took the exam. Participation was 98 percent for public school students, and 90.6 percent for private school choice students.