It’s not just for kids anymore. This from Dr. Will Flanders at WILL, writing for RightWisconsin.
A Lake Wobegon Effect? Wisconsin is a state, according to the latest report cards, where (almost) everyone is above average.Despite proficiency rates in that hover around 40% in both math and reading, 87% of schools in the state meet or exceed expectations.
A part of the explanation for this is that growth and proficiency make up different shares of a school’s overall achievement score depending on the number of low income kids in the school. Because low income kids start from behind in many cases, growth makes up a bigger share of the score when a school has more low income kids.
It is laudable to account for student growth, but we should recognize that it makes comparisons between schools more difficult. When a school like Kluge Elementary in Milwaukee “Meets Expectations” with proficiency rates of 4.1% in math and reading, something is unbalanced.
If proficiency rates are 40% and 87% of schools are considered to meet or exceed expectations, then our expectations are woefully low. The soft bigotry of low expectations isn’t very soft anymore.