First, note how hard it was for the reporters to get answers. Second, remember that these districts have also been shifting measurements so comparisons are skewed more positive than they actually are. Even with that… this is bad… really bad. Fox 6 did an excellent job and has a great interactive map with detailed background data that I encourage you to explore.
FOX6 started asking Milwaukee Public Schools for student performance records in January. The records the district eventually provided say the data was collected in February, but MPS did not turn the numbers over until April 1 – the night before spring break, one week after the school board voted on an in-person learning plan.
The data shows a jump in high school students failing one or more classes, from 46 percent pre-pandemic to 55.9 percent last semester.
The district said it could not locate records with GPA data from previous years; no one responded to FOX6’s repeated interview requests.
During a virtual press conference about reopening school buildings, Superintendent Dr. Keith Posley briefly answered a few FOX6 questions about the student performance data.
“I will say to you that this has been something that has happened around the country and I think that it’s been due to the shift to virtual learning and trying to meet the needs of all of our students,” Dr. Posley said. “That is something that we do have to address as a district.”
Wauwatosa’s records show a jump from 9.22% of middle and high school students failing one or more classes in the first semester of the 2019-2020 school year to 17.46% in the first semester of 2020-2021. Average GPA fell from 3.02 to 2.83.