Wisconsin’s Educational Results

Summary

Skills

4th-grade reading scores on the NAEP (“nation’s report card”): From 6th place in 1992 to 27th place in 2019. 

4th-grade math scores: From 4th place in 1992 to 17th place in 2019.

4th-grade reading proficiency: 21st place in 2019.

  • 36% are at or above “proficient.”
  • Behind Florida and about the same as South Dakota.

4th-grade math proficiency: 13th place in 2019.

  • 45% are at or above “proficient.”
  • Behind Florida and about the same as Texas.

 

ACT Scores

3rd best in 2012 (among states where more than half of students took the ACT). 

7th best in 2019.

 

Remedial Work

10% of incoming UW system freshmen required remedial (“developmental”) math in 2000. 

22% required it in 2019. 

 

High School Graduation Rates

Tied for 2nd best in U.S. in 2010-11 at 87%. 

  • Behind Iowa; tied with Vermont. 

8th best in 2017-18 (latest) at 89.7%.

  • Behind Iowa, New Jersey, Kentucky, West Virginia, Alabama, Tennessee and Texas.

 

Comparative Results

NAEP (“Nation’s report card”)

4th-grade reading scores: From 6th place to 27th place. 

 

1992 

1998 

2005 

2009 

2015 

2019 

Wisconsin 

224 

222 

221 

220 

223 

220 

% Proficient 

33 

34 

33 

33 

37 

36 

National 

215 

213 

217 

220 

221 

219 

Wis. rank 

24 

30 

25 

27 

Signif. better than: 

28 

29 

20 

13 

16 

 

8th-grade reading scores: Flat trend. 

 

1992 

1998 

2005 

2009 

2015 

2019 

Wisconsin 

 

265 

266 

266 

270 

267 

% Proficient 

 

33 

35 

34 

39 

39 

National 

 

261 

260 

262 

264 

262 

Wis. rank 

 

18 

21 

Signif. better than: 

 

15 

24 

20 

23 

36 

 

4th-grade math scores: From 4th place to 17th place. 

 

1992 

1996 

2005 

2009 

2015 

2019 

Wisconsin 

229 

231 

241 

244 

243 

242 

% Proficient 

24 

27 

40 

45 

45 

45 

National 

219 

222 

237 

239 

240 

240 

Wis. rank 

18 

14 

16 

17 

Signif. better than: 

32 

36 

20 

28 

27 

19 

 

8th-grade math scores: Our position holds. 

 

1992 

1996 

2005 

2009 

2015 

2019 

Wisconsin 

274 

283 

286 

288 

289 

289 

% Proficient 

27 

32 

36 

39 

41 

41 

National 

262 

271 

278 

282 

281 

281 

Wis. rank 

13 

Signif. better than: 

32 

33 

30 

28 

35 

38 

 

4th-grade reading proficiency: 21st place. 

  • 36% are at or above “proficient” in 2019, which is 21st-best in the country, behind Florida and about the same as South Dakota. Our rank and score are about the same as in 2003. 

4th-grade math proficiency: 13th place. 

  • 45% are at or above “proficient” in 2019, which is tied for 13th-best in the country, behind Florida and about the same as Texas. Our rank and score are about the same as in 2003.

 

ACT Scores

3rd best in 2012 (among states where more than half of students took the ACT). 

11th best in 2016. 

7th best in 2019. 

 

Remedial Work

10% of incoming UW system freshmen required remedial (“developmental”) math in 2000. 

22% required it in 2008. 

22% required it in 2019. 

 

7% of incoming UW system freshmen required remedial (“developmental”) English in 2000. 

8% required it in 2008. 

5% required it in 2019. 

 

High School Graduation Rates

Tied for 2nd best in U.S. in 2010-11 at 87%. 

  • Behind Iowa; tied with Vermont. 

8th best in 2017-18 (latest) at 89.7%. 

  • Behind Iowa, New Jersey, Kentucky, West Virginia, Alabama, Tennessee and Texas. 

 

Spending

$12,740: Per-pupil current expenditure, Wisconsin, 2020. 

$12,350: Per-pupil, 2015 (in 2020 dollars). 

$12,487: Per-pupil, 2012 (in 2020 dollars).
 

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