By the numbers
Wisconsin’s school regulator, the Department of Public Instruction, released results of last year’s Forward tests of students’ proficiency in reading, math and other subjects. Scores improved over the previous year, though they haven’t yet returned to the levels they were at before the pandemic lockdowns disrupted school for many children. You can read more about the results here.
The underlying numbers
The Forward Exam, used since 2015-16, tests all students in grades 3 through 8 on reading and math every year, though the 2019-20 school year was skipped.
Students’ performance is ranked as “advanced,” “proficient,” “basic” or “below basic.”
Advanced and proficient essentially mean that a child is performing as well or better than should be expected for her grade level.
Percent that are at least proficient in…
The statewide reading proficiency results, graphed:
Proficiency levels long have been lower in Milwaukee. The percentages of students at or above proficiency in reading in both the Milwaukee Public Schools and in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program:
It should be noted that while the test was resumed in the 2020-21 school year, a much greater number of students didn’t take the test, which skews percentages. The no-test percentages returned to normal by the 2021-22 school year.
Published in the Oct. 13 issue of Top Picks.