Published Online: January 3, 2006

Wisconsin's State Highlights

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Vital Statistics
Public schools 2,218
Public school teachers 58,216
Pre-K-12 students 880,031
Annual pre-K-12 expenditures $7.9 billion
Minority students 21.2%
Children in poverty 14%
Students with disabilities 14.4%
English-language learners 3%

Summary of Grades

Wisconsin scores at or above average on all four of the graded policy categories in Quality Counts.

In standards and accountability, the state posts an average performance. Wisconsin has a strong showing on indicators related to assessment and school accountability. However, the state loses points on the standards indicators because the American Federation of Teachers has not rated its academic standards for science and social studies as clear, specific, and grounded in content.

In teacher quality, Wisconsin again earns an average grade. The state does fairly well on teacher-assessment indicators, requiring prospective teachers to pass subject-knowledge tests to earn an initial license. But Wisconsin lags behind in providing professional support and training for teachers. The state has no written professional-development standards and does not require and finance mentoring for new teachers.

Wisconsin ranks near the top of the nation in school climate, performing well across all areas in this category. It receives high marks on measures of parent involvement and school choice and autonomy. The strength of its charter school law receives a relatively high rating from the Center for Education Reform.

In resource equity, the state again performs well. It has one of the better coefficient-of-variation scores in the nation, indicating less disparity in funding levels across districts than is found in most states.

State Policy Report Card
Wisconsin Avg. State Score
Standards and accountability B- B-
Efforts to improve teacher quality C+ C+
School climate B C+
Resource equity B- C
Overall Grade B- C+
Quality Counts Grading Breakdown
Standards and accountability Points awardedPoints possible
Standards 27.5 40
Assessment 27.27 30
School accountability 27 30
82 100
Efforts to improve teacher quality Points awardedPoints possible
Teacher education and qualifications 28 35
Teacher assessment 27.3 30
Professional support and training 11 20
Accountability for teacher quality 10.5 15
77 100
School climate Points awardedPoints possible
Engagement 12 15
School safety 17.08 20
Parent involvement 12.6 15
Choice and autonomy 18.5 20
Class size 8.21 10
School size 8.17 10
School facilities 7.5 10
84 100
Resource equity Points awardedPoints possible
Wealth-neutrality score 28.33 33.3
McLoone Index 26 33.3
Coefficient of variation 27.33 33.3
82 100
Note: Details may not sum to totals due to rounding.

Vol. 25, Issue 17

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