Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Success Breeds Success

Once again students in the School District of Janesville distinguished themselves by their performance on the 2011 Wisconsin Concepts and Knowledge Test (WKCE). In particular, students exceeded expectations by beating the state average in math in all tested grades. By level, students in the fifth and sixth grades scored the best by exceeding the state average by six points. What’s significant about this result is that while the state again raised the proficiency bar by 10.5 points (making it more difficult to reach the proficiency goal) Janesville met the challenge, and in fact exceeded last year’s scores!

In reading, grades three through seven, and ten performed at or above the state average with grade eight missing the state average by one percentage point.

Language Arts, Science and Social Studies are only tested at grades four, eight, and 10. Composite scores in these disciplines exceeded the state average in Social Studies by 2.6%; Science by 2% and Language Arts by 3%.

Other notable improvements in the district when comparing current scores (2011) to previous scores (2010) occurred at the following schools: at Madison Elementary, a 14 percent gain in fourth grade reading, an 11 percent gain in third grade reading, as well as a 10 percent gain in fourth grade math. Roosevelt School showed a 23 percent gain in fourth grade math, a 12 percent gain in third grade math, a 14 percent gain in fourth grade reading, and a 6 percent gain in third grade reading. Likewise, a 16 percent gain in third grade math and an 11 percent gain in third grade reading took place at Adams. In math, Van Buren Elementary improved 17 percent in third grade and 9 percent in fourth grade; Washington improved 13 percent in fifth grade; Jefferson improved 11 percent in third grade; and Franklin Middle School improved 6 percent in seventh grade. In reading, Jackson showed a 10 percent gain in third grade, and Lincoln showed a 13 percent gain in third grade. These are all impressive gains that represent high quality teaching and learning in our schools!

Dr. Ehrhardt, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment for the School District of Janesville, contends that increased attention to previous student achievement data, a stronger fidelity to teaching the academic standards, and an increased expectation for improved WKCE performance were important ingredients responsible for the improved test scores. Dr. Ehrhardt also credited the collective leadership efforts of building principals, academic learning coaches, together with the entire instructional staff as the key to this year’s WKCE gains.

Parents and the Janesville Community can be proud of our students efforts associated with the WKCE. At a time when the teaching staff is leaner and the budget is tighter, student learning has not been sacrificed and their achievement has remained front and center with our staff. Congratulations on a job well done.

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