Learning From Report Cards

New school grades are a tool for learning
Learning From Report Cards


The latest report cards for public schools and school districts in Wisconsin are all about learning. They are a measure, though just one measure, of how our kids are learning. But equally as important they offer an opportunity for some districts to learn from others.

“There may be some districts in Wisconsin that we want to know more about,” said Madison Superintendent Jen Cheatham. “They’re doing something that’s leading to high performance.”

Well, some of them are. And Madison, as a district, is lagging some districts. But school by school Madison’s grades are pretty good, some are very good, with none failing to meet any expectations.

There’s just simply a limit to how much we can infer from these grades and the imperfect data on which they are based. But we agree with Superintendent Cheatham. Let’s take this opportunity to learn what we can with an expectation that higher standards will lead to better results.