Local districts help disadvantaged students keep pace

WKCE results show districts fare better than state, on average

April 24, 2012

The three area school districts do considerably better than schools statewide in making sure economically disadvantaged students are able to keep up.

In reading for example, nearly one out of three economically disadvantaged students statewide is falling behind grade level, according to Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam results. But in Greenfield, it's nearly one out of five, in West Allis-West Milwaukee, it's a little better than that and in Whitnall it's nearly one out of six.

Even though the Whitnall schools have the fewest economically disadvantaged students, they do the best job of all three area school districts of keeping them from falling behind, the WKCE results show.

And perhaps surprisingly, West Allis-West Milwaukee, which has to put up with the perception by some that it lags academically, did the second best job in reading and math. About half its enrollment consists of students who are economically disadvantaged, according to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

The Greenfield schools do the second best job with economically disadvantaged students in science and language arts, which includes spelling and grammar.

The WKCE measures how well schools keep all children at least proficient for their grade levels. The goal of every district is to have 100 percent proficient or above, but extremely few achieve that - none in the four-county Milwaukee metro area in all five subjects the WKCE tests.

Although the percentages are relatively small locally, they still represent children who are falling behind.

Even at Whitnall, the 17 percent of students who are behind in reading translates to 40 children spread across seven grades. In West Allis-West Milwaukee, where the percentage is barely higher at 19 percent basic or minimal, that represents 401 children, or 57 per grade. In Greenfield's 21.7 percent behind in reading is 153 students or 21 per grade.

A wider look at WKCE scores

Rank for Greenfield, Whitnall and West Allis-West Milwaukee in Milwaukee County with 17 elementary districts and 15 offering high school

GreenfieldWhitnallWest Allis-West Milwaukee
GradeMathReading MathReadingMathReading
ThirdTied for ninth12thTied for thirdsixthTied for ninthseventh
Fourth12thTied for 14thTied for secondthird11thTied for eighth
FifthTied for 10thTied for ninthfirstthirdTied for eighthTied for ninth
Sixth15th12thTied for fifthsixthninth11th
SeventhTied for 10th Tied for 12thfourthTied for seventhninth10th
Eighth15thTied for 10thTied for seventhTied for seventh10th13th
10thninthTied for 10theighthTied for 10th13th13th
How Economically Disadvantaged Students Did on WKCE
Percentage of students not proficient with scores of minimal or basic
Percent disadvantagedReadingLanguageMathScience
State41 28433436
West Allis-West Milwaukee50 19382435

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