TORKELSON COMP. $146,359
Contract $98,000; Benefits $30,000
Wis. DPI Supt. comp. $121,307
Cost per student Mercer $20,146,
Wis. $12,942, Nation $10,667
ACT comp. score Mercer 17.0,
Wis. 19.6, Lakeland UHS 20.0,
Hurley 18.7; perfect score 36.0
Mercer DPI Report Card score
lowest of all 421 Wis. schools






Saturday, November 30, 2019





More on the Report Card Scores
A LOOK AT THE 21 NORTHERN SCHOOL DISTRICTS

When conditions are good, there is a natural tendency to take credit for the results.  But when things turn bad, people begin to look for excuses.  This is what appears to be happening regarding the annual School Report Card scores recently issued by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Four years ago, Mercer School Administrator Erik Torkelson hung huge banners outside the school proclaiming success with a Report Card score of 88.0, significantly exceeds expectations. What was not known at the time was that the score was achieved because certain teachers were helping the students with the state tests upon which the Report Card scores are largely based.  (Realizing that the banners were dishonest, the new school board and interim administrator has since wisely removed them.)

A DPI investigation was launched, and the test cheating ceased.  Two teachers eventually surrendered their licenses.  Mercer’s Report Cards scores crashed and for the next three years were in the cellar.  In fact, the most recent score for the 2018-19 school year placed Mercer at the very bottom of the list of all 421 state school districts.  (See MSF 11/12/19 Mercer’s Report Card Score)

It has been suggested that small, rural schools are at a disadvantage in the scoring process.  But a look at the results for the 21 northern Wisconsin school districts seems to contradict that argument. 

Most of the 21 northern Wisconsin school districts could be considered small and probably all are regarded as rural.  But the smallest and most rural, the Maple School District, excels.  For three years running the Maple School District, with 134 students, has been at the top or near the top of the list with its School Report Card scores.  It has a three-year average score of 80.4, exceeds expectations, and has improved its score from 2016-17 to 2018-19 by 11.6%.

By contrast, the Mercer School District, with 145 students, has been in last place for the three years with a three-year average of 56.1, meets few expectations. Its score from to 2016-17 to 2018-19 dropped 18.6%, the greatest decline of all 21 districts.

Of the 21 school districts nine had three-year average scores which placed them in the “exceeds expectations” category, 10 were in the “meets expectations” class, and only two, including Mercer, were rated as “meets few expectations”.

So, what do you think?  Are all small, rural schools at a disadvantage? 

SCHOOL
ENROLL.
2018-19
17-18
16-17
3-YR. AV.
*RATING
**% DIFF.
Maple
134
84.4
81.3
75.6
80.4
2
+11.6
Chequamegon
768
79
72.6
70.9
74.2
2
+11.4
Tomahawk
1,224
78
80.5
76.6
78.4
2
  +1.9
Washburn
572
76.7
80.8
77.1
78.2
2
  -0.5
Drummond
365
75.7
70
73.1
72.9
3
 +3.6
Northland Pines
1,306
75.7
75.7
74.4
75.3
2
 +1.7
South Shore
177
74.1
71.2
69.9
71.7
3
 +6.0
Hayward
1,839
73
73.8
69.1
72
2
 +5.6
Mellen
271
73
79.8
78.3
77
2
 -6.8
HURLEY
563
71.8
77.1
74
74.3
2
 -3.0
Butternut
206
71.5
69.1
71
70.5
3
 +0.7
Winter
249
70.8
74.5
74.3
73.2
2
 -4.7
Phillips
759
69.9
70
68
69.3
3
 +2.8
Northwood
325
69.8
75
73.3
72.7
3
 -4.8
Rhinelander
2,350
68
66.3
61.8
65.4
3
+10.0
Superior
4,622
66.1
68.6
69.6
68.1
3
 -5.0
Ashland
2,093
65.3
63.2
65.1
64.5
3
 +0.3
LAKELAND
709
65
69.8
66.7
67.2
3
 -2.5
Solon Springs
273
65
68.5
68
67.2
3
 -4.4
Bayfield
365
61.1
60.7
63.7
61.8
4
 -4.1
MERCER
145
50.4
55.9
61.9
56.1
4
-18.6
 Based upon 3-year averages

     *RATINGS -- Based upon 3-year averages
     1. Significantly exceeds expectations -- 83-100
     2. Exceeds expectations – 73-82.9
     3. Meets expectations – 63-72.9
     4. Meets few expectations – 53-62.9
     5. Fails to meet expectations 0-52.9
**% increase (+) decrease (-) from 2016-17 to 2018-19

3 comments:

  1. I guess I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer, so can someone help me?

    How can the lowest ranking school in the state have an Honor Roll?

    What's the criteria? That they could spell their name right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because they hand out "A's" like it was candy on Halloween. All Torkelson was concerned about is if you were liked or not.

      In his words it was all about perception.

      Delete
  2. The only disadvantage Mercer School has is its District Administrator and School Board that has not always performed the duties they were elected to do.

    ReplyDelete