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Elmbrook schools see rise in test scores for math, reading

April 8, 2014

Results from this school year's Wisconsin Student Assessment System show the Elmbrook School District continues to see improvement in math and reading for students.

The WSAS is a state-mandated, five-subject test taken by students in grades three to eight and 10. The assessment combines the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination and the Wisconsin Alternate Assessment for Students with Disabilities.

The test is administered every November and provides a basic measure of overall student success, with results falling into categories of minimal, basic, proficient and advanced. The district's scores dramatically exceeded the state average, with high percentages of Elmbrook students scoring proficient or advanced in math, reading, language arts, science and social studies.

For the 2013-14 school year, Elmbrook students in third- to eighth-grade and tenth-grade had an average of 78.4 percent of students scoring in the proficient and advanced range in Math and 56 percent in reading. The state's average was 47.7 percent in math and 35.7 percent in reading.

Elmbrook also saw an increase in student performance from the past two school years within the district.

More rigorous standards in the math and reading subjects were implemented into the WSAS two years ago and growth in those fields is a good sign, said Emily Greiber, director of data, assessment and continuous improvement.

"We're really excited about the growth, especially in reading and math," Greiber said. "It shows just how hard our staff and our students are working to move forward."

The WKCE program will be replaced statewide for the 2014-15 school year with the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium, a "more rigorous test" based on the Common Core State Standards, Greiber said.

"We feel like we're on the right track for SMARTER Balanced with these results," she added. "… Our teaching staff and students have risen to the challenge of increased expectations in reading and math and, as our literacy implementation deepens, we anticipate even greater results over the next few years."

Achievement results were also reported for Elmbrook's pre-defined, separate English Language Learners, who made gains in 2013-14 towards proficiency in both reading and math.

"Our ability to close gaps for our disaggregated groups is essential to meet our district's mission," Greiber said. "We hope to build off the momentum from our English Language Learners and reduce gaps with all student populations."

Data for Elmbrook and all other Wisconsin school districts can be found on the Department of Public Instruction's Wisconsin Information System for Education Data Dashboard at wisedash.dpi.wi.gov.

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