2015 - 2016 LEGISLATURE
January 7, 2015 - Introduced by Representatives Thiesfeldt, Vos, Steineke,
Rodriguez, Knodl, Nygren, Petryk, Schraa, Macco, A. Ott, Kleefisch,
Gannon, Mursau, Weatherston, Rohrkaste, Czaja, Swearingen, Krug,
Loudenbeck, VanderMeer, Ballweg, E. Brooks, T. Larson, R. Brooks,
Kooyenga, Knudson, Kulp, Jarchow, Spiros, Kitchens, Kerkman and
Edming. Referred to Committee on Education.
1An Act to repeal
118.42, 118.60 (2) (ag) 3., 118.60 (7) (a), 118.60 (10) (a) 4., 119.23 2
(2) (ag) 3., 119.23 (7) (a), 119.23 (10) (a) 4. and 121.006 (2) (d);
(1) (a) 5., 118.30 (2) (b) 3., 118.30 (2) (b) 4., 118.30 (2) (b) 5., 118.30 (2) (b) 6., 4
118.33 (6) (a) 1., 118.33 (6) (b) 1., 118.33 (6) (c) 1., 118.33 (6) (cr) 1., 118.40 (2r) 5
(bm), 118.40 (2r) (d) 2., 118.60 (7) (e) and 119.23 (7) (e); and to create
15.07 (1) 6
(a) 6., 15.07 (3) (bm) 8., 15.375 (3), 20.255 (1) (fm), 115.28 (61), 115.28 (62), 7
115.385 (3), 115.39, 118.30 (8) and 118.40 (2r) (b) 1. e. of the statutes; relating
8to: a school review system, providing an exemption from emergency rule
9procedures, providing an exemption from rule-making procedures, granting
10rule-making authority, and making an appropriation.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Current law: school and school district accountability
Current law directs the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to annually
publish a school and school district accountability report that includes the following
information about each school and school district, derived from data gathered in the
previous school year:
1. Multiple measures to determine a school's performance or a school district's
improvement, including pupil achievement and growth in reading and mathematics;
measures of college and career readiness; and gaps in pupil achievement and
graduation rates categorized by various factors.
2. An index system to identify a school's level of performance and to annually
place each school into one of five performance categories.
Current law requires DPI to prepare school accountability reports for
independent charter schools and private schools participating in a parental choice
program (PCP) one year after the independent charter school or PCP school begins
using a student information system for the standardized collection of student data.
Current law requires independent charter schools and PCP schools to begin using
a student information system in the 2015-16 school year.
Current law: Low-performing school districts and schools; state
Current law provides that if the state superintendent of public instruction
determines that a school is in need of improvement for five consecutive school years
or that a school district is in need of improvement for four consecutive school years,
the state superintendent may direct the school board to, after seeking input from
school district staff, do one or more of the following in the school or school district:
1. Implement a new curriculum.
2. Implement a new instructional design, including expanded school hours,
additional pupil supports and services, and individual learning plans for pupils.
3. Implement professional development programs focused on improving pupil
4. Make personnel changes.
5. Adopt accountability measures to monitor the school district's finances or to
monitor other interventions directed by the state superintendent.
Current law also authorizes the state superintendent to withhold state aid from
any school district that fails to comply to the state superintendent's satisfaction with
any of the above directives.
This bill repeals these provisions.
Academic review system
This bill replaces the school and school district accountability system with an
academic review system, to be created by the Academic Review Board (ARB), by rule,
within 24 months after the effective date of the bill and to be implemented by DPI
beginning in the 2017-18 school year. The academic review system will be applicable
to public schools, independent charter schools, and private schools participating in
Responsibilities of the Academic Review Board
In addition to requiring the ARB to establish the academic review system, the
bill gives the ARB the authority to establish an independent charter school or initiate
a contract with an individual or group to operate an independent charter school. The
bill also gives the ARB a number of responsibilities, including the following:
1. Annually review the review reports issued for schools subject to sanctions
and determine whether any such school has made measurable progress towards the
goals established by the school.
2. Develop the following by rule:
a. Incentives to be given to exceptional schools.
b. Incentives to be given to schools with a significant population of children at
risk or of pupils receiving curriculum modifications or other alternative educational
c. Consequences to be borne by failing schools.
d. Methods for evaluating and improving the collection of data from schools and
developing and modifying when appropriate the criteria used to grade schools.
e. The qualifying score for each letter grade assigned by the state
3. Develop alternative improvement plans to be implemented by schools
subject to Step I sanctions, as discussed below.
4. Approve three of the alternative tests determined, as discussed below, by
University of Wisconsin-Madison Value-Added Research Center (VARC) to be
appropriate for statistical comparison with examinations adopted or approved by the
state superintendent of public instruction (state superintendent).
Beginning in 2017 and in each odd-numbered year thereafter, the ARB must
submit a report with certain recommendations to DPI, provide a copy to the
appropriate standing committees of the legislature, and be prepared to make a
presentation about its recommendations to a hearing or joint hearing of the
Current law requires public schools, including independent charter schools,
and private schools participating in a PCP to administer examinations adopted or
approved by the state superintendent in the 4th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th grades.
This bill authorizes a public school, including an independent charter school, and a
private school participating in a PCP to administer a test approved by the ARB in
lieu of the examinations adopted or approved by the state superintendent. If the
school elects to administer an alternative test, the school must cover the costs of the
test and of administering the test.
Annual review of schools
The bill directs DPI to annually determine a school's performance in the
1. Pupil achievement in reading and mathematics.
2. Growth in pupil achievement in reading and mathematics, calculated using
a value-added methodology.
3. Gap closure in growth in pupil achievement in reading and mathematics
and, when available, in graduation rates.
4. Rates of attendance or of high school graduation.
DPI must determine the appropriate weight to be given each of the performance
measures used to determine the letter grade assigned to a school. DPI must also
determine each school's performance following a review of certain data from the
preceding school year and must issue a review report for each school on which DPI
assigns a letter grade to the school based upon that data. The bill directs DPI to
determine the appropriate weight to be given to each measure reported for each
school, and directs the ARB to determine the qualifying score for each letter grade
by rule. The bill requires DPI to impose sanctions upon a school that receives a letter
grade of "D" or "F" on the third review report of three consecutive review reports.
The bill specifies the information that DPI may use to measure the school's
performance in each of the above areas. Generally, schools submit the information
through the student information system. The student information includes scores
on reading and mathematics examinations administered to pupils attending the
school; the disability status, grade level, race or ethnicity, English-language
proficiency, and economic status of pupils taking the examinations; and information
about the number of pupils who graduate from high school and the number of years
within which the pupils obtain a diploma.
For a private school participating in a PCP, the bill directs DPI to use for each
performance area only the information that pertains to pupils attending the private
school under the PCP unless the private school also submits data about pupils who
are not attending the private school under the PCP. DPI may assign two letter grades
to PCP schools if the PCP schools submit data about pupils who are not attending
the private school under a PCP. The first grade must be derived only from pupils
attending the school under the PCP, and the second grade must be derived from all
pupils attending the private school. If two grades are reported, DPI may impose
sanctions upon a private school based only on the grade derived solely from pupils
attending the private school under a PCP.
The bill provides that if DPI determines there is insufficient data about a school
to grade its performance, or that a grade would be inappropriate because the mission
of the school is to serve predominantly or exclusively children at risk, pupils with a
disability, or pupils who have other special needs, DPI must issue a report card but
must grade the school as "satisfactory" or "needs improvement."
Sanctions for schools receiving a "d" or "f"
The bill requires the state superintendent to increase the severity of sanctions
imposed upon schools that receive failing grades in two steps: Steps I and II. The
sanctions imposed upon public schools, including independent charter schools, differ
in some respects from the sanctions imposed upon private schools participating in