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DeForest, WI: Students 'making reasonable progress' meeting literacy goals

Nov 27, 2019, Sun Prairie, WI, DeForest Times-Tribune: DeForest Area School District officials study literacy report http://www.hngnews.com/deforest_times/news/local/article_c86bc5bc-efa8-5c41-8264-16060094273c.html Pleased overall with students’ performance in the area of literacy, officials with the DeForest Area School District have concerns about how some minority and special education groups are doing. A monitoring report unanimously approved by the school board at its meeting Monday, Nov. 25, gave the district a mark of “making reasonable progress” in literacy, due to the majority of students continuing to meet or exceed attainment goals. There were exceptions, though…. While not all the news was good, Runez appreciated the honesty of the report. “We’re not sugarcoating the data,” said Runez…. “It is concerning to me,” said Miller, who indicated that if progress isn’t made in a year or two, he wouldn’t be able to accept similar findings in a literacy report. Runez responded, “We’re all in agreement.”… A number of indicators of how the district doing when it comes to literacy were included in the report. The first shows the district’s percentage of student who meet or exceed the benchmark of proficiency in reading for grades four and eight on the state standardized test for all students versus the state percentage of students who do likewise. Both DeForest fourth and eighth graders scored about the state average of their counterparts in the three components of the Wisconsin Forward Exam that measures literacy, although DeForest’s scores fell in two of the three areas for both classes. Fourth graders improved in “vocabulary use,” going from 54.7 percent in 2018 to 62.8 in 2019…. However, their scores fell in “key ideas and details,” dropping to 53.7 percent from 60.1 in 2018, and in “craft and structure/interpretation of knowledge and ideas,” falling from 64.4 percent in 2018 to 56.1 in 2019.. Eighth graders scored slightly better in “key ideas and details” in 2019, improving to 63.1 percent after scoring 62.1 percent in 2018, but their scores declined from 62.6 in 2018 to 58.3 in 2019 in “craft and structure/interpretation of knowledge and ideas” and from 67.6 in 2019 in “vocabulary use” to 59.6. In total, the percentage of DeForest fourth graders that scored proficient or advanced in English Language Arts dropped from 49 percent in 2018 to 44.5 percent in 2019, but still finished ahead of the state 2019 average of 43.8 percent. Eighth graders surpassed the state average in this category in 2019 with a score of 42.3 percent, compared to the state average of 37.3 percent….. A fifth indicator calls for 100 percent of all DeForest students in grades 1-6 to maintain and show growth in their percentile ranks from fall to spring on the iReady assessment in reading. In the spring of 2018, 53.8 percent of those students hit those marks, while that percentage fell to 52 percent in 2019….