Just as they hand out report cards to the students attending them, Wisconsin schools receive an annual "grade" from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.  The latest batch of scoring was just released - offering insight into the 2021-2022 school year. Included on the list was the variety of elementary, middle, and high schools in Douglas County.

The results show areas of concern for at least two public schools in Superior along with some growth for others.

In order to calculate the grade scores for each school, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction looks at a variety of criteria:

"As part of the state accountability system, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) produces report cards for every publicly funded school and district in Wisconsin. These report cards include data on multiple indicators for multiple years across four Priority Areas:



Target Group Outcomes

On-Track To Gradation

In addition, the report cards provide course and program participation information for grades 9-12."

Three consecutive schools years are looked at for each educational building - plotting out the "year-to-year academic growth in English Language arts and mathematics" as well as "outcomes for students with the lowest test scores".

The Department of Public Instruction removed results from the COVID-19-impacted 2019-2020 school year.

After compiling the scores, the Department of Public Instruction then assigns an "Accountability Rating Category" to the ranges of scores, as a means of allowing general observations. Here's that breakdown:

  • Significantly Exceeds Expectations:  100 - 83 (a 5 star rating)
  • Exceeds Expectations:  82.9 - 70 (a 4 star rating)
  • Meets Expectations: 69.9 - 58 (a 3 star rating)
  • Meets Few Expectations: 57.9 - 48 (a 2 star rating)
  • Fails To Meet Expectations: 47.9 - 0 (a 1 star rating)

While other districts and schools in Douglas County seemed to perform well across the board (earning "Exceeds or Meets Expectation scored), Superior schools had some problems. Here is a list of schools in Superior, ranked from lowest scores to best:

  • Superior Middle School:  "Meets Few Expectations" - 52.4
  • Northern Lights Elementary:  "Meets Few Expectations" - 53.6
  • Four Corners:  "Meets Expectations" - 66
  • Lake Superior Elementary:  "Meets Expectations" - 67.3
  • Bryant Elementary: "Meets Expectations" - 68
  • Superior High School: "Exceeds Expectations" - 70.6
  • Great Lakes Elementary: "Exceeds Expectations" - 70.2
  • Cooper Elementary: "Exceeds Expectations" - 75.1

When totaled together, the Superior School District as a whole earned a 60.9, which is conversationally a "Meets Expectations" ranking.

Superior High School - Superior School District in Superior, WI
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

Comparably, the scores that Superior received are lower overall than the schools in the Maple School District received. Maple's overall district score was a 71.7, with especially high scores for the Northwestern Elementary School (78) and Iron River Elementary (75.3).

To be fair, Superior schools did show some growth from last years results. While the overall district score was flat, the Superior High School grew their score significantly - from 64.6 last year to the 70.6 it achieved this year.

However, the two schools that performed the worst this year (the Middle School and Northern Lights) showed diminished scores. The Superior Middle School had attained a 56.9 last year (compared to this years 52.4) and Northern Lights Elementary also slid (from 58.1 to 53.6).

The full report for each of the schools - as well as all of the schools (and districts) from around the state can be found on the Wisconsin Department of Public Instructions website. Users can access scores as far back as the 2011-2012 school year for comparison.

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