School test (copy)

The Wisconsin Policy Forum's School DataTool provides ways to compare a slew of educational data, including test scores, for the state's public school districts. 

The Wisconsin Policy Forum announced Friday the launch of an online resource for the public to access and compare data for all school districts in Wisconsin. 

The School DataTool builds on previous efforts to provide educational data resources from the group's predecessors, the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance and the Public Policy Forum, according to a news release.

"We're offering one-stop shop analysis of many major educational indicators, from enrollment and school spending to graduation rates and student performance," Wisconsin Policy Forum President Rob Henken said in a statement. 

The DataTool houses data from the state Department of Public Instruction, including interactive dashboards on topics such as enrollment, student performance, student engagement and district finances. It also has ways for users to compare school districts to each other as well as the statewide averages. 

The group said overall enrollment in Wisconsin schools has continued to decline. The number of students enrolled in Wisconsin schools declined 0.4 percent in 2018. The percentage of enrolled students who are minorities rose to 30 percent statewide in 2018. 

Graduation rates rose slightly to 88.6 percent in 2016-17, and the gap between graduation rates for white and black students has decreased slightly, but remains wide at 25.7 percent. The gap in graduation rates between white and black students in Wisconsin is the worst in the nation, according to federal data released earlier this month. In MMSD, that gap was 18.7 percentage points in 2016-17.

The average composite ACT score average dropped to 19.8 in 2017-18, which was down from 20.1 the previous year. It was the lowest average since all juniors were required to take the test in 2014-15, according to the WPF. While scores on the test, with 36 being the highest score, between white, black and Hispanic students declined in 2016-17, it was mostly due to a lower average for white students. 

DPI also has a public portal of data called WISEdash.

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