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Jeff Spitzer-Resnick, at his home on Thursday, May 22, 2014. Mike DeVries -- The Capital Times

The Madison Metropolitan School District may have been rated “Meets Expectations” on the latest state report cards, but one children’s advocate says the most vulnerable students are being left behind.

Black, Hispanic and low-income students, as well as students with disabilities and English language learners, show proficiencies well below those of the district as a whole, Jeff Spitzer-Resnick points out on his blog.

“While overall the Department of Public Instruction considered that MMSD ‘meets expectations,’ a closer examination of vulnerable student populations suggests many MMSD students are not receiving an education which will prepare them adequately for adulthood,” writes Spitzer-Resnick, an attorney who has blogged before about school district accountability.

Citing information from the Report Card detail available here on the DPI website, Spitzer-Resnick compares district-wide levels of proficiency in reading and math with consistently lower levels among students of color, low-income students and those with disabilities or limited English language skills.

He also points out that more than half of the students in each of the latter groups score “minimal performance” in reading — compared with 32.8 percent district-wide — and have higher levels of minimal performance in math as well.

“The school district and the citizenry must demand more than incremental improvement and certainly no further slippage in performance from our school district,” Spitzer-Resnick concludes.

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