Education Watch: Appleton leaks preliminary state test scores, divide grows

Sep 23, 2022 | Wisconsin Voices Blog

Picture of a classroom

Appleton Public Schools revealed before the mid-October embargo date how students statewide are doing in reading. These numbers are unofficial but likely close to final percentages. Roughly 36.9% of Appleton students are on a college track compared to 37.3% in 2019. 25.6% of Appleton students test at the lowest level compared to 23.6% in 2019. For Wisconsin students, 38.4% are on a college track compared to 40.8% in 2019. 25.4% are at a level that endangers future employment compared to 23.2% in 2019.

Additional context from IRG Senior Research Director Quinton Klabon:

Let’s celebrate good news! The pandemic hurt math worse, but Appleton still deserves three cheers for getting reading proficiency back.

However, following national trends, those far behind got further behind. 1 of 4 Appleton students now reads too poorly to hold a typical blue-collar or white-collar job.

Worse, about 7,000 Wisconsin students were knocked off of a college track and another 7,000 moved into the lowest category. That’s 14,000 students whose future earnings, stability, and happiness are in jeopardy. Detailed results will come in October, but the way to help them is clear: fix reading.