Education Watch: Tragic 2022 Test Scores Released, Low-Income Rural and Urban Students Hurt Most

Sep 30, 2022 | Wisconsin Voices Blog

Quinton Klabon

From the Department of Public Instruction:

“Student achievement increased in most grade levels from 2020-21, but is not at the same level of achievement from 2018-19.” That is an understatement. Only 37% of Wisconsin students are college- or career-ready in reading, a drop of -4%. Only 39% are proficient in math, a drop of -4% as well. Read more here.


Additional context from IRG Senior Research Director Quinton Klabon:

  • These numbers disguise how destructive shutting schools down for so long was for rural and urban students. Just 12% of low-income students in Milwaukee, Madison, Kenosha, Green Bay, and Racine are proficient (or “college-ready”) in reading and only 10% are in mathematics. In Milwaukee, there are 9 schools where 0 children can do math proficiently! Outside those cities, only 33% are proficient in reading and only 36% are in mathematics.
  • Those who were already behind fell even farther. Almost half of low-income students statewide test at the very lowest levels in reading and math.
  • Other states have not suffered this much. We will know more when national comparisons come out October 24th, but Mississippi, Tennessee, and other states saw state reading scores match pre-pandemic levels. Bad policies in Madison have done long-term damage to our children.