In just a few months the staff at ABC has increased from 4 to 11. Thanks to a grant from the AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer In Service To America) program, we’ve been able to bring on four Continuous Improvement Coordinators and two new Researchers to support this complex and exciting work. In addition, our partnership with Brown County United Way has allowed us to support a shared Community Information System manager as we continue to build our civic infrastructure to translate data into informed action. Christine Gill, Community Information System manager, joined us in June as a shared employee with Brown County United Way. The first 5 AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer In Service To America) Members joined us this month, with another to follow in August.
Brown county high school graduation rates have seen an exciting upward trend over the last few years. For the classes that graduated in 2010, the 4-year rate was 84.3%. By the time the classes of 2016 graduated that rate had risen to 90.2%. Between 2015 and 2016 alone, there was an increase of 1.6%. Also notable is the fact that the 2016 Brown County graduation rate, at 90.2%, had surpassed the state rate of 88.7%.
Stay tuned to ABC for the latest news and stats on graduation rates and other important community data.
We have started working with all three local healthcare systems, Bellin Health, Prevea, and Aurora. Key community partners are agreeable to changing how all clinics in Brown County assess and triage children with needs, and are working to create better transparency between partners. This will foster follow up with parents when a child is not given an opportunity to come to school prepared. Below is an example of the type of analysis we are doing to identify system opportunities.
Post-secondary plans of high school seniors in Brown County remained very consistent between the 2009-10 and 2014-15 school years. Across eight survey choices and six years, no variation was ever greater than 5% and most were less than 3%. It is unclear as of now what might account for this fact. However, when viewed by individual demographic this trend does not repeat. Minority students in Brown County often showed more variation year to year. More information on this trend will be provided on this fact as data becomes available.
Stay tuned to ABC for the latest updates on this and other important community data.
Working with system partners and state legislators, we and partners from local school districts identified outdated policy and statutory requirements for K-12 districts as a substantial barrier to the innovation and improvement that the Achieve model was founded on. Working closely with our business partners, policy makers, and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, we were able to facilitate a new method for granting waivers from unnecessary statutes. This new and novel approach, dubbed the Wisconsin Districts of Innovation, was unveiled jointly by the Department of Public Instruction and Achieve Brown County at Foth in Ledgeview this month.
Recent years have seen a decrease in English Language Arts (ELA) and math scores on state exams. In 2016-17, 35.1% of eighth graders in Brown County scored proficient or above in math, a decrease from 40.1% the previous year. This is down further from 49.6% in 2013-14 and 53.5% in 2010-2011. The state as a whole showed a similar trend, although Brown County scores were almost identical to the state this year after being consistently higher since 2005-06.
Brown County third graders scoring proficient or above in ELA was also down 42.4% this year from 44.1% in 2015-16. This is a further decrease from 53.6% in 2014-15 after a dramatic increase from 33.4% in 2013-14. As has mostly been the case since at least 2005-06 the state and BC numbers have been quite consistent (42.8% to 42.4% in 2016-17 respectively).
An important note to make is that the state test has changed twice in recent years. The WKCE until 2013-14, it became the Badger exam in 2014-15, before becoming the Forward exam for the last two years. Any decreases may have more to do with how scores are now calculated versus a change in student skill or knowledge. Until more years of Forward Exam data are available it will be difficult to say if this is a continuing trend and what may be causing it.
Stay tuned to ABC for updates on this and other important community data.