Janesville School District to unveil goals Tuesday

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Catherine W. Idzerda
Saturday, August 19, 2017

JANESVILLE—They call it "evidence-based leadership."

They say, "What gets measured gets done."

Here's what they mean: Show us the numbers.

On Tuesday, the Janesville School Board will set its goals or "promises" for the next five years. Most include measurable markers that will show the school board and the public if the district's administrators and staff are reaching their targets.

The goals include:

-- Ninety percent of third-graders will read at or above grade level.

In a previous interview, Superintendent Steve Pophal said third grade is a reading tipping point for kids. If they don't read at grade level by that point, their chances of catching up and being successful in school decrease significantly.

The percentage of third-graders reading at grade level was not available Friday, but Pophal will provide those numbers for the board.

However, on the 2015-16 school report cards, Janesville's third-graders scored an average of 7.4 out of 10 on the state's measure of English language arts achievement. The score was based on state test results.

The state average score was 6.8 out of 10.

-- Ninety percent of high school freshmen will successfully complete Algebra I. The course is a gateway to most upper-level courses, and not just in science and math, Pophal said. The construction trades, welding, food science and culinary arts also require basic algebra.

-- Ninety percent of high school graduates will successfully complete an advanced placement course, industry course resulting in a certification or a dual enrollment class that gives them college credit.

-- The graduation rate will increase by 1 percent a year until the district reaches a 92 percent rate in 2022. Current graduation rates are in the high 80s, Pophal said.

-- All students will have academic or career plans that include post-high school plans.

Another set of goals includes having 90 percent of all graduates complete college-ready or career-ready markers as outlined by redefiningready.org.

“It's an evidence-based approach,” Pophal said of the Redefining Ready markers. “With these (markers), we know that students are well on their way with the skills and content to success and continue training or study after graduation.”

College-ready markers include a GPA of at least 2.8 out of 4.0 and one or more of these: an AP class, a score of 3 or more on an AP exam, Algebra II, and an ACT score of at least 18 in English, 22 in reading, 23 in science and 22 in math.

Students are "career ready" if they have identified a career interest and have at least two of these: at least 90 percent attendance rate, 25 hours of community service, a workplace learning experience, an industry credential, a class that will give them both high school and college credits, and participation in at least two or more organized co-curricular activities.

Other goals in the five-year plan include maintaining a teacher and staff retention rate of 95 percent, increasing the noncertified staff retention rate to 93 percent by 2022, and having all staff participate in professional development while on the job.

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