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Wisconsin Schools work towards closing the gap

WISCONSIN — The state of Wisconsin is looking to close their achievement gap in all schools, and are working with the Cooperative Educational Service Agency.

The Cooperative Educational Service Agency is a non profit government agency serving 17 school districts.

These 17 districts are within the northwest Wisconsin region, all of which deal with an achievement gap differently. A 600 million dollar fund will be helping all school districts in the state to help improve the gap.

School districts in Northwest Wisconsin see achievement gaps differently, after speaking with Jeff Gordon from Bayfield School, this funding will be crucial.

“We have a smaller district so our samples are smaller, right now those gaps are in Bayfield and we are working on them.” stated Jeff Gordon, Superintendent of Bayfield.

Superior school district is also seeing a large gap in different student groups, of which aren’t performing the same.

Amy Starzecki, Superintendent of Superior says, “Some areas that we’ve looked at in Superior have seen students of color, students who live in poverty, and students with disabilities aren’t performing the same as their piers.”

This achievement gap comes after standardized test scores show less than half of Wisconsin students are proficient in Math and English.  State Superintendent Carolyn Standford Taylor calls this gap a crisis, and that funding is needed to help see an improvement.

A good portion of the the funding will be split between professional development, and special education as many schools report their biggest discrepancy is special needs.

“We do have a high number of special needs students in Bayfield, roughly 25% of our population, therefore we do see a need there.” stated Jeff.

Amy Starzecki from Superior says they hope with Tony Evers as governor he can help with student disability reimbursement, as a large portion of funding goes towards that.

“We’re really hoping that over time especially with Tony Evers as governor that we can see more reimbursement for our students with disabilities, which go directly into supporting students with disabilities when it comes to improving practices.”

Starzecki added it is essential to continue working towards closing this gap, so they can have low class sizes and improve professional development.

“Make sure every single student graduates from superior high school college and career ready..every student..not some or most, but every student.”

With this funding, the states goal is to close the gap by 50% within the next 6 years.

Kaitlyn Moffett

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