(The Center Square) – Wisconsin’s governor is taking credit for, and bragging about, school rankings that were earned before he took office.
Gov. Tony Evers on Tuesday bragged on Twitter about Wisconsin’s ranking in the latest U.S. News and World Report on the Best State for Primary Education.
“Folks, when I came into office, WI schools ranked 18th in the nation. Today, I’m proud to say we’re ranked 8th,” the governor tweeted on Tuesday.
Wisconsin is ranked 8th in the nation in the latest rankings.
But numbers used to craft those rankings come mostly from the Scott Walker era.
U.S. News ranked states based on students' college readiness in the fall of 2019, high school graduation rates from the spring of 2018., and math and reading scores from the tests taken in the spring of 2019, which was just months after Evers took office.
The U.S. News and World Report rankings don’t consider any of the scores or metrics from Wisconsin’s public schools since then.
“As proficiency has plummeted under his tenure, Governor Evers is forced to point to outdated data to back up his claims that he has been an effective leader on education,” Will Flanders with the Wisconsin Institute of Law and Liberty told The Center Square.
Flanders added that Gov. Evers’ approach to public schools has had a darker impact than the report suggests.
“The sectors that actually are doing better – choice and charter – have been the subject of repeated attempts by the governor to bring them to an end,” Flanders added. “School shutdowns during COVID, which the governor did nothing to stop, have exacerbated already huge achievement gaps among minority and low income students. None of this is reflected fully in the data for this ranking.”