Education

Rating Watertown Schools

Our state Department of Education is out with its first annual rendition of the new school rating program. Each school in the state was rated using a standard formula to measure performance.

Of the nine large eastern South Dakota (ESD) school districts, Watertown’s high school ranked in 7th place. Most of the school scores, ours included, are clustered very close together. That said, seven place out of nine doesn’t excite me.

In addition to look at the similar-size ESD comparison, it’s also possible to compare schools of different sizes. Though this is far less meaningful, like comparing apples to oranges, I still find it interesting.

Here’s how the Watertown schools stack up in a broad full-state comparison:

Watertown High School: 69th out of 148 high schools.

Watertown Middle School: 27th out of 155 middle schools.

Watertown Elementary Schools: 34th, 41st, 72nd, 94th, 176th, and 200th out of 299 elementary schools.

As you can see, our schools score across the board, from pretty darn good to mediocre. I plan to ask lots of questions at the school board meeting next week. I hope you’ll tune in.

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