Wisconsin Student Assessment System
The Wisconsin Student Assessment System (WSAS) is a comprehensive statewide program designed to provide information about what students know in core academic areas and whether they can apply what they know. The WSAS includes:
- the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination (WKCE) at grades 4, 8, and10 in Science and Social Studies,
- the Wisconsin Alternate Assessment for Students with Disabilities (WAA-SwD) at grades 4, 8, and10 in Science and Social Studies,
- the Smarter Balanced Assessment (Smarter) in grades 3-8 n English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics,
- Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) at grades 3-11 in ELA and Mathematics,
- ACT Aspire at grades 9 & 10, and
- The ACT at grade 11 for ELA and Mathematics, Science, and Writing.
The federal No Child Left Behind Act required all states to test all students in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and once in high school. Student performance on these assessments is reported in proficiency categories and used for accountability determination at the school, district and state levels.
Wisconsin is Committed to a Balanced Assessment System
Wisconsin’s focus is on creating a balanced assessment system, a group of interrelated components designed to support the teaching/learning cycle. This system of assessment tools will meet multiple needs of students and educators. One test cannot do everything. One test cannot answer all questions. For instance, summative tests are not created to diagnose an individual student’s needs with respect to their classroom instruction. On the other hand, formative assessments and many interim assessments are designed around the “what’s next” question. The assessment system must also be part of a 21st century system of learning by working together with standards, curriculum, instruction, and support structures to ensure students are college and career ready.
Other Wisconsin Assessments
The W-APT™ measures the English language proficiency of students who have recently arrived in the U.S. or in a particular district. It can help to determine whether or not a child is in need of English language instructional services, and if so, at what level.
ACCESS for ELLs® is designed to measure English language proficiency. It is a large-scale test that addresses the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) Consortium’s English Language Proficiency Standards that form the core of Wisconsin’s approach to instructing and testing English language learners.
Alternate ACCESS for ELLs™ is an assessment of English language proficiency for students in grades 1 -12 who are classified as English language learnersand have significant cognitive disabilities that prevent their meaningful participation in the ACCESS for ELLs assessment.
ACT Aspire™ Early High School - ACT Aspire assesses student readiness in English, math, reading, science, and writing. ACT Aspire is an online assessment in Wisconsin except for students who require accommodations through Braille, Large Print or American Sign Language who will take ACT Aspire in a paper and pencil format.
ACT® WorkKeys® - ACT WorkKeys is a job skills assessment system that helps employers select, hire, train, develop, and retain a high-performance workforce. This series of tests measures foundational and soft skills and offers specialized assessments to target institutional needs. ACT WorkKeys will be a paper and pencil test in Wisconsin for the 2015 administration.
PALS is a research based screening, diagnostic, and progress monitoring tool. Wisconsin teachers use PALS to identify students at risk of developing reading difficulties, diagnose students' knowledge of literacy fundamentals, monitor progress, and plan instruction that targets students' needs. Student data collected from PALS provides a direct means of matching literacy instruction to specific literacy needs.
NAEP assessments follow the frameworks developed by the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB). NAEP assessments include selected response and constructed response questions. The content of NAEP is designed to align with current national instructional practice.
Assessment Windows for 2014-15
Assessment Program Coordinator
Education Program Specialist
Smarter/WKCE and Webpage
Assessment for ELLs
W-APT, ACCESS and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs
Data and Student Demographics and Privacy
Test Security and PALS
High School Assessment
The ACT, ACT Aspire Early High School, ACT Workkeys