Information for Families About Assessment in Wisconsin

 

​What is the Wisconsin Student Assessment System (WSAS)?

The WSAS is a 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 State Summative Assessment (TBD) at grades 4, 8, and 10 in Science and Social Studies,
  • the State Summative Assessment (TBD) at grades 3-8 in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics, 
  • ACT Aspire at grades 9 & 10, and 
  • The ACT Plus Writing at grade 11 for Reading, English, Mathematics, Science, and Writing.
  • ACT WorkKeys at grade 11
  • Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) at grades 3-11 in ELA and Mathematics, and at grades 4 and 8 - 11 in Science. DLM is an alternate assessment for students with disabilities.

 

DLM

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The DLM™ Alternate Assessment will let students with significant cognitive disabilities show what they know in ways that traditional multiple-choice tests cannot in grades 3-11 in ELA and mathematics. DLM is an untimed online assessment. Each student is administered the test on an individual basis. A student may take the test over several days, as long as it is completed within the testing window. The total time required to administer the test varies from student to student; however, it is estimated the entire test will take about 2.5 hours to complete.

For more information go to http://oea.dpi.wi.gov/assessment/DLM

Assessment of English Language Learners (ELLs)

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English Language Learners (ELLs), including immigrant students and ELLs with disabilities, are required to participate in all state or federally required language and academic content assessments.

ELLs participate in:

  • WSAS – The Wisconsin Student Assessment System which consists of the state summative assessments
  • W-APT - WIDA-ACCESS Placement Test which is an English language Proficiency (ELP) "screener" 
  • ACCESS for ELLS®, (or Alternate ACCESS for ELLs™) - a large-scale assessment measures how students are meeting the English language development (ELD) standards

A recently arrived ELL (a student that has attended a U.S. school for less than 12 months) may be exempt from one required administration of the state’s reading assessment. Recently arrived students must participate in all other content areas, with or without accommodations.

For more information go to http://oea.dpi.wi.gov/assessment/ELL

New Assessment for Grades 3-8

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A summative assessment administered during the last 8 weeks of the school year (measuring students’ cumulative progress from the past school year). The assessment is administered in ELA and mathematics for grades 3-8 and also in Science and Social Studies for grades 4, 8 and 10. The assessment will provide a measure of students’ knowledge and skills required to be college- and career-ready via and online assessment.

More information will be posted when a testing company has been selected.

ACT High School Assessments

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In compliance with 2011 Assembly Bill 40 Act 20 and the 2013-15 biennial state budget, Wisconsin began to assess high school students in grades 9, 10, and 11 during the 2014-15 school year. The Wisconsin High School Assessments are comprised of:

  • ACT Aspire™ Early High School assessment for grades 9 and 10 students
  • The ACT® Plus Writing for grade 11 students
  • The ACT® WorkKeys® for grade 11 students

The ACT Aspire™ Early High School - ACT Aspire assesses student readiness in English, mathematics, reading, science, and writing.

The ACT® Plus Writing - The ACT Plus Writing consists of four multiple-choice tests: English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science; and a 30-minute essay test that measures student writing skills.

 ACT® WorkKeys® - ACT WorkKeys is an applied skills assessment system which consists of 3 tests: Applied Mathematics, Locating Information, and Reading for Information.

All students in the tested grades will be administered one of these assessments with the exception of the 1% of students with significant cognitive disabilities. These students will be assessed with an alternate assessment. Wisconsin is using the DLM assessment as our alternate assessment for students with disabilities.

For more information go to http://oea.dpi.wi.gov/assessment/ACT

Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS)

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Wis. Stats 118.016(1) requires an early literacy screener to be administered to all 4 year old kindergarten to 2nd grade students enrolled in public school districts and charter schools. PALS is not a reading test. PALS is a research-based screener that helps teachers:

  • Identify students who are struggling to learn to read
  • Find out what each student is ready to learn next, and
  • Check each student’s reading progress during the school year.

For more information go to http://oea.dpi.wi.gov/assessment/PALS

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)

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NAEP also known as the Nation's Report Card, is the only nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America’s students know and can do in school. NAEP is a survey assessment. It provides results for populations and groups of students. It is not a testing program designed to provide individual student, school, or district results (except for a select group of urban districts that participate in the Trial Urban District Assessment).

For more information go to http://oea.dpi.wi.gov/assessment/NAEP



Assessment Resources for Families

DLM Assessment Information for Families (2014-15 version)

This brochure answers common questions asked by students and parents about the DLM Assessment. It outlines the DLM Assessment, explains its purpose, describes what scores will be provided, and how they will be used. It also identifies who will be tested and when.
 

PALS Information for Families- This brochure answers common questions asked by families about the PALS. It explains its purpose, describes what scores will be provided, and how they will be used. 

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ACT High School Assessments Information for Families - This brochure answers common questions asked by families about the ACT High School Assessments. It outlines the ACT, WorkKeys, and the ACT Aspire, explains their purposes, describes what scores will be provided, and how they will be used. It also identifies who will be tested and when.

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ACCESS for ELLs® Information for Families Brochure- This brochure answers common questions asked by families about the ACCESS for ELLs®. It explains its purpose, describes what scores will be provided, and how they will be used. 

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Alternate ACCESS for ELLs™ Information for Families Brochure - This brochure answers common questions asked by families about the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs™. It explains its purpose, describes what scores will be provided, and how they will be used. 

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NAEP Information for Families - Brochure for families which contains a general overview of NAEP.

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Suggestions for parents to help students prepare for the state assessment:

 

General Preparation

  • When possible, it is beneficial to establish a daily routine for meals, homework, chores, bedtime, and family time
  • Provide students with a study area at home
  • Encourage students to practice good study habits and set aside time every day for homework
  • Encourage students to participate in practice sessions
  • Ensure students get a good night's sleep and a nutritious breakfast before taking a test
  • Remind students to listen to and read all directions and to tackle the test one question at a time instead of thinking about the entire test
  • Encourage students to answer all test questions
  • Offer praise and encouragement for achievement and improvement

Reading/English Language Arts Test Preparation

  • Read to students and encourage them to read to you
  • Encourage students to read the newspaper, magazines, and recreational books; and encourage students to discuss what they have read

Mathematics Test Preparation

  • Play games that involve numbers and/or computation
  • Encourage students to make connections between their everyday lives and what they are learning in math class
  • Encourage the use of math everyday through measuring recipes, adding prices at the store, creating a budget, explaining graphs and charts in the newspaper or magaizine articles, and taking measurements while doing home projects or sewing

Science Test Preparation

  • Encourage participation in science competitions, fairs and other activities
  • Share your enthusiasm/interest for science
  • Explore nature centers, zoos, and science museums
  • Sample items for science

Social Studies Test Preparation

  • Encourage discussion of current events and how it affects human rights, governments, and geography; make comparisons to similar events
  • Sample items for social studies

WSAS (WKCE / WAA-SwD) Data and Results

 

 

 

 

 

For questions about this information, contact osamail@dpi.wi.gov