Frequently Asked Questions

Wisconsin Student Assessment System (WSAS):
Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination (WKCE) and
Wisconsin Alternate Assessment for Students with Disabilities (WAA-SwD)

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Accountability and Testing of Students in Various Situations:

Often districts have questions about students moving in and out of the district and which district is accountable for those students during testing. The Office of Educational Accountability has created a table to help districts understand the some of the various situations and resulting accountability. Not all situations can be covered in this document, therefore, further questions may be directed to the Office of Educational Accountability at oeamail@dpi.wi.gov or at (608) 267-1072.

Q. Do I need to test students who are migrant or homeless?
A.
 
Yes. All students enrolled at the time of testing must be assessed.
 
Q. Do I need to test a student who was expelled or suspended from school for the duration of the testing window?
A.
 
Yes. The district/school is responsible for testing any expelled or suspended student who remains enrolled in the district during the testing window. They should be considered the same as any other student in your school.
 
Q. Do I count in my enrollment and assess students who are in my school district under the school open-enrollment program?
A.
 
Yes. These students and their parents/guardians chose to attend your school under provisions covered by state law. Therefore, it is your district’s responsibility to test these students.
 
Q. Are the scores of open enrollment students included with the scores of regular residents for my school?
A.
 
Yes. Various measures in the accountability index (reading and mathematics assessment performance) are based on scores of pupils enrolled in the district/school for a full academic year (FAY). Graduation is based on the number of students assigned to a specific graduation cohort. Attendance is based on the number of students enrolled, regardless of FAY status, as long as each student is enrolled at least 20 days. Test participation is also based on the number of students enrolled, regardless of FAY status. Open enrollment students are treated exactly the same as all other district students for the purpose of accountability.
 
Q. Am I accountable for testing a student housed in a juvenile facility (adjudicated student)?
A.
 
Yes. All students enrolled at the time of testing must be assessed. If the student is not tested the student counts as a non-test participant for accountability purposes.
 
Q. Am I responsible for testing a student enrolled in the High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) Program?
A.
 
Yes. However, a student must be 17 years old to be enrolled in an HSED program which may place the student above grade 10. Districts may want to consider examining district policies for grade level assignments if this occurs.
 
Q. Do I need to test a homebound or hospitalized student?
A.
 
Yes. Homebound students who remain enrolled in the district are the district’s responsibility for testing.

Test security needs to be carefully considered when dealing with homebound or hospitalized students. Be sure that the person who is taking the test booklet to the home of the student or hospital is an employed district staff member who has been trained in test administration.

Each of these situations is unique. Educators should use their own judgment on when it is appropriate to test a student. Keep in mind that children might wish to be included in everything their peers are doing. Non-tested students count as non-participants for Accountability purposes.
 
Q. When does a student qualify as having a “significant medical emergency”?
A.
 
A significant medical emergency is a significant health impairment that renders the student incapable of participating in any academic activities, including state assessments, for the entire testing window. The blank test book with the student's label on it is returned to the testing vendor for scoring and the student counts as not-tested.
Q. Who is responsible for testing students attending alternative schools or technical colleges?
A.
 
The school district of enrollment is responsible for testing these students.
 
Q. Who is responsible for testing students attending a Virtual School?
A.
 
Virtual schools are responsible for testing all students enrolled in grades 3-8 and 10. This may be done in the district, or with district staff at other arranged sites. Other districts should not test students who live in their attendance area and attend a virtual school in another district.
 
Q. Is our district responsible for testing private school students, especially those in grade 8 who are expected to attend our public high school the following year?
A.
 
No. Your district may not test private school students.

Every year private schools have the opportunity to purchase the WKCE directly from CTB/McGraw-Hill. Private schools receive Individual Profile Reports (IPRs) for students but do not receive comparative information to public school students. For additional information regarding testing of Non-Public Schools go to http://oea.dpi.wi.gov/oea_privatesch.
 
Q. Is the school or district responsible for testing a home-schooled student if the parent requests that?
A.
 
No. You are neither required nor permitted to include home-schooled students in the WKCE, including those enrolled in your district for two or fewer classes per day.
 
Q. When is parent opt-out allowable?
A.
 
When a parent or guardian requests that the student be excused from participating in the WKCE or the WAA-SwD, this request must be honored at grades 4, 8, and 10, per Wis. Stats. 118.30(2)(b)3. This request may come at anytime during the testing window. While not directly addressed by state statutes, districts may choose to honor parent requests to excuse their child from the WKCE or the WAA-SwD testing at grades 3, 5, 6, and 7, at their discretion on an individual basis. All students excused by parent opt-out count as “not tested” students for determining school and district accountability. The parent opt-out excuses the student from participation in the entire WKCE or WAA-SwD.
 
Q. Do I need to test a foreign exchange student?
A.
 
Yes. You must test all students enrolled. Because the student is probably not a Full Academic Year Student, the student counts in accountability determination only as a test participant and is not calculated into reading and mathematics proficiency rates.
 
Q. Do I need to test a student who is out of state during the testing window?
A.
 
No. The WKCE cannot be administered out of state. If the student is still enrolled in the district/school, the student counts as a non-participant for accountability determination.
 
Q. Do I need to test a student who is attending a school out of state but living in my district?
A.
 
No. The student is being instructed on standards different from Wisconsin. The student does not need to be included in the count of students enrolled in the district if the placement is out-of-state.
 
Q. Some of our migrant students will be moving back to Texas. What do I do about that?
A.
 
Please see the table at http://oea.dpi.wi.gov/files/oea/pdf/07stdsmov.pdf.
 
Q. What do you do with a student's test book if they move out of state during testing window?
A.
 
Please see the table at http://oea.dpi.wi.gov/files/oea/pdf/07stdsmov.pdf.
 
Q. What is to be done in the event a student moves into your district from another district near the end of testing (they haven't completed the testing) and you do not receive materials from the other district until after the testing window closes?
A.
 
Please see the table at http://oea.dpi.wi.gov/files/oea/pdf/07stdsmov.pdf.
 
Q. Who is responsible for testing students who are placed in either a state mental health facility operated by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services or in a corrections facility operated by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections?
A.
 
If the student is still enrolled in a district, it is the district’s responsibility to test the student. The district should work with the facility to complete testing; however, it is not the facility’s responsibility to test the student. If the student is not tested by the district, the student counts as a non-test participant for accountability. The district should submit a blank test book or student answer document to CTB with the student’s label attached.

NOTE: When a student is permanently placed under the care of one of the above systems and they are no longer enrolled in a district, these facilities are not required to administer the WKCE or the WAA-SwD.
 
Q. Who is responsible for testing a student with a disability who is placed in a Residential Care Center (RCC) when the RCC is a third party provider?
A.
 
If the student is still enrolled in a district and they manage the student’s IEP, it is the district’s responsibility to test the student. The district should work with the RCC to complete testing; however, it is not the facility’s responsibility to test the student. If the student is not tested by the district, the student counts as a non-test participant for accountability. The district should submit a blank test book or student answer document to CTB with the student’s label attached.

NOTE: The district holding the IEP is usually the district of accountability, regardless of which district is responsible for providing educational services, for holding the Wisconsin Student Number (WSN), and for submitting data to ISES. There are many different scenarios in which a student is enrolled in an RCC. If you still need additional information, please contact OEA at (608) 267-1072.
 
Q. How, specifically, is FAY is calculated? We have heard 3rd Friday to 3rd Friday vs. 9 months vs. an arbitrary date that was selected. A uniform and consistent definition is critical.
A.
 
An FAY student is one who has been continuously enrolled in a school or district for 9.25 months, not including time that the student is not in school during summer. Since schools and districts across the state have different starting and ending dates, the 9.25 months is calculated in ISES. See the “Months in School” and “Months in District” headings at http://lbstat.dpi.wi.gov/lbstat.
 

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Grade Classification:

Q. What do I need to do if a student is classified in ISES as one grade, but our district policy indicates the student is in a different grade?
A.
 
In Wisconsin, local school boards determine policy about grade level placement. Therefore, check with your district for guidance about when a student should be advanced to a new grade level, and test all students who are, according to district policy, enrolled in a tested grade (3-8 or 10). Go to ISES grade placement guidelines for more information.
 
Q. Do I have to test students who participated in the WKCE last year and are still enrolled in the same grade this year?
A.
 
Yes. The WKCE must be administered to all students enrolled in grades 3-8 and 10, no matter how many times a particular student has participated in the past. Some students will take the WKCE at the same grade level for consecutive years.
 

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Students with Disabilities:

Q. Are districts expected to test all students with disabilities?
A.
 
Yes. State and federal law requires districts and schools to test all students, including students with disabilities. Students with disabilities may take the WKCE with accommodations or may take the WAA-SwD if the student qualifies.
 
Q. Who makes the decision about the participation of students with disabilities in the WKCE or the WAA-SwD?
A.
 
Decisions regarding student participation in the WKCE or WAA-SwD are the responsibility of the student’s Individual Education Program (IEP) team. If a student is not tested, the student counts as a non-participant for Accountability purposes.
 
Q. How does the IEP team determine if the student should participate in the WAA-SwD?
A.
 
The decision to participate in the WAA-SwD is made using the WAA-SwD Participation Checklist. Use of the checklist requires a thorough review of student-specific data to assess the student’s current educational performance relative to the academic performance standards for all students.
 
Q. Can the WKCE questions be read to an IEP student with a disability?
A.
 
Yes, with the exception of the reading test, if this accommodation is specified in the student’s IEP. The Reading test must not be read aloud because this will change the focus of the test from reading to listening comprehension, thereby invalidating the test results.
 
Q. If the IEP allows the student to use a calculator for the mathematics test, can this student use a calculator on a section of the test that does not allow the use of a calculator?
A.
 
No. A student is not allowed to use a calculator for the calculator-free (computation) portions of the WKCE. This section assesses basic mathematics computation, and using a calculator would change the focus of this portion of the test.
 
Q. How do we collect data for students with disabilities (SwD) who are placed by the district of residence in another school outside the district (OOD)?
A.
 
The school of attendance will administer the WKCE or the WAA-SwD to the student and send the test booklets to CTB for scoring. The OOD status will be captured by ISES and WSLS.
 
Q. How will the scores of students with disabilities (SwD) who are placed by the district of residence in another school outside the district (OOD) be counted for accountability purposes?
A.
 
The scores of the SwD-OOD will be counted with the district of residence, although the district of attendance will also receive copies of the student’s results. The only exception to this rule is if the SwD-OOD is attending a school under the district’s open enrollment or Chapter 220.
 
Q. How can I get the Braille and/or large print edition of the WKCE?
A.
 
For Braille and/or large print order information go to http://oea.dpi.wi.gov/oea_dacforms.
 
Q. How can I get the Braille edition of the WAA-SwD?
A.
 
For Braille order information go to http://oea.dpi.wi.gov/oea_dacforms.
 

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Test Administration:

Q. Is it true that students may only take the WKCE or the WAA-SwD and not parts of both beginning in 2008-09?
A.
 
Yes, students must take the complete WKCE or the complete WAA-SwD – not parts of both. The WKCE is for students whose instruction is based on the Wisconsin Model Academic Standards. The WAA-SwD is for students whose instruction is based on the Extended Grade Band Standards.
 
Q. Can a WKCE subject-area be administered over two days?
A.
 
Entire WKCE subject areas (e.g. reading or math) do not have to be completed in one day. However, each session within a subject (e.g. mathematics session 1) area should be completed in a single sitting. Sample WKCE testing schedules are available in the District Assessment Coordinators (DAC) Guide.
 
Q. Can I begin testing as soon as the school receives its testing materials?
A.
 
No. All testing must occur during the testing window only.
 
Q. Must students be tested on grade level?
A.
 
Yes. Students must be tested at the grade level at which they are enrolled.
 
Q. Can we have an older student monitor a younger/lower grade student taking the test just for the purpose of keeping the younger/lower grade student on task?
A.
 
No. The proctor who is monitoring the testing session should be an adult (A qualified proctor for the WKCE is an employed district staff member who has been trained in test administration, who is familiar with the test administration instructions and is capable of following standardized procedures.
 
Q. Can a student use blank scratch paper on mathematics and science content areas?
A.
 
Yes. Scratch paper may be provided for solving mathematics and science problems. Please shred the scratch paper. Do not return scratch paper with test booklet to CTB.
 
Q. Is the use of dictionaries, thesauri, mathematics tables, word lists, or other reference tools permitted?
A.
 
No. Reference materials may not be used for general population students. However, these are permitted as accommodations for students with disabilities, students protected under Section 504, and/or ELL students as long as they do not invalidate the test results. Examples of invalidation include:
  • Using a mathematics table when calculator use is not permitted
  • Using a thesaurus in the reading/language arts portion of the test
  • Using a word list in the reading/language arts portion of the test

 
Q. How do I know when I can allow my student to use calculators on the test?
A.
 
The use of calculators varies by grade. There are clear directions for the use of calculators in the Test Administration Manual and the Policy Manual in the DAC Guide. It is important to review these policies carefully as inappropriate use of calculators during test administration may result in invalidation of test results.
 
Q. What should the school/district do with a student who refuses to take the test?
A.
 
Every effort must be made to administer all content area tests in the WKCE to all students. Talk to the student and point out the benefits of participating in the test. If this fails, contact the parents and recruit their assistance.

Students and/or parents can be reminded that students whose tests are invalidated, along with those who choose not to participate, count as non-participants for accountability purposes. Therefore, invalid tests or non-tested students may adversely impact the federal accountability requirement of 95% participation rate for a school and district.
 
Q. How do I test a general education student with a recent trauma?
A.
 
Use your own judgment about whether it is appropriate to test a student who has suffered a recent trauma. If a student is not tested, be aware that the student counts as a non-test-participant for Accountability determinations.
 
Q. When should I administer a makeup session?
A.
 
Students who are absent for one or more sessions should take the remaining sessions with other students upon their return. Makeup sessions for the missed session(s) may be scheduled for a later time during the testing window. Every effort should be made to allow the student to participate in the test.
 
Q. Where can I find the Fall test administration timing?
A.
 
Test administration timing can be found on the WKCE web page at http://oea.dpi.wi.gov/oea_wkce_home.
 
Q. What if a test booklet is damaged during the test?
A.
 
If a test book becomes damaged, immediately notify the School Assessment Coordinator (SAC). If at all possible, a trained proctor should transfer the student responses to a new book. Refer to the Policy Manual in the DAC Guide for more information on scribing. The damaged book must be sent to the DAC. The DAC may destroy the book after scribing the contents into a new book and notifying the DPI Office of Educational Accountability by phone or email. For more information please contact the Office of Educational Accountability at 608-267-7268.
 
Q. May we test one 4th grade class in math on Tuesday and test another 4th grade class on Wednesday?
A.
 
Yes, but we recommend testing at the same time when possible.
 
Q. May a student who comes in late on the day of testing enter the classroom in the middle of a timed session, begin testing, and then complete the part missed during the week?
A.
 
No. A student should not enter the classroom in the middle of a testing session. If additional trained proctors are available to test the late student, testing may begin in a separate area when the student arrives.
 
Q. May a student who comes in late on the day of testing enter the classroom at the end of a session, and complete the next timed session with the class and later complete the missed session as a make-up?
A.
 
Yes. If there is a break between sessions the student may enter at that time and complete the next timed sessions with classmates and make-up the missed session at a later time.
 
Q. What if a student creates their own “arithmetic table” on scratch paper?
A.
 
A student may not bring an “arithmetic or multiplication table” into the secured testing room. However, a student may create their own after testing begins on blank scratch paper. The student may use this during the test, but it must be collected and destroyed with all other scratch paper at the end of the session.
 
Q. Can calculators be used on the science assessment?
A.
 
No.
 
Q. Is it alright to leave materials up on the walls of the classroom during testing that may aid students while taking the test?
A.
 
No.  Information displayed on walls, bulletin boards, chalkboards, or charts (e.g. wall charts that contain literary devices, maps etc.) and that might be used by students to help answer questions must be removed or covered.
 
Q. I thought 3rd and 5th graders were going to be tested in science?
A.
 
NCLB requires states to administer science assessments once at each level beginning in 2007-08. We already meet this requirement with our science test at 4, 8, and 10.
 
Q. What is a calibration district?
A.
 
The calibration districts were selected as a representative sample of the statewide population. Results from the 12 calibration districts are used to equate the current tests with the tests from prior years.
 
Q. Should we invalidate an individual student's test if we observe them speeding through the test, marking answers without reading the question?
A.
 
Make every effort to get the student to take the test seriously. If you believe the test results will be invalid, you may choose to invalidate the test. Directions for invalidating the test are available in the DAC Guide. If a test is invalidated, the student counts as a not-tested student.
 
Q. Are there any field test items in the Fall 2013 WKCE tests?
A.
 
No. All items are operational and count toward the student's test score.
 

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Test Security:

Q. Is the public allowed to review the content of the test?
A.
 
Yes. PI 20.01 Authority and Purpose: (1) Under 1. 118.30 (3), Stats., the state superintendent is required to allow interested persons to view the WKCE while simultaneously ensuring the security and confidentiality of the examinations. Persons interested in viewing a copy of the tests should submit a request to their CESA, and the CESA should arrange with the person to view the test within 90 days of the end of the testing window (but not DURING the testing window). Any review of the test by school staff or a member of the public is restricted by stringent security measures including:
  • The test reviewer must sign a confidentiality agreement form prior to reviewing the test available at http://oea.dpi.wi.gov/oea_dacforms.
  • The trained CESA staff must be present at the time any person is reviewing the test, and should not allow the test out of the room for any purpose.
  • The test viewer may not discuss, disseminate, describe, or otherwise reveal the contents of the test to any third party with the intent to violate the copyright or compromise the validity of the test.
  • The test viewer may not make copies of the test or any test items, take notes or otherwise reproduce the test or test items.
  • The test viewer may not publish, or cause to be published, the test or any of the test items.
Q. Are students allowed to review previous years’ tests?
A.
 
No. Students are not allowed to review previous years’ tests. Sample WKCE test items are provided for practice purposes.
 
Q. What is the proper storage procedure for WKCE materials?
A.
 
Districts must develop a protocol for proper test material handling. Failure to handle materials securely may result in test invalidations due to improper administration. Materials should be kept in locked location before, during, and after testing.

Books must be secured while in the WKCE test proctor’s possession, and before or after testing. Refer to the Test Security Training or the Policy Manual in the DAC Guide for more information.
 
Q. Who is allowed access to the test before and during testing?
A.
 
No one is allowed to have access to the WKCE test booklets prior to the first administration session. However, special education teachers or qualified translators may need to access the test ahead of time to prepare accommodations such as programming of assistive technologies or translations for students with disabilities and English language learners. In these circumstances, test security must be maintained at all times; any personnel who have access to the materials must sign the Confidentiality Agreement Form to be retained at the school or district level. While preparing accommodations, all test materials must remain within a secure area on school or district grounds.

The WAA-SwD requires teachers who will be utilizing the test in their classrooms to be able to have access before testing. This time will allow teachers to prepare for individual student accommodations including the use of manipulatives, as well as to develop a time frame for how each student will be administered the test within the testing window. Teachers administering the WAA-SwD are able to maintain possession of individual student tests and administration guides until all content areas are complete.

All tests must remain in locked storage when not in use. After test administration, all test books must be collected, counted, and returned to CTB.
 
Q. Is it required that the Confidentiality Agreement be signed by all teachers who proctor the test?
A.
 
Yes. Anyone who has access to the test should sign the confidentiality agreement. The district should keep those on file.
 
Q. Will the Confidentiality Agreement form be included in the TCK sent to each school?
A.
 
No. The Confidentiality Agreement form can be located at http://oea.dpi.wi.gov/oea_dacforms.
 
Q. Can we make overheads of the test items to show the school board or parents the type of test we use?
A.
 
No. Copyrights of the WKCE test belong to the test vendor, CTB/McGraw-Hill, and the Department of Public Instruction. Any form of reproducing any part of the test is a violation of copyright laws.

Districts and schools are not allowed to make copies of student writing prompts, or test items used in any test administration year. It is also not acceptable to modify a test item and use it for practice.

There are sample WKCE items available on the department’s website. These may be used for practice, or for showing members of the public the format and types of items on our test.
 
Q. After testing are we allowed to keep a number of copies of the test?
A.
 
No, all copies of the WKCE must be sent back to CTB.  No copies may be retained.

No copies of the WAA-SwD may be kept. All WAA-SwD testing materials must be returned to CTB.
 
Q. What should I do if I suspect a test security violation?
A.
 
All test security violations must be immediately reported to the Department of Public Instruction. Violations may be reported by the school faculty, students, their parents or other family members, and persons in the community. For more information about test security violations refer to the Policy Manual in the DAC Guide.
 
Q. Is a locked room good enough for test security?
A.
 
Ideally the materials would be kept in a locked cabinet or drawer, but as long as the staff who have access to the room are aware of the security involved with the test books and have signed the confidentiality agreement form it should be fine.
 

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Test Book Labels:

Q. What must I do to receive my labels?
A.
 
The Department of Public Instruction will create student testing labels for fall testing for all Wisconsin Public School Districts. DPI will use the Wisconsin Student Locator System (WSLS) and the Individual Student Enrollment System (ISES) databases to create the labels. To ensure accuracy each district must:
  • Update WSLS records and ISES "Grade Level Placement" field
  • Update all WSLS records
  • Update/verify all WSAS related ISES fields
Failure to do these three things may result in confusing and inaccurate pre-ID labels, erroneous WSAS Reports, and/or invalid accountability determinations. District Assessment Coordinators and District WSLS/ISES administrators should work together to accomplish this task.
 
Q. Do I need to fill in the data on the inside front cover and back cover of the WKCE test books or WAA-SwD Student Answer Documents?
A.
 
Inside front cover - If a student does not have a testing label, school staff must “bubble” in all student information on the inside front cover of the WKCE test book or WAA-SwD student Answer Document. Back cover - The Student Assessment Report, on the back cover of the WKCE test book or WAA-SwD student Answer Document must be completed for all students who used a testing accommodation. Be sure to use a No. 2 pencil when filling out the Student Assessment Report. Before beginning, verify that the student or school/district staff has printed the student’s name in the space provided on the back cover of the test book.
 
Q. What do I do if some of the information on the label is wrong, and can I correct it?
A.
 
Even if some demographic information on the label is inaccurate, the label should still be used. District Assessment Coordinators and District WSLS/ISES administrators should work together to correct the information in WSLS and ISES. The corrected information in WSLS and ISES will assure that the student’s scores are reported correctly.
 
Q. What do I do if a student is new to our school and does not have a testing label?
A.
 
If there is no label for the student, all student information must be “bubbled” and the school must update the Wisconsin Student Locator System (WSLS) and the Individual Student Enrollment System (ISES).

If a student moves into the district/school from out-of-state or from a private school between September 29 and the end of October, enroll them in the WSLS. A second shipment of labels will arrive in mid-November that includes these students.

If a student moves into the district/school from out-of-state or from a private school November 1 or later, enroll them in the WSLS and bubble in all information on the test book.
 

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Scoring and Reports:

Q. Is science going to be used for accountability purposes this year?
A.
 
No. Science assessment results are not included in accountability index calculations. However, as new science standards are adopted and a new assessment implemented, DPI will explore possible options that could include science as part of the accountability index at some point in the future.
 
Q. When will the WSAS individual profile reports (IPRs) be available to schools?
A.
 
The first phase of WSAS test results, which includes IPRs for parents, will be available by the end of February.
 
Q. When will the WSAS reports be available electronically?
A.
 
The second phase of WSAS test results, which includes district and school performance results such as the proficiency summary, standards performance summary, scale score summary, item analysis summary by standard, and writing results by student group, will be available online by the middle of March.

The third phase of WSAS test results, which include two item analysis reports (for SR and CR), plus the writing results by rubric, will be available online shortly thereafter.
 
Q. Will constructed responses be scored by hand or electronically?
A.
 
CTB hires and trains college graduates to hand-score all constructed response items and writing prompts.
 
Q. Do constructed response answers need to be written within the box or on the lines on the reading and mathematics tests?
A.
 
It is highly recommended that students attempt to stay inside the provided area, students should take great care to not mark on the timing marks located on the outside of each page. The scorer reviews a scanned page. In some cases the scanner may not pick up things written outside the boxes.
 
Q. Do constructed response answers need to be written with correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar?
A.
 
For the reading and mathematics tests, no. Although correct spelling, punctuation, grammar, and sentence structure are always encouraged, the student response is not scored on the accuracy of mechanical writing, but on accuracy of the response. For the writing test, yes, the student will be scored on accuracy of mechanical writing including, grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
 
Q. What if the handwriting is not well-written and difficult to read? Are the responses still scored?
A.
 
Yes. All responses are scored. However, if the handwriting is illegible, the response may be difficult to understand and that could affect the score. It is important that students write as neatly as possible to help ensure the readability of the responses. In the rare circumstance, when a response is not legible, a scribe may print the intended word(s) directly above the student’s written word.
 

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Shipping Materials to Vendor:

Q. Where do I find information about shipping test materials?
A.
 
Schools and districts may view the current test administration pre-test workshop. There is also a packing and shipping presentation posted on the DPI website. Shipping information is also available in the District Assessment Coordinators (DAC) Guide.
 
Q. When bundling test books, must we use the bands that are provided?
A.
 
Yes. You must use the bands provided for bundling. These bands are specifically selected for their size, strength, and durability. Rubber bands or other types of bands may damage test books and make them difficult to score.
 
Q. When boxing test books, must we use the boxes that are provided?
A.
 
Yes. You must use the boxes provided for shipping materials back to CTB. These boxes are specific to Wisconsin and make it easier to keep track of all Wisconsin test materials.
 
Q. What should I do to show that I shipped all of my boxes?
A.
 
Be sure that a staff member is present when boxes are picked up, and that every box has been accounted for on the shipping document. Retain a copy of the receipt verifying the number of boxes shipped.
 
Q. If you need to send in a book by itself (didn't include it in the original shipment), after registering online again, what should you include with it?
A.
 
First contact the CTB help desk to alert them that you will be sending an additional test. You will need a School Header Sheet and a School Group List. You should also provide contact information so that personnel from the CTB scoring center can call or email you with questions. The test should be sent back in a CTB test box, not in a manila envelope or different box than the originals.
 

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ISES

Q. When is the absolute deadline for getting student demographics, such Free/Reduced lunch eligibility, updated in WSLS and ISES to reflect accurately in RES?
A.
 
The initial submission period for ISES runs through late October. The system will be closed for a few days for statewide validation, and then opened for a review and revision period through mid November. The data locked after the review and revision period will be used to update student demographics for WSAS, and these data will be presented in RES. For this year's WSLS/ISES deadlines see: http://lbstat.dpi.wi.gov/lbstat_isesdates
 
Q. What is ISES? Is that the same as eSIS?
A.
 
No. ISES is a state level student data collection used to meet federal and state reporting requirements. eSIS is a local district student information system.
 

Lowest Tested Grade

Q. Why is it important to accurately report the lowest grade in my school last year?
A.
 
WSAS disaggregated reports and accountability determinations are based on students enrolled for a full academic year (FAY). If the lowest grade in the school last year was a grade level of testing this year (for example grade 6 in a middle school), then none of the students currently enrolled in that grade has been enrolled in the school FAY. When this is the case, school level reports for that grade are disaggregated based upon FAY status within the district. If the lowest grade in the school last year is not accurately reported, then disaggregated reports and accountability determinations may be inaccurate and WINSS may show no test results for some grades in the school.
 
Q. Should the SHS indicate the lowest TESTED grade - like grade 3, OR LOWEST Grade - like PK4?
A.
 
The School Header Sheet contains information about the lowest grade in the school. It provides information so that your data is reported correctly for accountability determination and on the WINSS website. DPI is particularly interested in the lowest grade if it is a grade level of testing. If the lowest grade in your school is NOT a tested grade (such as PK4), the lowest grade field on the School Header Sheet will be blank. If the lowest grade is not blank and not accurate contact Phil Cranley at DPI at (608)266-9798
 

Assessment Accommodations

Q. Where can I find a list of allowable accommodations for assessment?
A.
 
The Assessment Accommodations Matrices are located at http://oea.dpi.wi.gov/oea_accommtrx. They can also be found in the Test Administration Manuals and the Guide for District and School Assessment Coordinators at http://oea.dpi.wi.gov/oea_publications
 
Q. When is use of the read-aloud accommodation appropriate?
A.
 
Accommodation decisions should be made on an individual student level based upon the student’s needs. Use of the read-aloud accommodation is appropriate only for students who are unable to access content through independent reading. This accommodation is not allowed on the WKCE Reading Test or the WAA SwD “Read-by-student” items unless they meet the criteria listed in Form I-7-B located at: http://sped.dpi.wi.gov/sped_forms06.

When making accommodation decisions, IEP teams should be aware of ineffective decision making practices. The following are a few examples of possible pitfalls teams can run into when deciding on a student’s accommodation needs:
  • Having blanket expectations for a specific disability category, rather than an individual student’s needs
  • Choosing an accommodation because of educator familiarity with and convenience of a specific accommodation
  • Considering the difficulty level of a test for fear that the student will not pass
  • Avoiding the implementation of an accommodation due to limited school resources including availability of staff, time, space, funds, etc.
  • Ongoing use of the same accommodation without an evaluation of effectiveness
  • Making decisions without sufficient evidence of need or success
Q. When is use of the scribe accommodation appropriate?
A.
 
Accommodation decisions should be made on an individual student level based upon the student’s needs. A scribe may be provided when a student’s documented disability, ELL status, or an injury (such as a broken arm) prevents them from writing their answer. A scribe is not appropriate, for example, for students with poor handwriting or who have trouble spelling.

When making accommodation decisions, IEP teams should be aware of ineffective decision making practices. The following are a few examples of possible pitfalls teams can run into when deciding on a student’s accommodation needs:
  • Having blanket expectations for a specific disability category, rather than an individual student’s needs
  • Choosing an accommodation because of educator familiarity with and convenience of a specific accommodation
  • Considering the difficulty level of a test for fear that the student will not pass
  • Avoiding the implementation of an accommodation due to limited school resources including availability of staff, time, space, funds, etc.
  • Ongoing use of the same accommodation without an evaluation of effectiveness
  • Making decisions without sufficient evidence of need or success
Q. What is the role of a scribe?
A.
 
Scribes are provided as an allowable accommodation only for students with disabilities, English Language Learners, or for students with unique circumstances (such as a broken arm) who are unable to write their answers. The role of a scribe is to write the students’ words verbatim with a #2 pencil or to fill in the bubbles.

On the Writing Test -
A student’s writing test score is based on composition, grammar, punctuation, and spelling; therefore, on the writing test a student must dictate the grammar, punctuation, capitalization, and spelling to the scribe. A scribe must neither correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors on the writing test, nor make suggestions regarding the student’s response. Scribes should allow the student adequate time to review and approve their response.

All Other Portions of the Test -
All other portions of the test, student responses are scored based upon content accuracy not compositions, grammar, punctuation, capitalization and spelling. A scribe must not make corrections or make suggestions regarding the student’s answer. Scribes should allow the student adequate time to review and approve their response.
 
Q. How do I test a general education student with a broken arm?
A.
 
The student should be administered the test only with the accommodations necessary to allow them to demonstrate their knowledge. Students should be encouraged to be as independent as possible during testing. Students may be encouraged to record their response using a computer or word processor (for the Language Arts and Writing tests, all spell and grammar checking devices must be turned off; for the Mathematics test, the calculator function must be turned off for the non-calculator sessions). The test administrator must ensure that the recording or file is deleted upon completion of testing for security purposes. Responses would then be transcribed verbatim into a scorable testbook. A student may also be offered a scribe to record their response verbatim – see question and answer above. In addition to these mentioned accommodations, a student may need other supporting accommodations such as extra time and breaks to avoid fatigue if attempting to respond on his/her own. Likewise, a student may need to be tested in an individual setting if using an accommodation such as a scribe or if recording their responses on an audio device.
 
Q. Can a student use a highlighter/pencil to mark text as a reference as they read if it is easier for them to go back and find important information?
A.
 
The use of highlighters is an allowable test practice for all students. Test administrators should carefully supervise the use of highlighters as they may cause smudging of pencil marks and bubbles and, therefore, could affect reliability of scoring. If highlighters are used, the following guidelines must be followed:
  1. Do not allow the highlighting of track marks, litho codes, skunk lines, barcodes, preslugged bubbles or any carbon black printing. The highlighters cause these black inks to blur and bleed.
  2. Use only a highlighter from the following list, which were tested and found to have minimal problems:
    • Avery Hi-liter
    • Avery Hi-liter, thin-tipped
    • Bic Brite-Liner
    • Sanford Major Accent
    • Sanford Pocket Accent, thin-tipped
All Students may use a pencil, however, they should not make extraneous pencil marks near answer bubbles, other than to mark one correct answer. Students should not mark in any of the follow areas:
  • the student Pre-ID Barcode on barcode label,
  • the timing tracks (the parallel lines along the side of the test book),
  • the skunk lines (little squares and rectangles across the bottom of each page of the test book)
  • the Litho codes (the squares and numbers across the bottom of the document on the first and last page of the test book).
Q. Is the test still considered valid, if DPI approves a request for an accommodation that is NOT listed on the Assessment Accommodations Matrix?
A.
 
Yes, if the request is approved by DPI the test is still considered valid. You would mark the bubble on the back of the test book that refers to “other allowed accommodations.”
 
Q. Are digital audio players allowed as an accommodation on the WKCE?
A.
 
The use of a digital audio player (such as iPods or mp3 players) may be beneficial for a student who utilizes allowable read aloud accommodations in English. It is imperative that a student requesting use of the accommodation for assessment purposes is familiar with and uses the digital player regularly in his/her day-to-day instruction. This accommodation is allowed only for students with disabilities, who have the accommodation listed on the IEP or 504 plan (assessment accommodation D14), and English language learners (ELLs) (assessment accommodation L2) for all content areas except the Reading test. Additionally, ELLs are allowed to use audio recordings of test items that have been interpreted into their native language for all content areas except Language Arts and Reading (assessment accommodation L20). When translating test items into a student’s native language, districts should follow the Qualifications and Guidelines for Interpreters and Translators document. A student who uses a digital audio player should be placed either in an individual setting or are required to use headphones so not to disturb others.

As with all assistive technology devices, test administrators must adhere to test security precautions. It is essential that only the test sessions scheduled to be administered are downloaded to ensure that a student is not able to work ahead or have access to test materials for the next test session. Recordings or files must be deleted upon completion of each testing session for security purposes. A student may not have access to the internet or tools such as calculator and spell check during test sessions (with the exception of students with disabilities who have a calculator or spell-check accommodation documented in an IEP and only on allowable sections of the test). It is the test administrator’s responsibility to monitor the use of technology during testing to ensure that a student is not using the internet, tools not allowed for testing, etc. thereby invalidating their test.
 
Q. Is a student able to use a portable media players as an accommodation on the WKCE and WAA-SwD?
A.
 
Portable media players (such as the iTouch or iPad) differ from a digital audio player (see question above) due to the video imaging and/or video-playing support. Student use of these devices to record his/her response, is allowable only for students with disabilities (assessment accommodation D23), who have the accommodation documented in the IEP or 504 plan, and for English Language Learners (assessment accommodation L10). Accommodations used during assessment should be consistent with day-to-day instructional methods and should not be first introduced during testing. All other circumstances and uses of these devices should be requested through the WSAS Request for Accommodation Form.

As with all assistive technology devices, test administrators must adhere to test security precautions. It is essential that only the test sessions scheduled to be administered are downloaded to ensure that a student is not able to work ahead or have access to test materials for the next test session. Recordings or files must be deleted upon completion of each testing session for security purposes. A student may not have access to the internet or tools such as calculator and spell-check during test sessions (with the exception of students with disabilities who have a calculator or spell-check accommodation documented in an IEP and only on allowable sections of the test). It is the test administrator’s responsibility to monitor the use of technology during testing to ensure that a student is not using the internet, tools not allowed for testing, etc. thereby invalidating their test.
 

Test Guides and Manuals

Q. Will we have to download and run off all of the teacher guides and manuals or will they come with the testing materials?
A.
 
All test guides and manuals will be shipped to you with your other testing materials. The only exception is the WKCE Student/Parent Pre-Test Informational Brochure in Spanish and Hmong and the WAA-SwD Student/Parent Pre-Test Informational Brochure in English, Spanish, and Hmong. These must still be downloaded and printed at the district/school.
 
Q. Does DPI have a list of power Words used on the WKCE?
A. No, DPI does not provide a list of power words for the WKCE. There is a glossary of terms in the back of some of the Wisconsin Model Academic Standards (WMAS) Content Area Books. There are recommended Test Prep Guidelines at http://oea.dpi.wi.gov/files/oea/pdf/testprep.pdf

WSAS - English Language Learners - More ELL Frequently Asked Questions for English Language Proficiency Assessment

Q. Can HS students in grades 11 or 12 who are in advanced Spanish classes be used to read the translation guide for the WKCE for Spanish speaking students? Even having the guide, without knowing Spanish, you can mispronounce the translation.
A.
 
No. Students may not be translators. Translators should participate in all aspects of staff training related to test administration and test security. Preference should be given to individuals with Bachelor’s Degrees in Modern Languages. When this is not possible, be sure that translators have the following qualifications:
  1. mastery of the target language
  2. familiarity with both cultures
  3. extensive general vocabulary in both languages
  4. ability to express thoughts clearly and concisely in both languages
    (See Translator Guidelines for more information.)

     
Q. What content areas within the WKCE and WAA-SwD are English language learners (ELLs) required to take under federal regulations?
A.
 
ESEA requires that all students participate in statewide assessment to be used for accountability. Federal regulations provide some flexibility related to the assessment and accountability for recently arrived ELL students only (See 34 CFR § 200.6 (b) (4) ).

Districts will need to first determine if the student has recently arrived in the United States before making assessment and accountability decisions. Recently arrived refers to a student that has attended a U.S. school for less than 12 months and has a language proficiency level of 1 or 2 as determined by ACCESS for ELLs®.

A recently arrived ELL 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.There is information on how to code this in the student's test book in the Test Administration Manuals, Step 7, Special Status (Page 12-13).  
 
Q. How are recently arrived ELL students included in accountability calculations if they take the Reading exemption?
A.
 
Recently arrived ELL students who are exempted from the Reading test are not included in the test participation rate calculation for Reading. These students are included in the test participation rate calculation for Mathematics and in the Attendance/Graduation and Mathematics proficiency rate calculations.
 
Q. What are the approved accommodations we can use for ELLs on the WKCE or WAA-SwD?
A.
 
The Assessment Accommodations Matrix contains all allowable accommodations. The matrix is also available in the Test Administration Manual and the Guide for District and School Assessment Coordinators on the publications webpage.
 
Q. Is it true that if an ELL student has been in a U.S. school for five consecutive years we can no longer provide testing accommodations?
A.
 
All ELL students who are ELP level 1-5 may use any of the accommodations designated for ELLs on the accommodations matrix as long as they are consistent with the student's day-to-day instructional activities. Please see the Assessment Accommodations Matrix for more information.
 

 

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