Following the recommendations of the Next Generation Assessment Task Force the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has begun work toward a new balanced assessment system. Wisconsin is a governing state within the multi-state Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, formed in response to the Race to the Top assessment grant competition to develop an innovative assessment system aligned to the Common Core State Standards. The new assessment system mirrors the recommendations of Wisconsin’s Next Generation Assessment Task Force. As the consortium’s fiscal agent, the State of Washington hosts a Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium webpage where you can access information on the consortium’s assessment plans.
Wisconsin is also participating in a consortium comprised of 13 states, called the Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) Consortium. Funded by a four-year IDEA grant, the DLM consortium is tasked with creating an online adaptive system similar to SBAC. This system will help guide the instruction and assessment for students with significant cognitive disabilities and is intended to replace the Wisconsin Alternate Assessment for Students with Disabilities (WAA-SwD). More information about this grant can be found at: http://dynamiclearningmaps.org/.
For more information on implementing the Common Core in Wisconsin―and how this system will impact district curriculum, instruction, and assessment―please visit: http://standards.dpi.wi.gov/stn_ccss. You can also access further information on Smarter Balanced by visiting our Smarter Balanced Assessment System webpage.
Wisconsin Student Assessment System
One way that students demonstrate their progress toward achieving the academic standards in English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies is through participation in the Wisconsin Student Assessment System (WSAS). At present the WSAS consists of both the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination (WKCE) and the Wisconsin Alternate Assessment for Students with Disabilities (WAA-SwD).
Beginning in the 2005-06 school year, 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 (grade 10 under s.118.30, Wis. Stats.). These tests are referred to as the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examinations (WKCE) and the WKCE reading and mathematics tests were revised in Fall 2005. Student performance on these assessments is reported in proficiency categories and used to determine the adequate progress of students at the school, district and state levels. The WAA-SwD is intended for students with significant cognitive disabilities if the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team determines that the students are unable to participate in the WKCE even with accommodations.
Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination (WKCE)
The Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination (WKCE) is customized to measure the Wisconsin Model Academic Standards (WMAS) and is developed and designed by the Department of Public Instruction and Wisconsin educators in conjunction with CTB/McGraw-Hill. This standardized test is composed of items specifically designed for Wisconsin and a few commercially developed questions used in schools across the country. Students in grades 3, 5, 6, and 7 take tests in Reading and Mathematics. Students in grades 4, 8, and 10 take tests in Reading, Mathematics, Science, Language Arts, Writing, and Social Studies. WKCE is administered to all the students enrolled in Wisconsin public schools during the fall of each school year. More information is available on the WKCE web page.
Wisconsin Alternate Assessment for Students with Disabilities (WAA-SwD)
The Wisconsin Alternate Assessment for Students with Disabilities (WAA-SwD) is administered to any student with significant cognitive disabilities when the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team determines that the student is unable to participate in the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination (WKCE), even with accommodations. The WAA-SwD is administered to students in grades 3 through 8 and 10 in reading and mathematics, and grades 4, 8 and 10 in science. The reading, mathematics and science WAA-SwD test forms and administration guidelines were initially developed for the 2007-08 administration and the assessment is now scheduled to be administered in the fall of each school year. More information is available on the WAA-SwD web page.
ACCESS for ELLs®
ACCESS for ELLs® stands for Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners and 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. More information is available on the ACCESS web page.
National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (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. Since 1969, NAEP has provided valuable information on student achievement to policymakers, educators, and the general public. The National Center for Education Statistics in the U.S. Department of Education, is responsible by law for carrying out the NAEP project. The National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB), appointed by the Secretary of Education but independent of the Department, sets policy for NAEP and is responsible for developing the frameworks and test specifications that serve as the blueprint for the assessments. More information is available on the NAEP web page.