Why are children in Wisconsin required to take standardized assessments?

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires all states to test all students in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics in grades 3-8 and once in high school. ESSA also requires students be assessed in Science once each grade span (3-6, 7-9, and 10-12 grades). Student performance on these assessments is reported in proficiency categories and used for accountability determination at the school, district and state levels. Wisconsin State statute also requires students to take grade 9 and 10 assessments as well as the social studies test. These tests together create the Wisconsin Student Assessment System

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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:

  • TheWisconsin Forward Exam at grades at grades 3-8 for English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics, at grades 4 and 8 in Science, and 4, 8, and 10 in Social Studies
  • PreACT Secureat grades 9 & 10 in English, Reading, Mathematics, and Science
  • The ACT with writingat grade 11 for Reading, English, Mathematics, Science, and Writing
  • Assessment for Reading Readiness
  • Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM)at grades 3-11 in ELA and Mathematics, at grades 4 and 8 - 11 in Science, and at grades 4, 8, and 10 in Social Studies. DLM is an alternate assessment for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.