Scoring Changes Come To State Tests
Proficiency Results Will Be Lower
Scoring changes for Wisconsin’s public school accountability tests will result in lower reported proficiency levels. The tests are the Wisconsin Knowledge and Comprehension Exams (WKCE) that are administered in all public schools at grades three through eight and grade 10. The test is required to comply with state and federal legislation. The scoring changes will go into effect in the 2012-13 school year, but the results from the 2011-2012 school year will be reported with the new scoring methods, so that schools and communities can prepare for next year. The 2011-2012 results in the new format will be made available to school districts in June, 2012 and will be made public in August, 2012.
Why are these scoring changes being made? The changes are part of a waiver from federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requirements that was applied for by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI). Many states are applying for similar waivers. Wisconsin’s application includes the changes in WKCE scoring as one way to increase academic rigor. How much different will the scores be? In some grades and subjects, the percentage of scores that are “proficient” or “advanced” will be half or even lower than half of those used in current scoring methods. The increase in difficulty is benchmarked to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), a federal test known as the Nation’s Report Card. All public schools in Wisconsin are experiencing these changes, so district comparisons will remain intact. Like other school districts, the staff of the Franklin Public Schools continue their dedicated focus on improving teaching and students’ learning and are monitoring the scoring changes and other changes related to the DPI waiver application.
The WKCE tested subjects include reading and mathematics at all tested grade levels with additional tests in science, social studies, language, and writing at grades four, eight, and 10.
More information about the DPI waiver is available at the DPI Accountability Reform web page: http://dpi.wi.gov/oea/acct/accountability.html