The Wisconsin Student Assessment System (WSAS) is a comprehensive 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 Wisconsin Forward Exam at grades 3-8 in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics, at grades 4 and 8 in Science, and 4, 8, and 10 in Social Studies
- 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,
- ACT Aspire at grades 9 & 10,
- The ACT Plus Writing at grade 11 for Reading, English, Mathematics, Science, and Writing
All public school junior students in Wisconsin are reflected in the ACT scores. While results from previous years reflected only the scores for students who were headed to college, today’s data reflects all students’ achievement, yielding the opportunity to assess college and career readiness for all students. It is also important to note that comparison of the graduation data results between this year and the previous years is not meaningful as a result of this change.
The federal No Child Left Behind Act requires all states to test all students in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics in grades 3-8 and once in high school. 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 a science and social studies test These tests together create the Wisconsin Student Assessment System.
Assessment for ELL's
Federal and state laws require that students identified as English Learners (ELs) be assessed annually to determine their level of English language proficiency (ELP) and ensure that they are progressing in achieving full English proficiency. This includes students who receive special education services. Most ELs will take the ACCESS for ELLs assessment annually. ELs recognized under the individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA; 2004) as having a significant cognitive disability and who are expected to participate in the Wisconsin Alternate Assessment are eligible to take the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs in place of the ACCESS for ELLs®.