Nearly six months after the state announced it was scrapping its annual test for public school students, efforts to replace it with a new assessment are on hold and state officials now estimate it will take at least three years to make the switch.
The reason for the delay is tied to what is happening in the national education scene.
Wisconsin is among the 48 states that have signed onto the Common Core State Standards Initiative, which expects to complete work on grade-by-grade expectations for students in English and math by early spring. Once that is done, the anticipation is that the state will adopt the new standards, using them to help craft the new statewide test.
Wisconsin officials also are planning to compete for part of $350 million that the U.S. Education Department plans to award in the fall to state consortiums for test development.
The WKCE (Wisconsin Knowledge & Concepts Exam) has been criticized for its lack of rigor. The Madison School District is using the WKCE as the basis for its value added assessment initiative.