Madison students are slated to get a double dose of standardized tests in the coming years as the state redesigns its annual series of exams while school districts seek better ways to measure learning.
For years, district students in grades three through eight and grade 10 have taken the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination (WKCE), a series of state-mandated tests that measure school accountability.
Last month, in addition to the state tests, eighth- and ninth-graders took one of three different tests the district plans to introduce in grades three through 10. Compared with the WKCE, the tests are supposed to more accurately assess whether students are learning at, above or below grade level. Teachers also will get the results more quickly.
“Right now we have a vacuum of appropriate assessment tools,” said Tim Peterson, Madison’s assistant director of curriculum and assessment. “The standards have changed, but the measurement tool that we’re required by law to use — the WKCE — is not connected.”
- The WKCE has been used for the District’s “Value Added Assessment” progam
- The WKCE has been often criticized for its lack of rigor: Wisconsin’s Low State Test Score Standards (“The Proficiency Illusion”) by Alan Borsuk.
- Many links on the WKCE.
- Clusty Search: EXPLORE test; Blekko Search.
- Clusty Search: Measures of Academic Progress (MAP); Blekko Search.
I’m glad that the District is planning alternatives to the WKCE.