Wisconsin ACT doesn’t meet all federal accountability requirements

Erin Richards:

The ACT exam that Wisconsin uses to assess high school students for accountability purposes is not fully compliant with federal law, the U.S. Department of Education has told the state.

Based on a peer review of Wisconsin’s assessment system, the ACT only partially meets the federal government’s requirements for reading, language arts and mathematics assessments, and the state will have to provide “substantial additional information” to become compliant, according to a letter from the DOE to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction this month.

If Wisconsin doesn’t address the matter, the DOE could place a condition on the state’s federal grant dollars, the letter says.

The news comes as Wisconsin has recently shifted to using the ACT High School Assessments to accomplish two important tasks: Get more students taking the ACT college-entrance exam to increase the numbers of students considering college; and use the results of the widely known exam, which is administered to all Wisconsin juniors, to measure high-school achievement under federal law.