State Seeking New State Assessment to Replace Badger Exam

The state is soliciting proposals for a new 3rd-8th grade state assessment to replace the current Badger Exam, the Common Core State Standards-aligned exam that Wisconsin students took for the first time this spring.  Proposals are due May 27.

The move is being made in response to Gov. Scott Walker’s 2015-17 budget proposal that would prohibit the State Superintendent from adopting the Smarter Balanced assessment currently in use for students in grades 3 thorough 8, beginning in the 2015-16 school year. That assessment was renamed the Badger Test by the DPI.

According to the DPI, the decision to issue a request for proposals (RFP) concurrent with the state budget process was made in consultation with state’s Department of Administration (DOA), which manages the state procurement process to ensure that the state would have an assessment ready for the 2015-16 school year should the budget language be enacted.

Assuming the budget language becomes law and a new test vendor is selected, it would mean Wisconsin elementary and middle school students will be taking a different state exam next year for the third consecutive year.

A bill to prohibit the use of this year’s test scores in measuring teachers and schools, and block the issuance of school report cards for the 2014-15 school year was approved yesterday by Assembly Education Committee.  The legislation had previously been approved by the Senate.