Wisconsin is one step closer to implementing its third statewide student assessment in three years for students in grades 3 through 8 with the announcement today that a new test vendor has been selected through a competitive process.
The new Wisconsin Forward Exam from Data Recognition Corporation (DRC), a Minnesota-based testing company with a Wisconsin office, is expected to be shorter and less costly than the Badger Exam that students took this spring for the first and last time. It will be administered online and, according to DPI, Wisconsin educators will be involved in test item development and review over the course of the contract.
Contingent on successful contract negotiations, state students will take the Wisconsin Forward Exam in spring 2016. The exam will test students in English language arts and mathematics in grades three through eight and science in grades four, eight, and 10. High school students in grades nine through 11 will continue to take the ACT assessments. Continue reading DPI Selects New Statewide Assessment to Replace Badger Exam
From WisPolitics.com …
Governor Walker, speaking during the New Hampshire Education Summit, told host and journalist Campbell Brown his focus as president would be to shift the power and money for education from Washington to the states. His health care rhetoric in recent days hit a similar anti-Washington note.
Moving control of education from the federal government, he said, would “empower the states to go out and be innovators.” He did not say specifically how he would he would make those changes if elected president. “Making that sort of move is going to take a fair amount of conversation,” he said.
And if that conversation means challenging his own party, if necessary, on topics such as No Child Left Behind, then OK. The governor said he “appreciates the intent behind it,” but considers NCLB another education barrier preventing states from taking control. “The best of intentions,” Walker said, “always build into something else out there.” Continue reading Gov. Walker Talks K-12 Education on the Campaign Trail in New Hampshire
Senate approval of a bill to rewrite the landmark federal No Child Left Behind law means a Conference Committee will be convened to reconcile differences between the Senate’s version and a separate version passed by the U.S. House. It also sets the stage for what could be contentious negotiations over the federal government’s role in education policy.
Last week’s 81-17 bipartisan Senate vote in favor of passage came one week after the House passed its own rewrite with only Republicans voting in favor. Here’s a look at the similarities and differences between the two versions: Continue reading Compromise Needed Between U.S. Senate and U.S. House to Get Rewrite of No Child Left Behind Education Law to President’s Desk
The U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of a bill to reauthorize the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) yesterday evening (July 8) by a close vote of 218 to 213.
The House bill—H. R. 5, the “Student Success Act”—would streamline federal education programs and includes language that would allow Title I dollars to follow students to public schools of their choice — a deal-breaker for House Democrats. Indeed, the margin in favor of passage came entirely from Republican votes. All House Democrats and 27 House Republicans voted against the bill. Continue reading U.S. House Narrowly Passes ESEA Rewrite; U.S. Senate Debate Over ESEA Continues
School Accountability (Report Cards)
The JFC proposal deletes the governor’s provision requiring a school’s and district’s level of performance be identified using a letter grade (A-F) system and instead requires utilizing a 5 “star” system. 5 stars would be used for schools and districts that “significantly exceed expectations” with 1 star for schools and districts that “fail to meet expectations” on the report cards. The WASB views this as an improvement.
The JFC approved the governor’s proposal to adjust how performance scores would be weighted to account for student poverty rates and the length of time a student has been educated in the school system, beginning with report cards issued in September 2016. In determining a school’s performance or a school district’s improvement, DPI must take into account the percentage of economically disadvantaged pupils enrolled in the school or school district and the length of time a pupil was enrolled in the school or school district. Continue reading JFC Budget: Accountability, Standards and Notice of Educational Options
Gov. Scott Walker has signed a Republican-authored bill (Senate Bill 67) that ensures student scores on the statewide “Badger Exam” all publicly-funded students in grades 3 through 8 are taking this spring won’t be used in evaluating teachers or put on report cards measuring school performance.
The roll-out of the Badger Exam–which was known as the SmarterBalanced Assessment before it was renamed by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI)– is aligned with the Common Core academic standards. The test was beset by implementation problems and higher than anticipated costs. generating widespread criticism from parents, school districts, state policymakers and the governor. Continue reading Gov. Walker Signs “Data Delay” Bill Into Law
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.
Continue reading State Seeking New State Assessment to Replace Badger Exam