About the Data
The Badger Exam assesses student readiness in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics for Wisconsin students in grades 3 through 8 in the spring of each school year. The Badger Exam is a computer administered assessment which is used to gauge how well students are mastering the Wisconsin College and Career Readiness Standards.
The ELA portion of the Badger Exam uses a variety of reading passages and resources to assess students in the following areas: reading of both literary and informational text, writing, listening skills, and researching topics to investigate, integrate, and present information. The ELA test is made up of multiple-choice questions (the student selects the correct answers from answer options), and short answer questions (the student provides a brief explanation in their response to the question). The majority of the ELA test questions are machine-scored. Professional staff experienced in providing reliable and accurate handscoring services score the remainder.
The mathematics portion of the Badger Exam uses a variety of real-world topics and scenarios to assess students in the following areas: ability to explain and apply concepts and procedures, problem solving, ability to use models and data analysis to solve real-world problems, and ability to construct and critique mathematical reasoning. The mathematics test is made up of multiple-choice questions (the student selects the correct answers from answer options), short answer questions (the student provides a brief explanation in their response to the question), and performance tasks (students take part in a group classroom activity then answer a series of short questions on the computer). The majority of the mathematics test questions are machine-scored. Professional staff experienced in providing reliable and accurate handscoring services score the remainder.
For 2014-15 the Badger Exam was developed by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced). In 2010, Wisconsin elected to join Smarter Balanced, one of the two national consortia that were formed to develop a series of “next generation assessments” to measure students’ career and college readiness beginning with the 2014-15 school year. Beginning in 2015-16 the Badger Exam will be replaced with the Wisconsin Forward Exam for students in grades 3 through 8.
Badger Exam Data Availability
Badger Exam scores are provided in WISEdash for those schools that have students in grades 3 through 8. Badger Exam results are provided in WISEdash for Districts beginning with the results from the 2014-15 school year spring administration for students in grade 3 through 8. Badger Exam results are published annually as they become available.
Badger Exam Data Exchange
Districts are required to administer the Badger Exam in the spring of each school year to students in grades 3 through 8. After the conclusion of an administration window for all districts across the state, Badger Exam results from that administration are provided to DPI from the test vendor. DPI loads these results for presentation in WISEdash for Districts. Part of the data loading process involves matching the assessment with the appropriate student in the data warehouse. That process uses the WSN, student name, and date of birth and allows some degree of variation or inaccuracy. Even so, some records cannot be matched and will be loaded and reported as unknown. A very small percentage of records may be misidentified with an incorrect student.
- Planned Load Schedule
- Spring test administration: Annually in the summer
- Performance Levels
- Student performance on the Badger Exam is reported in terms of four performance levels: Advanced, Proficient, Basic, and Below Basic.
- Performance categories and their corresponding scale score ranges reflect student mastery of the Wisconsin College and Career Readiness Standards.
- Performance level cut score recommendations were provided by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. These cut score recommendations were approved by the Department of Public Instruction for use in Wisconsin for the 2014-15 administration of the Badger Exam.
- Badger Exam metrics include a “No Badger” category that represents students who were enrolled as of the third Friday in September count date but who were not tested with the Badger or DLM.
- The table below provides general performance level descriptions of the Badger Exam.
|Advanced||Student demonstrates thorough understanding of and ability to apply the knowledge and skills for their grade level that are associated with college content-readiness.|
|Proficient||Student demonstrates adequate understanding of and ability to apply the knowledge and skills for their grade level that are associated with college content-readiness.|
|Basic||Student demonstrates partial understanding of and ability to apply the knowledge and skills for their grade level that are associated with college content-readiness.|
|Below Basic||Student demonstrates minimal understanding of and ability to apply the knowledge and skills for their grade level that are associated with college content-readiness|
- Subject Scores
- Badger Exam results are reported on a 4-digit score scale for English language arts and mathematics.
- The tables below provide performance categories and cut score ranges for each performance level for each content area.
In addition to an overall scale score and performance level description, the Badger Exam also provides information on content specific claims. Claims are major areas or standards included in English language arts and mathematics tests. Individual test questions are aligned to these claims. See the table below for the complete list of claims within each content area.
|English Language Arts||Mathematics|
A student’s claim performance is described as one of the following: exceeds standard, meets standard, and does not meet standard. See the table below for the description of each performance category.
|Claim Performance Category||Description|
|Exceeds Standard||The assessment results indicate that the student clearly understands and can successfully apply his or her knowledge to the standards tested in this subject area for his or her grade.|
|Meets Standard||The assessment results indicate that the student shows understanding and can apply his or her knowledge to the standards tested in this subject area for his or her grade.|
|Does Not Meet Standard||The assessment results indicate that the student has limited understanding and difficulty applying his or her knowledge of the standard tested in this subject-area for his or her grade.|
|No Score Available||Results cannot be reported due to a student providing only a limited number of responses.|
Using the Performance Dashboards to Improve Learning
The Badger Exam performance dashboards are defaulted to show both Badger Exam and Dynamic Learning Maps data. Users can filter by “Test Type” to view performance dashboard results for either assessment by itself. The scale score dashboards only provide data for the Badger Exam.
Timely and meaningful assessment information about student performance allows:
- teachers to target instruction to individual student needs,
- students to better target their own efforts,
- administrators to more fully understand what students know and are able to do, and to guide curriculum and professional development decisions, and
- parents to understand what their child knows and is able to do in ELA and mathematics.
When used in combination with multiple measures of achievement, such as classroom observations and teacher-developed tests, the Badger Exam provides information about the progress of groups of students as well as the effectiveness of educational programs. No single test can tell us whether students have learned everything that is important to learn.
The performance dashboards allow users to compare the percentage of students who are performing at each performance level within a school or district. Comparing the Proficient and Advanced levels in each school or district and filtering the data by full academic year provides one indicator of school and/or district success in a specific grade and prior grades up to the time of testing. Similarly, using the filters, users can compare the percentage of students in a specific demographic group who are performing at the Proficient or Advanced levels in each school within the district. If, for any group, the percentage of students tested is low, users should not use the proficiency level percentages to reach conclusions about the performance of that group.
The scale score dashboards provide information about the distribution of average scale scores within and across student groups. By using the filters, educators can compare the average scale scores for student groups between schools. Wide score distributions or low scores provide evidence of wide achievement gaps and/or low achievement.
Users can also use these dashboards to quickly identify students performing in a specific range within a school or grade level. Along with additional sources of information from classroom assessments, this information may be used to identify students in need of additional instructional supports or interventions.
These dashboards also allow users to view the claim level performance for students performing in a similar scale score range. Users can then identify trends or commonalities in student’s claim level performance. This information along with additional sources of information from classroom assessments may be used to tailor instructional supports for individuals or groups of students.
Limitations with Badger Exam Data
Note that no single test can tell us whether students have learned everything that is important for students to learn. Additional local evidence should be reviewed for a more complete picture of student learning.
If, for any group, the percentage of students tested is low, users should not use the proficiency level percentages or the average scale score to reach conclusions about the performance of that group.