As a result of the April 15, 2020, enactment of the 2019 Wisconsin Act 185, the coronavirus relief package, and the ESEA waiver granted by the Department of Education on March 27, all state and federal academic assessment requirements were suspended or waived for 2019-20 and there will be no new ESSA identifications or state accountability report cards issued during the 2020-21 school year.
Requirements for the 2020-21 administration of statewide assessments remain unchanged under state and federal law. DPI has been granted a waiver from federal ESSA accountability provisions resulting from 2020-21 school year data by the Department of Education. At this point, state accountability provisions (i.e., report cards based on 2020-21 data) are still in force for this school year. The Department of Public Instruction is monitoring the situation closely, is working with state and local partners, and will share information as it becomes available. Please see below for more information on the impact of COVID-19 on federal and state accountability in Wisconsin.
There will be no new ESSA identifications (e.g., Comprehensive Support and Improvement) issued during the 2020-21 school year, as these identifications would have been based on data from school year 2019-20. Schools with ESSA identifications in the 2019-20 school year will retain those identifications in the 2020-21 school year and DPI will continue to support LEAs of these schools.
While there will be no new ESSA identifications issued in 2020-21, OEA released ESSA Informational Reports and Progress to Exit Reports via SAFE containing applicable data in absenteeism, graduation, and progress towards English language proficiency. These reports, part of joint federal notifications, are for informational purposes, meant to support and inform school and district continuous improvement.
Please note that IDEA LEA Determinations reports and Racial Equity in Special Education reports, the other part of joint federal notifications (which are released in coordination with ESSA identifications), were issued during the 2020-21 school year. For questions about IDEA determinations, please contact the DPI Special Education team.
2019 Wisconsin Act 185 prohibits the release of school and district accountability report cards in the 2020-21 school year. This means OEA will not issue school or district report cards for 2019-20 (the report cards that would usually be publicly released in November).
OEA has been working with an Accountability Advisory Group of stakeholders across the state, as well as a panel of national experts, to make updates to future state accountability report cards. Though there will be no 2019-20 report cards, OEA has provided accountability preview reports directly to schools and districts via SAFE. These preview reports use data from prior years (i.e., 2018-19 assessment results) to demonstrate the report card calculation and data changes, and they supplement the data available in WISEdash for Districts. Again, these reports will not be released publicly and are intended primarily to serve as a planning tool to support schools and districts in continuous improvement.
OEA did not require schools to submit 2019-20 alternate accountability data or forms (unless specifically instructed to do so). OEA anticipates collecting alternate accountability data for the 2020-21 school year.
School Year 2020-21 Accountability
As mentioned above, requirements for the 2020-21 administration of statewide assessments remain unchanged under state and federal law. State accountability requirements also remain active, which means that we will plan to release 2020-21 accountability report cards.
DPI has been granted a waiver by the Department of Education from federal ESSA accountability provisions resulting from 2020-21 school year data. This waiver approval means that:
- There will be no new CSI, TSI, and ATSI identifications in school year 2021-22 (identifications that would normally take place in December 2021).
- Schools with existing identifications will retain these identifications, along with any support that goes along with identifications, for the next school year.
- DPI will report data for informational purposes, including results disaggregated by the student group.