Requirements for the 2020-21 administration of statewide assessments remain unchanged under state and federal law. All districts and schools should begin planning for in-person testing now; this includes schools whose current instruction is hybrid, in-person, or 100% virtual. If schools are not open for in-person instruction, they still need to safely provide an in-person, school proctored testing environment if the local health orders allow students and staff to be in school buildings safely.
Please note that remote (virtual) testing options are not available for statewide assessments.
Summary of DPI Submitted Federal Waiver Applications
DPI has requested the following waivers from the U.S. Department of Education. The U.S. Department of Education has up to 90 days to respond to our requests.
ESEA Addendum & TSI Waiver - DPI is requesting an addendum to the Wisconsin ESEA plan that would delay Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) and Additional Targeted Support and Improvement (ATSI) identifications and shift long-term goals by one year. DPI is also requesting a waiver to delay Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) identifications by one year.
ACCESS for ELLs - DPI is requesting a federal waiver from requiring an annual ELP assessment of every EL, and from using the Progress in Achieving English Language Proficiency Indicator in Wisconsin’s ESSA accountability system for the 2020-21 school year.
ESSA Required Academic Assessments - DPI is seeking flexibility for situations where testing every student will not be possible. Schools and districts are still required to administer the statewide assessments following infection control and mitigation protocols and as permissible by local health departments. DPI is seeking to waive the requirement to have an accountability indicator in 2020-21 that measures the achievement of at least 95 percent of all students.
Testing Window Changes
Forward and DLM testing windows have been extended by 2 weeks. The updated DLM and Forward testing windows are March 22 - May 14, 2021.
The ACCESS for ELLs assessment has been postponed to February 22 - April 30, 2021.
Forward Exam Changes for 2020-21
OEA has implemented two one-year solutions that will shorten student testing times by a minimum of 70-80 minutes (depending on grade level) and will still produce valid student scores. (1) Removing field test items from the English language arts (ELA), mathematics, and science subject areas. (2) Removing the Text Dependent Analysis (TDA) item (the long write session of the ELA exam).
ACCESS Changes for 2020-21
Districts have the option to administer the ACCESS for ELLs exam during the evening and on weekends. Districts don’t need special permission for ACCESS for ELLs testing during extended hours. Please be aware that no help desk or technical support will be available from DRC or DPI during extended testing hours. DACs should have district/school technology staff and back-up plans in place prior to any test administration during extended hours.
ACT Changes for 2020-21
ACT is offering in-person, online testing (in a school setting) in addition to paper and pencil testing. This online testing window allows for 15 additional dates of ACT testing within the same testing windows.
DLM Changes for 2020-21
In order to provide additional time to assess students safely, districts have the option to administer the DLM exam during the evening and on weekends. Districts do not need special permission for DLM testing during extended hours, however, DPI will monitor the use of after-hours testing. No help desk or technical support will be available from DLM or DPI during extended testing hours.
NAEP Changes for 2020-21
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Commissioner, with support of the National Assessment Governing Board, postponed the NAEP 2021 assessments (grades 4 and 8, reading and mathematics) to next school year. To administer NAEP, field staff travel to schools in the NAEP sample and administer the test in-person; it’s not logistically possible to assess students this year.
NCES planning to deliver questionnaires to teachers and school administrators, including some questions related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.