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COVID-19 Assessment Updates

Testing Requirements

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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.

Updated as of 2/10/21

Summary of DPI Submitted Federal Waiver Applications 

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Federal Accountability Waiver - The federal waiver request submitted by DPI, suspending accountability requirements including basing achievement on at least 95 percent of students, and delaying 2020-21 long term goals and Comprehensive Support and Improvement, Additional Targeted Support and Improvement, and Targeted Support and Improvement identifications by one year, has been approved.

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.

All state-level legal requirements regarding accountability and assessment remain in place.

Previously submitted assessment waivers ( TSI waiver and the ESSA Required Academic Assessments waiver) have been replaced by the now approved Federal Accountability Waiver.

(updated 4/26/21)

Testing Window Changes

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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 - May 21, 2021.

Aspire testing window has been extended by 2 weeks. The updated Aspire testing window is April 5 - May 19, 2021.
 
(Updated 3/15/21)

Forward Exam Changes for 2020-21

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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).

Writing is a key skill and an important part of the Wisconsin Academic Standards for ELA. Both the TDA item (the long write session of the ELA exam) and field test items will be included in the 2022 Forward Exam. 
 
Currently, Forward Exam testing is accessible from 7:00 am - 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. In order to allow districts additional time to administer the assessment in-person to students safely, DPI is offering optional extended testing hours for the 2020-21 Forward Exam. Districts may now opt to test students, in-person, on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings until 8:00 pm, and on Saturdays from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm during the testing window. Districts should be aware that no help desk or technical support will be available from DRC or DPI for testing during extended hours. DACs should have district/school technology staff and back-up plans in place prior to any test administration during extended hours. In order to utilize the extended hours, DACs must complete and submit the Forward Exam - Extended Testing Hours Request Form for their district. The request form must be submitted a minimum of one week prior to the planned extended hour testing day. Upon approval from DPI, DRC will open the testing application for the extended hours requested by the district.
 
(Updated 2/10/21)

ACCESS Changes for 2020-21

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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.

(updated 2/17/21)

ACT Changes for 2020-21

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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.

(Updated 8/12/21)

DLM Changes for 2020-21

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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.

(Updated 2/0/21)

NAEP Changes for 2020-21

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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.

(Updated 2/10/21)

Additional COVID-19 Information

Please refer to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction COVID-19 webpage for additional information and updates related to COVID-19.