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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 safely be in school buildings.

Please note that remote (virtual) testing options are not available for statewide assessments.


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Federal and state laws require that students identified as English Learners (ELs) be assessed annually to determine their level of English language proficiency (ELP) and ensure that they are progressing in achieving full English proficiency. This includes students who receive special education services.

In addition to meeting these statutory accountability requirements, the annual ELP assessment can be effectively used for planning and instructional purposes. It serves as the single most psychometrically valid and reliable measure of a student’s ELP.

Most ELs will take the ACCESS for ELLs assessment annually. ELs recognized under the individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA; 2004) as having a significant cognitive disability and who are expected to participate in the Wisconsin Alternate Assessment are eligible to take the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs in place of the ACCESS for ELLs®.

ACCESS for ELLs® is designed to measure English language proficiency. It is a large ­scale assessment that is based on the WIDA Consortium’s ELD Standards that form the core of Wisconsin’s approach to instructing and testing ELs.

Alternate ACCESS for ELLs is designed to fill the same role as the regular ACCESS for ELLs for students in grades 1­-12. This paper/pencil assessment is accessible for eligible students with significant cognitive disabilities.

ACCESS for ELLs Ordering

Initial orders will be generated based on the roster uploaded in late October. Districts may order additional paper ACCESS for ELLs test materials online via the WIDA AMS during the Additional Materials Window, which runs from late November until early February.

What's New

OSA FAQs and and Title III FAQs have been updated related to COVID-19.

WISEdash for Districts has been updated to include on-track-to-proficiency data for ELs. Please see the English Learner Data in WISEdash overview for more information.

Quick Contacts

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Title III and Bilingual Education, Supports, and Service

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