You are here

Assessment FAQs

Select a topic to jump to that specific assessment FAQ:

General FAQs

Q. When is parent/guardian opt-out allowed?
A.When a parent or guardian requests that the student be excused from participating in the WSAS, this request must be honored at grades 4, 8, 9-11, per Wis. Stats. 118.30(2)(b)3.. This request may come at any time during the testing window. All students excused by parent opt-out are marked as “not tested” students in school and district reporting determinations.

NOTE: Testing is something in life everyone must do in some form or another, whether it be a college exam, CPR training, or a professional certification exam. The child's attitude and the attitude of those around the child will determine a great deal about how they may perform on the test that day. Encouraging a child to do their best to show their knowledge and skill will aid them in doing well and forming good testing habits as they grow into adults.

Q. How does a parent/guardian request an opt-out for their student?

A. A parent should submit a written request for student opt-out to the principal or the school board. Per Wis. Stats. 118.30(2)(b)3., if the student is in grades 4, 8, and 9-11 the request must be granted. However, if the student is not in the above mentioned grade levels, the decision to grant the request is at the discretion of the school board. Districts/schools should maintain records of parent opt-out requests.

Q. Is there a letter or form a parent can sign opting their student out of statewide testing for this year?

A. DPI does not provide a form. Some districts choose to create a parent opt-out form in order to collect the same information for every family. The method by which you choose to collect the written request is a local decision.

Q. How will participation affect our accountability (i.e., report cards) this year?
A. Federal Accountability (ESSA)

ESSA requires Academic Achievement calculations to be based upon the greater of 95% of students enrolled for the full academic year or the actual number of students tested. Hence, schools that have student groups with lower than a 95% test participation rate are penalized. Wisconsin’s ESSA system applies this requirement by adjusting the denominator of the points-based proficiency rate calculation to the 95% tested level for schools testing below the required 95% rate. For example, if a middle school serving students in grades 6-8 had 100 full academic year students, but only 90 of these students participated in state assessments, the schools points-based proficiency rate is calculated by dividing the number of points by 95 (minimum participation required by ESSA) rather than 90 (the actual number of students tested). This results in a lowered achievement score for that school.

State Accountability

DPI publishes school and district test participation on school and district report cards for informational purposes only. That is, test participation has no impact on report card scoring. This rule has been effective since the 2016-17 report cards. Please note that a minimum two years of 20 full academic year tested students are required to generate a report card score.