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DPI releases Wisconsin Student Assessment System results

Wisconsin public school student achievement at highest level since 2018-19 school year
Tuesday, October 10, 2023


DPI Media Line, (608) 266-3559
MADISON — Standardized testing results for the 2022-23 school year show Wisconsin public school students are continuing to recover in proficiency rates after the learning disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data released today by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
Public school student proficiency rates in English language arts and mathematics were at 38.9 percent and 37.4 percent, respectively, for 2022-23. This data represents an overall improvement in public school student achievement in comparison to the previous two school years (2020-21 and 2021-22), though testing data indicates proficiency rates are not yet back to pre-pandemic levels, with the exception of an increase in proficiency in the ELA section of the ACT. Public-school student subgroups also experienced increases in proficiency when compared to 2021-22. Students participating in the state’s Private School Choice Programs had proficiency rates of 22.1 percent (ELA) and 17.9 percent (mathematics) in 2022-23.
A 2021 study by the U.S. Department of Education found performance level expectations in Wisconsin are among the highest in the nation compared to proficiency standards of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
Statewide participation rates for public school students increased about 1 percentage point from 2021-22 to approximately 95 percent of eligible students being tested, while PSCP student participation declined 2 percentage points from the previous school year to approximately 80 percent for 2022-23.
“I want to say that I am proud of our students’ work, and grateful to our DPI and school and district staff doing such a good job of increasing the participation rates in our assessments,” State Superintendent Dr. Jill Underly said. “I am also tired of politicians claiming that our children aren’t learning because they aren’t reaching a proficiency score. Instead of using test scores as a cudgel, we should all take the time to learn what a high bar proficiency on this test represents, because the truth is that our proficiency cut scores are very high in comparison to every other state in the country.”
The testing data released today is part of the Wisconsin Student Assessment System (WSAS), a statewide program designed to provide information about what students know in core academic areas at a given time and to help educators and schools understand where additional support may be needed. The WSAS includes the Forward Exam given in Grades 3-8 and 10, the PreACT Secure given in Grades 9 and 10, the ACT with writing in Grade 11, and Dynamic Learning Maps, which is given across all tested grades to students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. Results from the WSAS are a foundational component of the state-legislated school and district report cards that will be issued in November.
These standardized, large-scale assessments represent only one measure of student achievement, and should be used in conjunction with other measures to provide a full picture of student learning. It is advised to use caution when comparing assessment data for groups of students across years as differences between years in test participation rates and/or the makeup of student groups are important considerations when interpreting proficiency rates.
To access 2022-23 statewide, district and school WSAS data, visit the DPI’s WISEdash Public Portal. For more information on the WSAS, visit the DPI’s website.

Official Release