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Special Education and FORT - Act 44 Changes

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Wisconsin Act 44 directed the Department of Public Instruction to create a process that alters the Foundations of Reading Test (FORT) requirement for Special Education licensure.


The law as written states:

The department shall waive the requirement under par. (a) for an applicant seeking an initial teaching license that authorizes the holder to teach in special education if the applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the department that the applicant has successfully completed a course of study that satisfies all of the following:

1. The course of study provides rigorous instruction in the teaching of phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and fluency.

2. A student in the course of study receives feedback and coaching from an individual who is an expert of reading instruction.

3. A student in the course of study demonstrates competence in phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and fluency by providing a portfolio of work.


The Department of Public Instruction has started the administrative rules process to make these changes. For updates, you can refer to the administrative rules page as well as the latest licensing news blog:

DPI is currently receiving a high volume of contacts for assistance.  The four most common topics of discussion are:

Latest Licensing News

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Before you can submit an application to DPI, you must register for a Web Access Management Systems (WAMS) user ID.

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How to start your WAMS account recovery:

Perform a WAMS account recovery for all emails you have. Enter your email address but do NOT enter your User ID to start your WAMS account recovery. Once in the account recovery process you will be prompted to change your password. After you change your password you will be told in parentheses what your correct User ID is. Please make note of that before you terminate the account recovery session. Once you have recovered all WAMS accounts you have, login to ELO with each of your accounts individually. If you can see your licenses, you are logging in with the correct WAMS account. If you are taken through the Onboarding process again, you are not using the correct WAMS account and should try another account.

If you encounter errors in the WAMS account recovery process, please contact WAMS directly.  DPI is unable to help with WAMS recovery because the system is used by many state agencies and is run by the Department of Administration: