Overview | FAQ | Cautions |Scoring | Definitions | Using the Performance Dashboards | Useful Links
ACT Aspire™ Early High School assesses student readiness in English, mathematics, reading, science, and writing. ACT Aspire is an online assessment in Wisconsin except for students who require accommodations through Braille, Large Print or American Sign Language who will take ACT Aspire™ in a paper and pencil format.
ACT Aspire™ is linked to ACT® College Readiness Benchmarks. ACT Aspire™ consists of multiple question types: constructed response, selected response and technology-enhanced.
|School Years||WISEdash||WINSS Historical Data Files|
|Beginning with 2015-16||X||--|
Frequently Asked Questions about ACT Aspire™ Data
1. Is FAY (Full Academic Year) used in the ACT Aspire™ dashboards? If so, where can I find FAY and non-FAY?
School level reporting is FAY in the School, District is FAY in the District, Statewide is combined FAY and non-FAY. See Glossary for the definition of FAY.
2. Why is FAY used?
Including only FAY students in district and school summaries provides one indicator of how successful a district or school community has been in meeting the academic needs of students in tested grades up to the time of testing. Students in grade 11 who have been enrolled for a FAY are students who were enrolled in the same district or school since the beginning of the school year.
3. How are student group associations assigned for the certified data?
- Student group associations (e.g. race/ethnicity etc.) are assigned based on a static snapshot of student attributes from the data warehouse taken at about the time of testing. District/school assignments are based on the district/school accountable for each student’s education.
Note that no single test can tell us whether students have learned everything that is important for students to learn. Additional local evidence should be reviewed for a more complete picture of student learning.
- Test participation for 2020-21 may be lower than in other years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When making comparisons to the state or across years or districts, use caution when participation rates are lower than 95%, especially when the group of tested students is not representative of the overall population of students.
ACT Aspire™ results are reported on a 3-digit score scale for English, reading, mathematics, science, and English language arts (average of the English, reading and writing scores).
Three separate ACT Aspire™ dashboards are available in WISEdash Public. Each dashboard allows users to compare the performance of students from their school/district against performance from all students across the state. The following information is available on each dashboard:
ACT Aspire – DPI Performance Level
This dashboard provides performance level information (below basic, basic, proficient, and advanced) for 9th and 10th grade performance on ACT Aspire™ for the subject areas of English Language Arts (English, reading, and writing scores) and Mathematics. Scores required to achieve basic, proficient and advanced performance levels on ACT Aspire™ are:
ACT Aspire Readiness Level Dashboard
The ACT Aspire Readiness Level dashboard identifies the number and percent of students that are on track to meet the college-ready benchmarks on the ACT®
3-digit scores are compared to ACT® Readiness Benchmarks for English, reading, mathematics and science to determine whether or not students are on track to meet college-ready benchmarks on the ACT®. Students that are reported as “Exceeding” or “Ready” have met the ACT® Readiness Benchmark for a subject while students that are reported as “Close” or “In Need of Support” have not met the ACT® Readiness Benchmark for a subject.
The ACT subject score readiness benchmark values are shown in the table below. Students who score at this level or above are considered “ready.” Note that these values were obtained using spring performance, meaning that scores for students who test in the fall are compared to a spring benchmark. Therefore, performance relative to the benchmark is an indication of what a student still needs to learn in order to be “ready” by the end of the year. Values for all categories can be found in Table 2 in the ACT Aspire™ Interpretive Guide for ACT Aspire Summative Reports.
ACT Aspire Average Score Dashboard
The Average Score by Subject Area indicator provides the average score for each ACT Aspire subject area. Information is available for English, Reading, Math, Science, and ELA scores. Writing Score information is available for school year 2014-15 to school year 2016-17. No Writing score information is available after the 2016-17 school year.
ACT Aspire Trends DPI Proficiency and DPI Participation Dashboards
The DPI Proficiency and DPI Participation graphs shows the recent trend in percentage of students with DPI performance levels of Proficient and Advanced on the ACT Aspire or DLM (alternate) exam as well as the participation rate of eligible students. Caution should be exercised when interpreting summary results when participation rates are low. The standard participation rate threshold is 95%. When participation falls below that level, inferences about overall performance are uncertain, especially when the composition of test takers is different compared to the underlying eligible population.
ACT Aspire™ and DLM™ were not administered during the 2019-20 school year due to COVID-19 pandemic-related school closures.
- Close: Students in the Close category scored below but near the ACT® Readiness Benchmark, considering the measurement error.
- Exceeding: Students in the Exceeding category scored substantially above the benchmark and have a much higher chance to be college and career ready.
- In Need of Support: Students in the In Need of Support category performed substantially below the ACT® Readiness Benchmark.
- Ready: Students in the Ready category have met the ACT® Readiness Benchmark and are on target for 50% or higher likelihood of college course success by grade 11.
Using the Performance Dashboards to Improve Learning
Timely and meaningful assessment information about student performance allows:
- teachers to target instruction to individual student needs,
- students to better target their own efforts,
- administrators to more fully understand what students know and are able to do, and to guide curriculum and professional development decisions, and
- parents to understand what their child knows and is able to do in ELA, mathematics and science.
When used in combination with multiple measures of achievement, such as classroom observations and teacher-developed tests, the ACT Aspire™ provides information about the progress of groups of students as well as the effectiveness of educational programs. No single test can tell us whether students have learned everything that is important to learn.
The DPI performance level graphs allow users to compare the percentage of students who are performing at each DPI performance level within a school, district or statewide. Similarly, using the available grouping, users can compare the percentage of students in a specific demographic group who are performing at the Proficient or Advanced levels in each school within the district. If, for any group, the percentage of students tested is low, users should not use the DPI performance level percentages to reach conclusions about the performance of that group.
The readiness graphs allow users to compare the percentage of students who are performing at each readiness level within a school, district or statewide. Similarly, using the available grouping, users can compare the percentage of students in a specific demographic group who are performing at the Ready or Exceeding categories in each school within the district. If, for any group, the percentage of students tested is low, users should not use the readiness level percentages to reach conclusions about the performance of that group.
The scale score graphs provide information about the distribution of average scale scores within and across student groups. By using the filters, educators can compare the average scale scores for student groups between schools. Wide score distributions or low scores provide evidence of wide achievement gaps and/or low achievement.
More About the Data
- DPI ACT High School Assessment Page
- About the Data - ACT Graduates
- ACT Home Page
- ACT Technical Manual
- ACT Aspire Overview
- ACT Aspire Home