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The Badger Exam was used to assess student readiness in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics for Wisconsin students in grades 3 through 8 in the spring of the 2014-15 school year. The Badger Exam was a computer administered assessment which is used to gauge how well students are mastering the Wisconsin College and Career Readiness Standards.
|School Years||WISEdash||School District Performance Report||WINSS Historical Downloads|
The ELA portion of the Badger Exam uses a variety of reading passages and resources to assess students in the following areas: reading of both literary and informational text, writing, listening skills, and researching topics to investigate, integrate, and present information. The ELA test is made up of multiple-choice questions (the student selects the correct answers from answer options), and short answer questions (the student provides a brief explanation in their response to the question). The majority of the ELA test questions are machine-scored. Professional staff experienced in providing reliable and accurate handscoring services score the remainder.
The mathematics portion of the Badger Exam uses a variety of real-world topics and scenarios to assess students in the following areas: ability to explain and apply concepts and procedures, problem solving, ability to use models and data analysis to solve real-world problems, and ability to construct and critique mathematical reasoning. The mathematics test is made up of multiple-choice questions (the student selects the correct answers from answer options), short answer questions (the student provides a brief explanation in their response to the question), and performance tasks (students take part in a group classroom activity then answer a series of short questions on the computer). The majority of the mathematics test questions are machine-scored. Professional staff experienced in providing reliable and accurate handscoring services score the remainder.
For 2014-15 the Badger Exam was developed by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced). In 2010, Wisconsin elected to join Smarter Balanced, one of the two national consortia that were formed to develop a series of “next generation assessments” to measure students’ career and college readiness beginning with the 2014-15 school year. Beginning in 2015-16 the Badger Exam will be replaced with the Wisconsin Forward Exam for students in grades 3 through 8.
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.
If, for any group, the percentage of students tested is low, users should not use the proficiency level percentages or the average scale score to reach conclusions about the performance of that group.
Frequently Asked Questions about Badger Data
1. Is FAY used in the Badger dashboards? If so, where can I find FAY and non-FAY?
School level reporting is FAY School, District is FAY 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 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 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. Why are results reported as a percent of students enrolled in tested grades rather than students tested?
For federal accountability purposes, all students enrolled in tested grades are expected to participate in a WSAS exam. Reporting percentages based on enrollment during the testing window accounts for all FAY students in the school or district including students not tested. For schools and districts where all or nearly all students participate, reporting by total enrolled or total tested makes little or no difference in reporting. However, for schools with low participation rates, reporting percents based on "total tested" does not provide an accurate picture of overall achievement of these schools, so this approach is not used. Student groups with the lowest achievement levels typically have the highest percentages of students who do not take tests. Reporting based on "total tested" provides a disincentive to administer tests or makeup tests to students who are not expected to do well because their inclusion in testing may lower the results for the school.
- Performance Levels
- Student performance on the Badger Exam is reported in terms of four performance levels: Advanced, Proficient, Basic, and Below Basic.
- Performance categories and their corresponding scale score ranges reflect student mastery of the Wisconsin College and Career Readiness Standards.
Performance level cut score recommendations were provided by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. These cut score recommendations were approved by the Department of Public Instruction for use in Wisconsin for the 2014-15 administration of the Badger Exam.
- The table below provides general performance level descriptions of the Badger Exam.
|Advanced||Student demonstrates thorough understanding of and ability to apply the knowledge and skills for their grade level that are associated with college content-readiness.|
|Proficient||Student demonstrates adequate understanding of and ability to apply the knowledge and skills for their grade level that are associated with college content-readiness.|
|Basic||Student demonstrates partial understanding of and ability to apply the knowledge and skills for their grade level that are associated with college content-readiness.|
|Below Basic||Student demonstrates minimal understanding of and ability to apply the knowledge and skills for their grade level that are associated with college content-readiness|
- Subject Scores
- Badger Exam results are reported on a 4-digit score scale for English language arts and mathematics.
- The tables below provide performance categories and cut score ranges for each performance level for each content area.
In addition to an overall scale score and performance level description, the Badger Exam also provides information on content specific claims. Claims are major areas or standards included in English language arts and mathematics tests. Individual test questions are aligned to these claims. See the table below for the complete list of claims within each content area.
|English Language Arts||Mathematics|
A student’s claim performance is described as one of the following: exceeds standard, meets standard, and does not meet standard. See the table below for the description of each performance category.
|Claim Performance Category||Description|
|Exceeds Standard||The assessment results indicate that the student clearly understands and can successfully apply his or her knowledge to the standards tested in this subject area for his or her grade.|
|Meets Standard||The assessment results indicate that the student shows understanding and can apply his or her knowledge to the standards tested in this subject area for his or her grade.|
|Does Not Meet Standard||The assessment results indicate that the student has limited understanding and difficulty applying his or her knowledge of the standard tested in this subject-area for his or her grade.|
|No Score Available||Results cannot be reported due to a student providing only a limited number of responses.|
Definitions of Key Terms
WSAS: Wisconsin Student Assessment System. The Wisconsin Student Assessment System (WSAS) is a comprehensive statewide program designed to provide information about what students know in core academic areas and whether they can apply what they know. For more information visit https://dpi.wi.gov/assessment.
Badger Examination: The Badger exam is a statewide standardized exam. For 2014-15 only, the exam was given to students in grades 3 through 8 and measured student achievement in language arts and mathematics.
Performance or Proficiency Levels: Levels which describe how well students performed on statewide tests. The levels are advanced, proficient, basic, and below basic. These levels are based solely on scores obtained on the Badger exam. For example, students tested on the Badger receive a scale score for each subject. Each of the four levels in each subject and at each grade level is associated with a range of scores on the Badger exam.
Full Academic Year (FAY): FAY -with respect to the Badger exam- describes students who have been enrolled in the same school or district since the beginning of the 2014-15 school year. For example, students in grade 4 who have been enrolled for a FAY are normally students who were enrolled since the beginning of the year.
Scale Score: A measure of student performance on a Badger subject area test that takes into account the number and difficulty of test items answered correctly. The scale is applied to all students taking the Badger exam in a particular subject at a particular grade level, making it possible to compare scores from different groups of students or individuals within a given year and over time.
Unknown Demographics (WISEdash): Data about student demographics that are collected by DPI for all students in schools covered by WISEdash Badger reports but are unknown for certain students associated with these schools (rare). Demographics are unknown when a Badger record is incomplete (e.g. gender or race/ethnicity code is missing or invalid) and that record cannot be matched to ISES Count Date (3rd Friday of September) records.
For more definitions, see WISEdash Glossary (includes terms used in WINSS and SDPR).
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 and mathematics.
When used in combination with multiple measures of achievement, such as classroom observations and teacher-developed tests, the Badger Exam 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 performance dashboards allow users to compare the percentage of students who are performing at each performance level within a school or district. Comparing the Proficient and Advanced levels in each school or district provides one indicator of school and/or district success in a specific grade and prior grades up to the time of testing. Similarly, using the filters, 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 proficiency level percentages to reach conclusions about the performance of that group.
The scale score dashboards 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.
Badger Exam Data Availability
Badger Exam scores are provided in WISEdash for those schools that had students in grades 3 through 8. Badger Exam results are provided in WISEdash for Districts beginning with the results from the 2014-15 school year spring administration for students in grade 3 through 8. In addition, students who completed the Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) are also displayed in WISEdash. DLM is administered to approximately 1% of students in grades 3-8 with significant cognitive disabilities in lieu of the Badger Exam.
The Badger dashboards are defaulted to show both Badger and DLM data. Users can filter by "Test Type" to view performance dashboard results for either assessment by itself. The average score dashboards only provide data for the Badger Exam. The "No Test" category representing non tested students is included with the Badger dashboards. Students may not have been tested because they were opted out of testing by a parent, were absent on the test administration date, or for another reason.
Districts were required to administer the Badger Exam in the spring of the 2014-15 school year to students in grades 3 through 8. After the conclusion of the administration window for all districts across the state, Badger Exam results from that administration were provided to DPI from the test vendor. DPI loaded these results for presentation in WISEdash. Part of the data loading process involves matching the assessment with the appropriate student in the data warehouse. That process uses the WSN, student name, and date of birth and allows some degree of variation or inaccuracy. Even so, some records could not be matched and were loaded and reported as unknown. A very small percentage of records may be misidentified with an incorrect student.