Changes coming to state standardized testing

MGN Online
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU)- The State of Wisconsin has used the same type of testing since 1992, but that's about to change.

Starting next year, the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examinations also known as WKCE testing is being replaced.
The new testing for students in third through eighth grade will be known as the Smarter Balance exam. It will largely be given to students as an online exam versus the old way of paper testing.

In comparison to the old standardized tests given out once during the school year, the new tests would allow schools to measure progress throughout the year instead of just once.

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction says the new model of online testing will allow for teachers to instantly find out how well students are learning versus the old system where tests are given out in the fall and results aren't known until later in the school year.

Unlike the old test, district leaders say the Smarter Balance assessment is meant to gauge a student's ability to take content learned in the classroom and apply it in multiple ways.

“Sixth and eighth grade students would take the test twice. They would take it in the fall and the spring so that would change the parameters a bit. Also the Smarter Balance exam is reflecting the common core standards,” Mark Gobler President of Regis Catholic Schools said.

Testing for high school students will also be switched starting next year. High school juniors will now take the ACT college entrance exam. Before the switch that test was optional and the $50-dollar cost had to be covered by the student. That cost will now be covered by the state.

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