Wisconsin's much-criticized statewide testing system will be phased out in the next few years in favor of a new "balanced assessment system," state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers announced Thursday. [. . .]Standardized tests like the WKCE are just one way, and usually not the best way, to measure student achievement. This is true for upper-class white kids the same as it is for for the poor minority kids that I teach; a 6- or 9-hour test is both overwhelming and hardly able to plumb adequately the depth of students' learning across many subjects and standards. I am keen to see what develops and how it changes models of teaching that, particularly in districts like MPS, have become more and more about teaching to the tests.
Based on the recommendation, the DPI reported that it has ceased development of new WKCE [Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam] test questions and will request proposals to develop the new testing system. New assessments for students in elementary and middle schools are likely to be computer-based and given several times over the course of a school year, the agency reported. High school tests will provide more information on college and workforce readiness.