MADISON — The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction today released results of the Wisconsin Student Assessment System (WSAS) exams given to students during the 2021-22 school year.
Overall, results from the standardized tests showed strong signs of recovery and progress among tested Wisconsin students, as they continue to work through learning disruptions and challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to student achievement, participation in the WSAS also increased closer to pre-pandemic levels.
The WSAS consists of the Forward Exam given in Grades 3-8 and 10, the ACT Aspire given in Grades 9 and 10, the ACT with writing in Grade 11, and Dynamic Learning Maps given across all tested grades to students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. The WSAS is administered each spring and is a snapshot in time intended to show how Wisconsin students are progressing toward grade-level expectations. The WSAS results are one measure to help teachers and schools understand where students are at academically at a given time and help them determine where additional support may be needed. Results from the WSAS are a foundational component of the state-legislated school and district report cards that will be issued in November. The DPI urges caution when making cross-year comparisons in statewide assessment results between 2019, 2021, and 2022 due to differences in tested populations.
Takeaways from the 2021-22 WSAS results include, but are not limited to:
- Among the public school and Private School Choice Program students tested in Grades 3-11, 35.5 percent were proficient in English language arts.
- 92.9 percent of eligible students participated in ELA, an increase of about 9 percent from 2020-21 levels, and approaching pre-pandemic levels (96.3 percent in 2018-19).
- Among the public school and Private School Choice Program students tested in Grades 3-11, 35.2 percent were considered proficient in mathematics.
- 93.9 percent of eligible students participated in mathematics, an increase of 9.1 percent from 2020-21, and approaching pre-pandemic levels (97.1 percent in 2018-19).
- Student achievement increased in most grade levels from 2020-21, but is not at the same level of achievement from 2018-19.
Information on public school performance is made available by school and by district on the WISEdash Public Portal. Student performance data for Wisconsin’s three parental choice programs is posted via the Parental Choice Program data page. More information on student assessment in Wisconsin can be found on the DPI’s WSAS webpage.