Beginning in the 2005-06 school year, the federal No Child Left Behind Act required all states to test all students in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and once in high school (grade 10 under s.118.30 Wis Stats). These tests are referred to as the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination (WKCE). Student performance on these assessments is reported in proficiency categories and used to determine the adequate yearly progress of students at the school, district and state levels.
These standardized tests are designed to measure Wisconsin academic standards. The WKCE measures achievement in reading, language applications, mathematics, science, and social studies using multiple-choice and short-answer questions. Students also provide a rough draft writing sample. Total WKCE test time varies by content area and grade.
Beginning September 1, 2002, WKCE scores are used as one of several criteria for advancing students from fourth to fifth grade and from eighth to ninth grade. The other criteria are academic performance, teacher recommendations based on academic performance, and any other academic criteria specified by the local school board.