Federal and state special education legislation requires that all students with disabilities participate in state and district assessments. Specifically, the 2004 reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) states, "All children with disabilities are included in all general State and district-wide assessment programs, including assessments described under section IIII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, with appropriate accommodation and alternate assessments, where necessary and as indicated in their respective individualized education programs." The reauthorized IDEA specifies that an alternate assessment is to be provided for the small number of students with disabilities for whom the standardized assessment is inappropriate even with accommodations. At present, the statewide assessment system, the Wisconsin Student Assessment System (WSAS), includes:
- Grades 3-8 Smarter Balanced Assessment in English Language Arts and Mathematics
- Grades 4, 8 and 10 WKCE in Science and Social Studies
- Grades 9 and 10 ACT Aspire Early High School
- Grades 11 ACT Plus Writing and ACT WorkKeys
- Grades 3 -11 Dynamic Learning Maps (alternate) Assessment in English Language Arts and Mathematics
- Grades 4, 8 and 10 Wisconsin Alternate Assessment for Students with Disabilities (WAA-SwD) in Science and Social Studies
Students with disabilities in grades 3 through 11 who are instructed in curriculum aligned with the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics and the Wisconsin Model Standards for Science and Social Studies are expected to participate in the Smarter Balanced Assessment, the WKCE and the ACT assessments administered in their grade level. For example, a student in 4th grade will take the Smarter Balanced Assessment in English Language Arts and Mathematics and the WKCE in Science and Social Studies.
Students with disabilities in grades 3 through 11 who are instructed in curriculum aligned with the Common Core Essential Elements in English Language Arts and Mathematics and the Wisconsin Extended Grade Band Standards in Science are expected to participate in the Dynamic Learning Maps Assessment (grades 3-11) and the WAA-SwD (grades 4, 8, 10) assessments administered in their grade level. These students will be taking the DLM assessment in grades 3-8 in place of the Smarter Balanced assessment; in grades 9 and 10 in place of the ACT Aspire; and in 11th grade in place of the ACT Plus Writing and ACT Work Keys.
Accessibility and Accommodations
The Special Education Team works in conjunction with the Office of Student Assessment on the use of assessment accommodations and accessibility features. The Department has added a page specific to the use of assessment accommodations at http://oea.dpi.wi.gov/assessment/accommodations. This page provides information about the allowable use of accommodations and supports for students with disabilities.