Results from Wisconsin’s newest standardized math and English tests released Tuesday show just over 42 percent of the state’s public school third- through eighth-graders scored proficient or above on each exam. Proficiency rates for students enrolled in three state-run private school choice programs were 19.1 percent for English and 14 percent for math.
The Wisconsin Forward Exam was the second new set of standardized tests students took in the last two years. Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction officials said a team of 100 Wisconsin educators raised cutoff scores for proficiency this year to better align with more rigorous national expectations, leading to a decline in the portion of students scoring at proficient or higher compared to last year.
Viji Somasundaram, director of DPI’s Office of Student Assessment, said the decline is a reflection of the more rigorous standards, not an indication of a drop in student performance.
Meeting a proficient or advanced benchmark means the student is at or above where the state expects the student to be at a given grade, according to the DPI.