On November 12-14, our sophomores will be taking the WKCE test for the last time. The Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination is the State mandated test that will be replaced next year by the ACT family of tests. We think this change will be a rather dramatic improvement for students and families primarily because the ACT results specifically provide feedback on the student’s college and career readiness, and because taking the family of tests from 7th till 11th grades allows students and parents to track their growth. However, while we are looking forward to a more meaningful State test, we still are required to give the WKCE this year, and the results impact our school report card in significant ways. We feel the WKCE results do provide decent information about the students progress in learning, but we have clearly noticed over the years that the value of the scores to students seems less evident. Therefore, for a number of years we have provided students “incentives” to work hard and do their best on the WKCE tests. The incentive that has been most effective has been to allow sophomores the ability to opt-out of exams at the end of the school year if they score proficient or advanced in 4/5 areas on the WKCE, and to opt out of a second exam if they improve upon their 8th grade results after factoring in the two years of growth. These two incentives have proven to effectively encourage students to provide their best effort, so that the results are reflective of their current abilities as students. Prior to the incentives, we noticed a considerable gap in this area.
We will be talking with the sophomores about these incentives shortly before the testing begins, but we wanted to make parents aware well ahead of time. If you have any questions about either the WKCE testing, please call me at 920-564-2346 x1001.