WKCE Letter
Published on Feb 19, 2013 12:02

February 2013

Dear Parents and Guardians:

In the Grafton School District, and across the state of Wisconsin, we are working to ensure that our students are ready for further education and careers. Our state assessment has been changing to reflect this priority.

Over the next couple of months, you will receive information about your child’s performance on the Wisconsin Student Assessment System, which includes the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination (WKCE) and the Wisconsin Alternate Assessment for student with disabilities (WAA-SwD). Wisconsin public school students in Grades 3-8 and 10 take these assessments each year.

This letter is to inform you of changes in the scoring of the WKCE that will affect the mathematics and reading scores of all Wisconsin students who take the WKCE. This year Wisconsin raised the WKCE scores needed for students to reach the basic, proficient, and advanced performance levels in reading and math. As a result, WKCE results will show a significant decline in the number of students considered to be “proficient” or “advanced.”

This does not reflect a change in the abilities of students, teachers, or schools, but rather reflects the higher standards and aspirations Wisconsin has for its students and schools. The new, more rigorous college and career readiness scoring standards match those in other high performing states and will help prepare all Wisconsin students to be college and career ready. These new college and career readiness performance levels are based on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). NAEP, often called the “Nation's Report Card,” is the largest continuing assessment of what students nationwide know and can do in core subjects.

You will receive your child’s WKCE Individual Profile Report (IPR) in the coming weeks. As you review it, please keep in mind that the scoring change:

o only applies to WKCE reading and mathematics
o affected all students across the state taking WKCE math and reading tests
o does not apply to the other WKCE content areas, so proficiency is not measured using the new higher college and career readiness benchmarks in social studies, science, or language arts
o does not apply to the WAA-SwD, the alternate assessment taken by a very small fraction of students in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is on a rapid trajectory toward higher standards. This includes implementation of the Common Core State Standards, Wisconsin School Report Cards, upgraded curriculum standards for students with disabilities and English language learners, and improved, next-generation assessments.  Raising the WKCE benchmarks is part of a strategic effort to ensure our children are ready for college and careers in today’s rapidly changing, global society and economy.

Here are some websites you may find helpful for more information on student assessments:

o “Every Child a Graduate: Agenda 2017,” from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers: http://statesupt.dpi.wi.gov/
o Wisconsin School Report Cards: http://reportcards.dpi.wi.gov/
o Wisconsin Information Network for Successful Schools: http://winss.dpi.wi.gov/
o National Assessment of Educational Progress: http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/

Informational Sheet about Wisconsin’s higher benchmarks: http://statesupt.dpi.wi.gov/files/statesupt/pdf/fs-high_exp.pdf

Please feel free to contact your child’s teacher or me with any questions you may have. Be assured that the staff at John Long Middle School are committed to improving the achievement of all of our students and of our school.

Sincerely,

Greg Kabara
Principal JLMS
376-5801
gkabara@grafton.k12.wi.us

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