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As I See It

Wisconsin gets failing grade on standardized testing

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If Wisconsin education officials were to be given a grade for administering standardized testing in the state, they better hope the grading is done on a curve. Wisconsin students earlier this year took what is called the Smarter Balance Exam, which was aligned with the federal Common Core standards. But after just one year, and amid technical problems and cost overruns, legislators have chosen to abolish the Smarter Balance Exam after just one year. In fact, the scores from this only test weren’t even counted by educators. Now, the state is looking to replace the Smarter Balance Exams, and has submitted requests for proposals from a number of test vendors. But even as the new school year is now underway, the state still hasn’t settled on what type of test will be administered this year. Whatever test is chosen, students in Wisconsin schools will have taken three different standardized tests in the last three years. Meanwhile, teachers and administrators are being left in the dark over how to develop their curriculum to ensure students are ready to take this test. Wisconsin educators and lawmakers have failed to come up with a test that provides useful information for determining how well our students are learning, and therefore have failed our children as well.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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