State cancels K-12 standardized testing for school year amid COVID-19 pandemic closures
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State cancels K-12 standardized testing for school year amid COVID-19 pandemic closures

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Wisconsin students won’t be taking any standardized state tests for the remainder of the school year due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic forcing the closure of schools.

The Department of Public Instruction said on its website Wednesday, “due to the school closures and the evolving COVID situation, it is not possible to administer the statewide assessments for the 2019-20 school year. There will be no further state assessments this school year.”

It means elementary and middle school students won’t be taking the Forward Exam or the Dynamic Learning Maps exam for students with significant cognitive disabilities.

Ninth- and 10th-grade students won’t take the ACT Aspire assessment, either.

Most 11th-graders have already taken the regular ACT test, which is a requirement for juniors and an admission requirement for some colleges, because the testing dates had been scheduled before schools closed statewide on March 18.

For those who haven’t taken the ACT, DPI is working to provide an additional exam opportunity later this year, said DPI spokesman Chris Bucher.

DPI was granted a waiver Monday from the federal Department of Education to forego testing requirements.

High school students in Advanced Placement, or AP, classes, will have an opportunity to take final exams, which can earn them early college credits or allow them to skip certain college courses.

The College Board, a nonprofit organization that oversees the AP program, said last week that students would be able to take a 45-minute, online test for their AP classes instead of a traditional, in-person exam.

Those exams will only include subjects and materials AP classes likely would have covered by early March, when schools across the country began closing.

When the state Department of Health Services originally ordered all public and private schools to close, April 6 was the anticipated reopening date. But that timeline has since been pushed back to at least April 24 under a “safer at home” directive that went into effect Wednesday.

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