DPI Budget Proposal Includes ACT Tests

A Series of Exams During High School Would Replace WKCE

by Annie Shao, age 18

     The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) recently submitted its 2013 budget proposal. It includes plans to allow public high school students to take the ACT for free.
     As part of the DPI’s 2013-15 $7 billion budget proposal, State Superintendent Tony Evers requested 1.2 million to pay for ACT preparatory tests for Wisconsin public high school students. The three tests that are included in this proposal would replace the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examinations (WKCE). Currently, WKCE tests are mandatory for high school sophomores under testing requirements put in place by the No Child Left Behind program.
    Under the DPI proposal, ninth graders will take the ACT EXPLORE starting in the 2014-15 school year. This test aims to help students identify their academic strengths and weaknesses. Tenth graders take the ACT PLAN, a preliminary ACT test. The PLAN also suggests college and career options, providing advice for post-high school planning.
     High school juniors take the final, college-entry ACT. They also take a “WorkKeys” test, a job skills assessment. The DPI budget would pay for students to take each test just once.
    Evers says that the administration of ACT tests in public schools will better prepare Wisconsin students for their futures. The DPI proposal would provide a major college admissions test to students who cannot afford it, according to Evers. It would also benefit students who do not have access to ACT testing sites.

[Source: Wisconsin State Journal]