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This week marks the start of the “testing window” as Wisconsin students will take the Wisconsin Knowledge Concepts Examination (WKCE).  The WKCE was implemented as part of the federal No Child Left Behind Act which requires all states to test all students in reading and math in grades 3-8 and once in high school—grade 10.  Student performance on the WKCE is used to determine the adequate yearly progress (AYP) of students at the school, district, and state levels.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction website the WKCE tests are intended to measure state academic standards.  The WKCE measures achievement in reading, language applications, mathematics, science, and social studies using multiple-choice and short-answer questions.  Students also provide a rough draft writing sample.  WKCE test time varies by content area and grade.

How the results are used varies from district to district.  As a parent I look at the results as a “snapshot” of my child—it gives me a glimpse of their academic ability, but certainly not the entire picture of who they are as students and learners.  What can parents do to make sure their children do well on the tests?  My advice is that at this point children know what they know—there is no point in cramming for the WKCE. There are several things you can do, however, to help your children prepare to do well on the tests.

The DPI website offers this advice to parents:

General Preparation:

  • When possible it is beneficial to establish a daily routine for meals, homework, chores, bedtime, and family time
  • Encourage students to participate in practice sessions
  • Ensure students get a good night's sleep and a nutritious breakfast before taking a test
  • Remind students to listen to and read all directions and to tackle the test one question at a time instead of thinking about the entire test
  • Encourage students to answer all test questions
  • Offer praise and encouragement for achievement and improvement

book sale

New & Used Book Sale

Just in time for the holidays! 

Check out the Milwaukee Public Library’s Holiday and Children’s New and Used Book sale.  This annual sale, sponsored by the Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library, is a great time to find some real gems at bargain prices.  It features both new and used books—perfect for gift giving and building your child’s personal library.   Teachers, this is an opportunity to enhance your classroom library as well. 

Saturday, Nov. 21 - 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Holiday and Children's New and Used Books
Central Library

814 W. Wisconsin Ave.