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Louisiana Innovative Assessment


Great Minds® is partnering with the Louisiana Department of Education and Wit & Wisdom® educators for a second year to conduct field tests of the Wit & Wisdom Grade 5 Louisiana Innovative Assessment. This innovative approach assesses students through tests that align with the curriculum they experience. Field test participants will administer three assessments and participate in professional learning throughout the year. You will find materials and resources to support you during the field test on this page.

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Video Resources

Introduction to the Wit & Wisdom Louisiana Innovative Assessment Field Test

This video deepens your understanding of the Louisiana Innovative Assessment Field Test. You learn more about why we field test, the timeline and expectations for participation, and best practices for field test participation. 

Testing and Wit & Wisdom

This video explores how Wit & Wisdom prepares students for success on statewide English language arts (ELA) assessments. You uncover the demands of statewide ELA assessments and dig into research to identify best practices for test preparation. You will need to access the handout here to participate in this asynchronous professional learning experience. 


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Louisiana Innovative Assessment Program?

Since 2018, the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) and a host of partners have been collaborating on the development and delivery of high quality curriculum-aligned assessments.  

This program originated as an effort to align classroom instruction in English language arts (ELA) more closely with state academic content standards and evidence-based reading instruction. By doing so, the state and Great Minds seek to provide more equitable opportunities for all students to demonstrate their learning. 

Research shows that students must possess deep knowledge of a subject to effectively read, comprehend, and write about complex texts. Traditional reading tests, however, use passages unrelated to the texts or topics students study each day. As a result, students must grapple with vocabulary and content that may be entirely new, placing those with fewer life experiences at a disadvantage. 

To solve for this disconnect and better assess students’ knowledge of complex texts, Louisiana has partnered with school systems and curriculum providers like Great Minds to develop an innovative ELA assessment that ensures all students have an equal opportunity to succeed on the test. 

The Wit & Wisdom Louisiana Innovative Assessment is an assessment instrument that Great Minds is field testing to determine the feasibility and validity of a wide-scale instrument to measure students’ English language arts achievement through a test of Wit & Wisdom knowledge and skills. Ultimately, the hope is that this assessment becomes part of Louisiana’s LEAP 2025 assessment system, in which all Louisiana students will be assessed through tests designed to best reflect their learning.  

The Louisiana Innovative Assessment program depends on the educators and leaders who will administer the assessments and gather student results. Throughout the process, the Louisiana Department of Education seeks educator feedback.  

Why should I participate in the field test, and what are the benefits of this kind of assessment?

As a Wit & Wisdom educator, you know that Great Minds is part of a research-based curriculum movement advocating a knowledge-building, high-quality curriculum for all students. Our curricula reflect the growing body of evidence that shows the connection between content knowledge and literacy.

Our approach aligns with the mission of Louisiana’s Innovative Assessment Program, which has its origins in efforts to align standards, curriculum, and assessments. By providing all students with opportunities to deepen their content knowledge and English language arts skills and then administering statewide assessment closely aligned with the same content and skills, we can provide more equitable opportunities for all students to demonstrate their learning.

Your participation in the field test is mutually beneficial. Great Minds and the Louisiana Department of Education receive important data about the innovative assessment. You gain experience with the assessment and professional learning throughout the field test year. Other additional benefits of this type of assessment include the following:

  • Focus: Teachers can focus instruction on knowledge and making meaning of full texts.
  • Equity: All students have the opportunity to develop knowledge together so that no student is at a disadvantage due to a lack of life experiences.
  • Preserves local control: School systems continue to decide which ELA curriculum is used during instruction and which assessments students take.
Who can participate in the Louisiana Innovative Assessment 2022–2023 field test?

We are seeking grade 5 teachers who are teaching Wit & Wisdom in their English language arts classrooms to join this statewide field test cohort. 

What is the window for participation?

Participants will engage in some orientation and foundational professional learning at the opening of the school year. 

Teachers will administer student assessments during three testing windows: 

  • Deadline for volunteering to participate: September 2, 2022
  • Window 1: October 17–28, 2022 
  • Window 2: January 23–February 3, 2023 
  • Window 3: April 25–May 26, 2023 
What are the benefits of participating in the field test?

By participating in this field test, teachers learn about assessment scoring and innovative assessment development and structure. During the 2021–2022 pilot year, teachers reported that they learned a great deal through participation. 

Participants also receive special opportunities for professional learning and ongoing support through regularly scheduled office hours. The Louisiana Department of Education has received positive feedback from the 2021–2022 pilot participants. 

Does the Louisiana Innovative Assessment take the place of LEAP?

In the 2022–2023 school year, participants will still administer LEAP during testing window 3, which is extended to allow for this dual testing. If the innovative assessment becomes operational in the future, it will take the place of LEAP. 

Is there any accountability associated with participation?

No. In the 2022–2023 school year, LEAP remains the accountability assessment for Louisiana schools and teachers. 

Will participants get student assessment data?

Participants will not receive individual student data this year. Great Minds cannot release student data or school data during the field test. The field test is intended to gather information about the assessment items. Participants will receive general feedback about the patterns of data across the full field test sample. 

Do schools pay to participate?

No. We are seeking educators’ help; there is no charge for participation. 

What are the requirements for participation?

Teachers will continue to prioritize teaching Wit & Wisdom in their classrooms. We discourage any kind of special test preparation other than completing some sample items to familiarize teachers and students with the platform and assessment structure. 

What is the time commitment for participation?

The Wit & Wisdom Louisiana Innovative Assessment is designed to be given in one day, three times per year. The test has two sections, a 45-minute reading comprehension section and a one-hour writing section. 

Before the first testing window, teachers can complete a sample test with students to familiarize them with the platform and item types. 

Participants also participate in professional learning on ongoing instructional support from Great Minds through office hours throughout the field year.  



Louisiana Innovative Assessment
Feedback Trends

2021–2022 School Year

Feedback is from the pilot of the Wit & Wisdom Innovative Assessment during the
2021-22 school year.


Feedback is from the pilot of the Wit & Wisdom Innovative Assessment during the
2021-22 school year.


Feedback is from the pilot of the Wit & Wisdom Innovative Assessment during the
2021-22 school year.

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Credits & Acknowledgements


Great Minds has made every effort to obtain permission for the reprinting of all copyrighted material. If any owner of copyrighted material is not acknowledged herein, please contact Great Minds for proper acknowledgment in all future editions. 

Testing and Wit & Wisdom®  

“2015 Released Items: Grade 3 Performance-Based Assessment Research Simulation Task.” Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), 2015. 

National Institute for Literacy. Put Reading First, Kindergarten through Grade 3: The Research Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read, http://witeng.link/0892. 

Shanahan, Timothy. “Best Practices in Writing about Text.” In Best Practices in Writing Instruction, Second Edition, Steve Graham, Charles MacArthur, and Jill Fitzgerald (eds.), The Guilford Press, 2013, pp. 334–50. 

Shanahan, Timothy. “My Principal Wants to Improve Test Scores...Is He Right?” Shanahan on Literacy. 17 Dec. 2018. http://winteng.link/0894 

Slide 6 (background): Getty Images. 

Slide 6 (bottom right): Getty Images/Caiaimage.  

Slide 6 (center): Grill/Getty Images. 

Slide 6 (upper left): Nick Clements/Getty Images.  

Slides 6, 12, 15, 21, 27, 29: The Noun Project.  

Slide 7 (bottom): Krakenimages.com/shutterstock.com. 

Slide 7 (top): Monkey Business Images/shutterstock.com. 

U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), NAEP Reading Report Card: Student Experiences. 2017 Reading Assessment. http://witeng.link/0893.  

Volante, Louis. "Toward Appropriate Preparation for Standardized Testing." Journal of Education Thought, vol. 40, no. 2, 2006. pp. 129–144. 

Wattenberg, Ruth. "Inside the Common Core Reading Tests: Why the Best Prep Is a Knowledge-Rich Curriculum." Knowledge Matters, Issue Brief #7, September 2016, http://witeng.link/0891

Images not credited are the property of Great Minds.