As of January 31, 2014, candidates in Wisconsin applying for an initial teaching license in grades kindergarten through 5 or special education, or for a license as a reading teacher or reading specialist, as listed below, may be required to take and pass the Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test (FORT), a test of reading instruction knowledge and skills administered by the Evaluation Systems group of Pearson. This requirement does apply to all license requests regardless of a candidate's program completion date.
Who Needs to take the test?
Students wishing to gain licensure in the following areas may be required to take this test:
- Early Childhood Education majors and add-on
- Early Childhood Special Education concentration and add-on
- Middle Childhood Education concentration and add-on
- Special Education majors and add-on
- Reading Teacher
- Reading Specialist
With the language under sub. (18)(a), “initial license” now appears to mean the first “provisional license” issued to an educator in that category. Wisconsin Statutes §118.19 (14)(a) reads, in part, “…Except as provided in par. (b), the department may not issue an initial teaching license that authorizes the holder to teach in grades kindergarten to 5 or in special education, an initial license as a reading teacher, or an initial license as a reading specialist, unless the applicant has passed an examination identical to the Foundations of Reading test administered in 2012 as part of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure or identical to the most recent edition of that test.
Initial license means first license. The first license an individual receives, and is considered fully prepared, is a Tier II license. Accordingly, any licensee who already holds a Tier II license or higher already holds an initial license and does not need to take the FORT.
- An educator who holds a lifetime license in the teacher category who wants to add on a K-5 regular education, special education or reading teacher license does not have to take the FORT.
- A reading teacher who is completing a reading specialist licensure program who does not hold a lifetime administrator license must pass the FORT.
- An educator who holds a lifetime license in the administrator category does not have to take the FORT to add on a reading specialist license.
- An educator who holds a license with unmet statutory stipulations who wants a K-5 regular education, special education or reading teacher license must pass the FORT.
Passing Score Information
Benchmark Passing Score: Applicants who apply for a Wisconsin Licensure on or after September 1, 2014 are required to earn a passing score of 240 or higher for the 090 test or 233 or higher for the 190 test.
Effected January 01, 2023 FORT test 190 will only be offered by Pearson but the WI DPI and UW-Stout will accept passing scores from either test for endorsement.
How much will it cost?
Why will I be required to take another test?
The 2011 Wisconsin State Statute ACT 166:
Section 21.118.19(14)(a) The department may not issue an initial teaching license that authorizes the holder to teach in grades kindergarten to 5 or in special education, an initial license as a reading teacher, or an initial license as a reading specialist, unless the applicant has passed an examination identical to the Foundations of Reading test administered in 2012 as part of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure. The department shall set the passing cut score on the examination at a level no lower than the level recommended by the developer of the test, based on this state's standards.
Note: 2019 Act 44 created an alternative demonstration of knowledge and skill in the teaching of reading for special education teacher candidates only. Please contact for more questions.
Test Preparation Material
Wisconsin Foundation of Reading Test website
Resources, test preparation materials, and practice tests for the FORT; based on the MTEL (Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensing), which is similar to the WI-FORT and both are created by Pearson.