Iowa is committed to preparing all students for future success, and that means preparing them for the demands of postsecondary education and the workforce.Part of this work includes setting high expectations for what students should know and be able to do at each grade level and then measuring how students are progressing.These high expectations are outlined in Iowa’s academic standards, which ensure all students move from grade to grade with the academic knowledge and skills necessary for success.Whether they want to go to college or straight into the workplace, students need to be able to think critically and solve complex problems. This gives them the ability to make choices about their future and to make the most of their opportunities.

The Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress (ISASP) replaced the former Iowa Assessments, with students taking the new tests for the first time in spring 2019. Iowa Testing Programs at the University of Iowa oversaw the test’s development and administration. English language arts and math tests were given to students in grades 3 through 11, while science tests were given in grades 5, 8 and 10.

ISASP better reflects what’s being taught in Iowa classrooms and how students are progressing toward grade-level expectations outlined in Iowa’s academic standards. This makes ISASP one measure that helps teachers understand where students are succeeding and where they may need more help.

Student performance on the ISASP is scored in three ways: Advanced, Proficient, and Not Yet Proficient.

A committee of 185 Iowa educators met for five days in July to determine recommended performance levels, or cut scores, which define the range of scores for each of the three categories. These recommendations will be taken to the Iowa State Board of Education on September 12. Because the new state test is more aligned to Iowa’s academic standards, it is more challenging.

These results will reset the baseline for future progress on the new state test. They should not be compared to results from previous years because the state test is new and different.
Results will be used to report to parents and communities, to help guide instruction, and to assist schools in their school improvement planning. The test results also will be applied to Iowa’s school accountability system required under federal law.

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