State Board of Education Adopts Proficiency Recommendations for New State Test

As a district, we wanted to provide an update to our families regarding assessments from the State Board of Education that were approved on September 12. Iowa students in grades 3 through 11 began taking a new statewide assessment this past spring to test math, English language arts, and science. The new assessment called the Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress, or ISASP was developed by the Iowa Testing Programs at the University of Iowa following legislative action (HF2235). 

Student performance on the ISASP is scored in three ways: Advanced, Proficient, and Not Yet Proficient. Because the new state test is more aligned to Iowa’s academic standards, it is more challenging. 

What transpired today was the State Board of Education adopted new performance levels as a part of the implementation process for the new assessment. What you as parents/guardians should know is the results re-set the baseline for future progress on the new state test. Because this is a new, different test for students, results should not be compared to previous years. Results will be used to report to parents and communities and to assist schools with improvement planning. The School-level results are expected to be available to schools, parents and other stakeholders in October.

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.

ISASP is one measure that helps teachers understand where students are succeeding and where they may need more help. Results will be used to help guide instruction, to report to parents and communities, 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. For more information about ISASP, visit