Background on Iowa Proficiency

Background
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. 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. Due to the implementation and scoring process for this new assessment, we are just now receiving results from the test administered in March/April 2019 (approximately 7 months ago).

Higher Expectations
ISASP better reflects what’s being taught in Iowa classrooms and how students are progressing toward the grade-level expectations outlined in Iowa’s academic standards. Because the new state test is more aligned to Iowa’s academic standards, it is more challenging. These results will re-set the baseline for future progress on the new state test. They should not be compared to results from previous years’ Iowa Assessments because the new state test measures Iowa’s academic standards aligned to the appropriate grade level.

Performance Levels
The state of Iowa has adopted three performance levels for the ISASP: Advanced, Proficient, and Not-Yet-Proficient.

Performance Level Descriptor
Advanced Students performing at the Advanced level demonstrate thorough competency over the knowledge, skills, and abilities that meet the requirements for their grade level associated with academic readiness for college and careers in the subject.
Proficient Students performing at the Proficient level demonstrate adequate competency over the knowledge, skills, and abilities that meet the requirements for their grade level associated with academic readiness for college and careers in the subject area.
Not-Yet- Proficient Students performing at the not-yet-proficient level have not yet demonstrated the knowledge and skills to the classified as Proficient.

These performance levels were recommended by a committee of Iowa educators and define the range of standard scores for each of the three categories. The standard score is a number that describes a student’s location on the achievement continuum. The tables on the Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress site show the standard scores that are used to determine a student’s achievement level.