Idaho Standards Achievement Tests (page 2)
The ISAT is an important component of the statewide student assessment system as stated in the board rule 08.02.03-Rules Governing Thoroughness. The ISAT is administered to students in grades 3-10 to provide ongoing monitoring of individual, school, district, and state progress. One component of the ISAT required for high school graduation is the 10th grade test in reading, language usage, and mathematics. Proficiency on the 10th grade ISAT verifies that an Idaho student has met Idaho standards in reading, language usage, and mathematics.
Academic proficiency is more than test scores. Competency in reading, language usage, mathematics, and science is the goal for every child. In accordance with No Child Left Behind, the ISAT measures proficiency in four key areas: reading, language usage, mathematics, and science.
Components of the ISAT
The ISAT is composed of reading, language usage, and mathematics tests for grades 3-10 and science tests for grades 5, 7, and 10. Multiple-choice items are used to assess what a student knows and is expected to do on the Idaho content standards. These items are used to assess a variety of skill levels, from short-term recall of facts to problem solving.
You can find more information about the ISAT at:
Questions Parents Frequently Ask about Assessment in Idaho
Why does the State of Idaho test students?
It is one way to monitor the education system. Schools are responsible for academic achievement as well as other aspects of student growth. The taxpayers of Idaho rely on the Legislature, the State Department of Education, and the State Board of Education to fund, approve curriculum, and set policy for schools. The student achievement data are important to the decision making process.
Why does the State take so much instructional time for testing?
State testing is a big responsibility at the school and district levels and interrrupts the instructional schedule for schools. However, the most time any typical student will spend on State required testing totals less than eight hours in one school year.
There are five State administered tests that your child may take. These five tests are the Idaho Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) in four content areas, Direct Writing Assessment (DWA) or Direct Math Assessment (DMA), Idaho Reading Indicator (IRI), National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and Idaho English Language Assessment (IELA).
Grades 4–8 take the most tests!
- students in grades 4–9 take a DWA or a DMA. (60-90 minutes)
- students in grades 5 and 7 take a science ISAT in addition to math, reading and language usage. (90 minutes in addition to the 5 hours required for the other 3 subjects)
- students in grades 4 and 8 may be sampled for the NAEP. (additional 90 minutes)
- All English language learners, all grades, take the IELA.
(Tests are generally offered over multiple days throughout the school year to allow for better performance)
My child has an Individualized Learning Plan (IEP), or an English Learning Plan (ELP) or a 504 Plan. What do I need to know?
Be an active part of the IEP, ELP or 504 planning team.
If your child has special needs, your child's school shall include you on a team with school personnel to write a learning plan to assist your child. This plan is reviewed on a regular basis and the parent must sign the plan before it can be implemented. The school has the responsibility to use the IEP, ELP, or 504 plan to support each student with accommodations that are appropriate for each student. Parents must be a part of the decision-making team.
Please check with your child's principal, teacher, or counselor for more information.
Learn about accommodations that might assist your child and those that might actually present additional barriers.
There are accommodations that are offered to students who have specific barriers to showing what they know and can do in the school setting. An accommodation is designed to assist a child in demonstrating their knowledge and skills and does not give an advantage. Each plan identifies the allowable accommodations for the classroom and testing situations.
Note: Occasionally a student will have an accommodation for testing that is not allowable on a state or federal test. These situations require that the parent and school personnel work together to make the best opportunity for the student to be tested in a way that scores can be reported and learning can be assessed in a standardized way. When a decision is made to use a nonstandard accommodation, it is determined to be an adaptation of the test and no scores are reported.
You can find more information about assessments in Idaho at:
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