Iowa: Assessments and Accountability
All students must take a variety of achievement tests every year to determine how much and how well they are learning. Iowa's assessment system has been fully approved by the United States Department of Education.
Student Assessments at a Glance
Local Assessments: Districts must annually administer district-wide assessments in reading, math and science, and they must align their assessments to their curriculum or content standards. These assessment tools are selected by the district and must be complementary (not identical to) to the state required tests. For more information about local assessments, contact the district's curriculum director or building principal.
State Assessments: Iowa uses the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS), for grades 1-8 and Iowa Tests of Educational Development (ITED) for high school as our annual statewide assessment. The following Iowa Testing Programs subtests are used by districts for Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) and Annual Progress Report (APR) reporting:
- Reading Comprehension for Reading
- Mathematical Concepts and Problem Solving for Mathematics
- Analysis of Science Materials for Science
You can find more information about Iowa state assessment at: http://itp.education.uiowa.edu/
National Assessments: The National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) tests are conducted by the U.S. Dept. of Education to a representative sample of students in grades 4 and 8 nationwide. Prior to 2003, the tests were periodic and voluntary; since the Fall 2003, all states have been required to participate. You can find Iowa NAEP Results at: http://educateiowa.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=677&catid=497&Itemid=1312
Reporting Results: Each fall, all districts publish and distribute an Annual Progress Report that includes local student achievement results and other accountability indicators. The state also produces an Annual Condition of Education Report that provides statewide demographic, curriculum, staffing, financial, and achievement data to help districts and policymakers evaluate the state's educational system and ensure it is meeting the needs of students and communities. In addition, the state produces an annual report card as required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, listing achievement results, teacher quality indicators, and schools or districts that did not meet achievement goals for two consecutive years (in 2005, 93 or 6.1% of schools and 14 or 3.8% of districts).
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