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Iowa Academic Standards and Benchmarks Overview Page

What are the Iowa Academic Standards?

Iowa Code requires local school boards to adopt clear, rigorous, and challenging content standards and benchmarks in (at a minimum) reading, mathematics, and science to guide the learning of students from the date of school entrance until high school graduation. These content standards are included with the comprehensive schools improvement plan each district submits to the Department. The Department has received assurances from each district that the Core Content Standards and Benchmarks corresponding to the Iowa Tests have been incorporated into local standards and benchmarks, and serve as the basis for the accountability assessment for No Child Left Behind.

Example Academic Standard: 11th Grade Reading Comprehension

Analysis and Generalization

  • Make generalizations and interpret non-literal language
  • Determine main idea of a text
  • Identify the author's viewpoint or purpose
  • Distinguish among facts, opinions, assumptions, observations, conclusions
  • Recognize literary or argumentative techniques
  • Analyze the style or structure of a text

How do I Find the Iowa Academic Standards?

Detailed standards for Iowa are available for Reading and Mathematics for Grades 3-8 and 11. General standards are available for Grades 3-12 with much less detail.

  • For a more detailed look at the standards, scroll down the page and click on "Performance Level Descriptors" and identify the grade level for which you are most interested to download the PDF file.
  • For a more general look at the standards, scroll down the page and click on "Core Content Standards and Benchmarks" to download the the PDF file.