The Department of Education just made available the state level data for the 2012 Iowa Assessment results. With 2012 being the first year of the new Iowa Assessments, historical comparisons are not being done. We are considering 2012 our new “baseline” year. As you can see by the two charts below for our “all student” results by grade level in math and reading compared to the total performance of students across the state, our scores are very, very good. The gap between state level performance and ADM performance remains fairly consistent with previous years at most tested grade levels.
A great deal of work has been done in looking at the item analysis data in math, reading, and science earlier this fall and plans were developed to address problem areas. The future landscape regarding testing and accountability is uncertain. Iowa is participating in the Smarter/Balanced Consortium initiative and it certainly appears that new tests will be in the works for 2014-15. Below is a brief description from the Smarter Balanced website:
Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium
The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced) is a state-led consortium working to develop next-generation assessments that accurately measure student progress toward college- and career-readiness. Smarter Balanced is one of two multistate consortia awarded funding from the U.S. Department of Education in 2010 to develop an assessment system aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) by the 2014-15 school year.
The work of Smarter Balanced is guided by the belief that a high-quality assessment system can provide information and tools for teachers and schools to improve instruction and help students succeed – regardless of disability, language or subgroup. Smarter Balanced involves experienced educators, researchers, state and local policymakers and community groups working together in a transparent and consensus-driven process.
It is also important to note that the proficiency targets for math and reading to meet NCLB requirements are set to increase significantly in 2013.