Students across the state of Iowa are going to notice something a bit different this year. They won’t be taking Iowa Assessments, or as they were previously known as ITBS. This year students will take the ISASP test. ISASP stands for Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress. Students in third through eleventh grade will partake in this new form of testing.
ISASP is an online, untimed test that students will take this year. All students will take the Reading, Language and Writing, and Mathematics tests. Fifth, eighth and tenth graders will also take a Science test. Iowa Assessments are typically held in February, while the ISASP test will be held in April this year.
What is good about the ISASP test is that if students do not finish their testing when the testing window closes, they can continue to test to finish all of their exams.
According to the ISASP website, the assessments are in line with Iowa Core standards and provide a clear and accurate assessment of student learning outcomes.
As of right now, Urbandale has not put out their testing times for their students. Principal Carver said in an email that they will release testing times and dates for the high school as we get closer to April. According to the email, the reason the test will be held in April instead of in February is due to a new state law requiring all schools in the state of Iowa to administer the ISASP assessments during the last quarter of the school year. ISASP testing can start as early as March and ends in May. Urbandale has decided to administer the test in April so it will not conflict with school activities and the different AP exams in May.
Throughout the year, students in grades three through nine have been taking MAP testing, which will increase their level of familiarity with online testing. MAP stands for Measure of Academic Progress. High schoolers are familiar with online testing because in many classes assessments are given on Moodle.
It is unclear the reason as to why the state switched from Iowa Assessments to the ISASP program. Perhaps it was to take the stress off of students when it comes to timed tests or simply because the state wanted to try something new. Whatever the reason may be, hopefully it will help increase the state’s standardized test scores.