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Assessment OF Learning (Summative Assessments) are assessments of student learning. They are given at a point in time to measure the students’ achievement in relation to a clearly defined set of standards. These assessments are given after learning is supposed to occur. The results of these assessments have a variety of uses. They are used to report to the community the academic proficiency of students in both the community and the state. They are used to assist both school districts and the Department of Education in making decisions about the effectiveness of the curriculum used, the number of staff to hire, the goals of professional development, and budgetary needs. Students and parents use the information from these assessments to make personal decisions and set personal goals. Community members use the information for promotional and budgetary decisions.
A variety of summative assessments are used in the state of Iowa to meet federally and state mandated assessment requirements. These assessments are used to determine whether student subgroups, public schools, and Local Education Agencies (LEAs) make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). To learn more about the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) assessment requirements and about the assessment requirements identified by Chapter 12 of Iowa Code, see Statewide Assessment Requirements.
Statewide Assessment Data
A variety of Summative Assessments (Assessments OF Learning) are used in the state of Iowa to meet federally and state mandated assessment requirements. These assessments are used to determine whether student subgroups, public schools, and Local Education Agencies (LEAs) make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). To learn more about the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) assessment requirements and about the assessment requirements identified by Chapter 12 of Iowa Code, see Statewide Assessment Requirements.
School districts and accredited nonpublic schools in Iowa administer the Iowa Assessments to all students in reading and mathematics for grades 3 through 8, 10 (public schools only, although it can help determine academic growth for accredited nonpublic schools) and 11, and science for grades 5, 8 and 11. The tests are aligned to the Iowa Core.
Iowa – English Language Development Assessment (I-ELDA)
In addition to the assessments required for all students, NCLB also requires assessments of English Language learners under the provision of Title III. Iowa ELDA is the English language proficiency assessment of listening, speaking, reading, and writing used to meet this requirement. English Language Learners (ELLs) need to be assessed every year until they achieve proficiency. This includes all students receiving ESL/bilingual/dual language services. The tests are aligned to the Iowa Core.
Visit the English Language Learners webpage for more information.
The Iowa Alternate Assessment is for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities whose academic performance is appropriately judged against alternate achievement standards. The Iowa Alternate Assessment measures student performance in Reading, Mathematics, and for some students, Science. The tests are aligned to the Iowa Core Content Standards and Benchmarks.
Federal law requires that all states receiving Title I funds participate in the NAEP reading and mathematics assessments at fourth and eighth grades. Beginning in 2003, all states participate in the NAEP project. School districts within the state receiving Title I funding are chosen, at random, to participate. Students are randomly selected to participate and each student takes only a portion of the entire test. All students are included in the assessment with accommodations allowed for Students With Disabilities (SD) and Limited-English-Proficient (LEP) students.
Visit the NAEP webpage for more information.
Other Summative Assessments
American College Testing (ACT) designed the ACT Assessments to measure high school students’ general educational development and ability to succeed at the college level. A composite ACT score measures overall educational development and is based on assessments for English, mathematics, reading, and science reasoning. In 2006, 65% of Iowa high school graduates took the ACT and received an average composite score of 22.1, the third highest in the nation among states where 50% or more students took the test.
View the Annual Condition of Education Report for more information on how Iowa students do on the ACT.
The Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) is taken by approximately 4% of Iowa high school graduates. It measures critical reading and mathematics. Iowa students traditionally do well on the SAT with Iowa ranked second in the nation in 2006.
View the Annual Condition of Education Report for more information on how Iowa students do on the SAT.
Advanced Placement (AP) Exams
The Advanced Placement (AP) Program, sponsored by the College Board, offers 37 courses in 22 subject areas. The AP courses are taught by highly-qualified high school teachers who use the AP Course Descriptions to guide them and AP examinations are offered once a year in May by the College Board. AP provides secondary school students the opportunity to take college-level courses in a high school setting.
Visit the Advanced Placement Courses webpage for more information.
Articles for Use in Professional Development
Alignment of Standards And Assessments as an Accountability Criterion
La Marca, P. M., (2001). Alignment of standards and assessments as an accountability criterion. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 7(21). Retrieved November 1, 2007 from http://PAREonline.net/getvn.asp?v=7&n=21
The article provides an overview of the concept of alignment and the role it plays in assessment and accountability systems.
The Concept of Statistical Significant Testing
Thompson, B., (1994). The concept of statistical significance testing. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 4(5). Retrieved November 1, 2007 from http://PAREonline.net/getvn.asp?v=4&n=5
The short article can help provide a better understanding of the concept of significance testing. The meaning of probabilities, the concept of statistical significance, arguments against significance testing, misinterpretation, and alternatives are discussed.
Designing Scoring Rubrics for Your Classroom
Mertler, C. A., (2001). Designing scoring rubrics for your classroom. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 7(25). Retrieved November 1, 2007 from http://PAREonline.net/getvn.asp?v=7&n=25
The article describes different types of scoring guides and includes seven steps to designing a scoring guide
Evaluating Classroom Communication: In Support of Emergent and Authentic Frameworks in Second Language Assessment
Mantero, M., (2002). Evaluating classroom communication: in support of emergent and authentic frameworks in second language assessment. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 8(8). Retrieved November 1, 2007 from http://PAREonline.net/getvn.asp?v=8&n=8
The article focuses on verbal communication or production rather than written communication and reading because verbal communication requires speakers to negotiate meaning with each other consistent with sociocultural theory.
Questions To Ask When Evaluating Tests
Rudner, L. M., (1994). Questions to ask when evaluating tests. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 4(2). Retrieved November 1, 2007 from http://PAREonline.net/getvn.asp?v=4&n=2
The article provides insight in test coverage and use, appropriate sample size, reliability, criterion validity, construct validity, content validity, test administration, test reporting, and test and item bias.
Using Customized Standardized Tests
Williams, P. L., (1989). Using customized standardized tests. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 1(9). Retrieved November 1, 2007 from http://PAREonline.net/getvn.asp?v=1&n=9
The article provides suggestions for improving district-wide assessments as well as describing several models.
Using NAEP to Confirm State Test Results in the No Child Left Behind Act
Stoneberg, B. D. (2007). Using NAEP to Confirm State Test Results in the No Child Left Behind Act. Practical Assessment Research & Evaluation, 12(5). Retrieved November 1, 2007 from http://pareonline.net/getvn.asp?v=12&n=5
The article provides insights on the principles and “ground rules” for using NAEP achievement level scores.
Recommendations for Developing Classroom Performance Assessments and Scoring Rubrics
Moskal, B. M., (2003). Recommendations for developing classroom performance assessments and scoring rubrics. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 8(14). Retrieved November 1, 2007 from http://PAREonline.net/getvn.asp?v=8&n=14
The article provides a comprehensive set of recommendations for the development of performance assessments and scoring rubrics.
Known as the Nation's Report Card, NAEP is the only nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America's students know and can do in various subject areas.
No Child Left Behind (NCLB)
The website includes information from the U.S. Department of Education pertaining to the NCLB legislation.
Practical Assessment, Research and Evaluation
A peer-reviewed electronic journal designed to provide access to refereed articles that can have a positive impact on assessment, research, evaluation, and teaching practice.
ACT provides a site for students to obtain information on test preparation, frequently asked questions, test-taking tips, and samples test questions.
A guide to answer such questions as "What subjects are assessed?" Additionally, the NAEP provides sample questions and sample booklets for use in the classroom. The sample questions are released items from previous years. The portal for NAEP Questions is found here.
College Board provides online courses in test preparation for the SAT, as well as other tests. They also have a free website for test preparation and test taking tips that are appropriate for the SAT.
To satisfy the requirements for reporting annual progress toward state and federal indicators, school districts and non-public schools in Iowa complete an Annual Progress Report (APR) due to the Iowa Department of Education by September 15 each year. APRs include information regarding academic proficiency, academic goals, dropouts, graduation rates, attendance rates, and post-secondary data.
Annual Yearly Progress (AYP)
Basic Education Data Survey (BEDS)
BEDS collects staffing, student and policy data from all K-12 public schools in Iowa plus accredited nonpublic K-12 schools. Staffing data is also collected from the state's area education agencies (AEAs). Data collection occurs twice a year in the fall and spring. Data from the BEDS is used to meet state and federal reporting requirements. In addition data is used to respond to legislative requests for information and support education research.
Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP)
Iowa schools or school districts use student achievement data to develop school improvement plans. The schools or school districts submit a revised five-year CSIP by September 15 of the school year following the comprehensive site visit specified in Iowa Code 256.11 which incorporates, when appropriate, areas of improvement noted by the school improvement visitation team. School districts and non-public schools are required to revise and re-certify their CSIPs by the September 15th date of the next school year. School districts and non-public schools are encouraged to annually update their CSIPs as ongoing planning documents.
Presents the data collected by the Department of Education in various formats. While most of the data are presented in excel spreadsheets that users can download for their own analysis, maps and written reports, including the annual Condition of Education Report, are also included.
The IPDM provides districts and buildings with a structure for developing professional development that if focused, collaborative, research-based, data-driven, and directly supports the Comprehensive School Improvement Process goals for student achievement.
Student Reporting in Iowa (Formerly EASIER) is the Iowa Department of Education's initiative involving the transfer of individual student records. The mission of the project is to reduce data burden, encourage better decision-making by establishing and maintaining a cost effective method of accessing and transferring accurate and timely education information among school districts, postsecondary institutions and the Iowa Department of Education.