ISASP testing results in mixed feelings from teachers

Science teacher Debbie Paulsen, just like most students throughout Iowa, dread the week of ISASP. Classes were corrupted Tuesday, April 6, and Wednesday the 7th due to the Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress. Just two years ago, the Iowa Testing Program morphed the system from Iowa Assessments to ISASP. 

Although ISASP tests have only been around for two years, Paulsen said this year has been the most stressful. “Since we’ve only done the tests for two years, we don’t have a lot of history, and we also have a major world event that a lot of people are looking to impact the educational outcome. It’ll be really hard to interpret this year’s data,” Paulsen said. The pandemic that interrupted the second semester of last school year, put ISASP out of the question. 

The annual tests are graded by the ACT organization and take many months to complete. Every year the questions change, in hopes of more accurate data. Each standardized test goes through multiple steps of grading in order to obtain precise results. Results usually appear around summertime, after school is let out. 

School districts with poor test scores tend to get more funding and more attentive help from Iowa educators. “I consider ISASPs like CFAs. When you take a CFA in your classes, you’re trying to figure out where you’re at in your progression, and your instructor is trying to learn if there is more need for improvement,” Paulsen said. 

Paulsen said it’s difficult to figure out if assessment scores are accurate because some try their hardest, while others may slack. She said, “I definitely think of your elementary schools; they try their best. High schoolers are getting more jaded. Of course, some of you are like, meh, especially juniors. What do they have to prove?” 

Sophomore Ava Martinez said she did not take time to prepare for ISASPs this year. “I don’t see the point in studying, it’s not going toward my grade,” she said. 

Martinez said that she thinks the tests are pointless; educators can look at student’s individual grades and get the same data. “Half of the time, I don’t even know what the questions are asking,” Martinez said. 

Martinez said she has loathed the assessments since she was in fourth grade, her first year of taking Iowa Assessments. “If I had the choice, I would not take them next year,” she said. 

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.