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Iowa Assessments yield mixed results for two school districts

THURSDAY, JUNE 28, 2012 16:29 PM

The University of Iowa’s website states that the Iowa Assessments are designed to provide educators, policymakers, students and parents with information regarding their academic achievements. When pupils sit for the Assessments, which have replaced the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS), they answer questions related to reading, language, social studies, science and mathematics.

With students on summer vacation, many Iowa educators are reviewing data from the 2011-2012 academic year. What officials from the Bondurant-Farrar and Southeast Polk school districts have found based on Iowa Assessment scores is that high schoolers’ performance in the areas of reading, math and science improved, The Des Moines Register reported.

At the same time, reading and math numbers could be better for students at the districts’ elementary and middle school levels, as proficiency ratings appear to be decreasing. However, since the Iowa Assessments are not the ITBS, it is hard for educators to compare this year’s results to those of the previous academic year.

"We can make some grade-level decisions," Jo Ellen Latham, Southeast Polk’s curriculum director, told the news source. "We can make some building decisions. But as far as district-wide decisions, it’s going to be a little difficult. It’s apples to oranges really."