Find out which standardized tests are available before the summer holidays

My ninth grader submitted the results of a standardized reading test she recently took.

We were in his class for an event to bring parents to school: “Donuts with Grownups”.

After a donut or three with other families in the gym, we washed it all down with bottled water and met up with a few other moms and dads in my daughter’s class for a morning art activity before the day school.

That’s when she hit me with her test scores: a percentile comparison of how she ranked with other kids who took the same test.

She was just a colored dot on paper, but she looked nervous in front of me.

She had no reason to be, I told her after glancing at her scores. To daddy’s measure, she knocked him off the playground.

She gave a relieved look and moved on to artistic activity.

The exchange was brief, but it marked me. The test, which wasn’t even mandated by the state, affected her. And she seemed to have no idea how she compared to the other kids.

It reminded me of the prominence of testing in K-12 and the impacts it can have on children.

I told my daughter about the standardized test from my elementary school years, the Iowa Basic Skills Test.

“Bubble sheets? she asked.

I also thought about the standardized tests I helped administer years ago as a high school English teacher. Some of my students seemed to enjoy state test day. Others felt nauseous, their anxiety seething as if they had been thrown into the middle of the ocean.

These days, it’s the IRI, ISAT, SAT, and NAEP that collect a range of responses from Idaho children of all school ages from K-12. And those don’t include the classroom tests to measure growth and track the progress kids go through day-to-day, like the one my daughter took.

Children know what these things are. But what do parents know?

With spring testing season approaching, let’s review, starting with a crash course in the standardized test for Idaho’s early learners: the IRI.

Idaho reading flag. Parents of elementary school students, I’m looking at you.

The IRI is the state measure for assessing reading skills in the early grades. It is sent to all public students from kindergarten to grade 3 twice a year: once in the fall to see how the children are doing after the summer holidays and once in the spring to measure their growth during the school year.

It is a state-mandated test, but it has no bearing on whether or not children progress from one grade level to another.

You’ll often see the IRI in EdNews headlines because it’s a key metric that state leaders and policymakers use to gauge early reading — and how well kids are reading. improve after spending months in front of a teacher.

This spring’s testing window for online testing: May 5-31.

Idaho Standards Achievement Test. AKA, ISA.

This test is administered online every year to students in grades 3-8 and 10.

High school freshmen are having a break, but many continue to take the college entrance exam of their choice as juniors and seniors. We will come to that.

The ISAT measures proficiency in math, science, and the arts of the English language, and recently made headlines for recent changes to state standards that align with the test — and coursework in classrooms across the state.

The State Testing Window: The Last Eight Weeks of School.

Like the IRI, schools are required to administer the ISAT, but it has no bearing on whether students progress through the grades or graduate from high school.

According to the State Department of Education website: “We primarily use these scores to help families, schools, districts, and the state understand and improve student academic achievement in Idaho. “

Academic aptitude test. Prospective students, listen up.

The SAT is the entrance exam to the University of Idaho, but since the pandemic hit, it’s also no longer a requirement for graduating from high school in the Gem State. . The State Board of Education waived it as a requirement in 2020, 2021, and again this year.

But the state still takes note for students who want to take the test, which is administered internationally and covers five main areas:

  • Evidence-based reading.
  • Writing and language.
  • Mathematics: without calculator.
  • Mathematics: calculator.

This year’s SAT test day for juniors and seniors is April 13, although children who cannot show up on that date can show up on April 26.

Idaho students can also take another college entrance exam, such as the ACT, but students must pay for it.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). AKA, the “newsletter of the nation”.

Most Idaho students won’t have to take this test, but some will do so pursuant to a congressional mandate to distribute learning among random samples of students nationwide each year.

Each winter, a random number of fourth and eighth graders from a random set of Idaho schools take the test, which most often covers reading, math and science.

About Devin Bodkin

EdNews associate editor and reporter Devin Bodkin is a former high school English teacher who specializes in stories about charter schools and the education of students living in poverty. He lives and works in eastern Idaho. Follow Devin on Twitter @dsbodkin. He can be contacted by email at [email protected].

Read more stories by Devin Bodkin »

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