It is one way to monitor the education system. Schools are responsible for academic achievement as well as other aspects of student growth. The taxpayers of Idaho rely on the Legislature, the State Department of Education, and the State Board of Education to fund, approve curriculum, and set policy for schools. The student achievement data are important to the decision making process.
State testing is a big responsibility at the school and district levels and interrrupts the instructional schedule for schools. However, the most time any typical student will spend on State required testing totals less than eight hours in one school year.
There are five State administered tests that your child may take. These five tests are the Idaho Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) in four content areas, Direct Writing Assessment (DWA) or Direct Math Assessment (DMA), Idaho Reading Indicator (IRI), National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and Idaho English Language Assessment (IELA).
Grades 4–8 take the most tests!
(Tests are generally offered over multiple days throughout the school year to allow for better performance)
The State of Idaho developed Idaho Content Standards that frame the essential knowledge and skills that Idaho's children will learn in grades K-12 for math, reading, writing, social studies, science, and humanities
Read the Standards Here:
Idaho has also developed Proficiency Level Descriptors (PLDs) for each grade and content tested on the ISAT. Parents will appreciate these summaries written in paragraph or list form.
Read the Proficiency Level Descriptors (PLDs) Here:
The Idaho Content Standards determine what is tested on the State tests, including all but NAEP.
Your school will keep you informed and the matrix provided here provides a quick reference.
Your school and district will keep you informed and the students will be talking about the tests. You can also go to the link provided here to view the testing calendar for the year.
Each test is scored and reported as quickly as possible. Depending on how the test is designed, administered, and scored. More detail can be found at the homepage through the hotlinks below.
ISAT (Idaho Standard Achievement Test) - administered online, scores are available immediately (school, district and state scores available 4 weeks after the close of the testing window)
IAA (Idaho Alternate Assessment) – teacher administered, scores available 4 weeks after the close of the testing window
IRI (Idaho Reading Indicator) – individually administered, scores available immediately
NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) – No scores reported at the student, school or district level. State scores available 12-18 months after the test administration.
Be an active part of the IEP, ELP or 504 planning team.
If your child has special needs, your child's school shall include you on a team with school personnel to write a learning plan to assist your child. This plan is reviewed on a regular basis and the parent must sign the plan before it can be implemented. The school has the responsibility to use the IEP, ELP, or 504 plan to support each student with accommodations that are appropriate for each student. Parents must be a part of the decision-making team.
Please check with your child's principal, teacher, or counselor for more information.
Learn about accommodations that might assist your child and those that might actually present additional barriers.
There are accommodations that are offered to students who have specific barriers to showing what they know and can do in the school setting. An accommodation is designed to assist a child in demonstrating their knowledge and skills and does not give an advantage. Each plan identifies the allowable accommodations for the classroom and testing situations.
Note: Occasionally a student will have an accommodation for testing that is not allowable on a state or federal test. These situations require that the parent and school personnel work together to make the best opportunity for the student to be tested in a way that scores can be reported and learning can be assessed in a standardized way. When a decision is made to use a nonstandard accommodation, it is determined to be an adaptation of the test and no scores are reported.
Please use this link to a description of allowable accommodations for the State tests.