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State forms committee to help schools transition new assessments

educationDES MOINES – Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise today announced the formation of a committee to help schools transition to new statewide assessments. The Statewide Assessment Advisory Committee will meet for the first time on Thursday, Oct. 13.

Iowa recently put in place new statewide assessments for students whose first language is not English and students with significant cognitive disabilities. The state also is on track to implement new statewide assessments in English language arts, mathematics, and science in the 2017-18 school year. This school year, Iowa students will take the current Iowa Assessments in those subjects.

“We have set clear statewide standards that outline expectations for what Iowa students should know and be able to do, and these new assessments measure how students are progressing toward those standards,” Wise said. “This is a critical part of our work to prepare all students for success in school and beyond, and it is a significant change. The Statewide Assessment Advisory Committee will help identify issues and needs that naturally arise with a transition to new assessments.”

The following statewide assessments are new in Iowa:

  • 2017-18: Iowa students will take the Smarter Balanced Assessments in grades 3-11 in English language arts and mathematics.
  • 2017-18: Iowa students will take a new statewide science assessment that has not yet been adopted.
  • 2015-16: English language learners took the English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century (ELPA21) for the first time. ELPA21 replaced the Iowa English Language Development Assessment.
  • 2014-15: Iowa students with the most significant cognitive disabilities took a new alternate assessment called Dynamic Learning Maps, which replaced the Iowa Alternate Assessment.

The Statewide Assessment Advisory Committee will meet at least four times throughout the 2016-17 school year. Meetings are open to the public.

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