Questions About Assessment

Grades 4–8 take the most tests!

-students in grades 5 and 7 take a science ISAT in addition to math, reading and language usage. (90 minutes in addition to the 5 hours required for the other 3 subjects)

-students in grades 4, 8, and 12 may be sampled for the NAEP. (additional 90 minutes)

-All English language learners, all grades, take the IELA.

(Tests are generally offered over multiple days throughout the school year to allow for better performance)

How can parents, students, and teachers know what knowledge and skills will be tested?

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.  Idaho has recently adopted the Common Core Standards (as have many other states) and those will begin to be implemented in Idaho schools between 2011-2014. 
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.

What tests will my child be required to take at each grade level?

  1. The Idaho Content Standards determine what is tested on the State tests, including all but NAEP.
  2. Idaho English Language Assessment (IELA), all grades, Limited English Proficient (LEP) students.
  3. Idaho Reading Indicator (IRI), grades K-3.
  4. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is based on a sampling of 4th, 8th and sometimes 12th grade students.


How do I find out when tests are administered?

Your school and district will keep you informed and the students will be talking about the tests.

When do we get the results for the test and how do I understand the scores when they are reported to me?

Each test is scored and reported as quickly as possible depending on how the test is designed, administered, and scored.  Return time varies on results depending on the tests. 

Idaho Standard Achievement Test - administered online, scores are available immediately to students (verified school, district and state scores available 4 weeks after the close of the testing window)

Idaho Alternate Assessment – teacher administered, scores available 4 weeks after the close of the testing window

Idaho Reading Indicator – individually administered, scores available immediately

Idaho English Language Assessment – paper and pencil administration, scores available 8 weeks after test administration.

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.

My child has an Individualized Learning Plan (IEP), or an English Learning Plan (ELP) or a 504 Plan. What do I need to know?

Be an active part of the IEP, ELP or 504 planning team.  Schools should contact you if your child is on a learning plan of any type and parents are invited to be an intregal part of the educational planning for the student.

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.

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.