Preparing for the Iowa Assessments


Isabel Neff

The Iowa Tests of Educational Development will be replaced this year by the Iowa Assessments. The tests will be given in the mornings on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week, starting at 8 a.m.

The district has had schools do a standardized test for about the past 30 years and this year the school is making the switch from the ITEDs to the Iowa Assessments. Dr. Mary Wilcynski, Kennedy principal, believes that although this is Iowa’s first year giving the test, many other schools around the nation have been taking them for a few years. “We’re all in it together, trying to figure it out,” she said.

The testing period is a change from last year, as the tests were given out over a two-week span. The tests will be given in a 95-minute testing period with short breaks in between each test. Tuesday will be the reading and writing tests, Wednesday will be the science and math tests, and Thursday will have the vocabulary and math computation tests.

Wilcynski expects the scores to be different because the tests are scored a different way, making them unable to be directly compared. This is apparent as Iowa City West got in the 84th percentile with this test and they were typically to be 97th with the ITEDs. “I just don’t know if a 90th percentile on the ITEDs is the same as a 90th percentile for the Iowa Assessment,” Wilcynski said.

There will still be an awards assembly for students who achieve their personal best and improve their scores. “We will try our best to get every person a T-shirt or a sweatshirt, if you are a junior,” Wilcynski said. “We don’t know the exact criteria for that yet. We might have to convert our scores a bit [to make them match].”

“What the test ought to do is compare themselves to themselves, from one year to the next,” Wilcynski said. “My hope is that we do our best and have scores that really reflect what our kids have learned.”