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The Live Wire

The Student News Site of Liberty High School

The Live Wire

State testing through the years

As the end of the school year starts to wrap up, there is one more thing that most students have to complete: The Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress. The evolution of state standardized testing, as tedious as it sounds, has a complex and even controversial upbringing.
Madelyn Johnson
Students at Liberty will be taking The Iowa Statewide Assessments April 16th and April 17th.

Standardized testing at school was officially established at the University of Iowa, where the first state-wide assessment for high school students was conducted. These tests were pretty similar to state testing today: multiple-choice questions that test a student’s ability in subjects such as reading and arithmetic. While the contents of the test remain fairly similar to the contents today, the way that states distribute the tests has changed with the evolution of technology. Now, many states, including Iowa, have students take the test on a device instead of the traditional pen and paper. 

In Iowa, standardized testing usually begins at the end of the school year. During this time, many students are already preparing for Advanced Placement testing or on “auto-pilot” as the school year is coming to an end. However, these seemingly “meaningless” tests actually do serve a purpose. Before George Bush’s “No Child Left Behind Act” was replaced with Obama’s “Every Student Succeeds Act,” state standardized testing was mostly used to hold school districts accountable. For example, if states didn’t meet their “adequate yearly progress” two years in a row, then the school has to allow students to transfer to a better-performing school in the district.

However, this act wasn’t exactly fool proof. Schools in low income areas were still underperforming on the standardized tests, and as a result, were penalized even further. Therefore, in 2015, states got to set their proficiency levels, instead of the federal government. According to Iowa’s Department of Education, results of the Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress (ISASP) are used by the district to make instructional, financial, and personal decisions. 

There are many critics of state standardized testing. Many believe that the idea of standardized testing is outdated and needs to be reformed. While standardized testing itself would probably not go away anytime soon, students might see a change in the way the test is performed. Performance based standardized testing, which allows students to choose how they show their knowledge, is becoming increasingly popular among education specialists. 

Like it or not, students across Iowa, from public to private schools are required to take Iowa’s standardized test. At Liberty, ISASP testing starts tomorrow (4-16) at 9:00 starting with the reading test and followed by the math test. ISASP testing continues on Wednesday (4/17) at 9:00 starting with the writing test and ends with the science test (10th grade only). 

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About the Contributors
Megan Quinn
Megan Quinn, Editor-in-Chief
Megan is a senior at Liberty. This is her third year on staff and she is the editor-in-chief for the 2023-2024 school year. She is involved in theatre, mock trial, speech, and city government. In her free time, she likes to watch video essays and try new coffee shops.
Madelyn Johnson
Madelyn Johnson, Social Media Manager
Madelyn is a Junior at Liberty and is a Social Media Manager for The Live Wire. This is her 3rd year in journalism, 2nd year on staff. She runs cross country and track and is also a member of the speech team. In her free time, you can usually find her hanging out with friends and watching romcoms.