Clarke Community Schools recently completed the Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress (ISASP) testing. These tests, required to be taken by all students annually, help indicate student performance and shape educational practices for the district and across Iowa. The results from the 2022/23 testing showed significant improvements for Clarke students from the elementary through high school.
“We couldn’t be more proud of the hard work our students and teachers have put into making improvements academically,” said Dr. Alan Dykens, Clarke District Superintendent. “We believe these tests truly illustrate the academic excellence at Clarke Community Schools.”
With testing being inconsistent throughout the pandemic, scores for Clarke and districts across the state saw overall proficiency averages drop. Clarke, between 2021 and 2022 experienced drops in averages for Math, English Language Arts as well as Science. But, 2023 testing saw cumulative averages climb back with as much as double-digit percentage increases in some areas.
“When you see growth like that across these returns, you know we’re academically doing things right,” said Dykens. “Scores like these show that the academic planning we’ve done can really make Clarke a ‘Destination Location’.”
Designed to assess a student’s understanding of core subjects, the ISASP tests offer numerous benefits that contribute to improving a district’s education path.
- Accurate Evaluation of Student Proficiency: ISASP tests provide a comprehensive and accurate evaluation of student proficiency in essential subjects such as English language arts, mathematics, and science. These targeted evaluations help teachers tailor their instruction to meet the unique needs of each student.
- Informing Instructional Practices: The data derived from the ISASP tests offers valuable insights into the effectiveness of teaching methodologies, curriculum design, and overall educational practices. Educators can analyze the test results to identify trends, patterns, and gaps in student performance. This information allows them to make informed decisions regarding instructional approaches, resource allocation, and curriculum enhancements, ultimately leading to targeted interventions and improved learning outcomes.
- Accountability and School Improvement: ISASP tests play a crucial role in holding schools accountable for student performance. The test results serve as a benchmark to gauge the effectiveness of schools, districts, and educational systems. This accountability fosters a culture of continuous improvement, as schools strive to enhance their instructional practices, address achievement gaps, and promote learning opportunities for all students.
- College and Career Readiness: The ISASP tests are designed to assess students’ readiness for higher education and future careers. By providing a data-driven and objective measure of academic proficiency, these tests assist students, parents, and educators in identifying areas where additional support or enrichment may be necessary.
The results from the ISASP testing at Clarke help empower students to make informed decisions about their educational pathways, ensuring they are adequately prepared for post-secondary education or future employment opportunities.
“All three buildings saw increases on score averages over last year,” said Dykens. “With graduation taking place this weekend, on top of everything else, we can add that Clarke students and Clarke instructors are thriving.”