SDE extends testing window through Friday

State Department of Education officials have extended the time window for administering state assessments until Friday.

Originally, the SDE had planned to close the testing window on Friday, May 17. But the department extended the schedule, due to illnesses and weather-related closures at several schools earlier this year.

“We adjusted to ensure schools had the instructional time they needed before the testing window officially closes Friday, May 24,” said Karlynn Laraway, the SDE’s director of assessment and accountability.

As of Friday, between 10,000 and 12,000 tests were outstanding across the state, she said.

Across Idaho, spring is a busy testing season as schools and students finish off the school year. Depending on grade level, students might be taking the Idaho Standards Achievement Test in English language arts, math or science; a college entrance exam such as the SAT; the National Assessment of Educational Progress (commonly known as NAEP, an optional test only administered to a sampling of students); or the Idaho Reading Indicator.

By the numbers, here’s a closer look at testing in Idaho

What’s required:

  • ISAT in English language arts: Required in third through eighth grade and 10th grade.
  • ISAT in math: Required in third through eighth grade and 10th grade.
  • ISAT in science: Required in grades five through seven and once in high school (often with biology or chemistry).
  • IRI: Required in grades K-3, administered in the fall and the spring.

What’s optional:

  • NAEP, SAT and PSAT (although completing some form of college entrance exam is a graduation requirement).

How much does this cost this year and who are we paying?

  • ISAT/alternate assessment: $4.5 million, through a contract with American Institute For Research (AIR Assessment).
  • SAT/PSAT: $1.2 million, via a contract with The College Board.
  • IRI: $500,000, billable to Imagination Station, based on the number of students tested.
  • NAEP: No cost to the state.

How long do the assessments take?

  • The state does not set a time limit for the ISAT. The time it takes varies based on the student and the grade level.
  • The English language arts test includes a written component and generally takes a little bit longer (maybe three or 3 1/2 hours).
  • The math test takes about two or 2 1/2 hours.

Source: Idaho State Department of Education.

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