Principal Flynn on Why the ISASPs Matter

Oliver Klipsch, Editor-in-Chief

The Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress, or “ISASP” tests are coming up on the week of April 18th. We’ve been hearing about them over the announcements and in our advisories, but what exactly are they and why do they matter? To learn more about this, I contacted Principal Jon Flynn to find out.

According to him, the tests “serve as an important metric in the equation used by the Department of Education to determine the Iowa School Performance Profile”.

But what does this mean?

In a nutshell,

  • The Department of Education is the part of Iowa’s state government that oversees our education system and schools.
  • The Iowa School Performance Profile is a tool that the Department of Education uses to find out how well schools are doing throughout the state of Iowa.
  • The ISASP provides the data collected by the Iowa School Performance Profile.

The Iowa School Performance Profile measures our district’s success in a number which ranges from 0 to 100. In 2021 our district scored a 45.9 out of 100 which, on their rating scale, means, “Needs Improvement”. The next step for our district is scoring a 49.21 which would put us in the “Acceptable” range.

What our district scores on this Profile determines what the state expects of us. A common misconception is that the ISASPs have a direct impact on funding. However, as Mr. Flynn said, “Funding is not directly tied to the ISASP tests.”

So, although these tests might matter to the state and to the higher-ups in our district, do they actually impact us students at all?

In a way, yes. When asked about this, Principal Flynn replied, “More importantly, the data garnered from these tests helps our district and building determine skills/concepts that are being understood and those that need to be re-examined.  A lot of data is pulled from these assessments to help us improve instruction.”

So, Central uses our school’s scores to find out what subjects we understand and what subjects we don’t, so that teachers and staff can find better ways to teach and better ways for us to learn.