PV students face new stakes for statewide standardized testing

Ike Swanson, Business Manager

With this year’s Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress testing at Pleasant Valley high school, the test came with new stakes for students in grades 3-11, who are required to take the annual statewide standardized test. 

Due to “suspicious scores” from the year prior, PVHS was supposedly put on a school watch list. It was thought that some of the students’ scores were too low compared to other standardized testing, due to students’ perceptions that the tests were useless.

This test may seem unimportant to the students, but the lack of seriousness towards ISASP testing poses a large problem for the school. ISASP test scores are one way that school funding is determined in Iowa — and the declining scores are bad news for PV. 

To combat this and hopefully gain more realistic scores for the school, PV decided to make ISASP test scores a factor in placement for dual enrollment Scott classes next year. Students now have to score proficient on their testing in order to be eligible for dual enrollment classes in the following school year. 

Junior Kyle Almgren believes that this is the right decision for the school to make.  “I think the school’s approach is reasonable because they are the ones paying for students’ dual enrollment classes and they need the funding from the test scores,” Almgren said. 

For many students though, this impacts the way they approach the test. It is no longer something that students can show up and speed through. Now, students must put forward their very best effort in order to recieve the benefits of free college credit. Fortunately, this year’s graduating seniors did not have to worry about the implications of ISASP testing. “I’m just glad I didn’t have to take the test this year,” Willet said. “I didn’t take my test as seriously last year because we all knew it didn’t mean anything.” 

With the new stakes for the students, they must reconsider how they might have approached this test in the past. “I think we really took the free dual enrollment classes for granted,”Willett added. “And now the other classes have to pay the price for our mistake and earn that privilege.”

As ISASP testing wraps up for this year, students will have to wait for their grades in order to take college classes next school year.