All fifth- and eighth-graders and some high school students will take the Illinois Science Assessment (ISA) between March 6 and April 6, 2018.
Schools will be notifying parents/guardians of the exact dates those children will be tested. Contact your child’s school for more information about testing dates.
The ISA aligns with the new Illinois Learning Standards in science. This assessment helps families understand how well students are performing academically and see whether they are on track to succeed in college. The ISA represents Illinois’ commitment to preparing all students for college and careers, including in the high-demand science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. The assessment also satisfies federal accountability requirements.
The ISA is designed to reflect classroom experiences. Many students who took the assessment last year said the ISA seemed more like instruction than a test. Students do not simply select an answer and fill in the bubble of a multiple-choice test. Rather, the ISA pushes students to apply their knowledge when they give answers, thus better preparing them for higher education and a career.
The ISA is an hour-long summative assessment. The results provide administrators with important data to help them make broad curriculum decisions at the school and district levels.
We encourage you to talk with your children about the importance of doing their best on the ISA, while communicating that the assessment yields only one piece of information about them and their school’s progress. Students’ attendance, classroom work, homework, projects, performance on local tests, participation in sports and extracurricular activities, and contributions to the school’s climate and culture all help them grow and learn.
We all work together to ensure Illinois students build a cohesive understanding of science over time. Thank you for your role in developing lifelong learners and successful citizens.
Director of Curriculum