DES MOINES — The Iowa Department of Education today released new spring 2023 assessment results from the Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress for students in grades 3-11. The overall results show little improvement over last year with significant proficiency gaps between certain groups of students.

“Iowa prioritized keeping schools open and students in the classroom throughout the pandemic, and our students experienced minimal COVID-related learning loss compared to the nation. At the same time, statewide assessment results show that overall student proficiency is not significantly different from last year and concerning achievement gaps persist, especially among students who are English learners, students with disabilities, and students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch,” said Iowa Department of Education Director McKenzie Snow. “Together with educators and families, we will work to better serve students most in need of support and to accelerate learning so all students can succeed. This crucial data will guide the Department’s development of targeted solutions to improve student achievement statewide.” 

State-level results from the 2022-23 Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress (ISASP) show relatively little to no growth across most grades in English language arts with some grade levels up a percentage point and other grades down a percentage point. Sixth grade results increased the most from last year, going up four percentage points. 

Mathematics scores showed some small improvement across all grade levels. Grades 3, 6, 7 and 9 had a three-percentage point increase and grade 4 had a four-percentage point increase in the percent of students scoring proficient or above when compared to last year. Grades 8 and 10 increased five percentage points and grade 5 increased six percentage points. Eleventh grade results increased the most, at 7 percentage points.

The data also show significant proficiency gaps between overall student results and those of certain student subgroups. Students who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, students with disabilities and students who are English learners performed much lower than their classmates with differences of 15, 41 and 45 percentage points, respectively.

The ISASP is administered each spring and is the general summative accountability assessment in Iowa that meets the requirements of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The assessment reflects what’s being taught in Iowa classrooms and how students are progressing toward grade-level expectations outlined in Iowa’s academic standards. Importantly, the ISASP helps teachers understand where students are succeeding and where they may need more help. Iowa's state summative assessment participation rate was 99 percent in 2022-23, 98 percent in 2021-22 and 98 percent in 2020-21, ensuring that the results yielded a true picture of student performance.

The spring 2022-23 ISASP results and fact sheet with additional graphs and charts can be found on the PK-12 Education Statistics webpage.