ISAT Reading Scores Swing Unexpectedly, Says ISBE

Was there anything hinky or different about the reading exams this year?

A reader passed along this email from ISBE state superintendent Chris Koch about the current ISAT results being scrubbed right now.

From what I can tell, folks have already checked the demographic information (racial classifications, etc.) and -- most notable -- big shifts up and down on statewide reading scores that are based in part on extended response items.

Full email below.

>> Message from State Superintendent Christopher A. Koch


> The window for making corrections to your ISAT and IAA

> demographic information closed late last week and I want to

> thank all of you for your assistance in getting this work

> done quickly. As you know, this helps us to ensure that you

> receive results back in a timely manner.



> As we have been reviewing the ISAT results along with many

> of you, we have noticed some unanticipated results. There

> are some unexpected shifts, especially in reading in grades

> 3, 4, 6 and 8. There have been both noticeable increases and

> noticeable decreases in scores, depending on the grade being

> analyzed. These are not limited to a single district or set

> of districts, nor are they confined to a specific subgroup

> (e.g., ELL). Instead, we are seeing statewide trends.




> We are working collaboratively with several local districts

> and our contractor, Pearson Education, to conduct a thorough

> analysis of the results. To date we have asked Pearson to

> review their scoring of the extended response items, their

> logistical processes and their psychometric methods.

> Additionally, we will be bringing in an independent 3rd

> party to work with us to find answers.




> At their June meeting, our State Board members took action

> on a couple of items that I would like to bring to your

> attention. They approved transferring funds between

> mandated categorical line items. This was the first year

> that they have had the ability to authorize such transfers

> and directly benefit local districts. We had a shortfall in

> two categories, Special Education Personnel and

> Transportation, while at the same time there was a surplus

> in other line items. Without the Board's exercising

> this authority, we would have had to prorate some payments

> to school districts.




> The Board also approved moving forward with joining the

> American Diploma Project as part of our K-12 standards

> review process. The Board is committed to improving the

> rigor and relevance of the K-16 educational system. Through

> the College and Workforce Readiness Partnership, Achieve,

> Inc. reviewed the Illinois Learning Standards, which were

> adopted in 1997. This was the first time the ILS have been

> reviewed since their inception, and while the Illinois

> descriptors had some real strengths, there is significant

> work that can be done to improve our standards.




> The review of our high school standards is the first step

> in the process that will lead to a review and alignment of

> our K-12 standards to post-secondary and career

> expectations. In order to join the American Diploma

> Project, each state must have signoff from the Governor,

> Board of Education and Board of Higher Education, as well

> as representatives of the business community. We will begin

> working in partnership with these groups immediately so that

> we can begin the standards revision process this fall.




> Have a great week!




> Chris

Filed under: ISBE / Springfield

Leave a comment