DMPS Students Take Iowa Assessments to Track Growth in Classroom

DES MOINES, Iowa – Des Moines Public School students are taking the Iowa Assessments to test their growth through the year.

Starting in third grade, students are tested on math, science and reading.

Third through fifth grade students will take an additional social studies exam.

DMPS Director of Assessment, Data and Evaluation Mary Grinstead said the exams help teachers improve class curriculum.

“We have overall reading scores, but then we get scores broken down into different domains to see as a classroom what were my students strengths and weaknesses. So my incoming class next year maybe I need to adjust a little instruction. Also looking at the incoming class, looking at where they are at right now,” Grinstead said.

Grinstead said the results of the exams help teachers understand where each student is striving and struggling.

In elementary and middle schools the exams are broken up over the course of two weeks, while high school students take it in one day.

“Other states have a lot of parents opting out. That’s not really happening here in Des Moines. I think our teachers do a good job actually using the data and embedding the data into their everyday practice so it doesn’t feel like an event. It’s just part of their practice,” Grinstead said.

Grinstead said out of 33,000 students only 15 have opted out.

The results from the assessments will be mailed home with a student’s report card or with the student by the end of May.

Students take the Iowa Assessments until 11th grade. The assessments will be given to DMPS students through Friday.