The Carroll Community School District (CCSD) is preparing for a change from the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) to a different method of measuring student learning, the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA). This switch is mandated by the state, and the test helps educators better evaluate how students are grasping materials being taught in class. According to Superintendent Rob Cordes, the test may cost the district more than previous assessments.
The state has not yet set aside funds for schools to help pay for the $25,000 increase to assessment costs. CCSD will need to cover the costs on their own if support from the state does not come through. Cordes says the new test has benefits, too.
Other assessments given by the school may be replaced by this test, and the money normally used for those tests would then go to cover this SBA. Iowa Schools will be required to take the new assessment beginning in the 2017/18 school year.