ISBE Banner

August 1, 2007

2007-2008 UPDATE
Illinois State Board of Education – Student Assessment Division

Many thanks to all the teachers and coordinators who worked hard to make the Illinois Alternate Assessment (IAA) writing assessment a success. We appreciate the time and effort you all put into this assessment. We are now ready to move away totally from the portfolio to the new test for Reading, Mathematics and Science. The following are key points that will be needed in the Fall 2007 Pilot.

New Type of Test: The IAA is now a performance-based assessment in which teachers administer 6 tasks per content area to students at a specific point during the year. Teachers score students based on a new four-point rubric and a sampling of teachers throughout the state will have their scores validated by Independent Panelists. The portfolio assessment will no longer be used to assess students taking the IAA. Pearson Educational Measurement (PEM) is the contractor for the new test.

IAA Reading, Mathematics & Science Fall Pilot -- September 17 – 28, 2007: All students (except those in private facilities) who take the IAA will participate in the Fall 2007 Pilot for Reading, Mathematics and Science. A pilot requires all students taking the IAA to participate in subjects and grades as appropriate.

Private Facilities: For the Fall 2007 Pilot ONLY IAA students placed in private facilities will not participate because there will not be adequate time for home schools/districts to delivery materials to private facilities, allow teachers to administer the test, pick up the materials and have them ready for the FedEx pick-up on Oct. 4. This will be the final pilot administration for the new IAA test & the only time private facilities will not participate in state testing.

Materials Arrive in District: Materials will arrive in districts by Sept. 4 for the Fall 2007 Pilot. Pearson Educational Measurement will ship the materials directly to schools/districts/cooperatives based on 2007 IAA students counts submitted to ISBE's Student Information System (SIS) and CPS. Coordinators are not required to place initial orders through Pearson's Assessment Network, but additional orders can be placed once the initial order is received. More information will follow on additional orders.

Testing a Grade Level Up: In an effort to ensure that students taking the Fall 2007 Pilot have received sufficient instruction in the grade level content, the IAA will be administered to students at one grade level higher than the student population that will be tested in the spring 2008 for IAA.

Assessment Objectives: The Fall 2007 Pilot addresses content standards and priority objectives at grades 3-8 & 11, but the pilot will be administered at grades 4-9 & 12. Accordingly, Illinois educators and IAA Coordinators, grades 3-9, 11 & 12, are encouraged to participate in the Fall 2007 Regional Trainings (see below).

2008 IAA Spring Operational: The IAA Reading, Mathematics, & Science operational assessment which counts for AYP purposes will be administered on March 10 – April 11, 2008, to students at grade level (i.e., grades 3-8 & 11). In addition, IAA Writing also will be administered March 10 -April 11 at grades 5, 6, 8 and 11.

Mandatory Online Scoring: The Fall 2007 Pilot will require teachers to submit student scores through an online scoring process. Teachers will not submit answer documents to Pearson. ISBE and Pearson will offer training for the online scoring as part of the Fall 2007 Training. Online scoring was offered for the 2007 Writing test and some teachers and IAA Coordinators are already familiar with the process.

Fall 2007 Training: IAA trainings for teachers and IAA Coordinators will be held Aug. 28-Sept. 7. Around August 1, the training schedule will be e-mailed to IAA Coordinators, Special Ed Directors, those on the Student Assessment list serve and posted on the IAA Web site at: Pearson will handle the registration, which will be available on Pearson's Assessment Network at This year we are asking schools and districts to send the IAA Coordinator and one or two lead teachers to take the training back to others at the school and district. ISBE will post a new training video on the IAA Web site in late mid-August.

Teacher Resource Guide: A Teacher Resource Guide (TRG) is posted on the IAA Web site. The guide provides examples of materials educators may access for the Fall 2007 Pilot Test administration. The guide is organized by grade level and contains suggested bibliographic references, materials lists, and illustrations for use with the reading, mathematics, and science. Also included in this guide are appendices containing the IAA Framework Priority Objectives and IAA sample tasks.

The materials teachers use to administer the IAA Fall 2007 Pilot Test, including those referenced in this document, may be adapted or modified to accommodate individual student needs and modes of communication in preparation for this assessment. This includes enlarging the illustrations, changing background colors, providing manipulatives and actual objects, or using other methods to provide accommodations.

Fall 2007 Pilot Implementation Manual, Rubric & Framework Priorities: The Implementation Manual for the Fall 2007 Pilot is now posted on the IAA Web site for your convenience along with the scoring rubric and Framework Priorities for reading, mathematics, science and writing.


  • September 17-28, 2007: Field pilot new IAA in reading, math and science statewide in appropriate grades.
  • Spring 2008 Test Administration Window
    Districts can move the three-week IAA test window to one week earlier or one week later. To do this, districts were required to submit a Test Window Modification Form to ISBE by Dec. 1, 2007, and have permission from ISBE allowing for a modified test window. A modification form is posted on IAA Web site.
IAA Early ** 10-Mar-2008 through 28-Mar-2008
IAA Regular 17-Mar-2008 through 4-Apr-2008
IAA Late** 24-Mar-2008 through 11-Apr-2008

ISBE IAA Web site

For questions, contact Marilyn Leveque, IAA Coordinator at

back to 2007 Archive

Illinois State Board of Education
100 North First Street
Springfield, IL 62777