Archdiocese of Denver Catholic School students in 2nd through 8th grade take the IOWA Assessment annually mid-year.
The IOWA Assessment is a norm-referenced test. As such, the scores register what students know. Students bring to school knowledge related to native ability, family education level, socioeconomic status, the language or languages spoken in the home, and life experiences; these factors are all reflected in IOWA scores. Schools focus and organize this knowledge and add to it. The test does not measure the effectiveness of student learning compared to specific curriculum objectives as do assessments including criterion referenced tests. The best use of IOWA scores is to compare the average scores of groups of students to the average scores of the norming group and to the identified grade level. The comparisons are most effective when used with smaller groups and with individuals, and then only when used in light of teacher observations and other student work.
Within the appropriate context, it is convenient and appropriate to use these scores as a broad report of student achievement.