This graph shows the percentage of students that meet or exceed state standards on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT). The buttons above the graph allow you to select reading, mathematics, or composite (combined) scores. Two years of results are shown for the statewide averages.
In 2013, ISBE raised performance expectations to improve alignment of ISAT scores with the more rigorous Common Core State Standards that are now being implemented. These higher expectations raised the “cut scores,” or the thresholds between different performance levels (such as “Below Standards” and “Meets Standards”) which resulted in a downward shift in the number of students meeting or exceeding Reading and Math standards.
In the table on the left, the statewide Illinois test results in 2012 and 2013 are shown using the new cut scores to provide an accurate comparison. In the table on the right, 2012 performance is shown based on the original or old cut scores.
Spring 2014 is the last time that the state used the ISAT tests for measuring student achievement. In 2015, students in grades 3- 8 will take the PARCC tests, which are aligned with the new Illinois Learning Standards. To learn more about these tests, select the PARCC tab at the left.
Click on “View Details” to see additional years of ISAT performance data, grade-level and subject-area results, and performance of student sub-groups.
This display allows you to take a closer look at ISAT performance in Illinois.
Grade: The drop-down menu allows you to select a Summary (all grades in Illinois schools averaged together) or Each Grade. Note that the ISAT is administered in grades 3-8. Click “Go” to see your selection.
Subject: The drop-down menu gives access to All Subjects or to one at a time. Click “Go” to see your selection.
Once you have made your selections, you can press the "Go!" button to display information. The "Excel" button downloads this information as an Excel file.
Compare Old vs. New Cut Scores: This button opens an advanced screen that shows multiple years of ISAT performance according to either the old or the new cut scores.
A school or district demonstrating high state test results is likely to have multiple systems that support high levels of academic achievement. These may include a high level of teacher quality, advanced courses, and rigorous academic standards. Standardized tests results should be interpreted in the context of other measures of student achievement.
Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT)
In January 2013, Illinois raised ISAT reading and math benchmarks. This means that since meeting or exceeding standards on the ISAT is harder this year, the percentage of students who score as meeting or exceeding standards has decreased. This does not reflect a decrease in the quality of schools, teachers, or student work - it reflects higher standards. Starting in 2014-2015, Illinois will replace the ISAT with a new test that is fully aligned to the New Illinois Learning Standards Incorporating the Common Core. The Common Core State Standards is an effort, with participation from more than 40 states, to unify and raise expectations.
For more information go to Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) Test data for the past 3 years may be viewed by choosing Advanced Reports from the left side menu.
What Students Need to Know
About the Tests