The Marshalltown Community School District partnered with the IRRC to evaluate students’ improvement in writing across the 2020–2021 school year and whether scoring by teachers and IRRC staff was predictive of performance on the Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress (ISASP). The IRRC developed writing prompts and scoring rubrics aligned to the state standards and ISASP for each grade level.

The two scoring types were found to be considerably similar but not exactly alike. The similarity between the teachers’ and IRRC’s writing criterion scores suggests that interim writing assessments evaluated by students’ teachers could identify strengths and weaknesses to help guide instruction. The unbiased IRRC human scorers were better predictors overall of students’ ISASP performance. Growth in student writing scores varied by grade, skill criterion, and the type of scorer.


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