The Council Bluffs Community School District partnered with the IRRC to evaluate students’ improvement in writing across the 2020–2021 school year when scored by teachers, IRRC staff, and an electronic system. The IRRC developed grade-specific scoring rubrics for student writing that aligned to the state standards, the Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress (ISASP), and the rubrics from the electronic system.

The three scoring types were found to be considerably similar but not exactly alike. The teachers’ scores were slightly better than the other systems at predicting ISASP performance on specific criterion, which 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 than their teacher or the electronic system. Growth in student writing scores varied by grade, skill criterion, and the scoring system used.


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Students listen to teacher giving presentation at front of the room