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Over the summer, the New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) announced there will be a new statewide assessment for K-3 students.

According to the PED, “The state’s previous K-3 student progress monitoring system, often referred to as DIBELS, is no longer required, provided, or funded by the state.” Istation has been awarded the statewide contract to replace DIBELS, and the PED will provide the formative assessment to all New Mexico district and charter-school students in kindergarten through third grade at no cost to the district. The assessment, known as Istation’s Indicators of Progress (ISIP™), will be available in both English and Spanish.

Istation is an online adaptive assessment that provides reliable data with frequent, age-appropriate measurement for students in kindergarten through third grade.  The assessments are available in both English and Spanish.  Areas tested in both languages are:

Phonological Awareness

Teachers initially assess students whole class in approximately 20-40 minutes; after that, students who are performing below grade level will be progress monitored monthly.  Students who are performing at or above grade level are monitored during the benchmark window three times a year.


What is the difference between DIBELS and Istation?

DIBELS is administered by a teacher to each individual student in the class. The ISIP is administered to an entire class at the same time and is a computerized adaptive assessment.  This means that based on a student’s response to test questions, the assessment will adapt its test questions according to the student’s ability.  This will assess a student’s skill level within different subtests.  If a student performs poorly, the next assessment will give a set of subtests at a lower difficulty.  Once a student displays mastery on any two consecutive ISIP Assessments, the student will receive subtests at a higher difficulty level.


Additionally, the fluency measure for ISIP is not a words correct per minute, running record type of assessment. In ISIP, students read a passage and answer cloze type questions. Istation reports this is the best measure of fluency on a computer.

When will the Istation assessment be administered?

The ISIP will be administered three times a year.

  • The Beginning of Year assessment will be administered within first 40 days of instruction.

  • The window to administer the Middle of Year assessment is January 9–27, 2017

  • The window to administer the End of Year assessment is May 1–May 19, 2017

How will this impact special education students?

ISIP and ISIP en Espanol be can be read aloud to all students. Oral instruction may be provided for the activities if necessary, including instructions in sign language.For students with sight difficulties, arrangements for use of a larger monitor will be made available.  ISIP and ISIP en Espanol are timed assessments; for students with accommodations to this, the timer can be turned off.  At this time, there is no paper-pencil version of this test.


How will this impact bilingual students?

Bilingual English/Spanish students will be assessed via ISIP en Espanol. Currently, Istation is only available in English and Spanish.

Note: This is not a translation of the English ISIP test, but a research-based assessment that measures foundational Spanish literacy skills. For more information regarding Istation and English language Learners, visit the "Assessment Guidance for English Language Learners" section at

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