Formative Assessment System for Teachers (FAST) – is a suite of highly efficient assessment tools designed for universal screening, progress monitoring, and program evaluation as part of a Response to Intervention (RtI) or Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) model of service delivery. Iowa has recently adopted the FAST literacy suite of assessments to assist districts in the implementation of MTSS practices and in meeting the requirements of the Early Literacy Initiative as part of Iowa Code Section 279.68.
One of the hallmarks of a well-developed MTSS process and a balanced assessment system is the utilization of a valid and reliable universal screening and progress monitoring measures. The universal screening of all students, several times a year, enables educators to identify which students are on track to reach end of year outcomes and which students may be at risk. This practice helps to ensure that educators are identifying potential at-risk students as early as possible so effective preventative practices can be delivered in a timely fashion. Furthermore, data from universal screening can assist educators in evaluating the health and well-being of their system as part of their Continuous Improvement decision-making. The progress monitoring measures enable educators to collect data more frequently on at-risk students in order to make timely decisions regarding the effectiveness of the targeted/intensive instruction.
FAST Literacy Assessments are currently available free of charge to all Iowa accredited public and non-public districts and schools in grades K-6. Through a cost sharing agreement between Iowa’s AEA system and Fastbridge Learning, districts and schools are able to access universal screening tools in the areas of Mathematics and Behavior for grades K-6 at a much reduced rate. Furthermore, the Iowa AEA system subsidizes the purchase price of all screening measures for grades 7-8.