Report: Lower school ratings reflect decline in proficiency rates
Most of Iowa’s public schools aren’t improving their overall performance, according to an annual report released today by the Iowa Department of Education. The Iowa School Report Card shows that statewide, 20.5 percent of Iowa public schools received a higher overall rating than last year, while the rest stayed the same (50.9 percent) or received a lower rating (28.6 percent), the department said in a release. Because several measures on the report card are based on statewide assessment results, overall school ratings reflect a decline in proficiency rates. The report card, launched in 2015 as part of a state legislative requirement, rates public schools one of six possible ratings based on each school’s performance over a two-year period. The measures include student proficiency rates in math and reading, student academic growth, narrowing achievement gaps among students, college and career readiness, student attendance, graduation rates and staff retention. For most measures, the latest school ratings are based on data from the 2016-17 and 2015-16 school years. “These results reinforce the need to continue moving forward with the bold education initiatives Iowa has put in place to strengthen instruction and prepare students for success in high school and beyond,” Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise said.