A report from the Iowa Fiscal Partnership finds when the state’s investment in public education fell over the past 13 years, Iowa’s position as a national leader in student achievement also dropped. Report co-author Mike Crawford says it stands to reason, the less money put towards schools and students translates to a decline in progress.
Crawford says “Looking at the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test scores from 1992 to 2005, Iowa’s dropped from a tie for second to a tie for 19th on fourth-grade reading and a tie for first to a tie 13th on eighth-grade math. We’re just concerned there might be some relationship between the two areas. Iowa also fell in the rankings for teachers’ salaries during the time period — from 32nd to 40th.
Crawford says actions taken by the legislature this past year “began to reverse this trend” but he says there are still major challenges ahead for the next session, opening in January. Crawford says “I think there are some areas hopefully we can work with them and show them the need for the continued investment and increased investment in education so we’re hoping that will take place.”
Crawford, a senior associate with the Child and Family Policy Center, says Iowa needs to continually examine whether we’re meeting the goal of providing world-class schools. Crawford says “One thing we’ve noticed about the NAEP scores is not necessarily Iowa’s decreased a lot in our scores from 1992 to 2005. What we’ve noticed is more of a plateau. It’s the other states that have increased their scores.” The full report is available at the Iowa Fiscal Partnership website at “www.iowafiscal.org”.
Related web sites:
Iowa Fiscal Partnership report