Results from a set of national education tests were released today and Iowa’s Education Director, Jason Glass, says it’s not good news.
“Iowa’s gaining national attention, not for leading the way, but for demonstrating a consistent pattern of stagnation and mediocrity,” Glass says.
The results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) looked at math and reading for fourth and eighth graders.
He says the national results showed improvement in math in fourth and eighth grade, no significant increases in fourth grade reading and an increase in eighth grade reading nationally, while Iowa showed no increase across the board.
Glass says the lack of improvement hits all student groups. Glass says the pattern exists not only among disadvantage and minority students, but also among white students. He says while Iowa has become more diverse, the white students that make up 80-percent of the student population, are also falling short.
Glass says the test results show the need for the state to adopt the reforms introduced by the department and governor. He says that blueprint for education has ideas that can turn things around. “The blueprint is focused on the big drivers in education, that is improving teaching, improving learning and instilling the spirit of innovation,” Glass says. He says the state has to improve the quality of people in schools, radically improving the way kids learn and improving the support system.
Glass says the education plan has come under attack since it was introduced. Glass says the plan has been attacked by some groups that would prefer that nothing be changed and by those who are in denial that we need to do something different and say that there’s no reason to do something different. “Which is absolutely the wrong attitude,” Glass says.
The NAEP report says Iowa fourth graders scored an average of 243 in math compared to the national average of 240, but that was not changed from 2007 and 2009. Eighth graders scored an average of 285 in math compared to the national average of 283. Reading scores for Iowa fourth graders averaged 221 compared to the national average of 220, while reading scores for eighth graders averaged 265 in Iowa, compared to 264 nationwide.
You can see all the results at:nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard.