The Iowa Department of Education unveiled a new on-line system to evaluate and rate each public school in the state today.
Department of Education director, Ryan Wise, talks about the Iowa School Report Card in an introduction on the website. “The purpose of this tool is to make it easier for Iowans to find and understand important information about the performance of their schools,” Wise says, “and to enhance conversations about the work underway to prepare students for success.”
The report card is based the performance of each school for a set of measures. “For each measure, schools receive a score. Each school’s scores are then combined into an overall score,” Wise explains. “Based on the overall score — each school is assigned one of six ratings: exceptional, high performing, commendable, acceptable, needs improvement, or priority.”
Wise says the report card should be helpful across education. “School leaders and educators can use this information to identify strengths, needs and goals. Parents and other stakeholders can use it to see how their schools compare to the state average, and to identify trends in student performance,” according to Wise.
While the Iowa School Report Card provides a measurement of schools, Wise says it is not the only thing that should be used to judge how well a school is doing. “Every school has an individual story and unique set of successes and challenges. Please connect with your schools to celebrate successes and ask questions about how to celebrate education in your community,” Wise says.
The Iowa School Report Card is available on the Education Department’s website at: www.educateiowa.gov/schoolreportcard.
The scores and ratings are based on data reported by school districts for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years. There are no consequences or rewards are tied to the school ratings.
The ratings are based on each school’s performance over a two-year span on the following educational measures:
·Proficiency: The percentage of students scoring proficient or better on state reading and mathematics assessments.
·College and Career-Ready Growth: The percentage of students who are making the year-to-year growth necessary to be ready for college and career training by the end of high school.
·Annual Expected Growth: The percentage of students making a year of academic growth in a year’s time on state reading and mathematics assessments.
·Closing Achievement Gap: A measure that reflects a statewide goal of narrowing the gap in achievement for students with disabilities, students who are eligible for free and reduced-price meals, and English Language Learners.
·College and Career Readiness: The percentage of students who score at or above a level of performance on reading and mathematics assessments that predicts a higher probability of postsecondary success. (Middle/high schools only.)
·Graduation Rate: The percentage of ninth-grade students who finished high school within five years. (High schools only.)
·Attendance: The average daily attendance of students, which is the total number of days students were enrolled and present divided by the total number of possible attendance days.
·Staff Retention: The percentage of teachers, school administrators and other licensed staff members who remained employed in a school over consecutive school years.