SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — The Iowa Department of Education has completed its evaluation of Iowa schools and published the results.
The evaluation, called Iowa School Performance Profiles (ISPP), was administered by the Iowa Department of Education in the spring of 2021. That’s after having federally required assessments for the 2019-2020 school year waived. They said that the disruptions from the previous year had an impact on the reported data. Additionally, support statuses from the Every Student Succeeds Act were carried over from 2019.
There are 1,282 schools for kindergarten to 12th grade among 327 school districts in Iowa. In the ISPP, there are six categories of performance based on an index score. The list of the performance categories and the Index score ranges are listed below.
- Exceptional – 66.31 and above
- High Performing – 60.61-66.30
- Commendable – 54.91-60.60
- Acceptable – 49.21-54.90
- Needs Improvement – 43.96-49.20
- Priority – 43.95 and below
The score index is measured by a school’s performance in 16 areas.
About 1.48% (19 schools) of all Iowa public schools fell into the “Exceptional” category and 13.34% (171 schools) into “High Performing”. A majority of schools fell into the “Commendable” and “Acceptable” with 37.05% (475 schools) and 30.73% (394 schools), respectively. In the “Needs Improvement” category, there are 12.17% (156 schools) of schools, and there are 5.23% (67 schools) in the “Priority” category.
Since 2019, there are six fewer schools in the “Exceptional” category, and 26 in High Performers. Mitchellville Elementary in the Southeast Polk school district scored the highest performing with a score of 72.36.
In “Needs Improvement” and “Priority” categories though, there were seven and 21 more schools, respectively.
The Sioux City Community School District was found to be performing just below the state average in the average school achievement in English language arts and mathematics, as well as “conditions for Learning Composite,” 4-year graduation rate and 5-year graduation rate. The area of lowest performance was Post-secondary readiness index ACT or SAT success, at 27.91, more than 20 points below the state average of 52.13.
Meanwhile, the school district did perform above the state average in the Post-secondary readiness index ACT or SAT participation career and technical education concentrators.
Looking at individual schools, Sunnyside Elementary and Nodland Elementary schools were found to be “Exceptional” with scores of 66.95%. Bryant Elementary and Perry Creek Elementary schools were found to be “Commendable”. Seven schools were “Acceptable.” Another six were in the category of “Need Improvement” and only Irving Elementary was found to be in the “Priority” category with a score index of 41.50.
Iowa Department of Education Director Ann Lebo said the ISPP is an important tool for people to understand how schools are performing as well as how best to move forward.
“The Iowa School Performance Profiles can assist communities in data-driven decision-making, but it doesn’t tell the whole story about our schools. It’s important to understand the challenges brought on by the pandemic, and to take that into account when looking at the 2021 performance scores,” Lebo said.
To search an individual school’s performance or to see the full state report, click here.