Iowa School Report Card updated and released

The Iowa Department of Education today released the latest results of the Iowa School Report Card, a web-based school ratings system.

The Iowa School Report Card, which was launched in 2015 as part of a state legislative requirement, rates public schools on some measures of achievement. They 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. Based on each school’s performance over a two-year period, the report card assigns one of six ratings: Exceptional, High-Performing, Commendable, Acceptable, Needs Improvement, and Priority.

The Iowa School Report Card is updated annually to reflect the most recent statewide student assessment results. For most measures, school ratings are based on data from the 2016-17 and 2015-16 school years.

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).

Because several measures on the report card are based on statewide assessment results, overall school ratings reflect a decline in proficiency rates. The following chart shows the distribution of school ratings in 2017 and 2016:

Exceptional High-Performing Commendable
2017 2.2% 8.8% 26.4%
2016 2.1% 10% 30.6%
Acceptable Needs Improvement Priority
2017 41.5% 15.3% 5.8%
2016 38.1% 13.2% 5.9%

“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. “It’s encouraging that we’ve made significant progress statewide in improving the reading skills of children in kindergarten through third grade, as shown on early literacy screening assessments given three times a year. I’m also proud that Iowa continues to lead the nation in high school graduation rates.”

About the Iowa School Report Card: The Iowa School Report Card meets a component of House File 215, the comprehensive education reform legislation adopted by Iowa lawmakers in 2013. The legislation directed the Iowa Department of Education to develop a process for evaluating the performance of each school on certain measures and to “arrive at an overall school performance grade and report card” that is posted to the Department’s website. Scores and ratings apply only to individual public schools; school districts and nonpublic schools do not receive ratings.



For Immediate Release
Dec. 13, 2017

Staci Hupp