On December 18, 2018 the Iowa Department of Education released the new online reports showing how Iowa public schools are performing in the new accountability system that meets the Every Student Succeeds Act or ESSA, a federal education law that replaced the No Child Left Behind Act. This new report, called the Iowa School Performance Profiles, include each school’s scores based on a set of accountability measures. The reports display scores based on a school’s overall performance, as well as the performance of subgroups of students, such as children from low-income backgrounds.
The Every Student Succeeds Act uses several measures that are indicators of school climate based on student surveys of engagement, safety and overall learning environment called Conditions for Learning. The other measures are: Student participation on state assessments, academic achievement, student academic growth, graduation rate, and progress in achieving English language proficiency.
This new accountability system emphasizes student growth as measured by results on state assessments from year to year. This approach is a change from the previous federal accountability system that emphasized proficiency. Student’s growth is an important key that should not be overlooked.
There are 3 designations in which schools are categorized: Comprehensive Support and Improvement; Targeted Support and Improvement; or No Designation.
The new reports specify schools that have been identified for additional support and improvement based on their performance. ESSA requires these identifications to ensure students have the same opportunities for success that exist for students in other schools. Of Iowa’s 1,302 public schools:
- Thirty-four are identified for Comprehensive Support and Improvement. Schools receive this designation either because their overall scores fall within the lowest 5 percent of Iowa schools receiving federal Title I funding, or because they are high schools with a graduation rate below 67.1 percent.
- 307 are identified for Targeted Support and Improvement. Schools receive this designation if one or more student subgroup score is as low as the lowest 5 percent of schools in the state.
Neither Crestwood Elementary or Crestwood Secondary School has been identified for either Comprehensive or Targeted Support and Improvement.
While, we have many things to celebrate at Howard-Winneshiek Community Schools. We also continue to work toward improvement in the following areas: reading, math and college and career readiness. We view this new system for accountability and support as an opportunity to review our strengths and areas for improvement and to build on the great things we have in place.