Education

New features added to federally mandated school accountability system

'Iowa School Report Card,' developed to meet 2013 state law, will shut down

A cursive alphabet in a Coolidge Elementary School classroom in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, May 28, 2014. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
A cursive alphabet in a Coolidge Elementary School classroom in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, May 28, 2014. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

Updates to a school accountability system will allow families and educators to assess their school’s performance on one centralized website.

The “Iowa School Performance Profiles” website, developed by the Iowa Department of Education, launched in December to comply with federal education law.

But the site did not comply with all of the metrics required by a state law passed in 2013.

The 2013 Iowa law led to the creation of the “Iowa School Report Card” website, where the best schools are categorized as “exceptional” and the worst as “priority.”

Those ratings were folded into the new Iowa School Performance Profiles in May. The older report card website will be shut down, department spokeswoman Staci Hupp said.

New features added to iaschoolperformance.gov also include data on suspensions, expulsions and chronic absenteeism.

The additional metrics did not change scores that were calculated in December, according to an Iowa Department of Education news release.

Published to comply with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, the new accountability system identified 341 Iowa schools that were struggling overall or had underperforming groups of students.

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Schools in-need were marked as “comprehensive” or “targeted,” and 37 were in the Corridor.

Those identifiers will be updated in December 2019.

The May update to the Iowa School Performance Profiles website did, however, change some schools’ categorizations under the Iowa School Report Card — those exceptional, high performing, commendable, acceptable, needs improvement or priority markers.

In the Cedar Rapids Community School District, 19 schools saw their rating improve.

The district’s Johnson STEAM Academy, Jackson Elementary and Metro Alternative High School saw the most improvement, according to a district news release.

Seven schools’ markers were unchanged and five dropped by one category, the district said.

l Comments: (319) 398-8330; molly.duffy@thegazette.com

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