Iowa School Report Card Released

January 12, 2017 09:20 AM

The Iowa Department of Education continues to improve the Iowa School Report Card, with updated data and two new features released today that reflect a more complete picture of student progress in public schools. The Iowa School Report Card is a web-based system that evaluates and rates public schools based on their performance on a required set of measures. The system was developed to meet a state legislative requirement.

“The Iowa School Report Card is an effort to provide meaningful information about our schools in a way that is easy to access and understand,” Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise said.

“This information can add to conversations in our community about how we’re preparing our students for success,” said Dr. Brad Buck, Cedar Rapids Community School District Superintendent. “While labels and ratings cannot tell the whole story, I hope our parents and other members of our community will see these data as a common discussion point and an opportunity to further engage with schools on improvement efforts.”

The Iowa School Report Card, which is available at, includes information on 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. 

Scores and ratings, which are updated annually, apply only to public schools; school districts and nonpublic schools do not receive ratings. For most measures, school ratings are based on data from the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years.

The Department first released the Iowa School Report Card in December 2015. The 2016 version includes:

  • Minor changes in methodology to include more schools in scores and ratings.
  • Two additional categories in the “Closing Achievement Gap” measure, which initially measured the progress a school made in narrowing gaps in achievement among students with disabilities, students who are eligible for free and reduced-price meals and English Language Learners. The two new categories include information on achievement gaps by race and ethnicity.
  • A summary of responses to a statewide survey of Iowa teachers on their practices and perceptions regarding parent involvement. This summary is provided for informational purposes and is not included in school scores or ratings. A survey of Iowa parents regarding parent involvement will be distributed statewide in 2017. Parent involvement eventually will become a measure on the Iowa School Report Card, as required by law.

Improvements to the Iowa School Report Card will continue, particularly after Iowa finalizes a new state plan in 2017 for school accountability and support under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, which replaced the No Child Left Behind Act.

About the Iowa School Report Card: The Iowa School Report Card delivers on a component of the comprehensive education reform legislation adopted by Iowa lawmakers in 2013. The legislation, House File 215, 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.

Quick Guide to the Iowa School Report Card
Frequently Asked Questions about the Iowa School Report Card

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