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Iowa Sets Precedent for Accountability by Moving School Ratings Online

Iowa Sets Precedent for Accountability By Moving School Ratings Online

The iowa Education Department has moved its school evaluation system- the Iowa School Report Card- online so that all state residents have access to information about schools’ performance.

Each school within the state is assigned a rating on a scale of six ratings: exceptional, high performing, commendable, acceptable, needs improvement or priority.

The ratings are based on a variety of educational measures, including attendance, staff retention, closing achievement gap, and college and career readiness.

The new website has the scores and ratings for both the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years thus far.

The site is attempt for the Iowa Department of Education to provide another layer of accountability for schools through allowing all residents access to the data.

Ryan Wise, director of the Iowa Department of Education, said “the purpose of this tool is to make it easier for Iowans to find and understand important information about the performance of their schools and to enhance conversations about the work under way to prepare students for success.”

The site, Wise said, was developed with the guidance of education stakeholders throughout the state to build a truly valuable tool to identify trends in student performance, among other things.

Wise noted in a video message that while he is pleased with the final product and optimistic about the added layer of accountability, he hopes “Iowans look beyond the ratings, which only tell part of the story about our schools.”

“Every school has an individual story and unique set of successes and challenges. Please connect with your schools to celebrate successes and ask questions about how to support and improve education in your community.”

The website is in compliance with education legislation passed in 2013 dictating mandating an online evaluation system.

With the passing of the Education Every Succeeds Act and the shift in power back to the states, Iowa can potentially look as a role model for states looking to remain firm on accountability.

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor 


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