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Two weeks ago the Iowa Department of Education released the results of the online school accountability reporting system called the Iowa School Performance Profiles. The website shows updated scores and ratings for all public schools based on how they performed on a set of accountability measures in the 2021-22 school year.
After having been rated as “High Performing” (the second highest rating) for the past three years, this year’s rating slipped to “Acceptable” (the fourth highest rating).
Mount Ayr students performed at or above the state average in seven of the nine performance indicators used to calculate a school’s rating. (Since 2018, Mount Ayr students had performed at or above state averages in all nine indicators.)
Mount Ayr State
Assessment participation – math 98.85 98.37
Assessment participation – English/LA 98.85 98.51
Average achievement – math 51.37 50.00
Average achievement – English/LA 51.00 50.00
Conditions for learning 47.68 49.27
Growth – math 53.00 50.00
Growth – English/LA 37.00 50.00
Percent proficient – math 81.55 64.97
Percent proficient – English/LA 75.60 70.84
As shown in the above chart, the “Growth – English/LA” indicator is well below the state average in the latest profile report. However, as has been explained by school administration in reference to past performance profiles, showing growth in math and English can present a challenge when proficiency scores in both areas are already above state averages. Scores in the growth categories have a heightened negative impact on Mount Ayr’s overall performance score because both areas are two of the three most heavily weighted of the nine indicators.
The third indicator with the heaviest weighting is the Conditions for Learning indicator, the other area where Mount Ayr Elementary fell below the state average. The Conditions for Leraning score is based upon perceptions of school climate by students. These assessments are voluntary and anonymous.
Not only did Mount Ayr Elementary’s rating drop significantly this year, the school was also formally targeted for support under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for students with disabilities as identified by having an Individual Education Plan. According to the explanation included in the performance profile, schools are targeted for support if data reveals a “school index less than or equal to 43.95 for one or more subgroups (with 20 or more students).” While as a whole Mount Ayr Elementary scored well above the targeting threshold, the results for IEP students fell below the 43.95 target in average language arts achievement, growth in both language arts and math, and proficiency in both language arts and math.
Despite the performance rating from the state, Mount Ayr Elementary was recently recognized as one of five Iowa schools in 2022 to earn a National Blue Ribbon from the US Department of Education. The Blue Ribbon recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
Below are performance scores and ratings for elementary schools in both the Pride of Iowa and Blue Grass conferences as well as other area elementaries:
Lenox Exceptional 67.78
Moravia High performing 63.05
Nodaway Valley High performing 62.42
Creston High performing 61.27
Bedford High performing 61.20
Wayne High performing 61.17
Martensdale-St. Marys Commendable 58.43
Central Decatur Commendable 58.21
Southeast Warren Commendable 56.92
Melcher-Dallas Commendable 56.75
Corning Commendable 56.58
East Union Commendable 56.44
I-35 Commendable 56.23
Villisca Commendable 56.17
Moulton-Udell Commendable 55.13
State average 54.65
Mount Ayr Acceptable 53.55
Orient-Macksburg Acceptable 53.00
Winterset Acceptable 52.97
Mormon Trail Acceptable 52.84
Seymour Acceptable 51.84
Lamoni Acceptable 51.58
Murray Acceptable 49.67
Twin Cedars Needs improvement 48.52
Clarke Needs improvement 44.38
Diagonal Too few variables to calculate a valid index score
Seymour Too few variables to calculate a valid index score
Ankeny Christian Private school – state reporting not required
Grand View Christian Private school – state reporting not required
Iowa Christian Private school – state reporting not required
Further details on the 2022 School Performance Profiles can be found at iaschoolperformance.gov.