NOTICE:  Superior educator Dr. Sue Atkinson made the following, thoughtful,  7-9-16 response to the 3rd grade reading rankings below.  Her resposne was emailed to:

 iowalive9@q.com and the following state officials:  ryan.wise@iowa.gov; 'ART STAED' <art.staed@legis.iowa.gov>; 'CINDY WINCKLER' <cindy.winckler@legis.state.ia.us>; 'CURT HANSON' <Curt.Hanson@legis.state.ia.us>; 'DAN KELLEY ' <Dan.Kelley@legis.state.ia.us>; 'DAVID JOHNNSON' <david.johnson@legis.state.ia.us>; 'Jake Highfill' <jake.highfill@legis.iowa.gov>; 'JERRY BEHN' <jerry.behn@legis.iowa.gov>; 'JULIAN GARRETT' <julian.garrett@legis.iowa.gov>; 'LIZ MATHIS' <liz.mathis@legis.iowa.gov>; 'MARY JO WILHELM' <mary.jo.wilhelm@legis.state.ia.us>; 'Peter Cownie' <peter.cownie@legis.state.ia.us>; 'QUENTIN STANERSON' <quentin.stanerson@legis.iowa.gov>; 'RITA HART' <rita.hart@legis.iowa.gov>; 'ROBY SMITH' <roby.smith@legis.state.ia.us>; 'RON JORGENSEN' <ron.jorgensen@legis.iowa.gov>; 'RUTHANN GAINES' <RuthAnn.Gaines@legis.state.ia.us>; 'SANDY SALMON' <sandy.salmon@legis.iowa.gov>; 'STEVE SODDERS' <steve.sodders@legis.state.ia.us>; 'TEDD GASSMAN' <tedd.gassman@legis.iowa.gov>; 'TODD BOWMAN' <tod.bowman@legis.state.ia.us>; 'WALT ROGERS' <walt.rogers@legis.iowa.gov>

This past spring, I requested from the Iowa Dept. of Ed. the FAST scores for each Iowa school district and grade level using them.  When I finally received the spreadsheet in May, I began asking about the proficiency standard being used in Iowa to determine if the 41st NPR applied to these exams as it had for the Iowa Assessments, or if Iowa was finally moving closer to grade level as the target for proficiencies.  I finally received the following response from Greg Feldmann at the Dept. of Ed:

FastBridge Learning (FBL), the developer and vendor for the FAST assessment suite, has established risk “benchmarks” at each grade level and screening window. These benchmarks are levels of performance FBL identified as targets for each grade and season. That is, if a student performed at or above the seasonal benchmark s/he is at low risk for subsequent reading struggles. One could think of them as periodic milestones towards reading success. These numbers were identified by the FBL research team after looking at past performance of student on the FAST measures in conjunction with performance on those large-scale statewide type assessments you referred to. Looking at both FAST performance and performance on these large scale assessments FBL is able to identify a benchmark level of performance. Hope this helps. Let us know if there is something more or different you are looking for. “  http://www.iowareadingresearch.org/documents/2015-16-FAST-IGDIs-FINAL-Benchmarks.pdf 

This official response means grade level standards are not being used in Iowa.  In fact, the May minutes of the state board of education clearly say that even Iowa’s low grade level standard of 41st NPR is on hold for the coming year – AND the deadline for 3rd-graders reading at grade level is pushed forward from May 2017 to May 2018.  Why is this necessary?  The obvious conclusion is that Iowa does not know how to effectively teach reading concepts at grade level.  The state already acknowledged that the teacher training programs are a failure for elementary reading – with the next assessment report by the National Council on Teacher Quality due out this October – which goes a long way in explaining why an increasing number of states are passing Iowa by on the NAEP exams (thus moving closer to international standards and leaving Iowa behind).  Education theories being used are completely invalid for concept-based education, but they continue to grind away here in the state.

Sue Atkinson, PhD

P. O. Box 301

Baxter IA 50028

641-227-3786

 

3rd GRADE READING, FAST TEST SCORE SCHOOL DISTRICT RANKINGS

7--7-16

Greetings, Ryan Wise, Director Dept of Education, Legislature Education Committees and all--

The table below ranks 312 Iowa school districts by their Formative Assessment for Students and Teachers  (FAST) benchmark reading proficiency scores for Winter 2015-2016.  This is a first for ranking of FAST scores and they are different from Iowa Assessment scores Iowalive has previously ranked.  FAST Benchmark proficient 3rd grade level is about the 2.5 National Grade Equivalent (NGE) level average—and all but 2 Iowa school districts can’t meet it.    Anyone claiming to have a better number is asked to provide it. 

The table shows 12,828 Iowa students (35.1%) are scoring ˝ grade below the 3rd NGE level and would be retained when the retention law goes into effect in 2018.   Iowa’s schools are annually foisting at least  112,828  poor readers on colleges and employers.  The table also shows Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, the two largest school districts in the state, have 40.3% and 51.4% of  3rd graders reading ˝ grade level below the NGE, respectively.    

When 35.1% of Iowa students are scoring ˝ grade below grade level, it means at least 42% are scoring below 3rd grade level.  The Department of Education won’t report this number because of Iowa’s low 40th National Percentile Rank (NPR) benchmark proficiency standard,  adopted by Judy Jeffrey and Governor Vilsack--- and it remains in effect today!!  It must be raised to the 65% NPR to match NGE proficiency.  Iowa school boards can and should do this now, as should the Department of Education.    

ONLY 2 IOWA SCHOOL DISTRICTS FULLY MEET THE 3rd GRADE FAST READING PROFICIENCY BENCHMARK

ONLY 37 STUDENTS TOTAL WERE TESTED IN THESE 2 SCHOOL DISTRICTS

IOWA'S 8 LARGEST SCHOOL DISTRICTS ARE IN RED

Reading--Number and Percent of Students At/Above FAST Benchmark on Default Literacy Universal Screening Measure, Winter 2015-16 Source:  Iowa Tier data system, summary reports, Iowa Dept.  Of Education and Iowalive  7-6-16

IOWA ATHLETICS CITES HIGH ACHIEVERS.  ACADEMICS REDACTS THEM WITH AN * TO HIDE THEM DUE TO SMALL  CLASS SIZE.  HOW COME?  MANY ARE THE SAME STUDENTS!!

District

District Name

Student Grade--Reading

# Students At/Above Benchmark

# Students Tested in Window

% Students At/Above Benchmark

REDACTED

Alden

3

*

*

*

REDACTED

Andrew

3

*

*

*

REDACTED

Aurelia

3

*

*

*

REDACTED

Bennett

3

*

*

*

REDACTED

Diagonal

3

*

*

*

REDACTED

Eastern Allamakee

3

*

*

*

REDACTED

Essex

3

*

*

*

REDACTED

Gilmore City-Bradgate

3

*

*

*

REDACTED

Laurens-Marathon

3

*

*

*

REDACTED

LuVerne

3

*

*

*

REDACTED

Morning Sun

3

*

*

*

REDACTED

Moulton-Udell

3

*

*

*

REDACTED

Northeast Hamilton

3

*

*

*

REDACTED

North Winneshiek

3

*

*

*

REDACTED

Orient-Macksburg

3

*

*

*

REDACTED

Sidney

3

*

*

*

REDACTED

South Page

3

*

*

*

REDACTED

Stratford

3

*

*

*

REDACTED

Twin Rivers

3

*

*

*

REDACTED

Villisca

3

*

*

*

REDACTED

Walnut

3

*

*

*

REDACTED

West Sioux

3

*

*

*

REDACTED

Woodbine

3

*

*

*

1

Clay Central-Everly

3

15

15

100.0%

2

Stanton

3

22

22

100.0%

3

Gilbert

3

96

97

99.0%

4

Maquoketa Valley

3

46

48

95.8%

5

Paton-Churdan

3

12

13

92.3%

6

Ruthven-Ayrshire

3

10

11

90.9%

7

Kingsley-Pierson

3

27

30

90.0%

8

Grundy Center

3

47

53

88.7%

9

Charter Oak - Ute

3

23

26

88.5%

10

Pleasantville

3

46

52

88.5%

11

Harris-Lake Park

3

29

33

87.9%

12

Montezuma

3

36

41

87.8%

13

New London

3

32

37

86.5%

14

Pella

3

138

160

86.3%

15

Alta

3

43

50

86.0%

16

IKM-Manning

3

35

41

85.4%

17

United

3

29

34

85.3%

18

Clarksville

3

22

26

84.6%

19

Valley

3

22

26

84.6%

20

North Polk

3

117

139

84.2%

21

MOC-Floyd Valley

3

74

88

84.1%

22

Odebolt-Arthur

3

21

25

84.0%

23

Tri-Center

3

42

50

84.0%

24

Bellevue

3

31

37

83.8%

25

St Ansgar

3

31

37

83.8%

26

North Tama County

3

30

36

83.3%

27

Greene County

3

79

95

83.2%

28

Logan-Magnolia

3

39

47

83.0%

29

Johnston

3

413

498

82.9%

30

Treynor

3

48

58

82.8%

31

Wapsie Valley

3

33

40

82.5%

32

Waukee

3

670

814

82.3%

33

Pleasant Valley

3

307

374

82.1%

34

Ankeny

3

707

862

82.0%

35

CAL

3

18

22

81.8%

36

Northeast

3

49

60

81.7%

37

New Hampton

3

53

65

81.5%

38

Turkey Valley

3

22

27

81.5%

39

Jesup

3

70

86

81.4%

40

Albert City-Truesdale

3

13

16

81.3%

41

Indianola

3

219

271

80.8%

42

South Central Calhoun

3

46

57

80.7%

43

Earlham

3

25

31

80.6%

44

North-Linn

3

29

36

80.6%

45

Denison

3

113

141

80.1%

46

M-M-C

3

20

25

80.0%

47

Pekin

3

32

40

80.0%

48

Tri-County

3

12

15

80.0%

49

Hubbard-Radcliffe

3

31

39

79.5%

50

Danville

3

42

53

79.2%

51

Wilton

3

61

77

79.2%

52

Benton

3

80

101

79.2%

53

Ames

3

247

312

79.2%

54

Spencer

3

111

141

78.7%

55

Rock Valley

3

48

61

78.7%

56

Dike-New Hartford

3

59

75

78.7%

57

Mormon Trail

3

11

14

78.6%

58

WACO

3

29

37

78.4%

59

Roland - Story

3

65

83

78.3%

60

Norwalk

3

148

189

78.3%

61

Coon Rapids-Bayard

3

18

23

78.3%

62

Glidden-Ralston

3

18

23

78.3%

63

Bettendorf

3

223

285

78.2%

64

Belle Plaine

3

25

32

78.1%

65

Adair-Casey

3

14

18

77.8%

66

Akron-Westfield

3

42

54

77.8%

67

Delwood

3

14

18

77.8%

68

Linn-Mar

3

447

575

77.7%

69

Cedar Falls

3

342

440

77.7%

70

Dallas Center-Grimes

3

174

224

77.7%

71

Urbandale

3

226

292

77.4%

72

Camanche

3

68

88

77.3%

73

Harmony

3

17

22

77.3%

74

Guthrie Center

3

30

39

76.9%

75

Carroll

3

102

133

76.7%

76

English Valleys

3

23

30

76.7%

77

Colo-NESCO

3

26

34

76.5%

78

Dunkerton

3

29

38

76.3%

79

Winfield Mt. Union

3

16

21

76.2%

80

Ballard

3

105

138

76.1%

81

Murray

3

19

25

76.0%

82

Union

3

57

75

76.0%

83

Martensdale-St Marys

3

25

33

75.8%

84

Audubon

3

31

41

75.6%

85

Central Springs

3

43

57

75.4%

86

Howard Winneshiek

3

58

77

75.3%

87

West Delaware County

3

76

101

75.2%

88

East Buchanan

3

30

40

75.0%

89

Exira-EHK

3

15

20

75.0%

90

Woodbury Central

3

33

44

75.0%

91

Central Lee

3

68

91

74.7%

92

Monticello

3

47

63

74.6%

93

Forest City

3

29

39

74.4%

94

Tipton

3

58

78

74.4%

95

West Des Moines

3

490

659

74.4%

96

Janesville

3

23

31

74.2%

97

Riceville

3

23

31

74.2%

98

Van Meter

3

46

62

74.2%

99

West Marshall

3

63

85

74.1%

100

Lawton-Bronson

3

40

54

74.1%

101

South Winneshiek

3

20

27

74.1%

102

Hinton

3

51

69

73.9%

103

Bondurant-Farrar

3

117

159

73.6%

104

Albia

3

64

87

73.6%

105

Adel DeSoto Minburn

3

108

147

73.5%

106

Ogden

3

36

49

73.5%

107

Olin

3

11

15

73.3%

108

Sioux Center

3

68

93

73.1%

109

North Mahaska

3

35

48

72.9%

110

Gladbrook-Reinbeck

3

24

33

72.7%

111

North Butler

3

37

51

72.5%

112

Riverside

3

29

40

72.5%

113

Mid-Prairie

3

71

98

72.4%

114

Algona

3

76

105

72.4%

115

East Sac

3

55

76

72.4%

116

Mount Vernon

3

68

94

72.3%

117

Southeast Warren

3

34

47

72.3%

118

Southeast Polk

3

392

544

72.1%

119

Battle Creek-Ida Grove

3

41

57

71.9%

120

Central Lyon

3

46

64

71.9%

121

Vinton Shellsburg

3

68

95

71.6%

122

North Scott

3

163

228

71.5%

123

A-H-S-T

3

30

42

71.4%

124

Carlisle

3

115

161

71.4%

125

Central City

3

20

28

71.4%

126

HLV

3

15

21

71.4%

127

Le Mars

3

115

161

71.4%

128

Lisbon

3

40

56

71.4%

129

Rudd-Rockford-Marble Rock

3

25

35

71.4%

130

Waverly-Shell Rock

3

130

182

71.4%

131

GMG

3

32

45

71.1%

132

South Hamilton

3

32

45

71.1%

133

North Cedar

3

27

38

71.1%

134

Remsen-Union

3

22

31

71.0%

135

College

3

295

416

70.9%

136

Springville

3

17

24

70.8%

137

Graettinger-Terril

3

17

24

70.8%

138

Whiting

3

12

17

70.6%

139

Woodward-Granger

3

50

71

70.4%

140

Iowa City

3

744

1060

70.2%

141

Iowa Valley

3

28

40

70.0%

142

Winterset

3

91

130

70.0%

143

Westwood

3

37

53

69.8%

144

Bedford

3

23

33

69.7%

145

North Iowa

3

23

33

69.7%

146

West Lyon

3

57

82

69.5%

147

Cherokee

3

52

75

69.3%

148

Collins-Maxwell

3

18

26

69.2%

149

George-Little Rock

3

18

26

69.2%

150

Colfax-Mingo

3

38

55

69.1%

151

Madrid

3

29

42

69.0%

152

Prairie Valley

3

29

42

69.0%

153

Sigourney

3

31

45

68.9%

154

Knoxville

3

95

138

68.8%

155

Center Point-Urbana

3

77

112

68.8%

156

Aplington-Parkersburg

3

46

67

68.7%

157

Okoboji

3

50

73

68.5%

158

West Central

3

13

19

68.4%

159

West Harrison

3

13

19

68.4%

160

Tripoli

3

15

22

68.2%

161

Decorah

3

79

116

68.1%

162

Allamakee

3

55

81

67.9%

163

Spirit Lake

3

61

90

67.8%

164

Solon

3

63

93

67.7%

165

Marion Independent

3

90

133

67.7%

166

River Valley

3

23

34

67.6%

167

Eagle Grove

3

50

74

67.6%

168

Glenwood

3

85

126

67.5%

169

Central DeWitt

3

64

95

67.4%

170

AGWSR

3

33

49

67.3%

171

Durant

3

33

49

67.3%

172

West Central Valley

3

41

61

67.2%

173

Webster City

3

79

118

66.9%

174

Southeast Webster-Grand

3

28

42

66.7%

175

Grinnell-Newburg

3

76

114

66.7%

176

Keota

3

20

30

66.7%

177

Lake Mills

3

38

57

66.7%

178

East Mills

3

26

39

66.7%

179

West Burlington Independent

3

52

78

66.7%

180

Denver

3

39

59

66.1%

181

Clinton

3

180

273

65.9%

182

Griswold

3

29

44

65.9%

183

Newell-Fonda

3

29

44

65.9%

184

Boyden-Hull

3

27

41

65.9%

185

Chariton

3

68

104

65.4%

186

Clarion-Goldfield

3

45

69

65.2%

187

Clarion-Goldfield

3

45

69

65.2%

188

North Sentral Kossuth

3

15

23

65.2%

189

West Bend-Mallard

3

15

23

65.2%

190

Clear Creek Amana

3

118

182

64.8%

191

Sioux Central

3

22

34

64.7%

192

Seymour

3

11

17

64.7%

193

South Tama County

3

66

102

64.7%

194

Harlan

3

69

107

64.5%

195

Iowa Falls

3

49

76

64.5%

196

Boone Community

3

87

135

64.4%

197

Nevada

3

74

115

64.3%

198

Sibley-Ocheyedan

3

36

56

64.3%

199

Newton

3

138

215

64.2%

200

Williamsburg

3

50

78

64.1%

201

Oskaloosa

3

101

158

63.9%

202

Baxter

3

23

36

63.9%

203

Galva-Holstein

3

21

33

63.6%

204

Lynnville-Sully

3

21

33

63.6%

205

Western Dubuque

3

40

63

63.5%

206

Sergeant Bluff-Luton

3

90

142

63.4%

207

Sumner-Fredericksburg

3

50

79

63.3%

208

Clear Lake

3

63

100

63.0%

209

Oelwein

3

63

100

63.0%

210

Fort Madison

3

91

145

62.8%

211

Midland

3

25

40

62.5%

212

Wayne

3

28

45

62.2%

213

Lone Tree

3

23

37

62.2%

214

Easton Valley

3

18

29

62.1%

215

Burlington

3

195

315

61.9%

216

CAM

3

39

63

61.9%

217

Mount Pleasant

3

94

152

61.8%

218

West Liberty

3

50

81

61.7%

219

Alburnett

3

29

47

61.7%

220

Atlantic

3

80

130

61.5%

221

Nashua-Plainfield

3

32

52

61.5%

222

Ar-We-Va

3

11

18

61.1%

223

Sheldon

3

47

77

61.0%

224

West Hancock

3

25

41

61.0%

225

Starmont

3

25

41

61.0%

226

Dubuque

3

506

830

61.0%

227

Mediapolis

3

39

64

60.9%

228

Moravia

3

14

23

60.9%

229

Northwood-Kensett

3

28

46

60.9%

230

Keokuk

3

93

153

60.8%

231

West Fork

3

34

56

60.7%

232

Melcher-Dallas

3

20

33

60.6%

233

H-M-S

3

29

48

60.4%

234

Clayton Ridge

3

38

63

60.3%

235

Independence

3

62

103

60.2%

236

Anamosa

3

48

80

60.0%

237

Hudson

3

39

65

60.0%

238

Maple Valley-Anthon Oto

3

27

45

60.0%

239

Panorama

3

24

40

60.0%

240

Fort Dodge

3

159

266

59.8%

241

Cedar Rapids

3

716

1199

59.7%

242

Muscatine

3

225

377

59.7%

243

North Fayette

3

34

57

59.6%

244

Pocahontas Area

3

25

42

59.5%

245

Underwood

3

26

44

59.1%

246

Missouri Valley

3

37

63

58.7%

247

Garner-Hayfield

3

46

79

58.2%

248

West Branch

3

32

55

58.2%

249

Lewis Central

3

121

210

57.6%

250

Maquoketa

3

57

99

57.6%

251

Charles City

3

65

113

57.5%

252

BCLUW

3

31

54

57.4%

253

Humboldt

3

48

84

57.1%

254

PCM

3

45

79

57.0%

255

Interstate 35

3

37

65

56.9%

256

Mount Ayr

3

33

58

56.9%

257

Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont

3

38

67

56.7%

258

Saydel

3

55

97

56.7%

259

Twin Cedars

3

17

30

56.7%

260

Red Oak

3

168

298

56.4%

261

Perry

3

71

126

56.3%

262

Shenandoah

3

43

77

55.8%

263

Belmond-Klemme

3

30

54

55.6%

264

Storm Lake

3

78

142

54.9%

265

Centerville

3

53

97

54.6%

266

Corning

3

24

44

54.5%

267

Armstrong-Ringsted

3

19

35

54.3%

268

Clarinda

3

39

72

54.2%

269

Manson Northwest Webster

3

34

63

54.0%

270

Central Decatur

3

34

63

54.0%

271

Van Buren

3

22

41

53.7%

272

Postville

3

37

69

53.6%

273

Sioux City

3

591

1103

53.6%

274

MFL MarMac

3

31

58

53.4%

275

Clarke

3

56

105

53.3%

276

Emmetsburg

3

25

47

53.2%

277

Highland

3

25

47

53.2%

278

Boyer Valley

3

17

32

53.1%

279

Ottumwa

3

206

389

53.0%

280

Eldora-New Providence

3

19

36

52.8%

281

B-G-M

3

20

38

52.6%

282

Schleswig

3

10

19

52.6%

283

Hampton-Dumont

3

53

101

52.5%

284

Hamburg

3

11

21

52.4%

285

Davis County

3

50

96

52.1%

286

Schaller-Crestland

3

14

27

51.9%

287

East Union

3

18

35

51.4%

288

Edgewood-Colesburg

3

20

39

51.3%

289

South O'Brien

3

21

41

51.2%

290

Estherville-Lincoln Central

3

51

100

51.0%

291

Washington

3

58

114

50.9%

292

Osage

3

33

65

50.8%

293

Fairfield Community School

3

56

111

50.5%

294

Central

3

17

34

50.0%

295

East Marshall

3

35

70

50.0%

296

Des Moines Independent

3

1294

2628

49.2%

297

Calamus-Wheatland

3

17

35

48.6%

298

Lenox

3

17

36

47.2%

299

Davenport

3

577

1228

47.0%

300

Nodaway Valley

3

22

47

46.8%

301

Louisa-Muscatine

3

28

61

45.9%

302

Lamoni

3

11

24

45.8%

303

Council Bluffs

3

283

638

44.4%

304

Creston

3

46

104

44.2%

305

Waterloo

3

384

874

43.9%

306

West Monona

3

18

41

43.9%

307

Columbus

3

25

57

43.9%

308

Fremont-Mills

3

16

37

43.2%

309

Wapello

3

18

44

40.9%

310

Red Oak

3

36

94

38.3%

311

Marshalltown

3

134

363

36.9%

312

Cardinal

3

17

47

36.2%

TOTAL

23,765

36,593

 

% OF STUDENTS AT OR ABOVE 3RD GRADE BENCHMARK

64.9%

NUMBER OF STUDENTS TO BE RETAINED IN 3RD GRADE

12,828

 

 

% OF STUDENTS TO BE RETAINED IN 3RD GRADE

35.1%

 

Additional reading test scores and school district rankings are posted on the following websites.

READING RANKING OF IA SCHOOL DISTRICTS, 2014-2015

SCORES--READING GRADES TESTED IN 338 IA SCHOOL DISTRICTS, 2014-2015

CLOSURE

Why are test scores redacted to hide any possibility that highly performing students could be guessed?  Why should high academic achievers be hidden, as if they were bad, when athletics emphasize public recognition of high performers?

And why won't the Department of Education adopt the 65th NPR Proficiency Standard as most states have done? 

Sincerely,

Iowalive      A  growing network of volunteer citizens and professionals for improving Iowa