DR. SUE ATKINSON'S RESEARCH PROVIDES VITAL NAEP ETC. DATA TO IOWA LEGISLATORS

9-22-17

Greetings, Iowa Legislature Education Committees and all—

As you review the following post, please consider that two articles in the 9-19-17 Des Moines Register reported Iowa is being cited for failing to close the achievement gap, so education officials have a plan they say will do this.  The problem is that the NCTQ report last December cited the failure of the teacher training programs that created the gap in the first place for not only their ineffective teaching methods but also for their embedded prejudice in the theories they continue to use.  Under NCLB, schools were being cited for failing to achieve goals, but they lacked the teaching skills to do this, so the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan is going to take a different approach.  What this means is that Iowa has been abnormally slow in figuring out they need to change their education theories and stop blaming the victims.  Stepping up to take responsibility is like forcing a teenager to “grow up” when they are fighting this big step.

Superior educator Dr. Sue Atkinson has done you a huge favor by saving each of you at least 30 hours of research.   She has  researched National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) data and summarized and applied it for your convenient use—and also provided the related websites for you to view related charts and details as desired.  She has also provided fixes for problems cited.  

NAEP DATA SUMMARIZED

  1. Iowa educators (and the Des Moines Register) only cite NAEP average scores (showing Iowa 4th-graders as average), which fail to provide sufficient detail for improved decision-making to raise Iowa standards up to national grade level standards.
  2. Iowa educators (and the Des Moines Register) tout Iowa 4th-grade readers at approximately 67% in assessments, which use low standards rather than national grade level standards.  According to NAEP results, 68% of Iowa 4th-graders at basic entry level (not proficiency level).
  3. Iowa educators (and the Des Moines Register) completely fail to report Iowa 4th-graders at national grade level proficiencies as 35%.  https://www.nationsreportcard.gov/profiles/stateprofile?chort=1&sub=RED&sj=AL&sfj=NP&st=MN&year=2015R3
  4. Iowa educators (and the Des Moines Register) completely fail to report that only four of Iowa’s elementary teacher training programs use all five of the concepts known as the science of reading – and only one of them uses the correct material to train teachers to effectively teach these – because the state has not required certified programs to improve to national standards, nor has the licensing required these improvements.  http://www.nctq.org/teacherPrep/2016/findings/search.do?stateShort=IA 
  5. Iowa educators intend to continue using the same backup plan as before: blame the defenseless students who have no control over standards.  As of 2014, Iowa has the following Administrative Law on the books so Iowa educators do not have to raise standards and learn how to teach effectively.  https://www.educateiowa.gov/sites/files/ed/documents/K-6%20Early%20Literacy%20Alternate%20Assessment%20Manual.pdf 
  6. Iowa Code section 279.68  and 281--Iowa Administrative Code 62 require that all students in kindergarten through third grade participate in universal screening in reading to determine their level of reading or reading readiness. This requirement includes students with the most significant cognitive disabilities who will or are likely to participate in alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards in third grade. Because this group of students present a broad range of intensive and diverse needs, an alternate approach to assessment is required. For example, approximately 50% of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities cannot use speech well enough to read aloud, many others cannot hold pencils or use standard keyboards, and all experience a combination of cognitive and linguistic impairments that make it inappropriate for them to participate in standard assessments even with accommodations.

Unfortunately, there is no valid or reliable reading screener for students with significant cognitive disabilities. As such, the Iowa Department of Education issued Guidance on May 30, 2014 [Iowa Citation Code, 256B; Iowa Administrative Code citation – IAC 28162.3 (6)] that allows a district to, “Permit a student with a disability who has been determined to require an alternate assessment aligned to alternate academic achievement standards in reading to take an alternate reading assessment [1] that includes progress monitoring.

IOWA READING FIX—TEACHER TRAINING

The above means a handful of states are doing better than the rest because they have taken the responsibility to improve their teacher training to effectively teach all of the concepts of reading up to national standards, but the states such as Iowa, who have failed to take on this responsibility, are dragging down U.S. rankings internationally.  Iowalive will provide more information on how an effective reading fix will alleviate Iowa’s claimed  teacher shortage as well.

OECD SPENDING ON EDUCATION

1.   According to the OECD (which also administers the international PISA exams), only one country in the world spends more per student than the U.S. to educate.

  1. According to the OECD, “The distribution of student scores in reading literacy showed that the U.S. score difference between the 90th and 10th percentiles (259 points) was larger than the difference in 30 education systems, not measurably different than in 30 other systems, and smaller than in 9.”  This means a handful of states are doing better than the rest because they have taken the responsibility to improve their teacher training to effectively teach all of the concepts of reading up to national standards, but the states such as Iowa, who have failed to take on this responsibility, are dragging down U.S. rankings internationally.  https://data.oecd.org/eduresource/education-spending.htm    https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_cmd.asp    http://www.governing.com/gov-data/education-data/state-education-spending-per-pupil-data.html

 

IOWA SPENDING FIX

The spending fix is the same as for reading.

The above means a handful of states are doing better than the rest because they have taken the responsibility to improve their teacher training to effectively teach all of the concepts of reading up to national standards, but the states such as Iowa, who have failed to take on this responsibility, are dragging down U.S. rankings internationally.

Sincerely,

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