HOW & WHY IOWA ADOPTED THE  LOWEST STUDENT PROFICIENCY STANDARD IN MIDWEST

5-2-13

Here is the Executive Summary of events and characters responsible for Iowa adopting and failing to meet the lowest student proficiency standard in the Midwest, if not the nation.  

  HOW THE IA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION DECEIVES IOWA  PARENTS ON STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT

TIMELINE, EVENTS AND CHARACTERS INVOLVED WITH IOWA ADOPTING, & FAILING TO MEET,  THE LOWEST STUDENT PROFICIENCY STANDARD IN THE MIDWEST.   Source:  Iowalive 5-2-13

DATE

DESCRIPTION

1970 TO 2002

Iowa, especially the larger school districts,  excluded low test scores from school performance reports--which made Iowa education look much better than it was.   It was referred to as "Iowa's dirty little secret"

Jan 8, 2002

President George W. Bush signed into law the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). It required schools to report scores for at least 95% of the students, which would make IA schools look as bad as they really are.

2002 Legislative Session

Iowalive net workers went to the state house and told at least 25 legislators Iowa schools were excluding low test scores--and posted the entire presentation on website:  http://www.iowalive.net/disaster.htm    

2002 to 2003

IA. Department of Education Official Judy Jeffry fought with the Feds to adopt the 25th National Percentile Rank (NPR) as the Iowa student proficiency standard.  This would allow IA to claim nearly all low scoring students as Proficient (Expert) at enrolled grade level.  The Feds rejected it, strongly preferring the 65th NPR which was at actual IA grade level!!

2004

Iowa's Jeffery continued the fight and finally adopted the 40th NPR as the state standard.  It is the lowest standard in the Midwest.  It allowed the Dept. of Education to claim students Proficient (Expert) when actually scoring up to 2 grades below Iowa grade level.  This helped perpetuate "Iowa's dirty little secret".  See more on website:  http://www.iowalive.net/iowa%20proficiency%20std.htm 

2004

Governor Vilsack replaced Ted Stillwill with Judy Jeffry as Department of Education Director.  This rewarded Judy for adopting the low Proficiency Standard

2007

Governor Culver reappointed Judy Jeffrey as Director of the Dept. of Education--and accepted the low Proficiency Standard.

2010

Governor Branstad appointed Jason Glass as Director of the Dept. of Education. Glass did not change Iowa's low Proficiency Standard.

2012

At least 846 IA schools and 30 school districts are now on the dreaded In Need of Assistance List, for over 2 consecutive years of failure to meet Iowa's low Proficiency Standard. 

2012

Department of Education Director, Jason Glass fought the Feds and obtained a freeze on NCLB requirements. The freeze prevented Iowans from knowing nearly every school in the state would be on the In Need of Assistance List by 2014, for academic failures in reading and math.

Jan '2013

Iowalive asked the Dept. of Education for the percentage of students actually scoring at the 65th NPR, which is at Iowa Grade level

April 2013

Iowalive asked the Ombudsman and state senators to help persuade the Department of Education to  provide the requested 65th NPR data. 

May 2013

The Governor, Republicans and Democrats continue to fight over desperately needed school reform, and unneeded fatter school funding.  Republicans hold the moral high ground for  better schools and better performance for the money.  . 

May 2013

Iowalive waits for the Dept. of Education to provide the 65th NPR data.

MUCH MORE ON IOWA ADOPTING THE LOW STUDENT PROFICIENCY STANDARD 

IOWA ADOPTS LOWEST MIDWEST STUDENT PROFICIENCY STANDARD 

 The following chart shows that Iowa, once known as a leader in education, shamefully adopted the lowest student proficiency standard in the Midwest—a standard far (-20 percentage points) below Iowa grade level, where Iowa students should score when tested.  The comparisons, which are the best available--are based on conversion tables published by the Iowa Testing Program and discussions with representatives of each state’s Department of Education—who were most cooperative and helpful.   However, let there be no doubt, Iowa’s adoption of the 40th National Percentile Rank as its “proficiency” standard allows claiming readers as "proficient" when they are far below Iowa grade level, as shown in the chart and as discussed below.  

 Iowa’s low ‘proficiency’ standard considers 4th graders scoring at the 3.1 Iowa grade level to be ‘proficient’ or expert 4th grade readers!  Similarly, Iowa’s low standard considers 8th graders scoring at the 6.9 Iowa grade level to be ’proficient’ or expert 8th grade readers!  Iowa media news reporters have failed to report these shameful conditions to Iowans. 

Similarly, neither these reporters nor the Governor have explained why or how this low standard was adopted by officials at the DOE and Iowa Testing Program.   It is obvious these officials avoided adopting a 'grade level' proficiency standard because this would have exposed Iowa’s practice of excluding low test scores--to make Iowa schools look better.   Adopting Iowa grade level as the Iowa proficiency standard would have shown 50% or more of ALL Iowa PUBLIC SCHOOL 4th grade students to be scoring far below grade level when tested. 

Reporting only public school students, as the State should do, would prevent use of private and home school student scores to deviously inflate State scores.   

But it gets worse.  As of 4-24-13, the Department of Education refuses to release the percentage of Iowa students scoring at the 65th and 95th percentile ranks--claiming they are not "cut points".  The 65th  and 95th are state and international grade levels and the Department does not want to show how terrible Iowa schools are performing.   This stonewalling is backed by Senators Mike Gronstal, Herman Quirmback and Liz Mathis--who have abandoned Iowa's kids and sided with the evil ISEA teacher's union in fighting education reforms that would help the kids.